#1
I bought a new guitar not to long ago. When it arrived I checked the neck relief and found it to be pretty much strait as an arrow. I wanted to add relief to spec which is .010 to .020. I was shooting for around .013 because I really didn't know what I wanted it at for sure. I loosened the rod probably around 3/4 of turn at 1/4 increments. It was sitting at about .014 when I was done.
A few weeks later (today) I checked it again and it had gone to about .017 and I like to play fast so I decided I was going to tighten it up a bit. I tightened it about a little over a quarter of a turn and it turned so easily that it surprised me. Now, I am wonder if the damn thing is to loose and all the tension is on the wood. I barley had to put any pressure to turn it, but the thing is I got results and now it is sitting at .011. Should I worry about it and tighten it a bit more to make sure some tension is on the rod or just call it a successful adjustment and move on with my life? haha.
Thanks,
Tyson
ESP Iron Cross Sig model, Fernandes RetroRocket Sunburst, Taylor 214CE, Peavey XXX Super 40, DimeBag Crybaby from Hell, Zakk Wylde Overdrive, MXR Chorus, and a Flashback Delay and Looper.
#3
If there's barely any tension on the rod in the first place, it can be very easy to turn. Doubly true since it's a new guitar - the neck might not need much help from the rod, and the rod is still factory fresh. That, plus the fact that the action responded when you adjusted it, makes me think there's no problem.

The truss rod is there to help push the wood in the right direction if it needs it. There's no need to force the rod to "share the load" if the wood can handle it. Plus, the rod must have at least a bit of traction since you can still adjust the neck in both directions. A truly loose truss rod will spin freely, not just feel easy to turn, and turning it won't change the relief at all. A really bad one will actually rattle in the channel. Doesn't sound like that's what is going on here.

It seems like your guitar has a nice strong, stable neck and the rod is working as intended.
#4
Thanks, that's exactly what I wanted to read. I appreciate it. I was just trying to be extra careful with my first ever adjustments. I really like to do things myself instead of paying someone else.
ESP Iron Cross Sig model, Fernandes RetroRocket Sunburst, Taylor 214CE, Peavey XXX Super 40, DimeBag Crybaby from Hell, Zakk Wylde Overdrive, MXR Chorus, and a Flashback Delay and Looper.
#5
I'm going to give quick advice and I hope it doesn't sound condescending or rude - something I've noticed in my own life at work, with friends or on the internet. When asking for help or a question, it's best not to say "another" or something like "just a" or something that would make others think your question is unimportant. I think you will get a higher response rate following this.
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#6
It really wasn't that important and it actually felt like a nuisance to post. I understand what you are saying. Thanks.
ESP Iron Cross Sig model, Fernandes RetroRocket Sunburst, Taylor 214CE, Peavey XXX Super 40, DimeBag Crybaby from Hell, Zakk Wylde Overdrive, MXR Chorus, and a Flashback Delay and Looper.
#7
if you are happy with it then i would call that a successful adjustment.
#8
What should the relief be on an acoustic neck? About the same as an electric?
ESP Iron Cross Sig model, Fernandes RetroRocket Sunburst, Taylor 214CE, Peavey XXX Super 40, DimeBag Crybaby from Hell, Zakk Wylde Overdrive, MXR Chorus, and a Flashback Delay and Looper.
#9
Quote by tysona23
I bought a new guitar not to long ago. When it arrived I checked the neck relief and found it to be pretty much strait as an arrow. I wanted to add relief to spec which is .010 to .020. I was shooting for around .013 because I really didn't know what I wanted it at for sure. I loosened the rod probably around 3/4 of turn at 1/4 increments. It was sitting at about .014 when I was done.
A few weeks later (today) I checked it again and it had gone to about .017 and I like to play fast so I decided I was going to tighten it up a bit. I tightened it about a little over a quarter of a turn and it turned so easily that it surprised me. Now, I am wonder if the damn thing is to loose and all the tension is on the wood. I barley had to put any pressure to turn it, but the thing is I got results and now it is sitting at .011. Should I worry about it and tighten it a bit more to make sure some tension is on the rod or just call it a successful adjustment and move on with my life? haha.
Thanks,
Tyson


Move on.

