I recently purchased a Danelectro DC 59, cos I like the sound, the feel of the neck, and of course, the price. I realise these aren't top of the line guitars but I have some issues I would like to fix.

First of all, it seems as though I have to have some degree of forward bow in the neck in order to not get fret buzz. That's fine, and I've adjusted the bridge to compensate. I have a small amount of relief and no buzz, great right?

I've had a recurring problem that doesn't make much sense to me. If I simply place my hand around the neck, I get a 5-10 cent pitch change. This isn't with me being rough, this is just PLACING my hand on the neck.

I've tried some careful attempts at fixing, stretched my strings out. My tuning stability is now totally fine, but when I put my hand on the neck, my tuning changes slightly!

My truss rod has to be quite loose to accomodate the forward bow I need, and therefore one of the things I was considering that might be an issue was a lack of tightness in the neck causing a lack of stability?

I have no idea if that makes sense in guitar terms. If anyone would be so kind as to give some advice (as a couple of people have over the last week) I'd be appreciative.
Quote by obeythepenguin
Tighten the truss rod, straighten the neck, and raise your action slightly. A little bit of relief is fine and perfectly normal, but it sounds like you've got too much. The truss rod isn't intended to fix action-related problems, which is likely what you have.

If that doesn't work, take it in to a luthier, since they -- unlike me -- can look at your guitar in person, tell you exactly what's wrong, and fix it properly. (They don't charge anything just to look at an instrument.)

The only issue here is my strings will buzz if I take away any of the relief I have. Should I make a shim for the neck pocket? Should I just raise the bridge as much as humanly possible?

No idea if it makes a difference, but I have a double-acting truss rod.
Quote by obeythepenguin
Fret buzz usually comes from having your action set too low. The correct way to fix it is at the bridge, not the truss rod. I don't know how Danelectro bridges work, but usually there's a couple screws you can turn to raise/lower the action -- you shouldn't need a neck adjustment or any kind of shim. If the guitar came with a manual, it should have instructions there.

And no, you don't need to raise the action "as much as humanly possible," just enough to get rid of the buzz. It will affect the playability slightly, of course, but it shouldn't be a dramatic difference.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll have a careful playaround and see what happens. Cheers!
it sounds like your neck pocket is at the wrong angle, take it to a "good tech" and I'm sure the problem can be remidied, I can't say for sure whats causing it with out looking at it, but 99% of the time it can be fixed.
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Having tightened the truss rod somewhat, I have my guitar in a playable state (action is better than before, actually).

The problem seems to have been reduced, but is still there. I get maybe 4-6 cents out when I put my hand on the neck, and more like 10 when I fret a chord.
Quote by obeythepenguin
How far have you tightened the truss rod? You might want to try tightening it a little bit more. (You don't have to let it settle after every quarter turn, contrary to popular belief, but you should definitely stop if you feel any kind of resistance.)

If that doesn't do the trick...

Does the neck fit tightly in its pocket, or does it wobble slightly? Are all the bolts tight?

If tweaking the truss rod/action doesn't fix it, or you can't get the action at a playable level without buzz, the best thing you can do is take it in to a good luthier. They can actually look at the guitar and hold it in their hands, unlike random strangers on the Internet, and they can tell you for sure what's wrong and how to fix it -- it's their job. They usually don't charge just to look at instruments, and doing it professionally is probably a safer bet than a DIY fix.

When you say "any kind of resistance", do you mean as soon as it no longer turns freely i should stop? Or more when I have to struggle to turn it or it stops turning?
Thanks very much, will take a look. Oh, just to add. My neck doesn't wobble at all in the socket. It's totally sturdy. I can't even fit a .45mm pick into the hole. However, if i was to play a note and pull back on the top of the neck, it goes sharp...I imagine that's normal though?
Quote by obeythepenguin
That's normal, though if it goes sharp with no effort at all you've got a problem.

aye, and that is my problem

Right now I feel like no amount of adjusting the truss rod is going to pay off. I am considering a couple of things right now -

1 - Shim the neck with a playing card to see if it adds stability

2 - replace the crappy screws on the neck (it's a cheap guitar, they are bound to be pretty terrible

3 - Replace the bridge with a six-saddle string-through a-la fender, or maybe a "badass" style bridge

4 - all of the above.

I'm so frustrated right now. This guitar would be so fantastic if this one small (not so small) thing wouldn't happen.

I will probably take it to a luthier this week and have them take a look. Just a pity because I don't even want to play it like this.