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Post subject: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:05 pm
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Hello,
I have a Fender PM-2 Deluxe and I'm having a very tough time adjusting the truss rod in the guitar. What is the official size alan key I need because I've tried everything from 1/8 up to 3/16 and have made no progress... Also the truss rod in this guitar is wayyy too short, it doesn't even start until the joint at the neck which is almost too far for my alan keys. With my ranting aside about poor design, all I need to know is what is the size alan key that I need to use?


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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:14 am
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The best design wouldn't help against user mishandling...

The Paramounts are MIC, so they're metric. Truss rod allen wrench 4mm (x 80 x 115), part number 0081000043, should have been included in the guitar box.

At this point, it's possible you have already rounded the truss rod nut...
Be sure the proper key is deep enough in the hole, and start by loosening the nut.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:52 am
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I look forward to the day when all guitars, electric and acoustic, use the truss rod adjustment wheel found on the Elite Series guitars and basses. It seems so much easier than traditional truss rod adjustments made with allen wrenches (which is what we are discussing here).

It's quite easy to speak smugly of "mishandling" by the user but the fact remains that Fender's own instructions about adjusting the truss rod for the Paramount talk about turning the included tool to the right/clockwise to tighten the truss rod and bend the nek in a concave (EDIT: convex) direction or left/counterclockwise to loosen the truss rod and ben the neck in a convex (EDIT: concave) direction. At no point do the instructions refer to the step of "loosening the nut" first, however necessary that step may actually be.

How does one know if the truss rod is "loose" enough or "not loose enough" prior to performing the adjustment? We don't know and the instructions don't say. What about "too tight"? Again, no information on that possibility.

I find it very annoying that Fender seems to be encouraging everyday guitar owners to perform tasks that are not adequately explained and which require a certain level of finesse and knowledge lest they do permanent damage to their guitars.


Last edited by selowitch on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:13 pm
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Looks like there may be a typo in the instructions too!

Tightening the truss rod will counter the force of the strings and reduce the curvature of the neck, making it LESS concave (a neck should never be convex).
Loosening the truss rod will allow the strings to pull curvature into the neck, making it more concave.

The first step is to simply pop it to the left to make sure that it moves.

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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:30 pm
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ImageHere's the page in question.

I think it does describe the action of the truss rod correctly, i.e., "right-tighty" straightens/flattens the neck convexly and "lefty-loosey" allows the neck to bend forward/concavely. It was my description that had it reversed. I put in the necessary edits to my post.


Last edited by selowitch on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:05 pm
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So it makes reference to the neutral position, but doesn't come right out and recommend loosening prior to tightening.

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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:32 am
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The original question was not about correct tightness of the truss rod at all, it was about correct key size.
The OP writes he/she/it "tried everything from 1/8 up to 3/16", and that kind of (yes, I'll use this smug word again) mishandling often leads to a rounded truss rod nut. In that situation, based on my experience, lefty-losey is the best way to start - not for truss rod adjusting, but for getting the truss rod nut moving at all.

The tightness of the truss rod (or rather, the relief) is adjusted, with a correct key, only when the truss rod is functional - but that's another story.

And as far as opinions go, I hope that Elite style wheel adjuster has a very short life span. First, truss rods don't need adjusting very often. And second, that easy access just calls for players without certain level of finesse and knowledge to fiddle with things they should not - a setup by a pro is always a good option.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:19 am
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I wonder if it would help if everyone used the same word to describe the proper tool used? Here in Northeast Iowa, USA...we call it an "Allan Wrench", don't know why (always have, and most likely always will---right or wrong)...I know a couple of Allan's, but they are too young to have a wrench named after them.


P.S.- Every "new" guitar I've ever bought has came with the proper Allan Wrench. Though I have 2 full sets of Allen Wrenches (standard & metric), I purposely label each one that comes with the guitar, to easily identify it to that specific guitar. And if I paid eight-hundred to a thousand dollars for a Paramount acoustic...I'd expect an Allen Wrench to come with it, and I'd keep it right in the case that the guitar comes with. Then again, I'm organized and anal. :wink:

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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:27 am
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The page from the Paramount manual that I posted seems to suggest that the end user can and should make these adjustments. It explains how the truss rod works in both directions. I think Fender is making a mistake by not saying anything about loosening the truss rod nut before making the adjustment.

