Tightening the truss rod makes tension feel higher?

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by Simon Godden, May 20, 2019.

  1. Simon Godden

    Simon Godden New Member

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    Hi - I've been playing 30 years but have always left guitar setup to others until recently. I found the action a little high at the 12th fret on my Custom 24. Looking at the neck it had quite a concave bow on it, so I tightened the truss rod (clockwise looking from the headstock). This seemed to flatten the neck out a fair bit, and I have no fret buzz, so all good. The action does feel better.

    However, I really noticed that the string tension seemed higher. Does this make sense, i.e. by flattening the neck have I lengthened the distance slightly from nut to bridge and need a higher tension to achieve the same pitch?

    Am I talking nonsense here - please set me right, I am a total newbie to setup.
     
  2. DickBanks

    DickBanks New Member

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    String tension has not changed. But for most or all of the fretboard, when you fret the string, the travel distance is reduced, so you may notice a difference that way.
     
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  3. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

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    My 2 cents...this may apply to your post. I hope so...with higher action, I think strings do bend easier, as we can get under them more to push up...(making tension feel a little easier??) Ask SRV!! And with flatter action, they can bend, but it seems tighter to bend them...,I'm personally a fan of low action... but than again, there's this guy, Carlos sumptin, that likes LOW action, and well, he's pretty ok at bending strings???
     
  4. Simon Godden

    Simon Godden New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I should have said, that I also switched from Roto 10s to Ernie Ball 10s. I haven't used the Ernie Balls for years. String gauges are all identical as far as I know, but maybe it contributes to a different feel.
     
  5. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    This is why I like the stock PRS spec of 1/16" at the 12th fret. It's low enough to play really well, but I can still get my fingers under them enough for comfy bending.
     
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  6. ScottR

    ScottR If nobody saw it, it didn't happen.

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    Just like new babies...I dont mess with the truss rod. However, I desperately need to face my fears and just learn the proper procedure to not screw anything up.

    I'm 100 miles away from a reputable tech that I know and trust. He is also ;as you might imagine; completely buried with guitars/stringed instruments currently two (Yes 2) whole months ahead of mine. Yeah, it blows! So, I HAVE to learn how to do this the right way on my own.

    I just put the first set of new strings (same gauge strings) on my SS...it may just be me...but I have rarely played any of my other guitars since I got it the first of March. It suddenly just looks, but more importantly feels much higher? May just be me...I dunno but I gotta figure it out.

    So all that being said...I'm anxiously awaiting to see what everyone comes up with.
     
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  7. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Small adjustments on a neck make a large difference!

    Remember that adjusting the relief on a neck isn’t an immediate thing. Allow the neck to settle. Maybe a few days.

    Also changes of string gauge (not in this case I know) will also require the neck to settle into. I’m not talking 9.5 change to 10’s.

    A luthier friend was asked to change string gauge on an LP from 9’s to 12’s. This is going to affect the neck shape. So it takes a little time for the neck to adjust and to make sure the correct relief is applied.

    Also remember that with flattening the neck you will have moved the strings slightly closer to the pickups, so you may want to check that the tolerances in that area are either factory spec, or to your taste.
     
  8. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    You really should stay off the babysitting circuit. :eek:

    It could be a psychosomatic response to making the adjustments and expecting a change. Now, tell me about your mother...:D
     
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  9. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    You are exactly correct. Straightening the neck would actually increase the distance between the nut and bridge by a fraction of a hair's breadth, so the tension would be higher for the same pitch. The amount, though, would be so incredibly tiny you'd never detect it. I expect that it's just because it feels different. It will probably feel completely normal in a couple of days.
     
  10. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    For the unwound strings it shouldn't make a difference. Much more room for variability in the wound strings, though.
     
  11. Acnestes

    Acnestes "If I can do it, it's not art." - Red Green

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    The change of seasons and the changes in humidity that go with them make all my necks go out of adjustment. Where I live I have to adjust them 4 - 6 times a year.
     
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  12. ScottR

    ScottR If nobody saw it, it didn't happen.

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    Yep...I'm in the armpit of the county...humid..is my native tounge.:p
     
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  13. ScottR

    ScottR If nobody saw it, it didn't happen.

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    Ask and ye shall receive:D

    Big thanks to Skitchy and PTC!

     
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  14. bluenova

    bluenova Electrified since '84

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    In that video he said to make an adjustment of maybe half of a turn. Keep in mind he’s probably considering 1/8 of a complete 360 degree revolution a “turn”, so make a very small adjustment but don’t go give that thing a 180 twist :)
     
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  15. ScottR

    ScottR If nobody saw it, it didn't happen.

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    I'm goin in boys...wish me luck...o_O
    [​IMG]

    OR maybe...I could have just gotten myself a @sergiodeblanc starter kit? ;)
     
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  16. ScottR

    ScottR If nobody saw it, it didn't happen.

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    10-4! Good lookin out my man!;)
     
  17. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey!
     
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  18. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    So you start to undress her and you just have to post the photos ....
     
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  19. ScottR

    ScottR If nobody saw it, it didn't happen.

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    You know it! :D

    Naa, actually I was scared sh!tless! It was justa stall tactic...real talko_O

    Just finished..and I didn't almost die, it plays sooo much better, and it was already awsome! Yup! Just did my first "real" set-up..nailed it!

    YRMV....beginners luck, being be biginners luck and all. ;)
     
    #19 ScottR, May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  20. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Yeah he takes her kit off in public and from memory, he never uploaded a NGD! But maybe I'm wrong, it's my age you see!
     
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