#1
Can somebody help me here? I got a 7-string Ibanez RGIR27FE (Hard tail) and it was pretty badly setup but I went and, being a complete noob, made some minor change that I can't reverse. Now the strings are way too close to the fret board, buzz and just can't tune or anything because they are just that close. I can't afford a tech either, so any help would be great... as I'm dumb...

What did I do exactly? Made a slight change to the truss rod, very, only on the B string did I very smally touch the saddle. All of sudden now, everything is outta wack, completely unplayable and I'm a bit worried. The bridge isn't really bowed in either direction though... I'm just not smart enough for this lol
#2
Oh and should I do it like 3mm on the 12th or 14th fret? How would I adjust it to be that way? Truss rod or bridge or both? Do I just use a steel ruler?
#3
For starters you need to check that the truss rod adjustment is right. To do it properly you really need a set of feeler guages but since you probably don't have those put the bottom of the body on the floor and look down the edge of the neck from the headstock towards the body. The neck should be almost dead straight, curving forward away from the body only very slightly. I have a feeling when you do this you're gonna see the opposite, with the middle of the board bulging out towards the strings. Let us know what you see and we'll go from there
#4
If you put a capo on the first fret and put your finger on the last, use a mm measurement on the 12th. You'll want that to be about half a millimeter. The best setup is to use feeler gauges, although this should get you close enough until you learn how to properly set it up.

Adjust the truss rod in quarter turns. I keep editing this middle paragraph because apparently I'm navigationally ******ed. Here's a pic to show which way loosens and tightens. Loosening will raise the strings, tightening will lower them.



After you have the proper relief of half a mm with that capo on the first and your finger on the last, your frets may still buzz or be high, and you'll have to raise or lower the bridge saddles according to Ibanez's spec, which you can find in their online manual.
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Last edited by Guy_Mitchell at Mar 8, 2014,
#5
You could also try pushing down your 1st and 12th frets at the same time and measuring the distance between the 7th fret and the string. There should be a small gap. If there's no gap (causes buzz on first frets) or the gap is too big (causes buzz on last frets), you need to adjust your truss rod.

Truss rod is not for adjusting your string height. If you want to adjust your string height, adjust the bridge. But your truss rod needs to be properly set up to be able to adjust the string height (otherwise you may get buzz and low action is not possible).

First do these adjustments and then adjust the intonation. To intonate the guitar, you need to play the 12th fret harmonic and the fretted note on the 12th fret. Use a tuner. They should be exactly the same. If they are not, your intonation is off.
Quote by AlanHB
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#6
Quote by MaggaraMarine
You could also try pushing down your 1st and 12th frets at the same time and measuring the distance between the 7th fret and the string. There should be a small gap. If there's no gap (causes buzz on first frets) or the gap is too big (causes buzz on last frets), you need to adjust your truss rod.

Truss rod is not for adjusting your string height. If you want to adjust your string height, adjust the bridge. But your truss rod needs to be properly set up to be able to adjust the string height (otherwise you may get buzz and low action is not possible).

First do these adjustments and then adjust the intonation. To intonate the guitar, you need to play the 12th fret harmonic and the fretted note on the 12th fret. Use a tuner. They should be exactly the same. If they are not, your intonation is off.


Agree, and want to add some ideas. Are your strings new and of gauge you want to use? Use a capo at 1st fret and 12th. Give you a straight edge. I never had feeler gauges, eyeball seems to work well enough. But need truss rod about right before messing with the rest I would guess. Just a slight bow is all it needs. Not familiar with your model of guitar, assume some variation on Fender bridges? Use a very good tuner for setting intonation. Every time you change one string, it will slightly alter the others. Retune all strings after each string saddle adjustment. When you set the saddles, make sure they are level with guitar body. With two set screws easy to miss that part. Do all the heights first, running finger up fretboard to make sure no fretting out. The harmonics/fretted part is where rubber meets the road. IF fretted too high compared to harmonic, increase (tighten screw) to make string length longer overall. Use google, you can get some good sites to show you step by step what to do. Unless you use superglue on your adjustment screws, just about nothing is undoable. Careful with truss rod, you can break those however... Good luck, be focused and should be fine.
#7
If you can't afford a tech, buy a book. Dan Erlewine's "How to make your electric guitar play great" is on Amazon for maybe $17. He goes through the entire setup of a guitar with you telling you not only what to do, but why and how it affects things.

