Fretting out at 12th fret. What truss rod adjustment?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by zeffbeff, May 10, 2015.

  1. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

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    My Stratocaster is fretting out pretty badly on the 12th fret. The action is at recommended specs already.

    What direction do I turn my truss rod? How about Micro Tilt?
     
  2. GazzaBloom

    GazzaBloom Member

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    0.010 relief and raise to action on the high E until fretting out stops. i can't get down to factory spec on my custom shop strat, I pick firmly and a clean bend from 12th fret up need 4 and a half 64ths at 12th fret as a minimum. The rest of the strings are set accordingly rising to 5/64th on low E. Still get a bit of rattle on the first few frets on the wound strings but that's a Strat for you.
     
  3. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Unlikely to be a truss rod solution. Possibly less neck angle/backing off the mt adjustment if it is even doing anything to the neck angle might help. Impossible to know without the guitar in hand. Fret dressing and decent set up and pro help probably called for.
     
  4. 57Strat777

    57Strat777 Member

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    The truss rod won't affect fretted notes farther than the ~5th fret. First adjust your string saddle height for fretted notes at the 5th fret and higher, then adjust the truss rod for open strings and fretted noted at the 5th fret and lower.

    BTW...the recommended specs are a reasonable setting to give good play-ability for most players. You'll have to modify those specs depending on your playing style and how hard you hit the strings. I would only adjust the micro-tilt as a last resort since not having complete contact in all areas of the neck pocket will reduce the tone.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  5. Seth L

    Seth L Silver Supporting Member

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    If you have enough bow in the neck it'll definitely fret out on the high end. Get the neck as straight as you can and see if that helps. Then you can raise the action and reset the intonation. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  6. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    If there is an inward bow try loosening the truss road a quarter turn to the left.
     
  7. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

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    To clarify:

    When I bend a string at the 12th fret, it completely frets out at around one step of bending.

    So before I go adjusting truss rod, does anyone want to add anything? :wave:
     
  8. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Truss rod isn't the problem.
     
  9. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

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    OK now I feel a little dumb :eek:

    I've been playing my Les Paul all winter, and it sustains forever and never frets out at all. I know, different radius, builds, etc.

    But I just checked-- the action on my Les Paul is TWICE as high as that on my Strat!

    Doh!

    Apparently I love high action. Going to adjust my Strat now and see what happens.. :aok

    EDIT: Raising the action solved 90% of the problem. But looking closely at the nut, the grooves appear to be worn too deep. This is a 26 year old guitar, after all. Might need a new nut.
     
  10. Trea

    Trea Member

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    The nut height won't affect the string at the 12th fret. You probably need a fret level.
     
  11. mannyc

    mannyc Member

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    what's the radius of the neck? if its 7.25" and you want low action youre outta gas my tgp friend.
     
  12. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

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    Hm the frets are essentially in unused condition. And the action is nice and high, where I like it.

    I think I'm going to put just a TINY bit more relief into the neck, using the truss rod. May god be with me.
     
  13. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    You may have a hump on the neck at maybe the 14-15th fret. A fret dressing can take care of it if it's not too bad.
     
  14. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    My own recent experience, still in progress--one of my guitars was buzzing (not quite fretting out territory) above the 12th fret, but the action was already on the high side. I thought about messing with the truss rod, but I decided to take it to, um, my luthier for his ideas plus a setup. He looked at it and thought it would need a fret dressing along with any adjustment. This was just a couple of days ago, so we'll see how this turns out.
     
  15. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Can you raise the bridge until the fretting out goes away? Slacken the strings first.
     
  16. jalmer

    jalmer Member

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    Raise the saddle till it doesn't buzz or to your liking. Adjust other string saddles likewise. Sometimes this messes up your ability to intonate, and/or your strings are just too high and, ergo, as others said you need a fret level. I winged it with my Dremel on a $15 LP knock off with decent hack job results. But paid a tech a HH mij strat.
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yep, like they said, it's a saddle height thing, not a truss rod thing.

    how are the grooves too deep? are the strings actually buzzing open, from hitting the first fret? if not, the nut is not too deep. (buzzing anywhere else means the problem is not the nut.)
     
  18. sacakl

    sacakl Silver Supporting Member

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    If I was buzzing out only at bends at the 12th fret, I might either loosen the rod a tad and raise the saddle a little. I usually like a neck with a little bow in it for this reason, so I can keep the saddle as low as possible. I think it's an adjustment sometimes between the two depending on the guitar but usually saddle height is the best to resolve the issue.

    I would rule out the nut if it's not buzzing on the open string.
     
  19. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Saddle height is of course the first thing to look at, kind of like when an amp doesn't work, you check first to see if it's plugged in!

    In my case that as I mentioned earlier, the action was already on the high side. Further action needed.
     
  20. Seth L

    Seth L Silver Supporting Member

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    If you have too much relief in your neck it can cause fretting out in the upper reaches. I've seen it and taken care of it twice in the last month.
     

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