General tech questions

Truss rod adjustments on a Strat

1

So I have a like new Strat that’s about 10 years old. The action was super wanky when I got it so I took it to a shop and dude adjusted it but says the truss rod is super tight and he’s worried about adjusting it more.

Is there something more that can be done? And the issue is the further you go down the neck towards the further the strings are from the fretboard, so much that it’s really difficult to play

2

Sounds like you need to make a nice wooden shim. The neck needs some back-angle. If it was higher in the middle rather than upper, I'd say Truss rod needs more tightening. Don't over tighten rod or you could get a back bow.

3

take it to a skilled luthier who can steam and clamp the neck so it's straight(er). if all you do is shim it the action will likely still be cocked up in the 7th-14th fret range cos the whole length of the neck that's clear of the neck pocket is probably bowed out. if your truss rod is jacked in/out to the end of its range, there's something seriously wrong. i have a similar problem with my MIM Jazz Bass that's currently in the on-deck circle waiting to be resolved, and the Mike Dirnt (i.e. 50s-style) P-Bass i traded for it was pretty much the same. i even once saw a real 50s P-Bass in a pawnshop with this kind of warpage. seems that the slimmer Fender necks are more prone to this since i seldom saw it until the 21st century, and the difference between old-growth maple and the more variable lumber used nowadays may also be a contributing factor.

4

I cut an inch off the width end of a business card to make a shim and place it in the neck pocket up against the body. It's usually enough to correct the neck angle and it may even allow you to loosen the truss rod. This is common on Fender guitars.

5

neck relief and action can be/are two separate issues...make sure the neck relief is right before proceeding to the action...once you get the trussrod right, then you can go from there..super high action on high frets is often neck angle problem...repositioning bolt on neck or a shim ^ may very well be the answer

strats should never be major problem..that's why genius leo invented the modular bolt on system...little that can't be cured

look to an alternate repair guy

cheers

6

neck relief and action can be/are two separate issues...make sure the neck relief is right before proceeding to the action...once you get the trussrod right, then you can go from there..super high action on high frets is often neck angle problem...repositioning bolt on neck or a shim ^ may very well be the answer

strats should never be major problem..that's why genius leo invented the modular bolt on system...little that can't be cured

look to an alternate repair guy

cheers

– neatone

THIS!! You never use the truss rod to adjust action. I cringe when I hear, "I'm getting a little buzz on the 9th fret...I think I'll adjust the truss rod." It adjusts neck bow (relief). Before you do anything, fret a string at the first and last frets (for bolt-on necks) and see how high the string is off the fret midway between. Once that adjustment is established, THEN you go after action. If it's too high with the saddles down, you need a neck shim.

7

I’m taking it to a a place called Texas Guitar Workshop today where they specialize in working on guitars. I’ll mention the ideas I’ve gotten here and see what they have to say

8

If they specialize in working on guitars, you probably shouldn't say anything and let them do their job. If they know what they're doing, "I need a set-up," should be all you need to say.

9

neatone nailed it. It's not clear from the original post and description if this is a relief/truss rod issue or a neck angle thing. charlie is also right that a shop who can actually resolve your issue won't need any ideas about how to do it.

10

I spoke to the guy at length about my challenges and frustrations. He pointed out a few things he saw in the neck and why a shim in this case wasn’t the solution and comfirmed there wasn’t a lot of truss adjustment left. He’s going to do some bridge adustments and see how much truss adjustment was left. I’m confident that it’s in the right hands so we’ll see.


Register Sign in to join the conversation