SE Custom 24 has significant bow, but truss rod won't tighten

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by ItsGiusto, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. ItsGiusto

    ItsGiusto New Member

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    I got a used, sold-as-mint-condition, 2017 SE Custom 24 last week. The action on the strings is really really high for me, and there's a significant bow on the neck. I usually like my guitars to have completely-straight action, or at the very worst, the slightest touch of relief. I'm pretty used to doing minor truss rod adjustments for vintage-style fender instruments, but not something like this.

    I tightened the truss rod a little, maybe a half-turn. The bow is still really large, and now the truss rod won't get any tighter - I can loosen it, but not tighten it any further. I think the rod might be out of threads to turn, but I don't know for sure (see picture below).

    What should I do in this situation? I've never had a guitar in which I was not able to straighten it out by adjusting the truss rod. Is the neck warped? Should I return it to the seller because it's not in mint condition ad advertised (in addition to the possible warpage, there are scuffs on the body that were not listed prior to the sale). Can I get the truss rod to be tighter by threading on some washers? I've heard about this, but I don't know if it really works or not.

    I have some photos, but it's hard to tell from them. This one is attempting to sight the neck. In person, the relief is far more obvious:
    [​IMG]

    This is attempting to show the significant relief. This is the height of the strings at the 12th fret if I hold them all down at the 24th fret and 1st fret:
    [​IMG]
    This is the same, except it's the height at the 7th fret:
    [​IMG]

    This is the nut:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    What has come to mind, is that this may have a two-way truss rod.

    Some internet research may be of assistance to you. PRS PTC page has some useful information.

    If you remove the strings and put a straight edge along the fretboard, is the bow still there? If no, then a little reverse adjustment may solve your problem, when under string tension.
     
    bodia likes this.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    Which way are you turning the rod? I am not sure if SEs have a 2 way or an old fashioned one. Clockwise is tight, if you're looking down the rod from the nut. You might have turned it the wrong way and if it is a 2 way you'd just be putting more relief in?

    If you are turning the rod correctly and it's not working, return the thing before it's too late. Not worth the hassle on a guitar of that price to have it repaired. I'm a bit miffed about how you could get that much bow anyway, I thought they were 3 piece necks. Maybe the rod is loose from its anchor at the body end? If you just bought the guitar and you were me I'd be sending it back stating it's defective/not fit for purpose
     
    bodia likes this.
  4. ItsGiusto

    ItsGiusto New Member

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    Bingo, that was it! Not being used to dual-action truss rods (and also because I normally deal with truss rods that are from the neck-pocket-end), I was simply turning in the direction I thought to be tighter, thinking that would necessarily be the way to introduce back-bow, and it turns out that was introducing more forward-bow into the neck! All I had to do was turn the nut the other way to get it to straighten out.

    Thank you all for the advice! You saved me a lot of hassle!
     
    dsenoj, JJJ, bodia and 2 others like this.
  5. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Glad you got it sorted! Enjoy:D
     
  6. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    P
    Easy to do pretty sure they feel like they are tightening too, because they are.

    I hate heel joint rods they're such a PITA especially when the timber compresses and they stop working... my strat just about needs a new neck
     

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