Truss Rod: Tired of the Heel Adjuster, I've Decided

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ChicknPickn, Sep 6, 2021.

  1. fraser

    fraser Tele-Afflicted

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    I prefer to just loosen the bolts and tilt the neck up to adjust a heel access rod, rather than pulling the pickguard.

    problem then is the guitar wont be tuned to pitch.
    Generally im able to estimate the adjustment in one or two attempts, its really not a big deal to me-

    that said, nothing beats the bullet headstock adjust for me.
    No screws or covers, you can find the hex hole easily,
    The strings are out of the way, and i think they look cool.

    i have both types, as well as an old supro with no truss rod, just a fat metal bar inside the neck
     
  2. Tom-Australia

    Tom-Australia Tele-Meister

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    Recently ordered my dream Musikraft neck. Heel all the way baby! It's completely nonsensical but this build is my ode to a vintage Strat, I couldn't bring myself to....corrupt it with modern conveniences and appointments.
     
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  3. ChicknPickn

    ChicknPickn Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Oh yeah . . . . when you're doing vintage, you have to do what's right. On those guitars, I even feel a little guilty about compensated saddles. But nobody'll know unless they look real, real close. And then there's the whole thing about cloth insulated wiring. :)
     
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  4. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I like vintage specs, all except the heel adjust, as implemented.

    I build my necks with an embedded spoke wheel adjust, and I love it. I don't care for the others I've seen that extend into the pocket. This one is all inside the neck.

    Spoke Wheel.jpg
     
  5. Redleg37

    Redleg37 Tele-Meister

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    I prefer body side adjustment with a hole in the pick guard to get the wrench in
     
  6. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I wanna go to heaven, but I don't wanna go TODAY!
     
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  7. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Intentionally making the truss rod harder to get at is poor design. This is about usability.

     
  8. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used to think that...and I would still agree if I used it often enough. But I tweak the rods on my fat neck teles once a year at best. Not that much of an inconvenience to loosen the neck to do it. I think if you like thinner necks or have to adjust more often (ex. touring musicians), it makes sense to get a headstock-adjust neck.
     
  9. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Hear here. I can top that. I have owned numerous acoustic guitars without ANY truss rod at all, not even non-adjustable. And the one headless I own has one heft one piece solid rosewood, that is not reinforced at all with graphite rods, or any rods at all, and I have yet after almost 20 years see it bow, warp in any way. I've run every string from 009 to 012 on it and it stays. Just pure wood all the way through.
     
  10. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    BTW are there any (or have been taken an attempt at) necks that are glued or set necks with heel adjust?
     
  11. nathanteal

    nathanteal Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't mind the wheel adjustment at the heel as seen on MIA Elites, EBMM, Shijie, etc. I kinda generally don't love the look of headstock adjustments on 6-IL guitars. But it's not something I get hung up on one way or another. I get where a traditional heel adjust would be more handle than it's worth, but it is a much cleaner look than anything else.
     
  12. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Virginia weather, I found, was a little rougher on my guitars than was the weather of Florida or Louisiana or North Carolina or Tennessee. If the doors are opening and closing in the cold wintertime the air could get quite dry and that was enough, sometimes, to pull a neck out of specifications. But otherwise, I just find the guitars once set up, to stay set up and the truss rod adjustment was basically irrelevant. I didn't touch the rod. Now, I play a thicker neck section than most and I use thicker gauge strings than most. But I surely will not whine about something that's just not making a big difference - at least not for me. If I lived part time in Aruba and part time in Alberta, and used a shreddy thin neck, then I could moan I guess.
     
  13. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    No, but people here gives the impression that it is only needed once. It isn't. I've never encountered any very skilled repairman, guitarist, or whatever getting it perfectly right at the first shot at it. Not even closer even. You need numorous times loosen the neck AND slacking the strings. This is was beats me, on how you could make a guess when the strings are slack. On headstock you need basically once and then you check it, with the strings still in tune. If you need a second shot at it, just have a go at it again, without having to slack the strings once more and take off the pickguard and neck a second time. And I am pretty confident that the last final touch up moments with small movements are better carried out on top, i e headstock adjust. The fine tuning, and granular. If you should need very very small adjustments.

    I've yet to have seen/heard of one nailing it at the first shot.

    And for the "direct coupling" of any neck to body fit - but this applies too with the spoke wheel - I think it's better to have as much pure wood as possible engulfing all of the neck pocket and body wood "down at the heel" than any kind of gap, no matter how little, disrupting that direct fit and tight coupling. For TOANZ.

    you know the trick, with bolt on necks, where you want to pull the neck back a bit with the strings tuned up to tension, and you release the neck bolt/screws slightly to pull the neck further back to get a closer fit to the body. You'll hear a slight quirk, crackling It works BEST IMHO with headstock adjusted truss rods. Anything with heel adjust and including spoke wheel will not matter a zot. Sometimes this works sometimes not. But it is a well know trick to "better" the connection, and thus some kind of sustain or timbre betterment to all of the guitar.

    To get closer to that set neck tone...

    I've done this on loads of bolt necked guitars. Somtimes the difference is subtle, sometimes it is great difference on the positive side, and not even once has that trick made it worse. It ends up being the same, or better.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  14. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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  15. RhinestoneStrat

    RhinestoneStrat Tele-Holic

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    I have a better and quicker method of adjusting the truss rod without removing any screws. It's my own heel adjustment...using the heels of me boots.;)

    [​IMG]
     
  16. RhinestoneStrat

    RhinestoneStrat Tele-Holic

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    I sure can testify to the H-expander truss rod in my Hagstrom Viking Deluxe guitar. It sure keeps the neck straight and I hardly have to make truss rod adjustments since it feels so sturdy. This is one of the few guitars where I can achieve really low string action.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Afflicted

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    Pretty! Ebony fretboard?
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Some acoustics do, my Washburn's all have truss access inside via the sound hole.
    Some Martin's do as well.
     
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  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yes but it seems like along with less effort we get more whining.
    I whine too but not about these kinds of problems.
    I'm more inclined to whine about all the cheaply made crap that replaced good stuff so that wall street could make money without performing any actual services.

    At some point, guitar players looking to avoid effort might switch to playing keyboards?
    No callouses required!
    Modern keyboards with sequencers are even better, program your parts and not even have to play them.
    Or go like lawn care and hire people to play your parts?
    George Orwell here we come!
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I got my new second hand fatback with side adjust and have a question you might be able to answer.
    I know the end nut is set to a general tightness and then the side nut is used for fine adjustment when strung up.
    Mine has some drag on the side nut even when loose.
    It doesn't get loose from tension and then turn freely, feels a little stiff.
    Does that sound normal?
     
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