For any action above what would be considered medium/low a mandolin doesn't need any relief. For a mandolin, half that amount of relief would be enough. No replies. String tension and changes in humidity levels can affect the neck relief (bow) causing a change in string height and intonation. It's a beautiful mandolin, very responsive, etc. Do you have the correct neck relief? I got my specs the same way I got my guitar specs- measured the mandolins of pros. Richard; have you actually been out of the house, with your instrument, to a session ? If a builder chooses to not use an adjustable truss rod then he/she should use carbon fiber rods. The way to get the best advice on adjustments for your mandolin neck is to take your mandolin to a competent luthier or repair person. Not at all easy. Hmmm. You can now judge (or measure) the gap between the bottom of the string and the fret halfway between the two. Really old Kay Mandolin in rough shape. I have a mandolin from a respected builder, on trial for a week or so. If too little relief, the truss rod can be slackened (usually by 1/8 or 1/4 turn anti-clockwise) to allow string tension to pull the neck slightly into more of a bow. The mandolin in question here sounds like it should have the neck reinforced, and that is a pretty involved job at this point. But if you don’t know where it is, best leave it alone. We did get the encore, but picked andother song, and I played another instrument. Loose seams and sagging tops may also change the action on a mandolin. That doesn't mean to say that a tiny amount of relief would be detrimental. Neck Building + Repair + Setup; String Action Gauge; String Action Gauge How to determine string action with the String Action Gauge. What are you doing sitting at home in front of the computer ? This slight bow of the neck, and the gap you should be able to see is referred to as "neck relief" - too little and the strings will rattle on the frets, too much and the strings will be difficult to fret, especially in the middle of the the neck length. As a begginer you be playing mostly on the first few frets, where a change in action height at the bridge end has very little effect, but changing the nut height by even 1/10mm has a profound affect. Your best bet is to get advice from other mandolin players. If it is a new instrument I would ask the builder about it. For example, on a 26" scale bouzouki, capo the 1st string at fret 1 and press it down on the fret nearest the bridge, then measure the space between the bottom of the string and the crown of the fret that is nearest midway between the 1st and the last frets -use your free hand to insert a feeler gauge in the gap (as once used to adjust contact breaker points on cars). The best advice I could give you is don’t do anything you can’t undo, and don’t undo anything you can’t redo. Structural Problems. Both neck angle and relief will increase due to constant strong pull from the string. Structural Problems. ... more Worth every penny asked for in the BIN but I will consider reasonably close offers. Some people do like more relief than others. That is a method used by the Martin guitar Co. for lots of years before they started using adjustable truss rods. String tension and changes in humidity levels can affect the neck relief (bow) causing a change in string height and intonation. Get out, get to meeting people, and get playing. The truss rod (a metal rod running from headstock to heel inside the neck) helps to counteract the forward pull of the strings on the neck and provides a means of adjusting neck relief. I like the guy who sent it to me a lot, have wanted to try these mandolins. Mandolins will usually work ok with little or no neck relief, but on longer scale instruments like banjos and bouzoukis it’s a different matter. I have a fairly light touch, and really like a straight neck. If too little relief, the truss rod can be slackened (usually by 1/8 or 1/4 turn anti-clockwise) to allow string tension to pull the neck slightly into more of a bow. There needs to be a VERY slight forward bow to give the strings clearance to vibrate without rattling on the frets. Ok, I’m not playing at this minute. Tension should be removed to avoid further damage and possible warping of the panel. In other words the string needs slightly more room in the middle than at the ends. Session tomorrow night too. Fingerboard extension is at a different angle than the neck, and slightly descending since the 14th fret (figure 3 red line). A little more nut height or a slight bit of relief makes things sound cleaner, if that is a problem. However - Dave Harvey of Gibson showed just how flat a mandolin neck can be. You may want a larger or smaller amount of relief depending on your playing style. If the neck is bowed, it may be possible to straighten it by heat-pressing it. If you are a member of The Session, log in to add a comment. This is an odd situation. Hope this helps. It may be the same for your friend. This is the neck relief. And then a relief of .010" at the 12th fret is usually more than enough (different strings and breakover angles create a variance; generally the less tension the greater the space the string needs). The Neck angle and Neck relief are as good as it ever gets, better actually. This instrument was offered to me, as a trial, just to try out. I tried his guitar while we were setting up, and found I could play it, but not do the hot flatpicking that I was sure would thrill the crowd (if I didn't screw up). Not wanting to bring my guitar for one song, I thought I would borrow our guitar player's spare (he breaks strings a lot). Almost all guitars require some relief but the same is not true for mandolins. You can also use the string as a straightedge. Is there any way i can get the best advice on mandolin neck adjustments? If too much relief, the truss rod should be tightened (usually clockwise) slightly, pulling the neck back against the string tension to reduce the degree of bowing and restore the ncek relief to what it should be.