Guitars without truss rods...

Mpcoluv

Supporting Member
Messages
3,114
I am a believer in a thick neck.
However I am not brave enough to invest in a "no truss rod" neck.
It is wood after all and will likely move a little at some time.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
10,059
Theoretically speaking, the thicker the neck, the less reinforcement it will need, if you're using wood. Brian May's Red Special has a massive neck, and he said in his book he's never needed to adjust the heavy duty rod he installed since the day it was completed. Of course, he plays .008s, the tension of which probably has no effect on a big reinforced stick like that. If you made a wood neck substantial enough, you could get away without a truss rod; it would counteract tension much like a lapsteel.
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
2,478
Sorry, but I want to be able to fine tune my action. I can play just about anything well enough, but it seems ridiculous to me for any decent guitar to lack the ability to make fine adjustments to neck relief. If some builder things that conventional rods create some disadvantage, design a different system -- don't leave the instrument without the possibility of adjustment. The idea that one person's relief preference applies to all is wrong. And many would argue that neck compression (via the truss rod) is a tone enhancer, not a detriment. I have a wartime acoustic with no rid. It's great. It would be better with a rod.
 

vortexxxx

Supporting Member
Messages
10,026
Sorry, but I want to be able to fine tune my action. I can play just about anything well enough, but it seems ridiculous to me for any decent guitar to lack the ability to make fine adjustments to neck relief. If some builder things that conventional rods create some disadvantage, design a different system -- don't leave the instrument without the possibility of adjustment. The idea that one person's relief preference applies to all is wrong. And many would argue that neck compression (via the truss rod) is a tone enhancer, not a detriment. I have a wartime acoustic with no rid. It's great. It would be better with a rod.
The Martin guitars with no truss rod are adjustable by using frets of different widths to make it straight. They had no truss rod during wartime. I hear that they sound amazing.
 

mrpinter

Supporting Member
Messages
7,171
This is a Musser acoustic, The neck is made of Spanish Cedar with an ebony fretboard. It has no truss rod. This was not a cheap guitar. The lack of a truss rod was never a problem. (I sold the guitar to Normans Rare Guitars. Turned out that Mussers are Norm's favorite acoustics).

 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,486
I like fat necks. Biggest neck I have on any guitar is my Kirn T. Maple neck that is about an inch thick all the way down.

From the day I got it used, I have never had to adjust the truss rod. However, the day I got it with 8’s on it and I changed to 11-52 strings, I did.

The string tension is the unknown factor, regardless of how seasoned the wood may be.

I have a ‘96 R4 I bought new. It was 20 years before I ever touched the truss rod. But one day it did need a tweak and is much better for it.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
5,417
Theoretically speaking, the thicker the neck, the less reinforcement it will need, if you're using wood. Brian May's Red Special has a massive neck, and he said in his book he's never needed to adjust the heavy duty rod he installed since the day it was completed. Of course, he plays .008s, the tension of which probably has no effect on a big reinforced stick like that. If you made a wood neck substantial enough, you could get away without a truss rod; it would counteract tension much like a lapsteel.
That doesn't mean a thick neck can't twist. I have a pretty beefy neck (think Gibson 50s profile) on my old Yamaha semihollowbody and it had a twist on it that required sanding the fretboard and refretting it. It comes down to individual pieces of wood.

I don't really see any advantage to not using a trussrod.
 

nl128

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,078
The Martin guitars with no truss rod are adjustable by using frets of different widths to make it straight. They had no truss rod during wartime. I hear that they sound amazing.
I have a 1956 00-18 with no truss Rod . It definitely has something special going on compared to a 2012 00-18 I used to own. Idk if the truss has anything to do with the difference or not . The only time the neck moved is in the middle of winter. I get a tiny bit of buzz on the G string at the 12th fret. That action is pretty low compared to other acoustics I’ve owned.
 

100% Zulu Boy

Supporting Member
Messages
307
I have a couple of guitars without truss rods; both are made by Musikraft, both are copies of the original neck on Broadcaster 0043, and both are doing just fine, stability wise.

I've had one for 8 years and the other for 5; they both started out with me in New Orleans, an area known for extremes in heat or humidity, and now they live in the northeast, also an area where there is significant weather diversity year-round. From my real-world personal experience, the only downside is that they're not adjustable, but the upside is that they both have a fat, poppy, open sound that I really like, and the lack of adjustability is a non-issue for me as they play just fine they way they are.

For background, one is on an S guitar and the other is on a T, and I don't aspire to crazy low action cause I think those guitars sound better when the action is up a little higher. I run 10-46 strings on the guitar and the relief is around .011 -- .012 on a 9.5" radius neck; maybe a little high, but it feels right to me on those guitars.

So I totally get why a no-trussrod neck isn't right for everyone, but it's not wrong for everyone, either -- it's just a choice, and my own experience is that it's a choice that has worked for me for a lot of years under something approaching worst-case conditions for this kind of construction.

~j
 

rhinocaster

Supporting Member
Messages
23,059
That doesn't mean a thick neck can't twist. I have a pretty beefy neck (think Gibson 50s profile) on my old Yamaha semihollowbody and it had a twist on it that required sanding the fretboard and refretting it. It comes down to individual pieces of wood.

I don't really see any advantage to not using a trussrod.
All of this....

No truss rod seems like something to do because you want to do it (for whatever reason) and I do think it's kinda badass and cool, but if I was pressed to explain any upside I'm just totally at a loss.
 




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