Loosening truss rod nut doesn't seem to add relief?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by stringzoffury, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. stringzoffury

    stringzoffury SS.org Regular

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    I've got an Ibanez RG752AHMNGB that I bought a few months ago with a super buzzy 7th string in drop A (64 gauge on low A). Raising the action helps a bit but makes it impossible to intonate the low A (super sharp even with the saddle all the way back).

    I've been trying to add some relief to my neck but it seems to be stuck at about .5-1mm when measuring with capo at first fret and holding string down at the last fret. I've loosened the truss rod nut to the point where it felt completely loose so I'm not quite sure what to do at this point. the other strings are fine in terms of buzzing and the 7th is fine if I tune up to B standard, but I like to play in drop tunings so this is in addition to the bad intonation is kind of making me quite disappointed with this guitar given the price paid.

    If anyone has any suggestions let me know.
     
  2. BrutalRob

    BrutalRob SS.org Regular

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    I have this on all my guitars so i guess this is normal. Up to a certain point, there is an area where adjusting the truss rod does not change anything and it feels kinda loose when turning the allan key.
    Turn it a bit further and at some point, you will feel the truss rod change the neck relief again.
    I guess the guitar you had just had an almost straight neck with hardly any relief?
     
  3. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    There's an inbetween spot in the truss rod where it feels loose. Once you're in that spot If you begin to loosen it or tighten it some more it will start to work again ...
     
  4. BrutalRob

    BrutalRob SS.org Regular

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    Inbetween spot! That's the description I could not come up with :)
     
  5. stringzoffury

    stringzoffury SS.org Regular

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    Hmmm, there doesn't seem to be an "in between spot". The nut just comes off but the relief doesn't change. I probably just have to use heavier strings?
     
  6. Jason B

    Jason B Unbanned

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    @stringzoffury

    You either need the proper tools or to take the guitar to someone who has them.

    Your post makes it seem like you’re trying to correct intonation with the truss rod (which you can’t). Assuming you aren’t, you need a straight edge (a notched one would be best).

    1. Remove the strings, then remove the neck.

    2. Give the neck some time to settle.

    3. Adjust truss rod until the fingerboard can be gauged as being as close to perfectly straight. If you can’t straighten the separated neck with the truss rod, then it needs to be repaired.

    4. If the neck can be adjusted straight, then reattach to the body, restring to desired tuning, and allow time for the neck to settle under tension.

    5. If needed, tighten truss rod until fingerboard can again be gauged as straight under string tension.

    6. Raise string height if necessary to avoid dead notes or fret buzz (which can be addressed with a fret leveling).

    7. Now intonation problems may be addressed. If all strings intonate except low A, then either your scale length is too short, the string is defective (more common than you may expect), or the gauge you’re using isn’t sufficient to achieve a consistent tension at the given scale length.

    TL;DR: It can be incredibly frustrating when a guitar seems to have multiple problems, but addressing one at a time is essential in eliminating symptoms until clear causes are indicated.
     
  7. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    Best solution is to just sell it to me for $300!
     
  8. stringzoffury

    stringzoffury SS.org Regular

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    I'm not trying to correct the intonation with the truss rod. As I stated in my initial post I'm adjusting the truss rod because of really bad fret buzz on the low A. I mentioned intonation because I could live with higher action if it meant getting rid of the buzz; which it does, but raising the action also makes the intonation sharp and I can't move the saddle back any further. I've already tried swapping strings multiple times now too and that hasn't helped.
     
  9. stringzoffury

    stringzoffury SS.org Regular

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    Lol. At this point I'm honestly considering selling it due to these issues and the fact that I'm getting sick of the floating trem.
     
  10. Jason B

    Jason B Unbanned

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    Sounds like you need a different guitar. For the record, you don’t fix fret buzz on one string with a truss adjustment. If there’s backbow, all or most of the strings will buzz and choke on frets 1 through 4. Too much relief, and you get it between 7 and 12. Assuming the bozo at the factory took the time to level the frets with the neck at zero relief, truss adjustment is strictly to deal with either of the aforementioned extremes and their symptoms.

    The symptoms you describe indicate other problems, best addressed by someone with the tools and knowledge to attribute specific causes to these symptoms. I only harp on this because you’ve made a thread detailing your willingness to give up on a new guitar from a reputable manufacturer for reasons that, more often than not on this website, can be attributed to user error.
     
