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  #1  
Old 07-16-2019, 11:17 PM
El Duque El Duque is offline
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Default CF necks - truss rod / no truss rod

I'm looking for a proper CF gutar. I acquired a Journey travel 0f. I like it but the tone ain't all that. It is waaaay better than no guitar on a long trip though.

Some makes have truss rods some don't.

I would think having one would be a good idea but I'm not up on t.r's in general.

I liked (considering) a CA guitar I tried -an OX i believe it was - no truss rod. "no adjustment needed ever"

Where is the adjustment? the nut/saddle?

they never get tweaked? Why does Rainsong and Emerald feel the need? Different neck construction?

thanks
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:04 AM
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steelvibe steelvibe is online now
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This is a question that pops up from time to time and it is a great question. The short answer is that carbon fiber guitars are "set and forget". What makes having a truss rod nicer, at least in my opinion, is that it will give you that much more control over your set up. Just like on wooden guitars, truss rods in carbon fiber are either to add or take away neck relief and that is it. Carbon fiber guitars certainly don't need it because the necks are so rigid- even to the point of going from light to medium strings. Your neck won't move.

So it basically comes down to preference.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:03 AM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Both Rainsong and Emerald use a truss-rod because "the customer wants/expects one".

If you don't have a truss rod, then you can't adjust the relief. How much relief do you like? Proper action is set by the relief, the nut slots, and the saddle height. (and on a few guitars like Taylors by an easily adjusted neck angle). So, without and adjustable rod, one of those adjustments isn't available.

I have wooden guitars where I adjusted the truss rod sometime in the late 90's and haven't touched them since. But I did adjust them.

My Rainsong WS3000 doesn't have a truss rod, and the relief is considerably larger than I like, so I keep it tuned down to lower the tension and flatten the neck. If it had a truss rod, I'd probably put almost a half turn on it and tune to pitch.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:55 AM
BongoSTL BongoSTL is offline
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Let me encourage you to check out Blackbird guitars.

I've owned a number of CA guitars now, and I've never *loved* one that wasn't a Blackbird.

Super OM is fantastic if you want CA....but the really amazing stuff is in their new line. I've got an El Cap that is in a league of its own.......
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:54 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I've never felt the need for a truss rod on either Rainsong or my Blackbird Lucky 13. I couldn't tell you if the CA Cargo has a truss rod or not without digging it out to look. Emeralds come with TR's but except for a minor tweak of my recent X30, I've never touched any of them. In general you will only need to adjust the relief if you change tunings noticeably or change string gauges. As AZ said, it is good to have the option even if you never need it.

The Super OM (like all Blackbird CF instruments) is now out of production in favor of ekoa, but there are still some in stock at LA Guitar Sales when I looked last week.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:22 AM
El Duque El Duque is offline
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thanks for the reassurance that no t.r. is ok.

I was looking at the CA OX because it is a bit larger than the Cargo and thin. 3.5" iirc.

I like the fact that my 0f660 is thin (3") on the top side. Much to my chagrin, my right shoulder is not happy for long playing on a thicker side guitar - the 2 wood guitars are on their way out eventually.

I did ponder thin bodied wood guitars but I want CF for the ease of maint. and no worry factor.

Besides that they sound good and are cool!
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:37 PM
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At some point, I was considering buying a used Composite Acoustics, but when playing it, I found the action up the neck was terrible. I remember sliding three quarters under the bass string at the twelfth fret, discovering there was no way to change the relief, and walked away.

So, if a guitar already has the relief you want with your desired string gauges, then no truss rod is needed.

Similarly, if a guitar's relief is far outside your comfort zone, and there's no truss rod, then you're stuck.

Incidentally, I once questioned a dealer's statement (specifically on a CA Ox) that "the relief is set automatically!" When pressed further, he admitted that the sutomer might not *like* where that relief gets set. *laugh*
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
"the relief is set automatically!" When pressed further, he admitted that the sutomer might not *like* where that relief gets set. *laugh*
I looked at two Lucky 13s. The relief was different on the two. I went with the one that had a shallower relief. It plays great but makes me wonder how much variance might change from CF guitar to CF guitar that are otherwise identical. Both played fine, but the relief was noticeably different on the two. I don't know if it was by design or if there was a range of manufacturing tolerances.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:05 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Perhaps related. Blackbird made two versions of Rider nylon--classical and flamenco., the set up was different (and perhaps other things). Anyway, could the 13s have been tailored to someone in particular? Just a thought.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:18 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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I think of truss rods on carbon fiber guitars like bracing. It's not needed as long as you're happy with the current setup. You can always sand the saddle to lower the action or replace it if you want higher action. I'm still yet to adjust the truss rod on my Emeralds no matter what string gauge I put on.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:20 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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Same Luva...never adjusted an Emerald, Rainsong or CA. Not even sure the CA had one, LOL
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:35 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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I was going to say it in my previous post but didn't want to sound like a smart alec but a lot of people misunderstand what a truss rod is for. It's sole purpose is for setting neck relief. It does indirectly impact action but should never be used for that purpose. Neck relief is the first thing adjusted on a new guitar followed by the nut and saddle. The nut and saddle are what should be used to adjust action. Truss rods need to be tweaked on wooden guitars due to temperature and humidity changes.

On a carbon fiber guitar without a truss rod the builder is supposed to make sure the neck has proper relief in the construction of the guitar, which is an ever so slight backbow. Earlier CA guitars (pre peavey) there were reports of incorrect neck angles. Those guitars should not have passed a QA inspection. Haven't heard of any issues with current CA necks.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:21 PM
El Duque El Duque is offline
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Talking

thanks for that explanation.

So..if there is too much backbow it would affect the action as in too high? But the action could be high and the relief correct - a result of a high saddle or nut. I'm guessing there is more to it - like why there is relief in the first place.

is there a standard measurement for relief?

I do admit to thinkin the truss rod was there for the action. Still learning...
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:28 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Duque View Post
thanks for that explanation.

So..if there is too much backbow it would affect the action as in too high? But the action could be high and the relief correct - a result of a high saddle or nut. I'm guessing there is more to it - like why there is relief in the first place.

is there a standard measurement for relief?

I do admit to thinkin the truss rod was there for the action. Still learning...
Don't ever be afraid to ask questions, that's what this forum is for. Too much upbow, also regarded as too much relief will have higher action, especially in the middle of the fretboard. All manufacturers have their own typical specs for neck relief and action. That's also why most guitars have higher action than most people prefer when they're new. Some people like high action and it's much easier for manufacturers to ship their guitars with higher action as it's easy to sand down the saddle afterwards. You're also correct it's possible to have proper neck relief but still have high action. Ideally we want a straight neck. Completely straight necks usually result in feet buzz which is why we want some slight relief. I used to set my guitars up with .007 neck relief but I don't measure it anymore. As long as there's a little relief I'm content. Just put a capo on the first fret, place one finger high up on the fretboard, typically where the neck meets the body (14th fret on most guitars) and with another finger pushing down on the 7th fret there should be a small gap. That's your neck relief.

Last edited by GuitarLuva; 07-21-2019 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:08 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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I know that when I get feet buzz I look for a little relief.

Also, nice stuff GutarLuva. I've been surprised at how many people seem to be setting action by the truss rod. It's a natural thought, and may most likely change relief, but may also have unintended consequences. As you note, the saddle and nut should be the focus of establishing relief.

Last edited by EvanB; 07-19-2019 at 10:16 AM.
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