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seratone

Non functioning truss rod on a Gibson

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I have had three Gibsons in the past (and one now) where I have found myself wanting to do a minor truss rod adjustment. a 1989 Gibson J-180 (Everly Brothers), a Les 76 Paul Deluxe Gold Top.... and now recently a 2001 Chet Atkins SST. In all three situations the truss rod turned (with resistance) but didn't make any significant change to the neck relief.

 

Is this a common occurrence with Gibson's? For the J-180, I actually got the truss replaced to the tune of $1375, and it still didn't work (before and after the major repair, a portion of the bolt started pushing through the back of the neck).

 

I got rid of the other two, but I really like this Chet Atkins, and they're rare.

 

I wonder what the best course of action is.... on the Chet I have 7/64's at the 12th and the same spare on the bone saddle....does anyone have any recommended action? Shaving down the bridge itself? re-routing the saddle slot? ( I wouldn't be doing this myself)...

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Are you sure of what you are doing, are you confident with truss rod adjustments?

Otherwise it would be better to ask a luthier, especially on guitars you really love and want to keep.

Neck profile can take some time to really change after an adjustment.

 

How much did you turn the key (usually only step by step 1/4 turn and wait like 24 hours i think in between? But myself i'm totally ignorant about it and get it done by luthiers).

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Mayfy is right

No more than a quarter turn at a time , less even should make a difference .

And it's not instantly noticeable .....

 

Does it turn completely freely or is there a bit of resistance ?

Have you only tried to turn it one direction ?

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Otherwise it would be better to ask a luthier, especially on guitars you really love and want to keep.

 

This is my philosophy too. I used to think I understood this stuff and monkeyed around with my own adjustments. Then I finally took a guitar to a luthier and was amazed by what he was able to do. Unless it's something trivial, that is what I always do now. :)

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Not clear - you state 3 out of 3 Gibsons you owned have had truss rods that didn't work. Did you have other Gibsons where they did work? Or other guitars where they did? Not sure I understand if you have successfully made TR adjustments in the past - and only these 3 were issues, or if these were the first and only you attempted to make TR adjustments on? My understanding is that the slight raising or lowering of the saddle and or bridge are different types of adjustments and not really substitutes for the neck adjustment.

$1375 to replace a TR and then find it still didn't work - seems outrageous.

If you've made full 360 degree rotations of the nut and haven't seen anything happen - I'd go to a different luthier. And, if you've made several full turns in one adjustment - that could explain the problem with the TR coming though the neck.

This said - I don't do my own TR adjustments. And my knowledge of TR Adjustments on electrics is in the negative numbers. G'Luck.

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...does anyone have any recommended action? Shaving down the bridge itself? re-routing the saddle slot? ( I wouldn't be doing this myself)...

 

Shaving down the bridge itself? re-routing the saddle slot?

 

STOP.

 

Sounds to me like you're trying to adjust the action - and the truss rod is NOT for adjusting the action. You lower the action by sanding down the bottom of the bridge on a solid flat surface - especially if you have a UST. If there's no room to lower at the bridge, you probably need a neck reset. The truss is for adjusting neck relief (bow in the neck).

 

You should take this guitar to shop/luthier and them to fix what you've done and adjust the action to your desired height. Explain that you turned the trust rod nut in an attempt to adjust the action. In adjusting the action the shop will also check and adjust for proper neck relief.

 

Hope it works out.

 

 

.

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To answer a few questions...l've had several guitars where the truss rods DID work and several (including a Gibson Les Paul) where I never had to touch the TR. I do my own adjustments - I live in Toronto where the weather and humidity can be of both extremes so usually everything needs to little TLC twice a year. I play a lot of finger-style in open tunings so good action is a must .... I also play keys and acoustic guitar in a rock band where higher action and heavy strumming in first position chords are fine.

 

The $1375 payout on the J-180 was a disaster all around. The guys in the shop who did the work were friends and it was obviously beyond their comfort/skill level - they contacted some of the work out...and had the guitar for two years.. I was so depressed afterwards I did a direct trade for a Martin OMC... Of course informing the new owner what he was inheriting ( in need of a neck reset next - so indeed a cursed guitar).

 

Shortly after posting this I looked around and found a Stewmac Article that describes a fix using half moon shaped washers. I noticed the rod was sticking out of the bolt 1/8th of an inch or more. The explanation is the wood has compressed at the body end of the TR... I ordered three or four of the half moon washers..... In the meantime I lowered the gauge from 12's down to 11's and tuned it down a whole step - I'll capo to 2 to get to standard..... fine with me for now.

