#1
I need help figuring out which way to go about adjusting my truss rod .

I hear a lot about placing a capo on the first fret and then pressing either the last fret or the fret where the neck and the body meet. Then to measure the 12th fret height or 5th fret height . Everyone suggests slightly different things and that's when I start to get unsure how to do it for my own guitar.

My guitar is a 24 fret , 26.5 scale length guitar . To start I place the capo on the first fret . Then which fret should I then hold down ? The last ? Then I measure the height of which fret ? I have hex keys , and a string action ruler , and I know how to loosen or tighten the truss rod . My confusion is mainly where to measure and which frets to press down in order to measure . People usually give slightly different answers .

The problem I'm running into is too much fret buzz beyond the 12th frets. Raising the saddles helps but it makes the string height too high .
#2
I just eyeball it by tuning to where it needs to be. Detuning until the neck is perfectly straight. Then tuning up again. If there is fret buzz on an almost straight neck there are high frets somewhere. This assumes the string radius is set correctly.
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Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#3
Not to sound condescending, but I get the sense that you still don't fully understand why neck relief is measured the way it is.

The point of measuring neck relief is to take the two ends of the neck where the truss rod is imparting force on it, then measuring the relief between the 2 points where the neck relief is the greatest, which is usually around the 7th or 8th fret (but not always). Different guitars have their neck meet at the body in different places, so from which fret you measure the relief from will vary. Hence why you keep getting different answers.

Therefore the correct answer is whichever fret first meets the body is the one you should be measuring from.

If you have fret buzz above the 12th fret though, that usually isn't caused by a truss rod being out of adjustment. The truss rod really doesn't do very much past the 10th fret or so. Fret buzz in that area is more likely to indicate too low an action or a high fret.
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#4
T00DEEPBLUE Of course I don't know entirely. It's why I asked. I'm a guitar player not a luthier. The fret buzz is mainly at the 12th fret and beyond on all the bass strings If I raise the saddles it does go away but the string height looks pretty high. even though it plays good it just looks visibly bad I have the B string at about 3.5mm just to avoid buzz. isn't that too high? The frets looks fine to me.
#5
Quote by jedigovnaUG
T00DEEPBLUE Of course I don't know entirely. It's why I asked. I'm a guitar player not a luthier. The fret buzz is mainly at the 12th fret and beyond on all the bass strings If I raise the saddles it does go away but the string height looks pretty high. even though it plays good it just looks visibly bad I have the B string at about 3.5mm just to avoid buzz. isn't that too high? The frets looks fine to me.

Buy a fret rocker to know if the frets actually are level. Just looking at the frets isn't going to tell you much of anything.

You may also need to adapt your playing technique. You'll get lots of buzz if you just pick really hard in general. I've learned that to get a low action without buzzing, you need to allow the amp to do the heavy lifting and not pick too hard. Otherwise even if you have perfectly level frets, you're still going to get buzzing with low action.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
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#6
Quote by jedigovnaUG
T00DEEPBLUE Of course I don't know entirely. It's why I asked. I'm a guitar player not a luthier. The fret buzz is mainly at the 12th fret and beyond on all the bass strings If I raise the saddles it does go away but the string height looks pretty high. even though it plays good it just looks visibly bad I have the B string at about 3.5mm just to avoid buzz. isn't that too high? The frets looks fine to me.


That's super bad. If you need it that high either your neck is incredibly bowed, your frets are high or your neck is warped.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#7
AcousticMirror

I know . I've never had a guitar with this bad of a string height . Ill likely take it to a tech instead of trying to mess around with it . This guitar has a 2 way truss rod,. I read these types of truss rods can actually correct warping on their own and they are also less sensitive to weather changes. I don't think it's high frets either.
#8
Quote by jedigovnaUG
AcousticMirror

I know . I've never had a guitar with this bad of a string height . Ill likely take it to a tech instead of trying to mess around with it . This guitar has a 2 way truss rod,. I read these types of truss rods can actually correct warping on their own and they are also less sensitive to weather changes. I don't think it's high frets either.


That's still super bad action. My strandberg is developing a slight warp and I still don't need the action that high.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#9
AcousticMirror whatever it is, I hope it's fixable. honestly it's not a huge deal if it isn't. I can sell it off for parts if I need to. I was thinking of buying a new guitar soon. This guitar I bought on Amazon, who knows how long it was in their warehouse. It actually even came with a slight chip at the head stock. it's too late now for the return. but it's all good, it wasn't that expensive.I likely wont be buying guitars from them anymore.
#10
Set the neck up as flat as possible when the strings are up to tension. The best way to check this is NOT with the string (you won't be able to detect back bow), but with a good 18" (or so) stainless or aluminum straight edge. Check several spots from the lowest string to the highest. There shouldn't be any air under any part of the straightedge. Some guitars will have a "ski jump" about where the neck meets the body. We affectionately call it the Gibson Hump, though it can appear on a lot of guitars.

