#1
ok ive played guitar for 12 years now, and only in the last like, 3 years have i worried about string action. So the action on my acoustic really high, like, really high, and its consistantly high, not just at the 12th fret or something. so how do i adjust my truss rod? i know its kinda noobish, but i have no idea, i know that theres an alan key that is used for it and where i put it, but thats it lol. please help? oh and i use 12 gauge strings, so i know its always going to be sorta high, i just want it better than it is.
#2
I would never try to adjust a truss rod on my own. It's really easy to screw everything up very badly. Take it to a music shop.
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#3
Quote by civildp1
I would never try to adjust a truss rod on my own. It's really easy to screw everything up very badly. Take it to a music shop.

yea but my friend did that and it cost him $50, so i dont wana spend that much. Anybody else know how to do it?
#4
Alot of acoustics dont have adjustable truss rods, and it doesnt really matter anyway because you shouldnt use the truss rod to change the action, ever. The best option would be to take it someone who knows how to deal with it by sanding down the bridge etc.
#5
Quote by OneRust
Alot of acoustics dont have adjustable truss rods, and it doesnt really matter anyway because you shouldnt use the truss rod to change the action, ever. The best option would be to take it someone who knows how to deal with it by sanding down the bridge etc.

mine does, and isnt that what the truss rod is for?
#6
Quote by fretsonfire74
mine does, and isnt that what the truss rod is for?


No, the truss rod is to relieve tension on the neck so it doesn't snap.
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#8
Read the link above, nice job lefty, and don't touch your truss rod unless it's determined to be absolutely necessary. It DOES NOT have any relation to action.

I can't stress this strongly enough, If you don't know how, TAKE IT TO A SHOP.

To set the action on an acoustic the bridge saddle must be sanded down from the bottom, not the top, because the saddle top must match the radius of the neck, leave that alone. The top should also have a slight radius (crown) for a smaller surface area for the strings to sit on, and no sharp corners to cut strings same as the frets.

The nut slots may need to be filed deeper also. Nut files are expensive, you can have the nut slots filed by a shop 5 or 6 times or more for the cost of the files. And it must be done exactly right. The bridge saddle should also not have any deep grooves on top from strings digging in after several years of playing. I had to replace the saddle on my old Epiphone twice for that reason...too low if I sanded off the grooves.

To check nut slot height, fret the guitar at the 3rd fret and use an automotive feeler gauge to check distance between top and bottom strings at either of the first two frets. Desirable clearance is .008 to .011, .006 is acceptable but just barely. Over .012 and you'll pull strings sharp fretting the first 3 or 4 frets. I go for .008. The feeler gauge should drag slightly on the string and fret - not tight, not loose. You have the right gauge when you can barely feel just a bit of drag, that's your clearance. My Takamine had .015 clearance when I got it. That was fixed quick...

Don't make any adjustments unless you know what you're doing, it's a lot easier to mess it up than it is to fix it, and a lot more expensive to repair your mistakes than to have it set up by a pro in the first place. You can easily check clearances, all you need is a capo, feeler gauges and a good 6" ruler. A good 18" or 24" ruler is handy for checking for uneven frets, but a good 24" machinist rule like the one I have costs about $30-35. I got it while working as a machinist, it was required (actually I have both 18" and 24"). I use a machinist rule because it is also a very good machined straight edge.

Ask around among local musicians, they should know who is competent and dependable in your area. A $50 setup is a lot cheaper than a $150 repair job. I do all my own setups, maintenance and repairs, but I've been doing it for over 20 years, and I know how to do it properly. I still didn't touch truss rods until about 6 or 7 years ago when there was no competent repair tech in the area where I lived and I had to risk it. After looking at and changing strings the local "tech" put on and playing a couple of his so called setups, I wouldn't let him even look at my guitars, much less work on one. So I learned to do truss rods too. I had to redo 3 of his setups for other people, they left the shop worse than they came in.

For things I don't know how to do, I have a couple of el cheapo guitars to tinker on, so what if I scrap a cheap Korean no name guitar that cost me $4 at a yard sale...I don't even think about taking chances with my Cort CL 1500 for instance, the cheapest one I can find is around $650. If you want to learn, find a really cheap no name import guitar to learn on, don't even think about tinkering with your good one until you know what you're doing.

LeftyDave:

You might want to add a line into that post somewhere, advising people to always put a drop of light oil (3 in 1 is good) on the truss rod adjusting nut and let that sit overnight before adjusting for the first time ever. ONE DROP. A little is good, a lot IS NOT great... (Same for tuners and bridge saddles on electrics) It can make a huge difference and save a lot of grief if the truss rod nut is frozen after being untouched for years or rusted. Also, I always loosen the truss rod first, just to be sure it is not frozen or in a bind, then back to where it started, then make the adjustment. I prefer 1/8 turn, but I go 1/4 at a time with at least a week to settle between adjustments for large adjustments that need more than 1/4 turn total. I prefer to allow a month or so between adjustments. Feel free to copy and paste any or all of this you would like to use, I don't care about getting credit for it...as long as it's accurate and someone benefits from it, who cares whether you or I actually posted it first?
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...