 

The lesson is - don't buy older acoustic guitars on eBay or CL without being able to check if the TR functions properly. I'm fine with this purchase as I got this CE for a really good price. It came with an aftermarket 18 volt DTAR wave-length pickup hard wired to the output Jack (exactly the mod I would do anyway)...

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Oh, to add one more thing...1/4 turns on the couple of Takamine's I have is n big deal...anything more complicated goes to the professionals. I have an amazing guy....yes, I'm always surprised what he can do as well... The thing is don't give to the guy who's specialty is fixing Floyd Rose's on pointy guitars.

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Good. Sounds like you're moving in he right direction then. Yes - buying any make guitar off Ebay can lead to trouble. More risk than a used guitar from Guitar Center, for example.

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.

 

From your second post, seems like you're doing better than I thought.

 

So the Chet SST playing better now but with light strings?

 

 

.

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Shortly after posting this I looked around and found a Stewmac Article that describes a fix using half moon shaped washers. I noticed the rod was sticking out of the bolt 1/8th of an inch or more. The explanation is the wood has compressed at the body end of the TR... I ordered three or four of the half moon washers.....

Among the Gibsons I currently own, all truss rods work fine - but one needed the washer fix mentioned above. As I do virtually all my own set-up work, I happened to figure out this fix on my own & bought washers at the local hardware store.

 

The truss rod extending a fair amount beyond the rod was the give away that something unusual was cooking. After installing washers, wood compression eventually stopped & normal adjustment was restored.

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"So the Chet SST playing better now but with light strings?"

 

Yes. Even down a step it's totally fine. It was actually playing great with 12"'s on it .... it's just a high action guitar. - I checked online and they were shipped with 10"s....I was concerned about the truss rod not as much for it present state, but its longevity.

 

This gives me the permission to 'go off the runway' and mention what an incredible guitar it is... here goes: I have had a LOT of solid body acoustics (Alvarez Fusion, Guild Peregrine, Godin, Fender TLAC even a Line 6 700 acoustic)...with it's chambered mahogany body - it's 12 pounds! it's a monster - it feels like MAN'S guitar among Hobbits. It's got more bottom end and sustain than any acoustic I have ever played. My rehearsal hall basically had the PA and monitors of a medium sized club. I put it through the following and it Doesn't sound like 'piezo quack' amplified guitar:

Tube>Fishman Aura>TC Electronics BodyRez>TC Electronics HOF Reverb on 'Ambience'>Neuenaber WET Reverb.

 

I've heard the Epiphone SST doesn't come close to this - and I'm not really sure how much of its excellence has to do with the DTAR Wave-Length...

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I bought an older J50 that had extra washers with the nut bulging up the truss rod cover.

 

It was one of the worse fixit jobs I'd seen. There was a stack of washers with a couple steel nuts. I removed the nuts immediately and put a brass nut on it. After a few years, I got tired of looking at the bulge and decided to fix it.

 

I did a little fix on it that worked well. I've seen older guitars were the brass nuts were stripped out and left material in the truss rod and started a chain of bad decisions. This was what happened here.

 

Here's a thread to the repair I did.

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/125927-truss-rod-repair/

 

IMG_0731_zpsjirue0kf.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I bought an older J50 that had extra washers with the nut bulging up the truss rod cover.

 

It was one of the worse fixit jobs I'd seen. There was a stack of washers with a couple steel nuts. I removed the nuts immediately and put a brass nut on it. After a few years, I got tired of looking at the bulge and decided to fix it.

 

I did a little fix on it that worked well. I've seen older guitars were the brass nuts were stripped out and left material in the truss rod and started a chain of bad decisions. This was what happened here.

 

Here's a thread to the repair I did.

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/125927-truss-rod-repair/

 

IMG_0731_zpsjirue0kf.jpg

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I bought an older J50 that had extra washers with the nut bulging up the truss rod cover.

 

It was one of the worse fixit jobs I'd seen. There was a stack of washers with a couple steel nuts. I removed the nuts immediately and put a brass nut on it. After a few years, I got tired of looking at the bulge and decided to fix it.

 

I did a little fix on it that worked well. I've seen older guitars were the brass nuts were stripped out and left material in the truss rod and started a chain of bad decisions. This was what happened here.

 

Here's a thread to the repair I did.

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/125927-truss-rod-repair/

 

IMG_0731_zpsjirue0kf.jpg

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