A "slight change to the truss rod" is about 1/8th of a turn. Friend of mine encountered a truss rod for the first time and told me, "I kept turning it until it stopped, but I really didn't see it doing anything..."

Measuring the relief produced by a truss rod adjustment is normally done with a set of feeler gauges, like those used to set spark plug gaps. You'll see all kinds of "rules of thumb" on the internet, most of which are wrong. Generally speaking, if you're holding down the string at the first and 17th frets (the truss rod doesn't work past that anyway) and checking the relief at the 7th fret, you should have no more gap (between the top of the fret and the bottom of the string) than the thickness of a New Playing Card. Not a business card, not a credit card.

You'll also be using those feeler gauges to set the height of the string over the 1st fret as it comes out of the nut.

And 3mm of action height (the distance between the top of the fret and the bottom of the string) at the 12th fret is stupid high unless you're going to play slide. I have guitars with very low action (around 1/16th" at the 24th fret) with no buzzing frets. That's probably lower than you want to go, and it takes excellent fretwork to achieve that. I'd certainly be no higher than 1/16th" on the bass side at the 12th fret, and probably closer to 3/64ths" on the high E side.

When you DO take the guitar to a tech, ask if he's got time to show you what he's doing and why he's doing it. If you learn one thing each time, it's worth it.
#8
Quote by Waylanderau
For starters you need to check that the truss rod adjustment is right. To do it properly you really need a set of feeler guages but since you probably don't have those put the bottom of the body on the floor and look down the edge of the neck from the headstock towards the body. The neck should be almost dead straight, curving forward away from the body only very slightly. I have a feeling when you do this you're gonna see the opposite, with the middle of the board bulging out towards the strings. Let us know what you see and we'll go from there



I can honestly barely tell, I suppose there is a slight upwards bow, very slight. But I'm getting conflicting info as to which way does what on a truss rod. Seems some people say on a ibanez, right loosens and left tightens. I'm confused horribly. Also I'm not sure if I tighten or loosen the bridge to raise or lower.
#9
Quote by grrrgrrrr
I can honestly barely tell, I suppose there is a slight upwards bow, very slight. But I'm getting conflicting info as to which way does what on a truss rod. Seems some people say on a ibanez, right loosens and left tightens. I'm confused horribly. Also I'm not sure if I tighten or loosen the bridge to raise or lower.

Did you do what I, dspellman and Guy_Mitchell said? IMO that's the best way to see if you actually need truss rod adjustment. Just by looking at your neck you may not see it. It's better to just measure it. That way your eyes can't lie.

I'm pretty sure that turning left loosens the truss rod but I can't be 100% sure about your guitar because I don't know the model. But it would be pretty strange if it wasn't that way.

Also, truss rod is not going to break unless you go crazy with it. So don't be too careful with it. I mean, many people fear adjusting the truss rod and want to avoid it and try to fix their problem with something else. And you just can't fix the problem by anything else if it is caused by too loose/tight truss rod. Just turn it a 1/8-1/4 turn at the time.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 8, 2014,
#10
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Did you do what I, dspellman and Guy_Mitchell said? IMO that's the best way to see if you actually need truss rod adjustment. Just by looking at your neck you may not see it. It's better to just measure it. That way your eyes can't lie.

I'm pretty sure that turning left loosens the truss rod but I can't be 100% sure about your guitar because I don't know the model. But it would be pretty strange if it wasn't that way.

Also, truss rod is not going to break unless you go crazy with it. So don't be too careful with it. I mean, many people fear adjusting the truss rod and want to avoid it and try to fix their problem with something else. And you just can't fix the problem by anything else if it is caused by too loose/tight truss rod. Just turn it a 1/8-1/4 turn at the time.



I actually did try and yeah, I just can't see whats causing the problem. I mean, it wasn't like this before and when the truss rod feels tight, I don't move it anymore... I'm just sort of really unsure how to do all this lol Thing is, clearly the strings are too close to the board now. The open fret can't even make a real sound, I just dunno how to fix it or if its the bridge or the truss rod...
#11
Your going to have to have a tech fix it if you have tried what has been suggested and no luck.


Have you raised the bridge/bridge saddles at all?
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#12
Quote by Robbgnarly
Your going to have to have a tech fix it if you have tried what has been suggested and no luck.


Have you raised the bridge/bridge saddles at all?


Yeah I think I'm going to find a tech, hopefully something I can borrow some money to afford. :/ Disappointing. And yes, I touched the saddles for some... stupid reason.