Truss rod adjustment woes

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Beery Swine, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    Background:
    I got a nice used mid-00s PRS McCarty from a dude 5 or so months back, and have been playing the hell out of that ever since. Everything was set up nearly perfectly, except the hardtail wrap-around bridge needed to be raised exactly one half turn per screw, which still left the screw slots parallel with the bridge, so very symmetrical and cosmetic. I think maybe the factory just overwound it once, because PRS is known for putting in the effort to make flawless instruments at Gibson or better prices without the Gibson qc issues. Then again, maybe the previous owner just liked fret buzz so he lowered the bridge. Who knows?
    I've already digressed to much, so the hell does this have to do with Epi SGs? Good question! I just picked my new one up again because I was missing its tone, and now feel that the action is a tad high after being used to the McCarty, and also checked the neck bow. Neck seems a bit too relieved, so I'm in the process of slightly adjusting it, while keeping the strings in tone.
    Still, why is this somewhat routine event woeful? I've adjusted truss rods plenty over the 2+ decades I've had guitars, and almost every single one feels about the same; firm to the turn, yet still smooth. This one on my G400 pro, otoh, started off just fine as I slowly gave it its first 8th of a turn, but then started to tighten up on me, so now I'm just kind of freaked out about damaging the neck or rod and venting into the forum ether.
    Man, I really love the tone of this bubby and just hope nothing goes wrong with it. Pickups are nice and bright, very vintagey, sounds so great for classic rock, and it plays overall a-very nice-ah.
    Sorry, guys, I just had to lay out some anxiety I'm currently having to cope a bit at the (probably unjustified) prospect of losing my geetarr and all such associated worries, so just wish me luck as I slowly press on and try to allow the rod enough time to set properly in between adjustments.
     
  2. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    Okay, freak out session is over, set it up nicely, plays better, still sounds great.
    Aside from that, I think the Epiphone G-400 1966 is the best deal for any guitar I've ever had. Seriously tons of amazing tone and playability for a very reasonable price.
     
    Col Mustard and Sweetums like this.
  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    +1 on that. I love my two Epi guitars. Epiphone sells guitars
    worldwide, to players who also feel this way. It's a big club.

    I'd been thinking that the Epiphone ES-339 P-90 pro was the
    best deal for any guitar... *laughs Or maybe the '06 Wilshire that
    I found hanging used on the wall of my local Music Go Round, looking like
    a college girl in the drunk tank with a bunch of hookers, on a Saturday
    morning. *grins ...I got her outa there, and she's stayed with me ever
    since.
    Epiphones 2018@100.jpg

    Glad you got your setup done right, and your guitar behaves.
    I've found that setup can simply change over time in response to changes
    in temperature and especially humidity. Where I live, there is a lot
    of variance from one season to the next. Sometimes I have to just take
    a guitar down at string change time, and start over.

    Epi guitars are LESS susceptible to this than expensive Gibsons, because
    the Chinese factory sensibly finishes their instruments in Polyurethane,
    which is an excellent choice for guitars... hard and durable. Both of my
    Epiphones seem to be resistant to anything but hammer blows and
    bullet hits, or maybe intentional cigarette burns. (I don't torture my
    instruments like this, so mine are in good shape).

    Rock that '66!
     
  4. Robus

    Robus Active Member

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    Never has an issue on guitars, but on my basses I loosen the string tension before tightening the truss rod. You can also bend the neck back manually as you tighten.
     
  5. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    @Col Mustard Wow, that Wilshire (on the left, I assume, since the right is definitely ES with P90s) is a model I've never even seen before, but looks pretty sweet. I'm really liking more classic looking guitars like that, Lesies, ones by Gretsche, etc. than what I liked in my youth (all black, all pointy, all active pickups, big mop of hair thrashing like a mental patient). Guitars like that sort of remind me of old 50s Cadillacs or Pontiacs shaped into a guitar. Love the aesthetic, even when playing heavy metal.

    @Robus I used to do that neck push forward thing to give a trem-like bend to the strings at the end chords of songs, but ever since I saw a video of this guitar tech repairing a $3k+ Gibson that came set up like a pot-smoking chimp just threw it against the wall a few times and hammered in the screws with a rock (it was an SG with a Maestro trem) I've never done that again. The dude made a point to say something like "Yeah, you CAN push the neck forward, but is it really worth the possibility of damaging it just to sound sorta cool for 6 seconds? Just get a guitar with a tremolo if you wanna do that." Anyways, ever since I watched that video, even the thought of bending guitar necks without using the truss rod properly and letting it set sends cringey shivers up my spine. I'm not a wealthy man, and even my cheaper guitars, like the badass epi SG with pretty and bright pups, I cherish and am somewhere between very careful and fairly careful with. Just not worth either the risk or the anxiety at the thought of the risk to me. Maybe I'm neurotic in this regard, but "safety first" is a motto I try to keep at the forefront of my mind, mainly because I'm sick of screwing up.
     
  6. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    Right here in this video is exactly what I'm worried about with neck bends, at 12:45

    And I don't have Slash money.
     
    alligatorbling likes this.
  7. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    +1 on being good to your guitar...
    occasionally some guy will come up during a break and ogle my
    SG, and say, "Cool Gibbie... I used to have one of those. I could get
    a great wah sound just by wobbling the neck back and forth, ...here,
    I'll show you..."

    STEP BACK JACK... step away from my guitar. Nobody gets to stress
    the neck joint on MY SG... And I would never do it, either.

    I've seen guys do it with a Telecaster. I would never let anyone do that
    with MY Tele, no sir. Stressing the neck joint on a Gibson could put little
    cracks in the glue joint... cracks that get bigger over time. Stressing the
    neck joint on a Telecaster could enlarge the screw holes in the wood.
    Turning a formerly tight neck joint into a loose and sloppy one.

    The Wilshire is a replica of a guitar that Epiphone made after being
    bought by Gibson. The originals were made in Gibson's Kalamazoo plant
    in the early sixties, which is why they look like retro cars. The replica
    was made in China, of course, but I like mine very much. It's light like
    an SG, weighing maybe 7 pounds (3.2 Kilos). Mine has a 'sixties slim"
    neck, and I've modded it with a number of custom parts. It's set up
    perfectly and sounds killer. Hard to beat.

     
    Ray likes this.
  8. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Had a 2006 Explorer in the past and played it for 6 years with no issues until the truss rod adjustment nut started burrowing its way into the neck. Tried adding spacers under the nut to get more thread and still could not straighten the neck. It was purchased new with lifetime warranty. Sent the guitar back to the factory and received a new one in return.

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
    Beery Swine likes this.

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