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Set-up questions...


Warlock1016

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Just bought a Yamaha 5-string off E-bay (I can hear the abuse now... :D ) And it had dead spots all over the first four frets on every string. Couldn't play note one, even open notes.

 

I took a stab in the dark, and began adjusting the truss rod (took a lot of effort to get the bugger moving, I might add), and they mostly went away. I raised the saddle on the E and A strings, and for the most part, the buzz is gone. (I get a small buzz when I really hit the A string on the 4th fret). But the thing is at least playable now.

 

After looking at it, I'm wondering if I should have let it go, and taken it to a pro to make sure it was done right. the truss rod now turns pretty easily, and as I'm still learning things like that, it makes me a little nervous. Any advice on things to check, or should I just pop the cash for a tech to look at it?

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I usually say that one should learn as much as possible about the instrument; that includes the set-up technique. That being said, however, I'd definately let a good, recommended tech have a crack at it. Don't be embarrased abut screwing anything up, if you did. The tech is paid to fix things, not pass judgement on your skill.
...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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Like I mentioned earlier off-board, let it "rest" for a few days since you really crankes down on the truss rod. Let it acclimate to our lovely humidity and balmy temperatures and see if that has any more effect on it. See what it does from there. You may need to tweak some more the other way since you put 3 full cranks on it. Since you have the 4th fret buzz, fret there and then take a sheet of paper and pass it between the string and the frets to find the buzz and to see if there is a high fret.

 

I'm trying to get that tech's number right now and I'll pass it along to you when I have it.

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A general rule, if I've quoted it correctly, is to turn the truss rod no more than 1/4 turn at a time and let it sit for 24 hours to give the neck time to settle in.

 

As a general note, even though many instruments are made in robotic factories by robot-like labor, your instrument ("you" being a general pronoun) is a living, breathing entity.

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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I had to give it the equivalent of at least 3 turns, and I haven't touched it since I eliminated 95% of the buzz. I'll probably restring this weekend, and see if that helps with what's left.

 

Most of what's still got me curious is the fact that the truss rod turns so easily now.

 

Thanks for all the good advice, guys.

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Originally posted by Warlock1016:

Most of what's still got me curious is the fact that the truss rod turns so easily now.

 

Thanks for all the good advice, guys.

How easy is "easy"? one finger, two fingers? If you were adding relief (loosening) it would be easier than reducing relief (tightening) or making the fretboard flatter. It's good to have a 18" straight edge and feeler gauges handy. I usually go for .012 of relief at the eighth fret. You may like more or less, but once you get it where you like it measure the relief and write it down, then you'll always have a reference for any new bass you aquire

- Jon

-----

You have the right to remain in the groove, any solos cannot be used against you, you have the right to snap and pop, if you cannot snap and pop, two fingers can provide the funk just fine.

 

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Originally posted by Warlock1016:

I had to give it the equivalent of at least 3 turns, and I haven't touched it since I eliminated 95% of the buzz. I'll probably restring this weekend, and see if that helps with what's left.

 

Most of what's still got me curious is the fact that the truss rod turns so easily now.

 

Thanks for all the good advice, guys.

 

I'm not clear on which way you turned the rod. If you are loosening, you can go past where it makes a difference. When that happens, it feels loose. It may have take a day or so for the neck to "catch up" to the rod. I'd advise tightening it back down until there is some pressure, then loosen it 1/8 of a turn. Check after a week to see if the neck moved or the adjusting thing is still loose.

 

If you have a tech you like, why not let that person confirm what you did and explain what they did differently. Then you learn or confirm!

 

I did my first truss rod adjustment on the first custom made bass I ever owned - why start small !! :freak: Fortunately I was very careful and called the builder (Mike Kinal) frequently.

 

Good Luck

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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