View Full Version : Truss Rod/Not a Truss Rod

John Flynn
Apr-14-2004, 7:43am
I just bought a used Parsons flat top from a member of the Cafe'. For those of you who are not familiar, this is kind of a Mid-Mo/Weber Y2K instrument. I really like it. I think it looks and sounds significantly better than its closest competitors and was a good value for the price.

There is one thing I would really like to know about it though: Does it have a non-adjustable truss rod or no truss rod at all? The seller did not know. I tried to contact Will Parsons, but I have had no luck. I contacted Dale, who used to sell these mandos and he said he thought some of them had truss rods and some didn't. I would like to know what my options are for strings. If it doesn' have a rod, I think I will stick with low tension strings. If it does, I may experiment with heavier stock.

So my question is: Is there a reliable, non-invasive way to tell if a mando has a non-adjustable rod or not? I have thought of trying a carpenter's stud finder, but it may key on the frets and also it would not detect a carbon fiber rod.

Apr-14-2004, 9:58am
x-ray http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif

John Flynn
Apr-14-2004, 10:00am
Is that covered by my health insurance?

Let's see...neck problems! Yeah, it's covered! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Apr-14-2004, 10:19am
try a good stout magnet......

Apr-14-2004, 1:05pm
I wouldn't worry about it. My Flatiron 1N has a truss rod but I still use light gauge strings. Just play it safe and go light gauge. I may be wrong here but I suspect the Parson's, Mid-Mo's, Flat top Flatiron's were not designed for medium gauge string tension. My 1N has tone and volume to covet with light gauge. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

John Flynn
Apr-14-2004, 1:33pm

Good advice. What kind of light strings have tried on the 1N? Which do you prefer?

Apr-14-2004, 1:41pm
My mandolin didn't have a visable truss rod when I got it, and the owner said he had (pre 9/11, of course) taken it through an airport and asked the guy if he could look. I havn't tried since, but I'm guessing that wouldn't happen now...


Apr-14-2004, 1:52pm

I had a flattop for a while (and actually have one coming soon) and I always tried to use light guage strings as well.

I always ended up going with Martins light guage bronze strings. I tried GHS Phosphor Bronze lights but they were way too bright.

I thought the GHS silk-n-steels were excellent sounding, very woody sounding, strings for a flattop, but they were heavier in guage...I never found out if they had more or less tension than bronze strings of the same guage.

But I find those Martin strings to be cool for flattops...worth a try anyway.

Apr-14-2004, 1:54pm
Right now, I have DR Phosphor Bronze lites on my Flatiron 1N. They sound great and last a long time. I often use DR Phosphor Bronze mediums on my Yellowstone. I seem to go back and forth between DR's and D'Addairo's.