How do you tell if your neck is twisted?

ef_in_fla

Member
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2,449
I've got an ESP/LTD cheapie that all the sudden I can't seem to get the action right on. The action is good on the low strings but too high on the high strings. I have the saddles on the high strings lowered to buzz territory and they're still too high at the 12th fret.

One reason I kept this guitar around was that it played so nice (thin neck, low action). Is it possible the neck has twisted/warped? Dunno why it would have, it doesn't leave the house. If I sight down the fretboard I don't see anything amiss. Is there a better way to detect a warp?
 

adamg

Member
Messages
158
Other than good eyes sighting down the neck (or from the bridge side).... You can check the relief on the bass E and treble E, if they are different then there is some degree of twist.
 

tbonesullivan

Member
Messages
1,265
did you change string gauges lately? I sounds like the neck has too much relief. This will make it very hard to get good buzz free low action.
 

b2sc

Member
Messages
971
Place a metal straightedge on top the frets along the edge of the fingerboard. You'll see if the frets twist away from the straightedge.
 

ef_in_fla

Member
Messages
2,449
" I sight down the neck to see if the frets are parallel."

Me too.
Me three, and they appear parallel. When I try the neck relief test though that's when I see an issue. I guess the sucker warped up on me. Dang. It's not worth fixing....maybe some wall art now.....
 

ef_in_fla

Member
Messages
2,449
I have never seen the relief to be the same on both sides of any neck.
Interesting. I've adjusted the truss rod based on the low E which always worked fine, so never even had to check the other side. Only did this one because the action still seemed too high on the B and E. I guess I can try readjusting the TR to get the treble side right and then raise the saddles on the bass side. Thanks.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
13,616
I have never seen the relief to be the same on both sides of any neck.
There are only two guitar companies where I have seen it be equal on both sides of the neck. XOX Audio Tools The Handle, all carbon fiber guitars and Vigier, who have a machine to do this before inserting their carbon fiber truss rod system.

Other then these two companies, I have never seen a guitar with equally relieved sides of a neck. This is only one of many reasons why I don't play any other guitars but these.
 

Gavin Parr

Member
Messages
2
I have a Schecter Gryphon that I just picked up on Facebook Marketplace. I got a decent deal on it as the seller said that it had hardly ever been played and was in its original packaging (which it was). At first glance, the neck looked to be straight. However, after a couple of days of playing and trying to set the action, I began to realize something wasn't exactly right. After further inspection, I realized that my neck appears to be slightly twisted. If anyone has any advice on how I could fix this as it is keeping me from setting a low action.

This image has various lines that illustrate my issue
 
Messages
1,332
I sight it from the body to the headstock, guitar flat.
They twist with the thin e 'lifting'.( does the fat e end ever lift?)
I think keeping strung guitars out of the sun is a good idea. Heat and tension and wood is a recipe for twisting.
 

Ron Kirn

Member
Messages
7,104
ya gotta remember, the guitar is engineered so that SOME warping, twisting, etc., can be allowed for and adjusted for to accommodate with the provisions of the guitar... but severe twisting is a killer... on bolt on's here's how to determine if you're a victim of the machinations of the evil wood gremlins..

just remove the neck.. place two relatively straight pieces on the heel and the headstock and now you can really see if anything is amiss...

rk

 

PatriotBadger

Senior Member
Messages
1,817
Sighting down the neck to determine if there is twist is not really a solid approach for a whole lot of reasons. Perceptions are affected by saddle height, string guage, the nut, etc etc. Ron's method is best because it doesn't rely on perfect frets. For a set neck though, using a precision straight edge and feeler gauges is about as good as you're going to get. Of course almost all wood necks have *some* tiny degree of twist at least. It only matters if it affects setup ability or playability.
 

poppunk

Member
Messages
837
Just to echo Ron and Patriot's comment: All necks are twisted. It's a question of whether it's twisted enough to measure, notice, or significantly affect playability. As long as the neck isn't noticeably out of whack, fret leveling generally makes up for it.

Usually when we talk about "twisted necks" we're talking about ones that are so out of whack it's obviously messing up it's usefulness to play.
 




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