Yes, I agree that taking your instrument to a qualified tech or luthier is a good idea if you can find one and can afford it. Moreover, as you point out, the instructions do specify a 4mm allen key for the truss rod, which means that when the OP uses a series of wrenches measured in inches he/she runs the risks of stripping the nut.

The Paramount is supposed to come with a large 4mm right-angle allen wrench as part of its included "case candy" but I have definitely heard of instances in which a Fender dealer failed to supply one. Possible explanations for that include the tool getting lost or "borrowed" and not returned (e.g., in order to fix another instrument).

My plea to everyone is that if you're going to mess around with the truss rod, for goodness' sake read the manual first at the very least.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:34 am
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White Dog wrote:
I wonder if it would help if everyone used the same word to describe the proper tool used?
When using the English language (or any other language, really) you have to deal sometimes with multiple correct terms for the same thing. This particular tool can be called a "Allen wrench" or a "hex key" and probably another synonym or two. It can get confusing but there's not much than can be done about it.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:45 am
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selowitch wrote:
I think Fender is making a mistake by not saying anything about loosening the truss rod nut before making the adjustment.

Once more: loosening the nut is wise, if there's a possibility the nut is rounded (stripped, if you please) - e.g. after trying on all hex key sizes except the correct one.
On normal situations, the nut is turned to the direction needed.

BTW, in that Owner's Manual Fender does make a point of exactly what is discussed in this topic:
Quote:
NOTE: It is possible to damage the truss rod by stripping the nut, or by over tightening the truss rod, resulting in damage. If you don’t feel comfortable adjusting the truss rod yourself, please take your instrument to your nearest Fender Authorized Service Center.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:51 am
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jmattis wrote:
selowitch wrote:
I think Fender is making a mistake by not saying anything about loosening the truss rod nut before making the adjustment.

Once more: loosening the nut is wise, if there's a possibility the nut is rounded (stripped, if you please) - e.g. after trying on all hex key sizes except the correct one.
On normal situations, the nut is turned to the direction needed.

BTW, in that Owner's Manual Fender does make a point of exactly what is discussed in this topic:
Quote:
NOTE: It is possible to damage the truss rod by stripping the nut, or by over tightening the truss rod, resulting in damage. If you don’t feel comfortable adjusting the truss rod yourself, please take your instrument to your nearest Fender Authorized Service Center.

Good clarification. Thank you!


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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:51 pm
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jmattis wrote:
And as far as opinions go, I hope that Elite style wheel adjuster has a very short life span. First, truss rods don't need adjusting very often. And second, that easy access just calls for players without certain level of finesse and knowledge to fiddle with things they should not - a setup by a pro is always a good option.

I feel the same way about the Micro-tilt system... 3-bolt or 4. Though I feel better about the 4-bolt system, if my neck needs a tilt adjustment, I'd prefer that it remain "sonically connected" to the body by more than a 3/16" bolt tip.

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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:43 pm
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CB91710 wrote:
I feel the same way about the Micro-tilt system... 3-bolt or 4. Though I feel better about the 4-bolt system, if my neck needs a tilt adjustment, I'd prefer that it remain "sonically connected" to the body by more than a 3/16" bolt tip.
You can certainly use a shim instead of the Micro-Tilt, though most folks I have spoken to about seem to feel that the Micro-Tilt works just fine. The loss of contact between the neck heel and the neck pocket does not appear to have any effect on the overall resonance of the instrument.

Your mileage may vary, of course.


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Post subject: Re: Fender Paramount truss rod adjustment
Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:16 am
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White Dog wrote:
I wonder if it would help if everyone used the same word to describe the proper tool used? Here in Northeast Iowa, USA...we call it an "Allan Wrench"

The correct name is Hex Key. The “Allen” name is a registered trademark, originated by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut. It's like saying "Q-tips" instead of "Cotton Swabs" or "Band-Aids" instead of "Adhesive Bandages".


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