Truss rod adjustment at heel

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

  1. smithstrato

    smithstrato Senior Stratmaster

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    Gimme back my bullets. IMG_20210508_223405218.jpg
     
  2. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    Doesn’t matter to me. My Warmoth neck adjusts at the heel, but it’s so stable I haven’t touched it in years.
     
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  3. rockon1

    rockon1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Headstock please! Heel is a pita.
     
  4. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Strat-Talker

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    I have 3 MIM Strats with headstock truss rod access, and one MIM Strat that I just fit with a Classic Player 50's neck so I could have a Soft-V neck. I hesitated getting the Classic Player 50's neck for a while, because I wasn't sure how I'd like the heel adjustment. Now I can say that I worked with it enough as I was getting the neck setup, that adjusting at the heel takes a little bit more effort, but I'm not really all that bothered by it. Also, once I'm set up, I don't find myself having to do truss rod adjustments very often, so again, I'm not finding it to be a big deal, and any inconvenience is offset by the great feel of the Soft-V neck.
     
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  5. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Heel adjust is ok if there's room to make the adjustment. If you have to remove the neck or the pickguard to adjust it, that's a stupid design. That's unnecessary guesswork. It is far better to compensate for string tension while the tension is there.

    Headstock adjust is superior, but I would not be offended by a truss rod cover plate like many other brands use.
     
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  6. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    I go both ways. There. I said it.

    I don't have any real complaint with either save one minor ....

    I've a 22 fret neck with the heel adjustment. 22 frets means the fretboard overhangs the screw. So I have to lift the neck out of the pocket a bit to adjust. Wish that had it at the headstock.

    But that aside, it doesn't make much difference to me.
     
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  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    I like heel adjust better, I can't remember the last time I adjusted any of mine, apart from when I got them new or the neck was off to do work on the frets.
     
  8. brmusician

    brmusician Strat-Talk Member

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    I actually like the bullet truss rod on Fender CBS headstocks or japanese Fender CBS copies. My avatar is a Brazilian Fender strat manufactured at the early 90s. It's similar to a MIM strat, but it doesn't have that ugly black hole finishing at the truss rod opening.
     
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  9. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

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    I have to say according to Richard R. Smith in his 'Fender:The Sound Heard 'Round The World' it was Leo himself who didn't want the truss rod and it was Don in fact who persuaded him to install one following the feedback from his salesmen at the various industry shows and the fact that the original guitars without rods sent out for demo purposes were actually already beginning to display the first signs of bows developing.

    It was according to Smith a chap called Al Frost who was Don's co-owner in the Valco guitar company at the time who apparently first made the suggestion to ensure a quality product that wouldn't let them down and 'match' others in the industry. Don saw he was right but Leo took quite a lot of persuading.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  10. Antonio77

    Antonio77 Strat-Talker

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    Yes, you are right. Thanks, I modify what I wrote :thumb: Don was afraid to sell guitars without truss rod
     
  11. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Strat-Talk Member

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    Totally. I have a couple with the heel adjustment. Complete PITA.
     
  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Heel adjust with an inset wheel. If you need more frets then use a window to the wheel.
    Everything else adds user hardship or neck manufacturing complexity.

    .
     
  13. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    The heel adjustment fender neck is superior to the headstock adjustment IMO.

    When setting up a Fender I always remove the neck for all fret work. It gets adjusted straight with no strings on it prior to dressing the frets. (I also consider fret dressing an essential part of a setup and a guitar is not fully setup without a proper level and recrown on the frets). You can’t bring a guitar into our shop and get a “set up” and not have the frets leveled and recrowned. It’s included in the price. If you don’t want fret work it’s not called a set up, but instead an “action adjustment”.

    Once it is strung up the string tension usually pulls the correct amount of relief into the neck. So, I rarely have to readjust a neck once it is put back on the body. In the rare case that I do have to further adjust the rod I use a capo at the first fret to hold the strings in place while I loosen them and loosen the neck screws to adjust the rod without removing any strings.

    I’ve always preferred the one piece fender necks that have no fingerboard and the rod is installed from the back of the neck with a inlaid “skunk stripe”. This neck design is design brilliance!
     
  14. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    Just to add if you guys are constantly adjusting a truss rod you got some humility issues. Every guitar I own is a heel adjust truss rod, except for my broadcaster, it doesn’t have a truss rod!

    I do the initial setup and never touch the truss rod for a long time if ever. Even leaving over the dry winter months, if it moves it will move back again in the summer months. A good quality dehumidifier and/or humidifier is key for any guitar storage.
     
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  15. Boubou

    Boubou Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Criteria for next guitar, MUST have truss rod adjustment at the neck easy to access, adjustment at the heel is so lame
     
  16. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Fender introduced the spoke wheel to one of their upper-line models (Ultra ?), and then dropped it. I was hoping it would propagate to other USA models like the Pro's
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  17. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    No, if the wood of the neck is cut and cured properly once the neck is set it will stay that way pretty much forever. It’s an illusion that necks need constant fussing with. Necks with no truss rod at all can be straightened and adjusted too. Many of the 30’s and 40’s era guitars we remanufacture have no rod in them but instead have a deep V shape and these necks hold up fine with medium gauge strings with no playability issues. I’ve also built a bunch of Tele style guitars with only a non adjustable 1/4” x 1/2” aluminum bar in the necks, about 30 years ago and all those necks are still straight as can be.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  18. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    It’s ugly and makes the guitar immediately look like a cheap 70’s import. It’s also unnecessary.
     
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  19. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    I don’t know what would make a heel adjustment lame? Looks way cooler then a open hole at the top of your headstock. If you guys are constantly adjusting truss rods I’d be looking into your humidity problem.
     
  20. Boubou

    Boubou Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Out of 6 guitars the only one that needs fussing with the truss rod is the Epiphone SG. All the other ones are good, gave half a turn to an acoustic, once.
    Regardless , you shouldn’t have to take your guitar apart to do a quarter turn on the truss rod
    P.S. : I know, you know a lot more than I do about guitars
     
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