Truss rod adjustment at heel

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by brmusician, May 8, 2021.

  1. brmusician

    brmusician Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi,

    I'd like to ask if you prefer strats with truss rod adjustment screws at heel. To me, Squier and even strat-clones should offer guitars with truss rod screw at heel. Headstock adjustment is ugly and looks cheap to me. I know adjustment at headstock gives an additional fret, but you lose the vintage look. Fat necks, heel adjustment and don't-care-body-wood would give great vintage looking guitars. Is that patented by Fender?
     
  2. Black59

    Black59 Strat-Talker

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    I like the functionality of the truss rod adjustment at the headstock, but prefer the vintage look at the heel.

    Also, there are lots of 21 fret Fender necks that have the truss rod adjustment at the headstock.
     
  3. Tremoluxer

    Tremoluxer Strat-Talker Gold Supporting Member

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    For vintage look, yes, heel. Modern, I prefer on the headstock -- I don't think Fenders with the wood plug at the headstock look ugly. Other guitars with just a big hole that takes a 4 or 5 mm Allen wrench, yeah, they're ugly.
     
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  4. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis No Longer Here Platinum Supporting Member

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    I prefer headstock. Simpler to use. I also like the EBMM wheel design. But then, I don't care at all about "vintage" anything.
     
  5. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    No.

    Like them at the headstock. Appearance wise I never gave it a send thought.
     
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  6. Colnago1

    Colnago1 Strat-O-Master

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    I like heel just for the fact that there is more wood left at the headstock making that area stronger.
     
  7. Antonio77

    Antonio77 Strat-Talker

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    Just an interesting story (almost for me) about the truss rod and Fender guitars.

    Leo Fender was criticized by many musicians and traders because, according to them, the Esquires needed to have a truss rod. At first he did not agree, asserting that the maple of the neck was quite resistant and it did not require any modification. In support of his belief he used to put the necks between two chairs so that his workers could stand on them. Don eventually changed his mind due to market pressure and his guitars have all been fitted with truss rods since October 1950. The anecdote about the resistance of Don’s guitar necks inspired, around 1967, an advert for Fender in which a worker climbed over a neck suspended between two boxes, with the quote "We stand on our reputation".

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  8. bobalu

    bobalu Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    The vintage heel truss rod adjustment is nothing but a curse. Absolutely hate it, it's so impractical. The EBMM wheel (at the heel) is the best invention ever!
     
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  9. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Headstock adjust is superior in nearly every way to the original heel adjust.
    The EBMM wheel is an improvement functionally, but I don't like the aesthetics.
     
  10. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I have one guitar, a Classic Player 50s Strat, with the rod adjustment at the neck heel. Such a PITA compared to my other three guitars with the adjust at the headstock. I got that guitar as NOS, the one with nitro finish and a case included, for $575 and I had to take it as it came. Otherwise I would not have bought it. I've never had issues with the headstock adjustment.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  11. Blue Beagle

    Blue Beagle Senior Stratmaster

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    Couldn’t care less if it’s at the headstock or heel via a wheel.

    Vintage is a pain though.
     
  12. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    I love the heel adjustment - once you provide the appropriate access to it and use the proper tool:

    https://www.strat-talk.com/posts/3434720/


    Now I actually kind of cringe thinking about using the hex wrench in the headstock, since they can get stuck or strip out - something that hasn’t happened when doing the heel adjustments on mine.

    Anyway I’ve done this mod to all of my vintage style Strats and have never looked back...


    DD60A08C-AC8C-4AAF-8739-0461F25D0EFD.jpeg

    EF2BF4E2-AF70-4F30-80A2-BFE2764114CF.jpeg

    845B6AE6-6AC5-40EC-8968-F0D09DF05D07.jpeg

    36998230-A728-4F7A-816C-35F07F94E1DD.jpeg

    F0755D2E-A31D-4B4C-9022-8C6EA927AD3D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  13. fernank017

    fernank017 Strat-Talk Member

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    The heel adjust for vintage/reissue fenders is perhaps the worst part about owning one. If your guitar is set up well, the only thing you should be adjusting is the truss rod, and having to take off the neck or even having to prop it up is such a drag.
     
  14. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    I agree. Also the operational area of the rod is shifted forward by a little.
    In my opinion, making it slightly more effective.
    Removing the neck to make a tweak is a pain, so the spoke wheel is my favorite type of adjustment.
     
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  15. brmusician

    brmusician Strat-Talk Member

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    I have an AVRI 74 Jazz Bass with adjust at the heel. Last time I adjusted it when changing strings, I didn't need to remove the neck. I've just turned the philips screw with a screwdriver. To be honest, I ended up chipping a bit of the paint, but it's hidden behind the pickguard... don't know if it's harder to do on guitars.
     
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  16. brmusician

    brmusician Strat-Talk Member

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    Nice looking guitar.
     
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  17. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm happy to have two with headstock truss rod access and one with the EB wheel.
    Taking a neck off to adjust would be annoying, not impossible, just annoying.
     
  18. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    It's funny, I have an AO Jag that adjusts at the heel, and the idea of popping the neck out to adjust it terrifies me. That feeling will probably wear off as I own the guitar longer, but for now there's no way I'm "risking" an adjustment.

    But I have a Tele Classic Series neck with heel adjustment, I have yet to mount the neck because I'm going to refinish the body, but I will have no problem popping that neck on and off as needed to make adjustments.

    I don't think one way (heel) or the other (headstock) looks any better. If someone convinced me that one way or the other made for a more stable, stronger overall neck, I'd go with that.
     
  19. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Senior Stratmaster

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    Heel adjustment keeps most morons that don’t know what they are doing from messing with the guitar. Not all but most
     
  20. Impulsive guppy

    Impulsive guppy Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    It’s good to have a variety: heel, headstock, and a Warmoth heel with side adjust. all good
     
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