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Thread: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    Fender produced the Korean-made FM60E 5-string electric from 1999 to 2001. In the last year of production a truss rod was added.

    Does anyone know if the truss rod is single action or double action? I have an email here from a customer and I don't know how to answer it:

    --------------------------------
    It has been buzzing a bit lately I backed off the truss rod and it buzzes less but still a bit that irritates. I have backed it off a lot hoping it is a double action truss rod but I still don’t get any more relief. I’m getting the thickness of a thin business card.

    I am writing to you to ask you if you know what type of truss rod it is? Is it standard not double action? Do you know if the other end is accessible? Maybe the end it has come loose and it is not adjusting? I have really loosened it a lot.
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    Don't know, but . . .

    If there is relief, the bridge height is correct, and it is buzzing, it probably needs at least minor fret work.
    Adjust the bridge height so the distance from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the strings is 4/64". If it still buzzes, the instrument needs repair work.

  3. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    Well, one can raise or lower the individual saddles with a hex wrench, but this isn't your standard mandolin bridge.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    It should still play by adjusting the individual saddles to set the action to 4/64" at the 12th fret. If the saddles won't go high enough to achieve that, you'll have to loosen the neck and slide a shim under it to increase the angle, in exactly the same manner that you would shim a Telecaster neck if you ran out of adjustment room on the saddles.

    Electric or acoustic, one piece wooden bridge, 2 piece adjustable bridge, or metal bridge with individual saddles, the instrument should play at 4/64", 5/64" at the most. Set it much under that and it will buzz. If it doesn't play at 4/64", see a repair person.

    Mandolin necks require very little relief. If a fret job is accurate enough, they will play with no relief at all.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    I'll pass the advice along to the client. He is in South Africa, which may complicate matters a bit, but given that the FM60E is built more like a guitar, it shouldn't give a guitar tech too much trouble.
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    We use the same principles to adjust nuts, bridges, truss rods, and otherwise adjust the action; and to service frets on all fretted instruments.
    It doesn't matter whether it is a mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar of any sort, or an electric guitar or bass.
    The only basic difference is to know what the range of specifications for reasonable action at the 12th fret is for each type of instrument.
    For the mandolin, that figure is minimum of 3/64" for a light player with very good technique, and a maximum of 5/64".

    Our chosen instruments are not quite so special in their needs as we would sometimes like to think.
    There's not much rocket science involved. The science is simple. The rest is art and good craftsmanship.

    Violin family instruments work on different principles, and require an understanding of those principles.
    And, if someone is going to work on banjos, they need to study up on how to change and adjust a head and learn about tone rings.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jun-13-2020 at 5:00pm.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    The FM60E is basically a small electric thinline guitar. Setup was a real bear but once dialed in they're very nice.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    60 (5) & 61 (8) necks are glued onto body, if that was not done well ,
    play-ability may be very difficult to improve..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    It will still have to be taken care of by making sure the frets are level with minimal relief and setting the saddles for 4/64". If the neck is glued in and the screws in the saddle are too short to adjust the action to 4/64", replace them with longer screws. If for some reason that can't be done, a shim can be fitted underneath the bridge/tailpiece.

    Oh-- very important-- make sure the buzz is not being caused by too much height on the pickups rather than anything to do with the neck, frets, etc. Check this now!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    Mine doesn't have a truss rod but it does have a substantial neck.

    Thinking back to when I got it used, the action was quite high and the pickups anemic. Basically the set-neck doesn't have any angle (and can't be adjusted or shimmed) and the fretboard isn't high enough, or the saddles not low enough, to compensate.

    The frets had to be leveled and polished and the nut slots lowered to bring the action down at the headstock end but I couldn't do the bridge without help. It being a 5-saddle, flush-mount Stratocaster, I took it to my guitar tech who shaved some off the bottom of a few of the saddles to get the action down and strings intonated. This is particularly important if you want a playable C. He also shortened the saddle adjustment screws so they don't dig into my hand.

    I had a heck of a time with tuning stability, particularly on the D string. I would tune it up, play a bit and it would be out of tune. I changed the machines to Gotoh lockers, replaced the solid D with a wound string and replaced the string tree (very important) with 2 roller trees of different heights. It's been rock solid since.

    Pickups/pickguard got replaced with a couple honking humbuckers and I'm totally happy with it now. I got mine cheap enough that the mods didn't hurt.

    As shipped by Fender they are a great modding platform for a rocking 5-string electric, but out of the box they totally suck if mine is any indication.
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    Well, my customer was happy with the setup initially but is complaining that it seems to have changed on him.

    I've had a couple dozen of these, bought them all used and never had one that wasn't playable or needed more than a minor tweak. I do prefer the '01s because of the truss rod.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Aaron Y's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    Mine doesn't have a truss rod but it does have a substantial neck.

    I had a heck of a time with tuning stability, particularly on the D string. I would tune it up, play a bit and it would be out of tune. I changed the machines to Gotoh lockers, replaced the solid D with a wound string and replaced the string tree (very important) with 2 roller trees of different heights. It's been rock solid since.
    I just bought a FM60E, and I'm interested in doing those modifications to mine too. Would you happen to remember which Gotoh lockers and string trees you used? I want to make sure that the ones I buy work for the instrument.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Y View Post
    I just bought a FM60E, and I'm interested in doing those modifications to mine too. Would you happen to remember which Gotoh lockers and string trees you used? I want to make sure that the ones I buy work for the instrument.
    I bought my mando used and I don't believe it came with stock machines but could be mistaken. The tuning buttons were metal, not the perloid I've seen in pictures. That said, mine had the vintage style machines (from the factory) so these Gotohs dropped right in:

    https://www.allparts.com/products/tk...locking-tuners

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    String trees - The stock trees bind like crazy so I used 2 types as seen in the pic

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    I found it needs both types to work properly. The short one I believe I bought in a local store and the tall one I got from Guitar Fetish:

    https://www.guitarfetish.com/Pair-of...ish_p_600.html

    I did a build thread about the electronics redo if that's of any interest. The location of the pickup selector switch drove me crazy and I wasn't one with the stock electronics so I relocated the input jack to the side, moved all the controls out of the way of my picking hand and dropped in a couple hot humbuckers that split into a very nice single-coil tone. Humbucker mode is pure rock & roll:

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ktop-make-over
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  14. #14
    Registered User Aaron Y's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender FM60E truss rod: single action or double action?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    Your discussion of how you did your wiring was also really informative--thanks for linking it!

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