Access a heel-end truss rod adjuster

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Micklos, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Micklos

    Micklos Member

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    It drives me nuts. I have a tele with the truss-rod adjustment screw at the heel end. To adjust the truss rod, I have to de-tune the strings, remove the pick-guard, pull out the neck pickup (Which doesn't quite come out far enough to clear the high E string, re-tune the guitar, set the truss rod, detune the strings, and pretty much re-build the whole damn thing.
    Ha anyone ever come up with a solution for this? I'm sure I've seen some guitars with a notch routed at the heel of the neck, and the adjustment screw has been replaced with one with holes around its circumference so you can insert something, turn it a little, then move it over to the next hole. Is there such thing as an after-market replacement I can get? It's the dumbest piece of design I've seen in a guitar. Did Leo Fender not play?
    If possible, I'd like to convert it to headstock end adjustment, but I doubt that's even possible. It wouldn't be on any of the truss rods I've seen. They all have a little bar welded onto the non-adjusting end.
    Surely some bright spark has created a work-around on this?
     
  2. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    Guitar makers want to make it better.
    But douchy players thinks vintage is better.
     
  3. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Yeah it's quite annoying. I refuse to buy anything new without truss rod adjustment at the head, or with a easily accessible wheel like EBMM does.

    Maybe I should go for Vigier, they don't even have truss rods! :)
     
  4. Baxter Stockman

    Baxter Stockman Member

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    Had a guitar with a heel adjust once...

    Never again.
     
  5. JPF

    JPF Member

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    It sucks but it's manageable
     
  6. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Loosen strings, loosen screws, tilt back neck, adjust. Or dremel out an acess divot. Offset screwdrivers can help.
     
  7. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    Yup - if it were mine, I'd remove the neck ONCE, dremel out a channel in the body and pickguard, re-assemble and use either the shortened allen wrench, offset screwdriver, or paint can opener I have set up for adjusting either type of Fender trussrod nut... I have current American Fender basses and older ones - all with the trussrod adjusters at the neck's heel - and adjusting them is no trouble at all... I will agree that EBMM's trussrod wheel is an improvement, but Fender's setup isn't the huge impediment that it's often made out to be...



    - georgestrings
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    uh, no he didn't, not a lick.

    on the original teles, you slip the pickguard off and the adjustment is right there, no need to even loosen the strings.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    there is a nifty workaround suhrs used to use; i stole it and modded my AV62 tele the same way:
    [​IMG]

    you get a fender american standard truss rod nut, which has a 1/8" hex drive, and cut a little notch in the pickguard and body if necessary.

    saw off a 1/8" hex wrench just past the bend and it'll fit right in there.
     
  10. Rick51

    Rick51 Member

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    Hey, Micklos! Learn to use tools. Slack the strings and put on a capo to keep things organized. Back off the neck screws and move the neck out enough to access the adjuster. Easy ten minute job, tops. Leo Fender thought it would be very easy.

    The rest of the year, you don't have to look at that crappy head-end adjuster.

    If it's hard for you, you should probably be paying somebody to do it for you anyway.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the sarcasm is misplaced :nono

    if you live where i do in a place that has actual seasons, you might be taking that neck off every few months! also, having to guess each time how much to adjust, then re-assemble and re-tune and check, and if you guessed wrong then do it again, or maybe even a third time, every time you need to tweak the neck is for the birds.

    doing the minor mod to allow for adjustment without all that is way worth it.
     
  12. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Agreed. That "easy ten-minute job" isn't so fun when you have to do it often.
    Especially when you have other guitars where it's a 10-second job...
     
  13. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I have one guitar with a thumbwheel type adjuster at the heel.
    This is the way to go.
    EZ access, no special tool.
     
  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    Agreed 100%...

    I don't think anyone would argue against the wheel being a superior system, but the point is that the more traditional systems aren't at all difficult if one knows what they're doing...


    - georgestrings
     
  15. murkat

    murkat I like sea otters Silver Supporting Member

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    After loosening the strings, I just capo at the first fret, pop the neck off, give a quarter twist to taste.
     
  16. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    The American Standard truss nut is the way to go, but either way you need a channel in the body to access it. Another avenue is to cut a channel if you don't have one and use one of these - you might have to tweak it a little, but that's where tools come in.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. s2y

    s2y Member

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    20 minute job if you over correct the first time. :hide2

    Humidity in my area would make these guitars very time consuming.
     
  18. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Where (what climate) he lives in;

    What thickness neck his guitar has;

    What string thickness he uses; and

    How he likes his guitars set up.

    I live and play in a moist, almost tropical environment near the Gulf Coast. I like some of the Fattest necks out there, and assemble my own when I can't find what I want. I use heavy gauge strings (11s, 12s) and I do not like a super low set up. I don't mind if the guitar shifts a little during seasonal changes because my set up accommodates all that.

    I don't have to tell you, I set the truss rod early in my experience with the guitar and I just almost never fool with it later.

    I want to ask those of you who cannot leave your truss rods alone, do you also shower 3 times in one day? Do you cut your lawn twice in one week? Do what you like, but stop trying to get others doing "nervous" things that serve next to no purpose. ;)
     
  19. AdmiralB

    AdmiralB Silver Supporting Member

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    If I lived somewhere like that I wouldn't be adjusting much either. You get, what, 40 degree seasonal swings between average highs and lows? Maybe a 30% humidity delta?

    Try someplace that goes from 90F+, 90%+ humidity to 10F, 20%.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  20. SamBooka

    SamBooka Member

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    In case it wasnt clear before.. if you neck bolt screws dont bind the body (and they shouldnt) you can loosen the strings, loosen the headstockward (yes.. not a real word) a few turns and the loosen the the bridgeward screws enough to tilt the neck enough to get at the nut.

    IIRC this was from a 50s fender service manual.. (dont quote me on that until I find it)

    And as I have learned. this is even easier if you have locking tuners ;)

    And I would add that if you have shims then hopefully they stay put :D

    EDIT: I am in montreal and I do adjust most of my necks 2-3 times a year
     

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