335 needs more relief

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by (s)hellofaman, May 4, 2008.

  1. (s)hellofaman

    (s)hellofaman Member

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    hi all. i have a nagging problem with an elitist 335 i bought at a good price a couple of years ago. the issue is that there is very little relief (.005) with the nut loosened all the way out. i have had .08 gauge strings on it for the past couple of years in hopes of getting a bit more relief but i don't think i have gained much. short of planing or heat treatment, is there anything i can do to gain that extra bit of relief?
     
  2. alltone

    alltone Member

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    Try a heavier gauge set. .010 to .046 (or heavier on the bottom)??
     
  3. (s)hellofaman

    (s)hellofaman Member

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    thanks for the reply. so with the nut backed off and heavier strings on it for a while i can introduce more relief? for some reason i thought heavier strings would pull out whatever relief i have.
     
  4. Monroe

    Monroe Guest

    More tension (heavier strings) will pull the nut (not the truss rod nut, the string nut) up/forward... increasing the relief. I would say try 10's or even 10-52 or 11's. Let the neck get used to the new strings for at least a few days, then adjust the truss rod little by little- no more than a quarter turn at a time. Check relief with an appx 18" straight edge and shoot for about .010" at the 9th fret. Everyone prefers a slightly different setup, but that's a good place to start. Don't adjust the truss rod a lot at one time- let each adjustment "seat in" for a few days to a week before readjusting.
     
  5. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Monroe is right. Without a truss rod a neck has a tendency to bow in the direction the strings are pulling it. The tightening of the truss rod 'backbows' the neck, opposing the force of the string tension.

    .008's are pretty light strings - can't really go any lighter without switching to banjo strings. Try a Super Slinky set - .009-.042. I bet that'll do it, or even up to .010-.046, regular Slinky's. (in Ernie Ball speak).

    Good Luck, Dana O.
     

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