Adjusting Your Truss Rod Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through March 17, 2005 » Adjusting Your Truss Rod « Previous Next »

Author Message
Intermediate Member
Username: s_wood

Post Number: 127
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 6:23 am:   Edit Post

Over in the FAQ's there's a recently-posted thread about truss rods, but I thought it might be helpful to post a basic how-to guide.

Don't be afraid to tweak your truss rod! It's easy to do, and as long as the truss rod is turning freely there's no danger of doing any harm. All bass necks, even graphite ones, move over time as a consequence of humidity changes and changing string brands or gauges. Plus, the truss rod controls the amount of relief in the neck, and like string height that's a matter of individual preference. Too me, paying someone to adjust my truss rod would be like paying someone to put air in the tires of my car...both are necessary maintenance functions that are really, really easy for anyone to do! The only necessary tools are a Phillips head screwdriver (for removing the cover to the truss rod cavity), a capo (to facilitate measuring relief as explained below), a guitar pick or set of feeler gauges (also explained below) and the truss rod wrench that came with your Alembic (it's a small 1/4" wrench).

Here are a couple of excellent web sites that will show you how to adjust your truss rod and set up your bass:

This text-only article is the best one I've ever seen on the subject:

The pictures at this site are very helpful in explaining exactly what is happening at each stage of the process:

This site has some great animations that will help you understand the process:

One note: when I first started doing my own set-ups I used a capo and feeler gauges as recommended. If money is tight you can use a medium guitar pick as a substitute for the feeler gauges. However, after I while I got to the point where I could accurately estimate the appropriate amount of relief just by looking at the neck.

Once you learn how to do this, you will be amazed at how much better your bass will play!

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration