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Thread: truss rods

  1. #1
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    I am hoping that some of you more knowledgeable members can tell me about truss rods and what they are used for. My mandolin has one (Weber Bridger).
    When do they need adjusting and should I have a pro take care of this?
    Thanks for your help!

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    Truss rods are in place to counter the force created by string tension. To keep the neck from warping, some use carbon rods and may not have a truss rod cover. You might never need to adjust the truss rod.
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    Truss rods are for guitars, really. Gibson put them into the F5 to enable a thinner neck cross-section, but their patent application states that they were to permit the use of cheaper wood in the neck(!). I have old pre-rod Gibsons that will never warp, and the only thing the trussrod in my F5 style instrument did was to break and cost me major bucks to have it removed. Luthier put in a couple carbon fiber rods, more from a spirit of covering his behind than from necessity. He already had the mandolin in pieces, so why not?

    Some folks speculate that the presence or absence of the trussrod affects the tone. Who knows?

    If you start to get buzzing as you play up the neck, or if the action starts getting really high down past the 7th fret, you might be advised to take the instrument to a luthier. Otherwise, it's best to forget it's even there.

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    The function of a truss rod is to adjust the relief (forward bow)of the fingerboard. You need some relief but not very much, and this should be attended to by a professional. It's a simple proceedure but sometimes very touchy.

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    Hi folks, thanks for your input!

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    If it is like my weber, it is a "double acting" truss rod. I think that is more like having two, one for tension (back side) and one for compression (front side). Regardless, best only tampered with if you know what your doing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Michael Lewis @ Feb. 24 2004, 01:56)
    The function of a truss rod is to adjust the relief (forward bow)of the fingerboard. You need some relief but not very much
    I prefer adjustable rods is because different players like and need different amounts of bow. Also some necks are will need an adjustment if different string gauges are used.

    I've seen mandolin necks that never needed an adjustment and I've seen necks that were beyond the capabilities of the rod.
    Most of the serious neck repairs I've done were non-adjustable.

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