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Sybo

Humidity and Necks

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  Opened up the case on my LP this morning and slight open E buzz.... How often do YOU tweak the truss rod? I swear I think necks are alive sometimes.....

Edited by Sybo

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They aren't.  Without changing string gauges my guitars go years without needing the truss moved.  Years.  And I don't mean just not moved, they are checked every time I change strings, on...8 giggers at the moment, new strings whenever they go out for money.  So yeah, a lot of neck looking while changing strings.  And no, you shouldn't be moving the truss around because of some one buzz you hear or because it looks different or anything like that.  There are specs and reasons to move the truss, and that's all that should be used.  Tweaking without a goal other than some thing you think you heard or worse, something you read on the internet, is useless.  Setting it to perform optimally is all that anyone need learn to do, and why to do it.

The truss counteracts the strings and nothing else.  It doesn't BOING the neck straight when you take the strings off, it doesn't listen to the humidifier and decide to fight you, it just sits there, counteracting, balancing if you will, your headstock and your string gauge and your tuning.

Can you tell I've only been doing this for about 49.5 years and I'm tired of the utter bullthite I see on the internet about truss rods?  And that I'd like for you and any other new person reading this to go in the right direction insofar as setting up their guitars?  I hope so.

rct

 

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I just find it interesting that one day things are perfect and the next day I take out my guitar and the open Low E has a buzz that wasn’t there yesterday. Yes, I am checking  the attack of my pick.. 

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I hate having to adjust guitars (it's laziness). Nowadays I often leave a neck that has 'moved' for a few days because sometimes it will restore itself. Its one of the reasons why I would like a quality non-wood guitar.

I got rid of a Epiphone Casino Coupe just because the d@mn thing wouldn't keep still. Every other time I picked it up it had moved. 

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IMHO it is not Not Ever, a lot depends on where you live and how much the climate will shift.   

In new england, it goes from bone dry in winter to 75~80% rh in summer.

Sounds like a very minor 1/4 turn loosey, sounds like a bit of back bow goin on.

Edited by kidblast

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1/8 th to 1/4 turn does it Yup Nashville is verrry humid now and the AC is screamin! I’m sure it had an affect.

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I agree with rct. Once set, I almost never need to adjust the neck. I have an SG that I've had for 38 years and I don't think I've ever popped the truss rod cover off it. Same with my LP's and other guitars.

 

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I believe that it doesn't hurt to measure the neck relief and string action.  Do you know how to check these instead of blindly twisting screws and nuts?  If you're still getting buzzes and such, might have to look at frets possibly as uneven frets will cause this phenomenon.  Not saying one or the other is your issue, but the simple things to check are relief and string height.  If all else fails with these, might have to have someone you know is competent look at your guitar to assess the situation.  Hopefully it is just a simple adjustment somewhere to eliminate the unwanted noises.  Good luck. 

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I usually set them up to my liking and then leave them. Unless I change string gauge/tuning.

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I am pretty much with RCT on this one.  I had a '68 Les Paul that I bought used in 1970, played it for at least 25 years and never once had to adjust the truss rod.  I lived near Chicago where it can get up to 100 degrees in the summer and very humid, down to zero or lower in the winter and heat is on all the time so very dry and cold.  It was a gigging guitar that got taken out at least a couple times as week no matter the season.

Usually if I have adjusted a truss rod it was when the guitar was new and came from the factory with a little more relief than I wanted.  Once set I rarely had to adjust a second time.  Things can change as you have experienced, but a little buzz might not require something as major as a truss rod adjustment.  

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I honestly think there is no "right" answer,  wood is wood, and wood do what wood do.  I wager much depends on where you and your guitars are living.  The climate change where I am located goes from one extreme to the other over a 12 month period.

I can say for sure, is I feel it immediately when I've taken a guitar out of the case that may be has not been played in a few weeks and it's got a bit too much forward bow.  Back bow is obvious when the first two positions buzz or fret out.. (We like them necks rail straight..)  but, really never more than 1/4 turn left or right, rarely more is ever needed.

 

Edited by kidblast

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I live in south Jeresey.  Three solid weeks now of 112% humidity.  Winter time down to 40%, even lower when it gets cold.  My house is at somewhere from 52% - 60%, somewhere in there.  Whole house humidifier for the winter, dehumidifier when needed in the summer for where the guitars live.  Electrics and acoustics.  It isn't the truss, it's the house.  If people and pets are comfortable your guitars are comfortable.  Just had 4 on the bench this past weekend and of course I bothered to check stuff and of course, I didn't have to bother because they just don't change.

And they go out of the house, sit in hot cars, go into cold bars, sit in cold cars and go into warm bars, played in the sun on flatbeds, played in the frost on flatbeds, they do all that stuff.  They find their balance pretty quickly, so 6 or 8 hours out in the world means nothing to them.

I just don't know when it became "ok" to just randomly whack at the truss, out of context, with nothing else going on with that guitar.  Since it is the first thing you do with a newly strung, tuned up guitar, in the absence of anything else going on it should be the last thing you have to mess with on a day to day basis.

If a guitar can't live in the world it is in without developing these mystery buzzes, I'll say it again:  Lift yer strings.  Just a little.  A well adjusted neck is well adjusted for a reason, mostly to find it's own balance as the environment it is in changes.  Not drastically changes, but ordinarily changes.

There.  I'm done.  Now, GTF off my lawn.

rct

Edited by rct

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8 minutes ago, rct said:

 

If a guitar can't live in the world it is in without developing these mystery buzzes, I'll say it again:  Lift yer strings.  Just a little.  A well adjusted neck is well adjusted for a reason, mostly to find it's own balance as the environment it is in changes.  Not drastically changes, but ordinarily changes.

 

 

I've been slowly coming around to this way of thinking too. I do have a couple of guitars that are too finely adjusted. They happen to be the ones I have fret leveled. 

The other thing I find when I return to a guitar that I haven't used for a while is they can detune. Sometimes by as much as a full semitone. Often when this happens the guitar is fully in tune with itself, so the strings have lost tension uniformly. 

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Never -- even my 40-year-old SG Standard has never needed it.  On the topic of  humidity, this may sound stupid, but I had a small fish tank where my guitars are that I could not keep the fish alive, so I decided to bring it back to life but with just live plants instead of fish it because I don't kill the plants  ... and it still looks cool with all of the rocks, lighting, features in it, etc.  Anyway, it has come to act like a great humidifier ... keeps my guitars happy in the Colorado aridness (less work and annoyance than a true humidifier).  An unexpected bonus ...

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12 hours ago, 01GT eibach said:

Never -- even my 40-year-old SG Standard has never needed it.  On the topic of  humidity, this may sound stupid, but I had a small fish tank where my guitars are that I could not keep the fish alive, so I decided to bring it back to life but with just live plants instead of fish it because I don't kill the plants  ... and it still looks cool with all of the rocks, lighting, features in it, etc.  Anyway, it has come to act like a great humidifier ... keeps my guitars happy in the Colorado aridness (less work and annoyance than a true humidifier).  An unexpected bonus ...

Not stupid at all.

The calcium filters on smaller humidifiers... let's just say I don't trust them, with good reason.

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