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Type of truss rod for a newbie


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I'm new here and kinda mentally working out the details for a project. I have read Melvyn Hiscock's book "Make Your Own Guitar", but have a couple of questions about the truss rod.

I know there are at least three basic types around:

- vintage put in a curved channel (ala Fender and Gibson)

- hot rod style that StewMac sells (looks similar to what Warmoth has)

- a U-channel type

I am heavily leaning towards the hot rod or U - channel style simply because the installation is more straight forward (no curved channel). With that in mind, are there any serious deficiencies with either of these two that should make me reconsider? I have seen some folks at USACG forum bash the double expanding rods.

If the U-channel is the best, who sells that? Thanks for any input.

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What are they bashing the double action rods for? The only "draw back" that I have heard is that they require a slightly thicker neck. The difference in thickness is pretty small but if you want a super thin neck - then the traditional rod is the way to go.

I prefer the dual action rods and sleep well at night knowing that I will have as much control over my neck as possible if needed when putting the guitar together.

If there are other significant issues with them, I haven't heard. I have two guitars with them so far (going on three), and no complaints at all. Installation was extremely easy and they do control the neck very well.

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I found the bi-flex "hotrod" does everything they say it does. You don't have to anchor it in, and it can correct backbow as well as warp. Just put it in the slot with a dab of silicon on each block and glue the fretboard on. Its very sensitive. I can tweak the rod a quarter turn and actually see the strings move up/down off the fretboard as I turn.

There are also other designs out there. Rickenbacker uses a dual truss rod as well, except its laid horizontally to correct twisting. Hagstrom also used their own unique style. Its a single rod but has little wings anchoring into the wood on either side. Thats how they got away with turning out very slim and shallow, but stable, necks.

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Thanks guys, that is what I was looking for, some feedback from people who have actually built necks.

I should clarify the "USACG" remark. The bashing was done by some forum members, not USACG itself. The remarks (I can't locate the thread now), but some of the comments were along the lines of reducing the sustain of the neck and rattles etc. They are all generally pretty knowledgeable, but I don't think they had ever actually built a neck. So, I was looking for some other input.

Trying to create a template or jig to due the curved channel on my first project just seems like I would be asking for trouble. Thanks again.

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If you don't route the channel tightly, then you may hear some rattle. If you go with the hot rod, get the router bit for it. You can use a smaller bit and route two lines, but I think the bit is worth the hassle. Place the silicone in there and you will not hear it rattle. It's all in the workmanship on the install and there really isn't that much that can go wrong.

My only guess is that those people didn't use the stewmac bit and routed a bit too much wood or didn't use the silicone, ...

By the way, what does USACG stand for? I'm terrible with acronyms.

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USACG stands for USA Custom Guitars. The company makes Fender style bodies and necks. The owner, Tommy, seems to be really knowledgeable and even jumpls on the forum to occasionally answer questions. He started this business after working at Warmoth for awhile. He definitely adds the personal touch and those who have dealt with him can't say enough nice things about the experience. All in all, a really nice company to deal with from what I hear. I will probably order my wood from these guys once I spec everything out.

Here is the link: www.usacustomguitars.com

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