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Truss rod maxxed out


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Hello, I am new to this board, looks to be a lot of good info here!

I recently acquired an early 80s Aria SB neckthrough bass that has a truss rod problem. I took it to the tech I normally take my basses to for setups and he said it appears the truss rod is maxxed out. He tried to adjust it but he said it was much harder than it should be, so much so that he thought it could break. So he backed it off a little and just set it up as best he could from there. As it stands, the bass is setup with very high action, saddles are lowered as far as they can go, strings about 1/4" higher than they should be. My question is, is there any solution to this problem other than replacing the truss rod? Someone on another board mention the possibility of adding a washer under the nut on the trussrod. Has anyone ever tried this or other possible solutions? Also, if you have any idea how much it would cost to have these repairs done, that'd be helpful, too.

Other than that, the bass is beautiful and in fine condition so it would be a shame if it has to be retired. Thanks,


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Well, I do know you should always loosen the truss rod before you tighten it, for this reason. I don't know exactly what will help, but I know the prevention...sorry dude. I am sure someone will be able to help. And welcome to the forum.

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly


This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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If you can remove the nut at the end of the truss rod and add a washer or two under it, it should give you some more flex to work with. Still, if it's tightened all the way now, perhaps there is more that needs to be looked at. I'd suggest taking to a luthier instead of a tech and see what they can tell you.

-- Joe --


"If you think you're too old, then you are." --Lemmy Kilmister

"I have not seen a man who is not god already." --Austin Osman Spare

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Take the truss rod adjusting nut off. Clean the threads amd lub the nut with a small touch of greese. Add some spacers,(washers) and reinstall. Loosen the strings, tighten the nut and see if you can get a slight upbow in the neck. Then retune the strings. The neck should now be flat or with a slight upbow. Then adjust the nut for the straightness (or slight upbow) you want. Never try to tighten a nut if it does not turn easily. I think it is always better to tighten the neck without string tension and then loosen it a little to the desired set. you will break far fewer truss rods this way.


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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To know how a trussrod works, check out Gary Willis' setup site HERE .


jmrunning is right about washers. I have seen an article about a truss rod repair executed with washers; thought it was a BP Tech Notes article, but I didn't find it there.


Here is a FRETS.COM article that offers some insight. The link takes you to page 3, continue to page 4 to see the luthier's custom made washer.

- Matt W.
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