#1
Hello, all. I have a Squire Strat, which was my first self-purchased guitar, and it's my baby. However, I use heavy gauge strings (e:12-E:56) and only tune down a half step... what can I say, I got hooked on the feels when I first heard SRV. The thing is that the heavy gauge strings force the neck to bend in. The action at the nut is barely 1/8th inch, while the action near the twelfth fret is 1/4 inch, and the tone difference of the twelfth fret harmonic and the depressed twelfth fret is a semitone. I hate going back to lighter gauge strings, they sound wimpy and thin to me, so I need some advice...

I figure I can do one of three things:
1. Take it to a luthier and get it adjusted every few months
2. Buy a new strat-style guitar with a reinforced neck and resign the old beast to lighter gauge strings and use it sparingly
3. Somehow mod the guitar to reinforce the neck myself permanently.

I don't want to do any of these things, but I'm just looking for the lesser of three evils here. Any help would be appreciated!
#2
Why can't you just adjust the truss rod and re-intonate? This is exactly what the truss rod is for, and you don't need to take it to a tech to get it adjusted. If you do it properly you shouldn't have to touch it more than once or twice a year, depending on the climate you're living in.
#3
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you only adjust the truss rod every X time, you'll end up with a busted truss rod?
#4
I'm guessing you went to 12s from 10 gauge strings without setting and intonating the guitar up for 12s? If you're changing your gauge more by 2 sizes like that, you will most likely need to be adjusting the guitar to be able to handle them. You'll probably need to adjust the truss rod to get the neck proper and your saddles to get the intonation of the guitar up to snuff.


If you don't know how to do that, there's plenty of guides online (even on this site) that can help you. If you don't want to do that, then I suggest getting it set up at a guitar shop. It's not too pricey.


Quote by t1mman
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you only adjust the truss rod every X time, you'll end up with a busted truss rod?



I have never heard that. Ever.
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#5
A tech can set that up for you, or you can do it yourself if you confident with adjusting your truss rod. That's exactly what it's for. Once you get it set up right, you shouldn't have to mess with it again unless you change to another different string gauge or tuning, or there's a significant humidity change.
#6
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I'm guessing you went to 12s from 10 gauge strings without setting and intonating the guitar up for 12s? If you're changing your gauge more by 2 sizes like that, you will most likely need to be adjusting the guitar to be able to handle them. You'll probably need to adjust the truss rod to get the neck proper and your saddles to get the intonation of the guitar up to snuff.


If you don't know how to do that, there's plenty of guides online (even on this site) that can help you. If you don't want to do that, then I suggest getting it set up at a guitar shop. It's not too pricey.


I have never heard that. Ever.


I'm not talking about "regular maintenance" and adjusting the truss rod "once in a while", but to compensate for a much higher tenssion on the srtring with a neck that is not reinforce, you'd constantly adjust the truss rod. Like every weeks/months

OP is not using higher gauge for a lower tuning, but higher gaugue with the same tuning, so it'll add a lot of pressure on the neck.
Going from 52 to 56 on low E will add, for this string alone, 2lbs of tensions, would this be still "acceptable" for a non-reinforced neck?

BTW: I'm not doing rethoric here, I'm realy asking the question!
#7
Quote by t1mman
I'm not talking about "regular maintenance" and adjusting the truss rod "once in a while", but to compensate for a much higher tenssion on the srtring with a neck that is not reinforce, you'd constantly adjust the truss rod. Like every weeks/months

What? No. That's not how a truss rod works. You adjust it until it counteracts the string's tension. If you have to adjust it every month it was either not adjusted properly the first time, or the neck is damaged/warped. Putting heavy strings on a guitar doesn't mean you have to adjust it more often. The tension, while higher, is still constant - there is no reason to have to adjust continuously.

I suppose with heavy enough strings you could get to a point where the neck would just continuously warp, but a 12-56 set is not that unusual and shouldn't be warping your neck. There could be something wrong with the neck, but then you need a new neck. Reinforcing a structurally compromised neck seems like a mistake to me.
OP is not using higher gauge for a lower tuning, but higher gaugue with the same tuning, so it'll add a lot of pressure on the neck.
Going from 52 to 56 on low E will add, for this string alone, 2lbs of tensions, would this be still "acceptable" for a non-reinforced neck?

BTW: I'm not doing rethoric here, I'm realy asking the question!

It's fine, necks can handle quite a bit of tension. Again, since the tension is constant there is no reason you would need to keep adjusting the truss rod. A 12-56 set in standard is not something that requires a reinforced neck. Plenty of people play on 12s with no issues.