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Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 899
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - 9:50 am:   Edit Post

I've been running the furnace a couple of weeks now and this fall has been really dry with low humidity. All of this has finally put my bass necks into winter mode so I decided it was time to adjust the truss rods. I asked my assistant (read wife) to please come up stairs and help me with fretting the strings while I took measurements. As expected I needed to remove a fair amount of relief. Having done this enough times I just turned the truss rod nuts a bit and closed everything back up.

I came back today during lunch to see how things were and suddenly realized I had loosened the nuts instead of tightening. My necks now look like an old sway back horse. Worse yet I have to ask my assistant back upstairs this evening to redo everything.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 5693
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - 7:00 pm:   Edit Post

Mine's still back and forth. The buzz on the C at the 15th fret on the A string is there one day and not the next. So I haven't made any adjustments yet, as "winter mode" hasn't yet fully set in. It was 70F (21C) here today; tomorrow afternoon there's a chance of snow, and tomorrow night the forecast is mid-20's (-4C).
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1466
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 - 4:25 am:   Edit Post

You're wife's only allowed upstairs when you're turning your nuts?

back on track, it's so 'Humid' in Scotland all year round I rarely need to make adjustments.

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2715
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 - 7:01 am:   Edit Post


If a married man is turning his nuts, he'd better have his wife there! hehehehe

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 901
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 - 2:00 pm:   Edit Post

I can safely say the nuts only get turned when my wife is there and my necks are playable again since last nights adjustment.

Advanced Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 304
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 9:51 am:   Edit Post

I have NEVER had to adjust the rods on my 76 Series 1----and I live only 30 miles from Jacko?

Any ideas why??

Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 902
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 10:45 am:   Edit Post

Clean living? :-)

Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 578
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post

My 99 Rogue used to live in Georgia with crgaston- it came across the pacific and was in NZ (as humid/wet as it gets) for a year- now I'm in an extremely dry area of southern California. I've never had to adjust the truss rods. The only adjustment I've made was to lower the action when I received it from Charles- in the nearly 2 years I've owned it I haven't touched the truss rods (and I like my action low-low)
Advanced Member
Username: chuck

Post Number: 215
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 5:31 pm:   Edit Post

Thou art truly blessed.
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 579
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 8:18 pm:   Edit Post

and in so many ways!
Advanced Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 330
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 - 7:53 am:   Edit Post

Stockton on Tees climate does not affect my neck but my central heating does..have only adjusted it once in a couple of years
I have no wife to help me adjust my nuts as we have parted
Intermediate Member
Username: 5stringho

Post Number: 164
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 - 2:20 pm:   Edit Post

The neck on the old Excel hasn't moved in almost 2 years, even here in Ohio's screwy clime. If ya don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes. It'll change!
My wife tells me to adjust my own damn nuts. She's gotta headache, or she's tired, or she want's to watch "Survivor". :[

Mike, Tho
Intermediate Member
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 118
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post

I am always curious when I see posts about truss rod adjustments. I live in New England where the temperature and humidity range is very extreme. It can be in the upper 90's with high humidity during the summer and in the single digits with low humidity in the winter. I also travel with my bass to different parts of the country on a regular basis. I have been playing bass for 30 years and other than an initial setup, I have never had to adjust the neck on any bass I have owned. I am curious as to why so many people seem to be constantly adjusting necks on their basses.
Username: mica

Post Number: 5002
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 12:43 pm:   Edit Post

It's usually a function of how low the action is and how tolerant the player is. If you've got extremely low action, you will notice a smaller movement in the neck. If your action is medium height, you might not notice small back and forth movements.

Low tension strings that have gained popularity will also contribute to the neck being easier for the humidity to influence.

Also, some instruments are just fussier than others.
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1662
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 1:03 pm:   Edit Post

I'm in the same "boat" as Kevin here. I've never had the "neck movement" problem that has come up in this forum.
Not sure if it has to do with where I live,Texas, or the action I prefer or the strings. ????
I've owned several instruments, basses and guitars of various brands and currently have somewhere in the area of 20 different axes. I have never had the neck problems that hear some people having, with the execption of a
Steinberg I owned back in the late 80's, NOW THAT WAS A BOAT OAR, and my 78 Musicman Fretless. The Musicmans' neck problems are from my own neglect though. I left it in the case for 10 years in the attic, I know I Know, I'll take my 40 lashes for that, BUt I have just about got it back in shape.

Just Lucky I guess,
Advanced Member
Username: lidon2001

Post Number: 374
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 2:25 pm:   Edit Post

My issues were all string related. Back at 40's now, no problems.

Olie, don't be afraid of a plain & refret/renut (refinish if maple). 30 year old basses need work especially after such abuse. Find a good luthier and bring back its glory. It did wonders for my first year reissue Jazz.
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 918
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 4:06 pm:   Edit Post

Where I live it's generally is 80-90% humidity for 5 months, less than 50% for 5 months and a couple of months of all over the place. With these long periods the basses absorb or lose a lot of moisture. In particular my fretless is affected since I keep a close to flat neck and low action. Likewise my BB has medium low action and what I consider minimal relief. I only have to adjust twice a year more or less. Generally a 1/4 to 1/2 turn and it is done. My 5 string Orion really could get by without adjustments since I need more relief and a higher action to handle the B string. I also have a couple of non-Alembic basses that I can see the movement in at the season change. On one of them it is no big deal due to it's setup. On the other it's a quick tweak. When I lived in the Chicago and SF Bay areas I don't recall these other basses moving around. However where I lived in the Bay area was pretty stable humidity wise and Chicago never had as long and as humid a summer as here.

My house has similar behavior. Between summer and winter I have several places where you can see the house expand and contract by a 1/4 - 3/8 inches. None of it is a big deal to me. I just look at as part of living in the south.

Username: slawie

Post Number: 38
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 10:28 pm:   Edit Post

When I moved back from California to Australia in August 2003 I had to pack my bass in a 20' container. Needless to say I forgot to take off/loosen the strings for shipping. The container was held up in Singapore for 4 weeks
and then finally arrived in Melbourne Australia after a 12 week "world tour". Next day after unpacking the goods I had some time to do a set-up. I did not need to do anything as the neck was as it had left the US it did not move even a millimetre. By the way I did not change the transformer in the power supply and that works OK too. Go figure!

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