Truss rods

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Truss rods

Postby Dr. Rico » Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:29 am


I'm looking at a guitar that has a non-adjustable truss rod. Whats your feeling regarding adjustable truss rods and non-adjustable.
I always thought an adjustable was best. But this is an expensive guitar and I was surprised it comes as it does.
Thanks for any help.
Dr. Rico
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Postby Gadjo » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:48 am

As a person who is finniky about playability and action height I must say I prefer the ability to correct any relief in the fingerboard. I have a Dupont Vielle Reserve that is supposted to be a 'Selmer' by another name and it has a discreet adjustable truss rod - with no detriment to the sound.

Original Selmers had no adjustment - some had no reinforcement even. Some Selmers are as straight as the day they were made (mainly the D-holes) and some are like bananas - mainly oval holes with no reinforcement that at some stage have probably had heavy strings fitted.

Modern makers fall into two camps. Even those who make guitars with non-adjustable necks (ie no adjustable truss rods) still reinforce them (with carbon graphite or an alloy bar) and if used with normal 'gypsy jazz' guage strings should not be a problem. LeVoi and Hodson guitars spring to mind.

Check for the neck relief on the guitar (use a string as a straight edge by holding down on the 1st and 20th frets) and if much more than the thickness of a B string in the middle I would consider passing on it (assuming it doesn't have a hidden adjustment). If it is a vintage piece you must have then a fret job/fingerboard shoot can sort out most things.
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Postby Ganondorf » Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:51 pm

Either is good
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Postby BluesBopHarry » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:22 am

Eventually a guitar without an adjustable trussrod is gonna need a lot of work.
How long until that happens?? depends on various issues(string gauge, use, reinforcements, etc)

I`d rather have a working trussrod, but if that's not an option, it would depend on the sound of the guitar, it's current state and the price.

I must admit I was a little dissapointed when Manouche guitars decided to stop using trussrods. I understand original Selmers didn't have it... but in my opinion it would be an improvement on the design.
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Postby Bigskychuck » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:45 pm

My understanding is that some luthiers feel the increased neck mass that a truss rod provides affects the tone. Gallato, Mateos, and Micheal Collins guitars have all been built without them. I have one of the latter, which incorporates aluminum strips, and it's perfectly straight. Some mandolin builders (Michael Heiden and Andrew Mowry, to name a couple), also build without them.

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Postby BluesBopHarry » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:25 pm

I might be wrong!...using non adjustable trussrods or reinforcement might not be too bad...compromises setup but may improve tone.

I asked on the Djangobooks forum about the new Manouche guitars with the fixed aluminum reinforcement bar. ... 7112#17112
Let's see what they say.
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