    AkiraSpectrum likes this.
  11. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    When you say the low A is super buzzy , how buzzy do you mean ? Does it come out through the amp a lot ? The lowest string will almost always buzz a little especially if youre a hard picker . Maybe you should try a thicker 7th string and lower your action a little . I have also seen that raising your saddle too high can make it harder to intonate ...so try to find something you can live with . Use a thicker gauge , lower the saddle , and putting up with a little buzz is better than getting rid of a nice guitar
     
  12. stringzoffury

    stringzoffury SS.org Regular

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    Yeah it's very noticeable through the amp. It's particularly bad on the 2nd-4th frets; you can hear a high pitched metallic ringing from the buzzing that's made worse by distortion.

    Trust me, as someone who works in IT, I understand how common user error is, but I don't think that's the case here. I've maintained my own guitars for years and I've even done a little bit of my own repair work. I'm always very careful to make sure I do things the right way, however I have never run into a situation where I couldn't add more relief via the truss rod which is why I made this post. Since the buzzing I'm experiencing is indeed specifically on frets 1-4, I think I was correct in my assumption that I could alleviate the issue by adding more relief. There is some buzzing on the other strings in that range, but it's not really noticeable.

    I'm only willing to give up on this guitar because I've owned another 7 string guitar (a schecter Loomis signature) that was substantially cheaper, easier to maintain, and had less issues overall. Unfortunately I had to sell that guitar to cover some moving expenses after I graduated college. When I had some money saved up again I wanted to splurge a little and get an Ibanez Prestige because I've heard such good things about them. In my opinion the more money you spend on a guitar, the less issues it should have.

    Other than this issue, the guitar is amazing. The neck feels great and I was surprised by how much I like the Dimarzio pickups. If I just play in B standard or if I just play the first 6 strings I don't have any issues. Unfortunately the very feature that distinguishes this guitar from standard range guitars isn't working the way I want it to. I like playing in drop tunings, and ideally I'd like to play in drop Ab as I'm a big Periphery fan. If I'm having so much trouble with drop A on this guitar I don't have very high hopes for getting drop Ab to play well.

    I'll try some thicker strings, and if that doesn't help I guess I'll take it to a shop to get someone else to take a look at it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  13. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    I’m sure you have put the nut back in the truss rod again, so tighten it a little bit so you can feel tension going back into it (remove a little relief) then try tuning up all your strings up a few steps, as much as you can get away with. Leave it alone for a week, and then see if the high tension was able to pull the neck into a relief state. Now when you retune: it should settle back down, but you’ll have a few turns on the truss rod available should you need it.
     
  14. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    The truss rod nut comes off? I thought Ibanez used double action rods, so that nut wouldn't come off. "Loosening" it would eventually catch and start to add forward bow. I had no idea that Ibanez uses single action rods that only tighten to straighten the neck.
     
  15. stringzoffury

    stringzoffury SS.org Regular

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    Ah, this would explain it.. Yeah, the entire nut just comes off so I guess it's single action? :(
     
  16. NoodleFace

    NoodleFace Delicious Noodles

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    I think luthier's can heat press a neck if it won't straighten.

    But.. I wouldn't expect that from a prestige..
     
  17. stringzoffury

    stringzoffury SS.org Regular

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    So last night I was installing a tremol-no, and after installing it played pretty much perfectly with no buzzing (aside from having some noise issues with the tremol-no, but that's a whole new problem I'll have to deal with). I think it may have been that I had the screws holding the spring claw too far in, because I don't have them as far in this time with the tremol-no and the low A plays super clean.

    I also think I may have misunderstood what was meant by the "in between spot" on the truss rod. Is it supposed to feel like the nut almost comes off but then is able to catch onto the threads in the other direction or something? I haven't even touched the truss rod again yet, but it may be helpful to know in the future.
     
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  18. BrutalRob

    BrutalRob SS.org Regular

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    I somehow have a different suspicion: when you say you had the screws to too far in and lesser in now, was the tremolo sitting parallel to the surface of the guitar? anyways, as far as i understand, a tremol-no basically locks a tremolo in place where you set it up before.
    So saying you those screws tightened more before, i would asume the tremolo had a different angle in relation to the surface of the guitar and therefore a lower string height at the bridge.
     
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  19. stringzoffury

    stringzoffury SS.org Regular

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    Yeah that's pretty much what I was implying. It looked like the bridge was level, but it may have been tilted back slightly. I intentionally had the screws a bit looser when I installed the tremol-no to see if it would help. My only worry is how this will impact my intonation. I didn't get a chance to plug into a tuner to really test it yet but it seems okay by ear. I had previously tightened the screws as it helped with my sharp intonation quite a bit, but I was also blocking the trem with stacks of pennies taped together which I think made it difficult to get the bridge in the perfect spot.
     

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