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 Post subject: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:26 pm 
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I've got a 2012 AmStd. The truss rod opening is at the neck/body joint. There's a half-circle cutaway in the pickguard where you adjust the rod.

Do I have to remove the neck or just the pickguard to adjust it?

This is my first time at trying to adjust a truss rod.


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:31 pm 
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If the pickguard has a relief notch at the neck pocket cut-out you should be able to angle a tool into the screw and effect an adjustment without the need for disassembly.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:18 am 
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You'll bang up your paint and wood doing that. Take it to a trusted luthier and tell him you prefer it be disassembled for adjustment.


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:26 am 
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+1 on both previous posts.

The area given to adjust the truss rod is very, very tight to sometimes impossible to access without removing the neck. If you adjust it with the neck in place, you definitely take the chance of mucking up the wood or guard. One slip and you will not be happy.

IMO, removing the neck is the sensible way to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:32 am 
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If you have a Fender "T" wrench you won't harm the finish, The T wrench is designed for the allen truss rod nut at either end of the F board. You can put a few layers of tape where you think you may harm the finish if need be. That is a bit of insurance. There ARE all kinds of different situations though,,, excuse me if I'm way off on this. Pics would help a lot though. :D


Only turn the rod 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time-- wait 20 mins before any more adjustments. Sometimes I wait overnight. You do not want to "force" the neck to move-- you want to "coax" it to move.


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:41 am 
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stroker vance wrote:
Only turn the rod 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time-- wait 20 mins before any more adjustments. Sometimes I wait overnight. You do not want to "force" the neck to move-- you want to "coax" it to move


Good Tip Stroker Vance... :)


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Sometimes if you scoot the pickguard out of the way a bit it helps a lot. It is really hard to adjust the truss rod with the neck removed from the bass, I also prefer to maintain tension on the neck. The stress of full string tension, to no tension, to full string tension again is quite a tension swing and tension swings are never good. How you do you know when you've adjusted it enough unless it is under tension anyway? Some people actually make bigger grooves under the pickguard for truss rod adjustments.


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:23 pm 
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brotherdave wrote:
Sometimes if you scoot the pickguard out of the way a bit it helps a lot. It is really hard to adjust the truss rod with the neck removed from the bass, I also prefer to maintain tension on the neck. The stress of full string tension, to no tension, to full string tension again is quite a tension swing and tension swings are never good. How you do you know when you've adjusted it enough unless it is under tension anyway? Some people actually make bigger grooves under the pickguard for truss rod adjustments.

I actually did this a couple of days ago when I was giving the neck on my Reggie Hamilton Jazz Bass a tweek,... I took off the pick guard to get better access to the truss rod, & I also slightly loosen the strings & loosen the bolts that hold the neck to the body,.....weird thing though...I loosend the bolts an inch & the neck wouldn't budge from the pocket,...... I didn't want to risk chipping the paint in this area & I was luck enough that I was able to still stick in a slot screw driver & give the neck about a quarter tweek....it all worked out & the bass plays better than ever but....why wouldn't the neck loosen from the body??


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:44 pm 
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Because the body screw holes are too tight -- the screws need to be able to spin/slide freely through the body screw holes. It's very common for paint to build up in the body screw holes when they spray the body. If the screws can't spin/slide, the neck can't move until you unscrew the screws all the way from the neck.

Unscrew the neck all the way (loosen the strings and put a capo right next to the nut to keep them in place when you remove the neck, that way you don't have to replace/change them). Then unscrew the screws from the body and use a small round file to slightly enlarge the holes (or wrap some sandpaper around a small dowel -- a bamboo skewer is about right; you could also use a drill bit the same size as the hole and wobble it a little to hog out the holes).

You want the holes just large enough that you can push the screws through the body with your thumb without having to turn them with a screwdriver (a little looser than that is ok, but don't make them huge and sloppy).

When the screw holes are enlarged, you'll also be able to apply more torque to the neck and make the neck to body joint tighter. (After you remove the neck and before you enlarge the body holes, try tightening the screws and see what happens -- they stop turning as soon as the heads hit the body, so they can't pull the neck hard against the body, only hold it as tight as as you're pressing it against the body when you start screwing them in. If you accidentally don't hold the neck tight against the floor of the body pocket the screws will actually hold the neck up floating with a gap between it and the floor of the pocket.)

So after you enlarge the holes, be careful not to overtighten the neck -- you can warp the neckplate, crack the body finish, or even strip the neck holes when the screws don't bind in the body.


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:54 pm 
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One more thing. When reinstalling the neck, push the screws through the body until they hit the neck, then turn them backwards (like you're removing them) until you feel them drop into the existing neck threads. That way you're reusing the existing threads, not mangling the wood fibers and cutting new threads. You could remove the neck hundreds of times without wearing out the threads.


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:53 am 
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Quote:
One more thing. When reinstalling the neck, push the screws through the body until they hit the neck, then turn them backwards (like you're removing them) until you feel them drop into the existing neck threads. That way you're reusing the existing threads, not mangling the wood fibers and cutting new threads. You could remove the neck hundreds of times without wearing out the threads.


That's a cool idea!

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Thanks for the tips "strayedstrater" much appreciated... :)


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:40 am 
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stroker vance wrote:
Only turn the rod 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time-- wait 20 mins before any more adjustments.


I agree wholeheartedly about the waiting period. I usually give it an hour but it's entirely possible I might be waiting longer than I need to.

A quarter turn at a time though. Wow. Too much. A quarter turn is about the most I'd ever turn it in total from one extreme to the other over the lifespan of the guitar ..... unless somebody had been messing around with it and really really REALLY had it out of whack. A quarter turn is a full 90 degrees of swing on the end of an Allen wrench. That's a lot of adjustment.

I recommend swinging the wrench in increments of 5 or 10 degrees and start from there. If a person didn't know how much was 10 degrees they can think about the six sides of a nut or bolt or the six flat parts on an Allen key. Each flat on the key is separated from the next one by an increment of 60 degrees, so one sixth of that. Put the key in the hole but don't turn it. Take a pic with your phone to note the angle of the key in relation to the guitar. Pull the key out and put it back in on the next flat and take a second pic. The difference in angle between the two pics is 60 degrees. Turn it one sixth of that.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz Bass Truss Rod
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Quote:
I agree wholeheartedly about the waiting period. I usually give it an hour but it's entirely possible I might be waiting longer than I need to.

A quarter turn at a time though. Wow. Too much. A quarter turn is about the most I'd ever turn it in total from one extreme to the other over the lifespan of the guitar ..... unless somebody had been messing around with it and really really REALLY had it out of whack. A quarter turn is a full 90 degrees of swing on the end of an Allen wrench. That's a lot of adjustment.


A quarter turn is a lot of adjustment for a fully tightened truss rod but I have come across many necks where the rod is absolutely loose and has never been tightened. In these cases, I have turned a truss rod nut multiple turns before it reached the point at which it was applying pressure against the neck. You cannot generalize about truss rods. It certainly pays to be conservative but if I have a bass that needs adjusting, I do it without waiting between turns. If it needs to be tightened or loosened, I do it immediately and I will play the bass immediately after the adjustment to check it for accuracy. I have never seen a busy guitar repair ship wait after adjusting a rod unless the customer was not present to pick up the instrument. They don't have the time.

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