How to adjust an Acoustic Guitar
Truss Rod through the Sound Hole
Many acoustic guitars' truss rods are only accessible in the heel of the neck inside the guitar. There are a few different reasons for building a guitar neck like this. With the truss rod access inside the guitar, there is no need for a truss rod cover cluttering up the headstock. It is also easier to build a guitar with a truss rod with access inside the body.
I know what you are thinking. How am I supposed get inside the body to adjust that? It is pretty simple if you have the right tools. Most truss rods like this either have a nut or hex key slot in them. You will need either an allen wrench or a nut driver to adjust this …show more content…
After you have checked your neck for relief or back bow, loosen the strings. You don't have to loosen the strings to adjust the truss rod, but it can be difficult to get in the sound hole with the strings in place.
Use your allen wrench or nut driver to adjust the truss rod. BE VERY CAREFULLY not to tighten the truss rod too much at once. Only turn the screw 1/8 of a turn at a time. Tightening the truss rod (turning it clockwise) will eliminate relief in the neck or add back-bow. Loosening the truss rod (turning it counter-clockwise) will add relief in the neck.
After you have turned the screw 1/8 of a turn, retune the guitar. It is important to have tension on the neck. Without the string tension on the neck, you cannot see the extent to which you are moving the neck with each truss rod adjustment. Then you can measure the relief in the neck again.
Repeat these steps as much as necessary until your neck is straightened.
It's as simple as that. Remember to only adjust the truss rod about a 1/8 turn at a …show more content…
It is accessed through the sound hole.
Here's how to do it:
It's easiest to do with the strings loosened, although I personally do it with the strings up to pitch so I can look at the neck under tension. If you do it up to pitch, just lift up the 2nd and 3rd string at the nut and move them over to the 1st string nut slot. Do the same thing with the 4th and 5th string, moving them into the 6th string nut slot. Then you can reach into the sound hole between the 3rd and 4th strings. The strings hurt the forearm a bit, but it's manageable.
Set the guitar on a workbench with the neck pointing to the left, tilt the body toward you so the sound hole is facing your belly. Then reach in with the 9/64 inch Allen wrench and put it into the Allen nut, which appears through the very upper cross brace of the soundboard, right by the end of the neck. Although it will offer a certain resistance to turning, it doesn't take much movement to cause a change.
Turn counter clockwise (imagine looking at the Allen nut) to add relief or correct a back bow. Turn clockwise to reduce the relief or correct too much forward