If you can afford a fret rocker (see StewMac.com), you should also own one of those, and you should have a set of automotive feeler gauges (the kind with which you set spark plug gaps).

Then check your nut slot height. Often if you're getting buzzing above the 12th fret, it's because your nut is cut too high and you can't lower the strings at the bridge enough to get the action low without buzzing. Your nut slots should be no more than 0.005" to 0.010" above the height of the first fret. The straight edge and the feeler gauges can help you determine this (StewMac has some information on how to do this).

If your frets are level and the fret rocker doesn't indicate any high frets, you should be able to get your action set pretty low (*very* low is about 1/16th" at the 24th fret, medium height is 1/16th" at the 12th fret).

If you're going to set relief, get out your straight edge and feeler gauges again and carefully add a bit of relief (loosen the truss rod 1/8th to 1/4 of a turn), tune the guitar to pitch again (it should go slightly flat when you do this) measure it with the feeler gauge (somewhere between .005 and .010" above the fret) under the straight edge. You'll usually set it at the 7th or 8tth fret.
#11
dspellman  I don't have a straight edge. I have a string action ruler and some feeler gauges though. I adjusted the truss rod slightly and I was able to get it to around 2.5mm on the bass side. But the low B buzzes slightly, enough to bug me. I like my notes to ring out as clear as possible and I guess I have a tendency to pick kind of hard. I don't really have enough confidence in myself to make any more adjustments. I took a look at the nut and it doesn't look very well placed, it looks like there's a bit of a gap underneath but i'm not sure. I'll likely take it to a tech soon. Hopefully it wont be as bad as it's always been. All the techs in my area have been pretty rude and cranky.
#12
Quote by jedigovnaUG
dspellman  I don't have a straight edge. I have a string action ruler and some feeler gauges though. I adjusted the truss rod slightly and I was able to get it to around 2.5mm on the bass side. But the low B buzzes slightly, enough to bug me. I like my notes to ring out as clear as possible and I guess I have a tendency to pick kind of hard. I don't really have enough confidence in myself to make any more adjustments. I took a look at the nut and it doesn't look very well placed, it looks like there's a bit of a gap underneath but i'm not sure. I'll likely take it to a tech soon. Hopefully it wont be as bad as it's always been. All the techs in my area have been pretty rude and cranky.


It's hard to find a good tech. My favorite tech is 400 miles away, but he's always mellow and non-judgmental. Helps that he really knows his stuff, has a PLEK machine and maintains a steady clientele of high-level pros while still managing to turn work around quickly.

You'll probably want to dial back your pick attack quite a bit; you can get the dynamics you want with a light touch by learning how to work with the pickups ("let the pickups and the amp do the work"). If it's a carryover from playing an acoustic, you'll definitely want to rethink your adaptation to the electric. I've also moved to a thicker, stiffer pick; I'm using Gravity Picks' Razer 2, which has no play whatsoever, for electric. But I still use Fender mediums for acoustic.

A straight edge is easy -- most school supplies stores have metal rulers that work well enough (until you can get some StewMac or chinese copy piece). The thing with the string and capo was always meant as a "rule of thumb" thing for when you don't have the right gear, not as the primary way to set your relief. And it's never the same; credit card, business card, playing card, seventh fret, eighth fret, fifth fret, hold the string down at the *last* fret, the 22nd fret, the 19th fret, the 17th fret. I've used it, but I was taught that with most guitars the truss rod doesn't affect anything past the 17th fret, so that's the one to hold. I was also taught the 7th fret is where you check relief, and that the rule of thumb device to slide under the string is a *new playing card* (which are uniform thickness and, while slightly more than I would use, still thin enough that you're not in trouble. Business cards vary all over the place (as do *used* playing cards) and credit cards are generally too thick. I think a good 18" straightedge, a fret rocker, an action ruler, some feeler gauges and a set of under-string radius gauges are part of a toolset that almost every guitar player should own (along with some allen wrenches, small screwdrivers, a string winder and a set of clippers [dykes]).

If your nut is badly placed, you'll definitely want a tech to reset (or replace) that for you.