My USRG10 Needs a Neck Adjustment - Jemsite
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2001, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
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My USRG10 Needs a Neck Adjustment

Hey, Im not exactly a very advanced guitar tech, so I need some help. *I have a USRG10 which I kept 9's on for a few years until just recently changing to 10's, and now the neck is bowing inward too much causing the string height around the mid-upper neck to be too high, especially for a list priced guitar of $1200 (or whatever it was).

I know these USRG's have the stress-free neck, in which the metal rod down the neck supports the tension, not the wood, but this is a legitimate problem. *Also, I should note that the string height was never super low, as the neck may have been bowed a bit in the first place (I never really checked, so I cant say for sure if it was). *

So all i need to do is adjust the tension rod through the hex screw in the middle of the four neck bolts, right? *Shouldnt that solve the problem resulting in a perfectly straight neck, or could there still be a bow once the tension setting is "maxed out" so to speak? *The reason I ask this is because I tried to adjust it, and could not see (or feel) any results. *I turned the screw approx 1.5 revolutions clockwise, at which point it stopped turning (or at least got too difficult to turn with that crappy little allen wrench, but it felt like it fully stopped) *I also turned it 1.5 rev's counter clockwise, at which point I stopped because the neck didnt seem to move at all (I could hear some noises inside it though), and I thought that was the opposite way I should have been turning it. *

So now for the questions:

What is the correct way to turn the screw in order to decrease the inward bow? *I thought it was clockwise (hence "tightening" the neck tension), am I correct? *

How many revolutions can it be turned, and can you damage the neck in any way? *(I heard this neck is a lot more forgiving than a standard neck)

Should I be able to fix it myself, or should I take it in to a tech? *(Id rather do it myself)

IF for some reason I adjust the neck tension to the fullest extent and there is STILL an unreasonably large neck bow, WHAT DO I DO?! *My crappy Squier plays better than it right now... well at least the string height on the Squier does.

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2001, 01:59 AM
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My USRG10 Needs a Neck Adjustment

First, You're making too many changes at once. You can't set a trussrod that fast. Make a small change, retune and let it sit for a few hours. Retune then see if more adjustment is needed. These necks are still WOOD and adjustments take time to settle in.

You can read how to adjust the USRG neck here here in the old forum archive... glen
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2001, 10:04 AM
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My USRG10 Needs a Neck Adjustment

Glen's right; patience is a virtue here - I don't adjust any neck 1.5 turns at a time

Necks and truss rods are a curious lot, and what works for one in a heartbeat can often take days to work on another. Your problem with a neck that doesn't appear to be adjusting properly can be antagonized if you recently acquired the guitar from another area in the country - the guitar needs time to aclimatize to your region's humidity and temperature. My JPM100 came from the prairie and needed nearly two months in my home before the neck settled in properly and would adjust the way I wanted (my problem was insufficient relief for a while, there).

That being said, you are right in presuming that the "righty-tighty" rule applies to the USRG 10's neck adjustment bolt, and tightening the bolt should decrease relief. I have a USRG 10 and the neck adjusts instantly to any changes I make to the adjustment bolt - even very subtle ones (a quarter turn) show quickly. If your neck adjustment was "loose" in the first place, the resistance you're now feeling as you tighten it may be the normal resistance you feel as the neck bar begins to push against the string pressure; then again, maybe there's a problem. I would try two things: I'd tune down a full step or more and let it sit for a day or two, then see. If the relief is still too great, I'd turn the bolt a quarter to half a turn and check again a day later. If the resistance is too great and the bolt will not turn with a moderate amount of pressure, I'd play it smart and get the guitar to a pro.

One of the design "problems" with the USRG guitars is that there is a very obvious hole in the side of the neck near the heal, and inside that hole is a bolt that I think supports the flex point of the neck bar. Some owners seem to think that this is where you should adjust the neck bar to set relief, and go in there and turn the bolt - of course, nothing happens so they turn the bolt some more, and then some more, and etc., which can result in the bolt coming loose and the steel neck bar floating free inside the wooden neck, making it impossible to adjust relief. I've never seen this happen myself, but I've received emails from people who've had it happen to them. I presume it can be "fixed" *(if a bolt falls out of a hole, you should be able to get it back in, right?) but imagine that it's a delicate job, that may require putting the neck in a press to straighten it appropriately first. That's probably not the issue here, but I'd take the guitar to a luthier if I was the least bit unsure. *

Hope this helps.

(Edited by Jimi D at 3:43 pm on Mar. 11, 2001)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 11:35 PM
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My USRG10 Needs a Neck Adjustment

I have found the USRG Tension Free neck to be one of the easiest necks to adjust. *The adjustment of the internal support bar is a little different than your standard truss rod but the previous posters are correct, there is still wood there that will not adjust immediately with turning of the bolt. *With that said, this neck will get much closer to what it will be immediately after adjustment. *I run my USRG30 nearly flat with just the slightest bit of upbow that the human eye can detect. *You will need to adjust it clockwise, but I cannot tell you exactly how much. *I would start with a quarter turn; then sight the neck and play for a couple of minutes and see how you like it. *Keep doing that in quarter turn increments until you get the relief you are looking for. *Pick up the guitar the next day and check it again and adjust as needed. *Your neck is SUPER stable (in comparason) and unless you change tunings or string gauges you should be fine for quite some time. *Have patience grasshopper. *Untill I dressed the frets on mine and spent a couple of hours setting it up it played like crap. *Now, it's my favorite. *You've got a good one, just take the time to set it up right or as previously mentioned, take it to a professional.
BTW when I say professional, I mean professional, not some kid who restrings guitars at a local music store. *Find a local luthier if you can, if not, ask around and find the best repair man you can. *You will pay more but be much more satisfied.
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allen wrench , guitar tech , local luthier , local music store , music store , neck bolts , neck bow , standard neck , straight neck , string gauges , truss rod , truss rods

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