Going to 11s -- neck adjustment necessary?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by dougmon, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. dougmon

    dougmon Gretschie

    416
    Jan 9, 2013
    California
    Hi:

    The other day someone recommended that I go to 11-52 (from 10-46) for better tone. Regardless of whether that _would_ give me better tone, I asked "won't that mess with the intonation?" He said that it would but not much, but I would probably have to mess with the truss rod to get the neck right with the new strings.

    Does this jibe with anyone's experience out there? Has anyone gone from lighter to slightly heavier strings and ended up having to adjust the neck relief?

    I don't have a good grasp of the technical, so if you could keep your answers as simple as possible, I'd appreciate it.
     
  2. capnhiho

    capnhiho Synchromatic

    561
    Feb 16, 2013
    California
    Intonation: may need a small adjustments.
    Truss rod: I’ll predict you’ll need a 1/4 turn or so to the right. Proceed with caution, and let the be neck rest overnight between truss rod adjustments. Don’t adjust the truss rod more than a 1/4 turn at a time.

    It ain’t rocket surgery. Just be careful!
    We have confidence in ya!
     
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  3. Gregor

    Gregor Gretschie

    492
    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    It's my understanding that you should be able to go one guage up in size with no problems. Strings are cheap so throw on a set of 11's and see what happens...I'm assuming the guitar had 10's originally. As already said above, intonation and/or truss rod may need to be tweaked slightly.
     
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  4. tdtom

    tdtom Synchromatic

    506
    Oct 26, 2018
    new zealand
    as mentioned, small steps! my git did not need any truss rod adjustment with a recent gauge change, just a tiny bit for intonating.
     
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  5. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Synchromatic

    603
    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    I've not been here long, is this a never-ending, heated argument??

    There are a couple of videos where players and techs try different string gauges on the same guitars and record the results for comparison. The end result seems to be that it makes almost no difference in the tone and you should pick your strings for their playability and how they feel, but you can listen and judge for yourself.

    I'll just duck and run right now...
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  6. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Each guitar is a little different, and so are different string tensions.

    String tension specs vary between brand, so add that and the guitars reaction, and you'll see where you are at.

    As already stated, make small changes in the truss rod adjustment.

    I never go more than 1/8 turn at a time, and leave it alone for a day or two. Some necks take a week or so to actually settle in, so just be patient.

    Intonation may or may not need an adjustment.

    Just take your time, and you'll see how your guitar reacts.

    Best of luck
     
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  7. tolm

    tolm Gretschie

    222
    Jan 25, 2016
    UK
    Went from 10s to 11s on my Duo Jet with no issues whatsoever. Mind, that was from 10-46s to 11-49s rather than any big fat 52s!!
     
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  8. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Maybe the only way to know for sure is to do it and the neck adjustment is no big deal. I always suggest people define before a truss rod adjustment then bring the strings back up to tension after. I have seen guys try to adjust a truss rod with the strings at tune and strip a truss rod. Would it have worked with tension released? I don’t know but I do know it doea’t hurt.
     
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  9. dougmon

    dougmon Gretschie

    416
    Jan 9, 2013
    California
    Thanks, everybody. I think it's time I bit the bullet and learned to do my own setups. You all have inspired me. :D
     
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  10. capnhiho

    capnhiho Synchromatic

    561
    Feb 16, 2013
    California
    Good advice here! I forgot to mention the important step of detuning and loosening the strings before tightening the truss rod (pulling against string tension to decrease relief). String tension is not as much of an issue when loosening the TR to increase relief.

    But go gently!
     
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  11. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I have seen several people who know better get in a rush and think just a little bit of a tweak with everything tuned up and bam stripped rod. Really it isn’t worth skipping this step when you consider the cost to fix a stripped truss rod. Removing a fret board is one thing and not a quick fix and I have never tried on a neck with a skunk stripe. Last neck I worked on had a bow so bad the truss rod wouldn’t fix it. I just replaced the neck. And that was over 200$. So is it worth saving a few minutes to spend a couple hundred later?
     
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  12. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Yes and yes. You will have more tension and therefore need to adjust neck. For sure intonation.
     
  13. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    No - not a good idea. It will put you in an endless cycle of having to wait for your strings to settle and ultimately does nothing for you anyhow.
     
  14. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    I never loosen strings when adjusting the truss rod.

    Never had an issue. Just go slowly and gently. 1/8 turn at a time, and leave it be for a day.
     
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  15. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta
    Truss rods are generally MUCH more forgiving than reported. ;)
     
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  16. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Yes - fear not russ rods.
     
  17. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Has nothing to do with skipping that step - would have happened anyhow soon enough. There is way more tensile strength in the nut/rod than your strings can ever give it. But you can get metal fatigue. If you oil your truss rod nut/plate and threads just a tad with triflo or similar when you do have the strings off, this will never happen.

    The problem with that method as well is that you can never really get the balance between relief an height right without taking days on end and by that time, the humidity or temperature has changed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  18. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Close enough for Rock and roll...But since correcting a bad habit is more difficult, I'd say now is an opportune time to start learning about set ups which is very much about discipline and routine.

    I've adjusted truss rods with full tension and tension off. While there is no wrong way, I'd suggest unless it's a delicate vintage heirloom which needs close monitoring after each minute turn of the trussrod, to just keep the tension on.

    I like to bend the neck a little while adjusting the trussrod, it lessens resistance turning(saving the thread), and you don't have to wait 24 hours for the trussrod to settle on it's own accord.
     
  19. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Never taken me more than ten minutes at the worse usually less than 5. Works for me never striped or broke a rod. That said the rods I have seen stripped where not modern guitars nor were they taken care of very well. I will continue to play it safe as I see it, to each their own.
     
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  20. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Sure, do your thing man.
     
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