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Truss rod squeaking on a new guild

Q: Hi Steve, Just found your site while Googling a problem with a new Guild d-v6 that I bought yesterday. As the guitar tech was tuning it up for me to play, he sighted down the neck to check for curvature, and made an adjustment of the truss rod. Just one little turn and it squeaked very loud. The neck is straight and the guitar plays great, but I was wondering, does the squeak mean that I already have a major truss rod problem? What do I do about it? It's only a day old, so I have plenty of time left on my lifetime warranty.


A: I wouldn't worry much. There is very little lubrication on a truss rod nut. The lubrication would get into the wood and make a mess. You may have heard the grind of metal on metal. If this was a moving part dry metal grind would be bad, but a truss rod gets moved very rarely and needs to not move between adjustments. There are things that can be wrong with truss rods: the threaded part can be too short, so that the nut hits the end of the threads before it gets tight enough. There can be mechanical problems with the way the other end of the truss rod is seated in the heel. You should test it yourself. Modern truss rods are very tough. Harmony rods used to break all the time, but I can't remember seeing a broken rod in a guitar under ten years old. Take off the truss rod cover. Grab a 1/4" nut driver. Sometimes a truss rod wrench comes with the guitar. Sight along the edge of the fingerboard on both sides. Use the strings as a visual straight edge. Loosen the rod to bow the neck forward, tighten it to bow it back. Acoustic guitars with medium or light strings should be set perfectly straight. Guitars with strings lighter than light gauge and electric guitars may need a very slight bow. If it is perfect now, remember how that looks, then twist the hell out of the truss rod nut. Loosen, tighten, watch the neck move. You can't hurt it. Give it a good tweak. Your fingers and ears should tell you if it something that a pro should look at or if it was a false alarum.

If the threads are too short, you can stack washers on until they are long enough. Anything else that is wrong with your truss rod will involve major surgery.

Steve Mason

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