I maintain relief at around .008" on most of my guitars (I play with a low action). My best advice is to set it and forget it. This forum, more than any other in guitardom, seems to fuss over the truss rod. It's not really something that you deal with in setting up your guitar until the very end of things and even then only if there's an issue with relief (and NOT because your action is too high). I think I adjust the truss rods on my guitars once every year or two, if that.
#10
Quote by tysona23
What should the relief be on an acoustic neck? About the same as an electric?


Again, not much to worry about there, since the action is generally significantly higher than on an electric. Then, too, some acoustics don't even HAVE truss rods. I have a '67 Martin D35 that didn't come with one, and that's not unusual.
#11
I set my acoustics and electrics up in pretty much the same way, to get a similar feel, but I only play slide on electrics.

That 67 martin will have a T-bar reinforcing rod. Virtually all steel string guitars come with an adjustable truss rod these days, I can't think of one that doesn't. Some nylon strings also have them.
#12
If it plays well now we can only hope it will not bow backward with humidity change. It likely will not, but if it does you are in trouble.

I used to service Takamine guitars in the early 1980s and some of them had zero relief or a backbow upon delivery from the distributer. They sounded great, but this was a big issue for us. They had one-way truss rods and I could do nothing to improve their playability and I needed to raise their action by too much in order to eliminate mid-neck buzzing.

I always feel most comfortable when there is a modest amount of tension needed on the truss rod to bring the desired neck relief. The guitars I built all had pre-tensioned rods (I glued a slight forward bow into the neck when installing the fingerboard) so that they had the two-way adjustment that I wanted. I was glad that I did that.
#13
Quote by Tony Done

That 67 martin will have a T-bar reinforcing rod. Virtually all steel string guitars come with an adjustable truss rod these days, I can't think of one that doesn't. Some nylon strings also have them.


You're correct, it's a T-bar reinforcing rod in the neck (non-adjustable). I think Martin went to a square hunk of tubing after the T-bar, also none-adjustable (might have been right around '67 as well). I don't think they actually got around to adjustable truss rods until sometime in the '80's.

I have a fairly recent and fairly high-end classical guitar (if $5K is considered high-end) designed for concert musicians that came without a truss rod. It's not an issue and is not likely to be, but there are some production nylon strings (as you note) that do have them.
#14
Why not just throw a bigger set of strings on them? I haven't seen a ton of guitars with back-bow but most were either junkers or guitars that someone had slapped 8s on and then not adjusted the rod.

I guess that would be a bit impractical for a store to do for a whole lot of guitars. What did you end up doing?
#15
My acoustics neck is dead strait. I can't even fit a .001 feeler gauge in between the strait edge and the fret.
ESP Iron Cross Sig model, Fernandes RetroRocket Sunburst, Taylor 214CE, Peavey XXX Super 40, DimeBag Crybaby from Hell, Zakk Wylde Overdrive, MXR Chorus, and a Flashback Delay and Looper.
#16
It plays, alright. I don't get any buzz or anything. Just wanting to do some checking because it probably has never had a checkup.
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Last edited by tysona23 at Oct 9, 2015,
#17
Quote by dspellman
You're correct, it's a T-bar reinforcing rod in the neck (non-adjustable). I think Martin went to a square hunk of tubing after the T-bar, also none-adjustable (might have been right around '67 as well). I don't think they actually got around to adjustable truss rods until sometime in the '80's.


The T-bar seems to have a good reputation for neck relief stability, but the square tube doesn't. - Just one of the problems from their "dark period", 70s to mid-80s. I was wrong about the universality of truss rods - Martin are making "Authentics" or some such series with the T-bar.