Truss rod quandry

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Re: Truss rod quandry

Postby TDR1138 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:45 pm

Oh man, Derick, that's ugly. Fortunately, there are no issues like that going on with mine (though that plays into why I'm stumped with it).

Thanks to Greg's quick shipping, the La Bellas showed up yesterday and I was able to put them on this morning. I am a happy camper. They are just light enough in tension that the neck has the right amount of relief. Not totally flat, but about the width of a business card when depressed at the first and last frets. That works for me. I did actually need to raise the D and G strings a tiny bit, file the E slot on the nut, and add just a tiny bit of pitch with the neck tilt. And now it plays real nice.

This is my first go with La Bellas. They play very nicely, very smoother. Not super stiff, but not as floppy as I'd have expected, though the D and G strings are noticeably small compared to other flats I've used. I will miss the growl I was getting out of the DRs on this, but I've got another L-2000 that can fill that spot. I did A/B this just through a practice amp against my '89 L-2000 with Chromes and the Chromes are definitely brighter, despite being at least a year or two old. I should have a chance to play this in a band context this upcoming weekend.

I'm still thinking I'd like to do a refret eventually, and when I do, have the luthier look into the truss rod to see if I can't resolve it once and for all. Still open to advice/thoughts/comments from anyone that might have a clue as to what might be going on. For now, though, I've got it where I like it, so I'm gonna take this as a win.
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Re: Truss rod quandry

Postby Alivefor5 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:57 pm

Since you are contemplating a refret two things come to mind:

First - Have the luthier loosen the rod all the way, remove the frets then plane the finger board flat. This way with new frets you have some truss rod action, probably enough.

Second - If you don't want to plane the board have the luthier measure the shank of the frets (the part that fits in the slot). If he installs frets with the shank only a few
thousandths wider it will cause the neck to bend up in the middle. The wider the shanks the more the neck will move up in the middle.

Using both of these techniques on a lazy truss rod will give the neck new life.
Also with the rosewood board you have there is no finishing so your luthier should have no problem planeing the board.

Just some ideas, good luck in your quest.
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Re: Truss rod quandry

Postby TDR1138 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:43 am

Update on this: I finally got around to taking the L-1000 in for a refret. When taking it in, I was pretty clear about the truss rod issue I was running into. I had been playing it with some LaBella low-tension flats for a while, and it was playing great, but before taking it in, I put on a set of strings that had more tension on them, just to show where it was at with strings of average tension. As Alivefor5 mentioned, the luthier used frets with a wider shank. He actually went with something from Stew Mac that was pretty close in spec to what G&L is putting on their current production basses. He looked at the possibility of planing the board a little, but neither of us wanted to go that route if we didn't have to, especially since it has a fairly thin rosewood laminate board.

Well, the frets made a big difference! The bass is now set up with some GHS 3050CM Precision Flats and feels great. And there's still about 2/3 of a turn available on the rod before it bottoms out. I really liked the LaBella LTFs, but wanted a little more tension from the strings, which is why we decided to go with the P Flats.

So, this thing is playing great now. It's funny, the main reason I took this in for a refret was the low frets, but I'm glad it did, because it solved the relief problem. Action and relief are right where it should be, and just the added height and feel of the frets themselves just feel great to me. Feels very similar to my LB-100 now, which I've long felt to be one of the most comfortable necks I've played. Very happy with how everything worked out with it.
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