Truss rod adjustment on new guitar

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by Nate Henderson, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Nate Henderson

    Nate Henderson Member

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    I was in a local guitar shop today and started playing a 2017 LP traditional that caught my eye. I immediately realized that there was way too much neck relief, so I asked the tech there to tighten the truss rod on it. After that it played and sounded great. My question is, if a brand new guitar needs a substantial truss rod adjustment, could that be a sign of some underlying problem or is that within the realm of normal?
     
  2. endial

    endial Senior Member

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    I think it's within the realm of normal. I gotta tell you, I wanna take tools with me every time I go to GC for that very reason. Every Gibson I seem to try out has high action (easy enough to tweak while nobody's looking) and needs a neck adjustment.
     
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  3. RichBrew

    RichBrew Senior Member

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    I have yet to buy a new guitar that hasn't required adjustments to set it up to my preferences.
     
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  4. kiko

    kiko Senior Member

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    Nothing out of the ordinary, most new guitar needs an adjustment of sort. Becomes a problem only when the new guitar's trust rod is maxed out or stuck.
     
  5. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    It's usually no worry, but do take the time to see where the bridge is -- if it's decked, that relief could have been dialed in to accommodate an improperly-set neck.
     
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  6. Nate Henderson

    Nate Henderson Member

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    What does "decked" mean?
     
  7. endial

    endial Senior Member

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    As far down as it will go. The "deck" being the guitar body.
     
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  8. Nate Henderson

    Nate Henderson Member

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    Oh, no I checked the bridge and there was still a good amount of room to go down with the action set pretty low.
     
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  9. endial

    endial Senior Member

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    Then you're golden.
     
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  10. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Member

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    In the Fender world, it is often considered "normal" for a new guitar to require a fret level/crown/dress/polish, :facepalm: in addition to truss rod adjustments and full setup. :wow: Of course even the fender factory considers it normal practice to shim their necks with credit card type material (or "yuck" micro tilt systems) to correct for improperly/poorly routed neck pockets in the bodies. :run: Now don't get me wrong, I love a good Tele or Strat, but one with a shimmed neck certainly doesn't qualify as "GOOD" to me and definitely won't be coming home with me!

    On the other hand, Gibson necks and frets tend to be a little better when leaving the factory, though still usually require a good setup!

    Just My $.02,
    Gene
     
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  11. Nate Henderson

    Nate Henderson Member

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    The bridge on this one was actually pretty high on the low e side. Could that also indicate an improperly set neck?
     
  12. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    <edited, see following post>
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  13. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    It could indicate a few things -- poor neck set, unleveled frets, dumb tech still learning his trade.

    Malikon has a good setup rule, of dropping the bridge 'til it holds a dime on the high E-string and a nickel on the low-E. Perhaps start there and then check for fret buzz on the bass side of the neck? If it's buzzy on the lower strings, it could be a bum neck, or poor fret-levelling.
     
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  14. Slick

    Slick Senior Member

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    Absolute rubbish. Fret work on a new Fender is no more considered normal than it is on a new Gibson which is just as likely to require attention.
     
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  15. Nate Henderson

    Nate Henderson Member

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    This is a picture I took of the bridge on the low e side. Is that a normal height?[​IMG]
     
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  16. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    It looks normal to me, most Gibbys I've owned have looked about like that. If your bridge is there, and your action is satisfactory after taking out the relief, then yeah, I'd say you're good.

    ETA: Bridge p/u seems mighty close to the strings, though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
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  17. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    There are many variables with guitars, especially Les Pauls. Neck angle is one that has a tolerance and will affect bridge height.
    Another is the finishing work on the carve.....meaning that you might have slightly more or less wood sanded away around the bridge stud area.

    Both of which make an isolated picture of a bridge pretty much useless.
     
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  18. Valkyrie

    Valkyrie Senior Member

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    I have had to tweak every guitar I ever owned, from $4k PRSs to $350 Squires. My LPs all needed a good setup but I do it myself. I deck the tail piece on all of them and have no issues with string clearance on the bridge at all. Each guitar is different. I just keep tweaking them until they are right. Fortunately I haven’t ad any fret problems but I do polish the frets on all my guitars after I buy them. I tape up the fretboard and hit them with 1200-2000 paper. The strings play like they are on greased rails.
     
  19. 1all's Pub

    1all's Pub Senior Member

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    Yep totally normal for a new guitar to need an TR tweak. Neck relief preference is subjective in the first place, so who knows if A) the guy setting it up at the factory likes them with more relief or B) he really wasn’t paying attention to the neck relief on that particular guitar or C) he set it fine, but in the packing/shipping/unpacking/etc process from one climate to another it just turns out that it needs readjustment.

    If you like the guitar and the TR adjustment set the relief where you like it (and the bridge isn’t “decked” as mentioned above) you should be good to go. Enjoy... looking forward to your NGD thread! ;)
     
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  20. Nate Henderson

    Nate Henderson Member

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    Yeah the reason I asked about the height is that I wondered if that height was normal with respect to a normal neck angle or if it indicated a problem with the neck. The action was about right with the bride there.
     

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