- Jun 1, 2013
- Western Colorado
Truss rod issues like this and others are IMO fender's #1 most common serious issue with thier vintage rod necks, which by the way are the only fenders i will buy even tho i feel that issue is relatively common. I have had many that were screwed and no lube or washers or anything would help. American standard styles like deluxe, AM pros and all those which are modern versions have the double rod i think they call biflex can go both ways so the problem is resolved. Problem is, they *generally* don't sound very good to some including myself. So i only buy the single rod models and risk those issues.
I *think* the reason for the issue in the single rod models is that construction of a neck like that requires that the neck is in a slight backbow under string tension with the rod completely slack so that the range of relief once tightened is maximized. But if you can imagine that means perfect planing of the board and fret leveling at the right position of the rod and u r talking about 1000ths of an inch which means if the wood moves as the guitar ages which mostly happens in it's first few years or it's not perfect during manufacturing, it can cause the issues you are having. So with wood being so unstable naturally, a one way truss rod requires the neck be perfectly made and leveled so that it backbows slightly with the rod completely loose and the neck has to remain relatively stable thru it's life or else you end up with issues like this. Like i said, i've experienced a lot of fenders with this kind of issue or the total opposite....too much relief that can't be removed. With the double rod it's a non issue but you pay the price in tone, assuming you hear it and it's not to your liking.
I think you are right; I now have 2 otherwise extremely cool vintage reissue Fenders, and they both have this issue. Pretty freak'n annoying, since these are typically the most expensive Fenders outside of Custom Shop.
Yet, like you, I'm only interested in the vintage reissues. I never knew there can be tonal differences between the truss rod designs, but I'm always drawn to the vintage spec'd guitars because of the vintage looks and feel and of course the nitro lacquer.