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Question about truss rod adjustment?


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How do I adjust my trus rod? I know I need to remove the cover to access it, but which way do I turn the rod for clockwise or counter-clockwise for forward/back neck adjustment?


I have an 05 MIK Les Paul Classic that could use a good set-up and some refinishing to get out the light swirls and stuff. Using a Heavy Fender pick as a guage, It is really tight to slip it under the string at the 1st fret and I could probably stack 2 or 3 under the 12th fret.


I assume this means my neck is back to far? Or is my bridge too high, or both?


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Hold up the guitar and look down the neck (as you would look down the barrel of a rifle). Can you see the bow?

From what it sounds, you may need a TR adjustment. Especially if you see a bow in the neck.


To tighten most TRs you turn it clockwise. But it's good to loosen it first. So first I turn it counterclockwise a little. Then turn it back to where it was. Next you should be careful, and slowly turn it no more than a quarter turn at most. Take a look at the neck and see if it has done anything. Maybe wait a while, and if you think it needs more, turn it a tad farther. Never turn it quickly and always do it in 1/8 or 1/4 turns at a time. And keep in mind, when you take the strings off (or loosen them and move them aside) the neck will straighten out a little bit. So remember that when you put them back on, or tighten them up, the neck will haqve more pressure on it making it want to curve more.


A lot people are afraid to turn a TR, in fear it will break. But I have done it many times on numerous guitars and never had a problem.


Hope this helps. [biggrin]

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The guitar may not need any truss rod adjustment...


Either let a tech do it if unsure or...


Fret the note on the 6th string where the neck meets the body, say around the 17th fret...(I forgot to mention also fret at the 1st fret)


Look for daylight under the 7th-9th frets (half-way point)


Any small gap around 0.5-1.0mm is OK...much more and careful clockwise tightening may be necessary


Nil gap requiring loosening would manifest itself in buzzing and choking of some notes (assuming this is not the case)


Otherwise raise or lower bridge to adjust string height...






PS The moral of the story is...if the guitar is playing OK...generally leave well alone... [thumbup]

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another thing to consider if youre having fret buzz and deadened notes, is the fact that you may need a fret leveling. especially on older instruments or ones that have been played rough and often. the way i set my neck for my particular preference is pretty simple. i fret on the low e on the first fret, and the last fret and see what it looks like at the 12th. if the string is touching the 12th i know the neck is flat or has back bow. i try to set it where the string is close to the 12th but not touching when using this method. it achieves just the slightest bit of forward bow. not enough to throw intonation off or anything.


it has never failed me on any of my guitars and they play low and fast. if you can check that and its not touching and youre still getting buzz at certain places and such with reasonable string height thats not off the charts, then it may be time to think about a fret leveling and have the neck checked for warp and other anomalies. i have a 99 epi lp custom thats set up great but i get fret buzz around the 11th on the low e and around the 5th on the d string. it only goes away if i set it up with the bridge sky high. and thats not an option. im feeling like its time for a fret leveling and inspection on that bad boy. its had a rough life. lol


again this isnt the textbook method of doing this but its always worked for me on all my guitars regardless of neck scale. so, a stab in the dark maybe, but hopefully itll help you.

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All good advice above.....Also covered (with specs) here:



Like Brad, I usually loosen my strings a bit. 1/8 turn, re-tune, let sit for a couple of hours and re-check.

No more than 1/4 turn in any given day. (By the way, not that I haven't done more than 1/4 turn to adjust some

badly set up guitars...but....1/4 turn is a lot of adjustment) So, as Brad points out, don't get in a big yank.


As to checking fret levels....

The edge of a credit card can also be used as a fret rocker.



Edit: Living in N.J. you face the same season and humidity changes I do in Mich.

I tweak my entire setup a couple times a year.

For a few bucks, you might be interested in a good set of feeler gauges and one of these:



I made my own notched straight edge but, at that time, the only ones available were about $80 from Stewmac.


Just a couple of extra tips,



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Thanks, everyone, especially for that video on checking the frets. Good stuff.


Being that I live so close to NY City, There's a ton of Luthors around. I think I'm gonna have a pro take a crack at it first.

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Well, I dropped her off at a Luthor. He showed me some fret wear that I didn't see, because, well... I was excited at getting a Les Paul and didn't look. First few frets had grooves like the nut. (OK, not THAT bad, but still...)


So she's getting a fret job now. *sigh*


Good thing I have my Casino. I'd be in bad shape with no Geet to play.

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