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Adjusting my truss rod - that just sounds bad!

but seriously, whats the general rule here. I have some buzzing on the bass strings and Ive been told to adjust the truss rod.

if anyone has some insight on when and why to tighten or loosen, like to compensate for dryer winters or humid summers or any other reason why, please enlighten me.

Thanks

Tim
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Comments

  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    Tim,

    If you are just getting buzzing on the bass side it might be a high fret. One thing you might want to do is sight down the neck from the tail end of the guitar. Hold it up so it's eye level and look to see if there is a light dip in the middle of your neck or if it's flat or has a hump. If it is the truss that needs some adjusting you would more then likely get buzzing on more then just one string. Ideally if you hold down your Low E at the first fret and at the 14th fret you should be able to see a small amount of light in the middle of the neck between the string and the frets. Same for the High E string.

    Another reason for buzzing could be that you have your action on the bass side too low. I know my guitar changes thru out the year and I have to make adjustments to the bridge to keep my action where I like it.

    If you need more info on the truss you can email me at <!-- e --><a href="mailto:josh@djangobooks.com">josh@djangobooks.com</a><!-- e --> or you can call my shop at 1-888-535-9414 and we can talk about it.

    Cheers,
    Josh
  • TimmyHawkenTimmyHawken Lansing,MINew
    Posts: 118
    thanks for the responce Josh, I will definitely check out the frets as you suggest, I believe it may be because my action is pretty low like you said.

    I should probably know this but in this case I should lower the tension, correct? I tried to mess with it, I loosened the rod about a 1/4 turn (which actually was pretty difficult, it felt dry and made a loud creecking noise) I didnt notice much improvement and was afraid to do more because I didnt really know what I was doing.

    again, thanks for the responce, I may email you with more questions.

    Tim
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    There are two schools of thought on the string tension and truss adjustment. And I use both... I feel that depending on the amount of adjustment you need to make determines if you should take the tension down. The issue with taking the tension down is that it becomes a guessing game because once you take the string tension off you will have flat neck or even a hump but under tension you might have a dip. if it's a small amount you can leave the strings under tension. I do this for final tweaks to the truss when I do setups. But if it needs allot then take the tension off the strings and make the bigger adjustments without tension. By bigger adjustments I mean anything more then 1/8 of a turn.

    Cheers,
    Josh
  • chappiechappie ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 125
    How low is your action at the 12th fret on the string that is buzzing? Has it always buzzed or did it just start? These guitars are notoriously sensitive to the changes in weather. I need to adjust my Dupont MD50 about 4 times a year and more if I travel... but it is almost always a combination of a small adjustment in the height of the bridge with a wooden shim (or removing it) and a twist of the truss rod. A little goes a long way. I never really notice a change of string tension though of course it does change slightly... I just notice the cup of the neck and the height of the strings at the twelfth fret.
    I would bet that a similar adjustment of your bridge height and the curve of the fretboard will fix your buzzing. Also, these guitars all buzz a little bit if your action is low because of the way that gypsy picking/rhythm impacts the string.
    charlie
  • TimmyHawkenTimmyHawken Lansing,MINew
    Posts: 118
    The buzz is mostly at frets 1,2 and 3 but some buzz can be heard higher up on the low E string. I currently play a Gitane 250

    Im curious when you say you need to make adjustments thru out the year, is it generaly to raise the height of the bridge and loose the truss when its dryer or the other way around?
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    I make action adjustments thru out the year with my bridge via shims or using different seasonal bridges. Tthe truss should be set and left alone for the most part once you get it where it needs to be.

    Cheers,
    Josh
  • chappiechappie ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 125
    for the most part I agree that it's better to leave the truss rod alone but sometimes the bridge shims aren't sufficient and a minor truss adjustment works best along with the shims. That's just my deal. I was recently out west and the guitar action got too high so I tweaked the truss rod a very small turn and it did the trick... just left the shims alone. Reversed it a week after I got back.
    charlie
  • EmmettRayEmmettRay Honolulu, Hawaii✭✭✭✭ Koa Iseman, AJL XO-503, Holo Busato
    Posts: 88
    The first thing you should do before doing any adjustments is make sure your guitar is not drying out. The winter is the toughest on acoustics of all types, most household heating (esp central air) take humidity to dangerously low levels.. I've had the same problem you described and tried just about everything, truss rod adjusting, raising the bridge, changing string guages and nothing worked until I got a good humidifier. It may take 3-10 days for the guitar to change, if that is indeed what your guitar needs. But you don't have to take my word for it...

    read this..
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,128
    If you have never adjusted a truss rod before, don't try it on your own unless you don't care if you wreck the neck. It is REALLY cheap to have a tech do it for you and they may even show you how to do it.

    If you are handy and courageous and really want to figure out how to work on the neck, I would recommend getting some of these books (and maybe some tips/moral support from a tech) before you try it. Fretwork Step by Step will give you a few good ideas.

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_plan ... tting.html

    If you want to spend some money to do other fretwork (leveling etc.) browse through their fretting tool section (but it is possible to spend some $ on guitar tools).

    Have fun and good luck with it!
  • TimmyHawkenTimmyHawken Lansing,MINew
    Posts: 118
    thanks for all the replies, I have put a shim underneath my bridge and it has done wonders. I am giving up a little bit in the action but gaining so much in the sound department and no buzz, so thanks again.
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