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Guitar truss rods

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John MacKenzie 04 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 04 Sep 02 - 03:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Sep 02 - 04:10 PM
mooman 05 Sep 02 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,Harvey 05 Sep 02 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Foe 05 Sep 02 - 09:01 AM
Rick Fielding 05 Sep 02 - 10:26 AM
Murray MacLeod 05 Sep 02 - 10:30 AM
Mudlark 05 Sep 02 - 01:32 PM
Mark Cohen 06 Sep 02 - 01:39 AM
Mudlark 06 Sep 02 - 01:08 PM
CraigS 06 Sep 02 - 06:29 PM
Mudlark 07 Sep 02 - 03:08 AM
Art Thieme 08 Sep 02 - 11:51 PM
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Subject: Guitar truss rods
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM

Why do some guitars have truss rods, and what effect does adjusting them have on the instrument?
Giok


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 03:23 PM

All steel-string guitars have a truss rod. Most are adjustable, with the notable exception of Martins made before about 1980. Most inexpensive guitars and some higher-priced lines (Gibson, Guild, Taylor) have the adjustment at the headstock end of the neck and have a truss rod cover. Newer Martins and most small-shop guitars are adjustable via a hole in the heelblock accessed through the sound-hole. Click here for more truss rod info.


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 04:10 PM

The term "truss rods" always sounds desperately uncomfortable and kinky.

The thing about them is while adjusting them can make things significantly better, it can also make things a lot worse, and they need to be treated with caution. They are for little changes, not big ones.


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: mooman
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 05:21 AM

On know accounts try to adjust your truss rod yourself (your truss or your rod are of course your own option!) unless you REALLY know what you are doing. I have in the past undertaken some somewhat complicated repairs initiated by over-enthusiatic meddling with truss rods.

If you suspect an adjustment is necessary, please entrussed (!) it to a competent repairman!

My Chris Eccleshall mandolin was perfectly set up with an non-adjustable and stable truss rod and that is a solution I like!

Best regards,

mooman


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: GUEST,Harvey
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 06:19 AM

Truss rod adjustments don't have to be made by an expert. I'm allergic to experts, and in all things it's very empowering if you're prepared to acquire a new skill yourself.

Make tiny adjustments (less than a quarter turn) and wait two days to allow the wood to respond to the new pressure. When the change in action height becomes apparent, increase or reduce the adjustment as necessary. Remember, you have to give it time.


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: GUEST,Foe
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 09:01 AM

Had an expert adjust the truss rod on my Guild when I switched from light gauge to medium gauge strings - this corrected the action and took out some buzzing.


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 10:26 AM

Guest Harvey....GAWD BLESS YOU FOR YER POST (which I'll repeat)

"Truss rod adjustments don't have to be made by an expert. I'm allergic to experts, and in all things it's very empowering if you're prepared to acquire a new skill yourself.

Make tiny adjustments (less than a quarter turn) and wait two days to allow the wood to respond to the new pressure. When the change in action height becomes apparent, increase or reduce the adjustment as necessary. Remember, you have to give it time."

Rick here again. SPOT ON!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 10:30 AM

It should always be borne in mind that the function of the adjustable (truss rod) is NOT to cure any perceived shortcomings in the action, its function is to control the amount of string relief (the gentle concave bow found in the fretboard of almost all guitars).

If the action is too stiff or too low one should look elsewhere than at the truss-rod.

Personally I agree with mooman and prefer a well-made instrument with a non-adjustable reinforcing rod, like the old Martins used to have. With the advent of carbon fiber graphite these necks can be as slim and playable as those with adjustable rods.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: Mudlark
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 01:32 PM

When I first went looking for a "good" guitar, back in the early 60's, steel string guitars that needed a truss rod were looked down on as cheapo instruments, no matter the cost. Relying on rod, rather than superior construction, was considered a cheat.

I ended up with a fine classical guitar, which avoided the issue. And when I shifted to steel string, about 4 years ago, I was lucky enough to find a 61 Martin that, by selling off about half of my possessions, I could afford, thereby (unknowingly) avoiding the issue again.

This was before I found Mudcat and as I have lived in the boonies for the past 30+ years, without much contact with knowledgable musicians, I was not aware that truss rods are now universally used, even in accepted quality guitars like Taylor and Martin.

For those who play both, do you perceive any degredation in sound between 2 equally well-made guitars, one with, one w/o?


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 01:39 AM

Well, I used to find that the truss made it much more comfortable to play standing up, but then I had my surgery and--huh?...oh...uh, never mind.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: Mudlark
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 01:08 PM

LOL....YOU'RE a big help!


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: CraigS
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 06:29 PM

Once upon a time, before WW II, Gibson had a patent on truss rods, and nobody else could have them. That's why many old guitars don't have truss rods, and why the few pre-war guitars that do have them don't have adjustable rods. Interestingly, older Martins have a T section rod, while newer Martins have a hollow square section rod.

DO NOT SAW THE NECK IN HALF JUST TO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE GOT - THIS WILL SERIOUSLY DECREASE THE TRADE-IN VALUE WHEN YOU FIND THE GUITAR DOESN'T PLAY ANY MORE!


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: Mudlark
Date: 07 Sep 02 - 03:08 AM

Craig...Thanks for the tip...I'll try to restrain my curiosity. But the sound?!? What about the sound. Does having, or not having, a truss rod have any effect on the sound???


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Subject: RE: Guitar truss rods
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Sep 02 - 11:51 PM

I've been known to ride on these from one gig to another in times past. Just hope the damn wheels don't chuck a rock or a cinder back atcha. And never fall asleep. That's about all I have to say about that.

Art Thieme


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