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  #1  
Old 01-11-2018, 01:27 PM
Llewellin Llewellin is offline
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Default Truss Rod Tonal Effect [Answered]

In the context of someone who does not wish to pursue serious studies toward being a classical guitarist but intends to use a classical or flamenco instrument to play a mix of some classical, jazz variations and pop:

All other things being assumed to be equal, does the presence of a truss rod have an appreciable, audible, detrimental effect on resonance/tone transfer from the fingerboard/neck to the body of the guitar?

If not, wouldn't prudence prescribe having a truss rod "just in case" so that a comparatively minor adjustment might avoid a full blown fret dressing (or worse)?

So, for example, this guitar seems very attractive but only has ebony stabilizers in the neck, rather than an adjustable rod. Why risk it?

http://www.12fret.com/instruments/al...way-classical/

Last edited by Llewellin; 01-11-2018 at 05:33 PM. Reason: answered
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:08 PM
Dogsnax Dogsnax is offline
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The truss rod situation has been debated ad nauseum over on the delcamp site for many a year. Here's one thread that involves some excellent insight from highly regarded classical builders, Marcus Dominelli, Al Carruth, Trevor Gore, and Ken Whistler:

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.co...ic.php?t=76371

Last edited by Dogsnax; 01-11-2018 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:03 PM
Llewellin Llewellin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogsnax View Post
The truss rod situation has been debated ad nauseum over on the delcamp site for many a year. Here's one thread that involves some excellent insight from highly regarded classical builders, Marcus Dominelli, Al Carruth, Trevor Gore, and Ken Whistler:

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.co...ic.php?t=76371
Thanks. That pretty much answers the question. The truss rod "might" affect the weight of the neck but, if implemented properly, has yet to be heard in the tone in a blind test.

For my non-maestro purposes, I'm going with the truss rod.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:26 PM
Dogsnax Dogsnax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llewellin View Post
For my non-maestro purposes, I'm going with the truss rod.
It sure is nice to have the truss rod if you ever do need to adjust neck relief. I've owned a few Kenny Hill guitars and they all have truss rods. All had terrific tone and no problems with instrument balance.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2018, 06:52 PM
Emile640 Emile640 is online now
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There's no reason why you can't have one. I'd say the main reason that you haven't seen it adopted on classical construction is since the market is strongly driven by tradition. I've been studying classical for about 30 years but have opted for double tops and other modern construction methods in recent guitars.

Higher end classicals tend to have some reinforcement in the neck such as a carbon fiber strip or laminating the neck for added stiffness.

Personally, I haven't found the need for a truss rod probably due to the thicker neck constructions and mods as noted above. On my oldest classical and flamencos, the neck relief, intonation, action, etc. are still perfectly fine. I do climate control the room that they live in though and they are kept in their cases.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:28 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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And my personal opinion is that having a truss rod in a classical guitar is great.

Mine just got back from the luthier and he was able to adjust the neck relief to my preferences.

My humble thought is that some of the age old traditions in classical guitar building need to fade away gracefully.

"Classical guitars don't have truss rods or side dot markers on the fretboard" are 2 of the traditions that need to fade away.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:00 AM
Red_Label Red_Label is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkstott View Post
And my personal opinion is that having a truss rod in a classical guitar is great.

Mine just got back from the luthier and he was able to adjust the neck relief to my preferences.

My humble thought is that some of the age old traditions in classical guitar building need to fade away gracefully.

"Classical guitars don't have truss rods or side dot markers on the fretboard" are 2 of the traditions that need to fade away.
Yup. Choosing not to include a truss rod on a guitar is like not having cruise control on a road car. Sure... that's the way it used to be and cars work fine without them. But WHY would I choose a road car without cruise control? No truss rod in a guitar neck is a deal breaker for me. I'd have to be head over heels to buy a guitar without one. Why? Because no truss rod allows for zero compensation for climate/temp changes. And regardless of how a luthier chooses to reinforce a neck for rigidity, the fact is that you're still dealing with something made of wood. And wood changes with temp and humidity. Rain Song and similar brands made of graphite, carbon fiber, etc would be an exception. But even then... I'd STILL want an adjustable truss.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:28 AM
Llewellin Llewellin is offline
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I read this analogy on the "other" forum. A truss rod in a guitar neck is like a jack for your car. It adds a miniscule amount to the weight, doesn't affect performance and, with a little luck, you will never have to use it. But if the situation ever does arise, you will be very glad you have it on board.
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:07 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkstott View Post
"Classical guitars don't have truss rods or side dot markers on the fretboard" are 2 of the traditions that need to fade away.
I can't say how strongly I agree with the above statement. I'm commissioning my first classical build with a very forward thinking luthier - who is totally modern in almost every respect - who is (mildly) resisting my insistence on a truss rod. Oh he'll do it after I made the point, but I can tell he doesn't think it necessary. I'm also picking up an undercurrent of "my quality is such that my guitars don't need it". I'm not trying to insult the guy I just want my truss rod!

Very strange. Especially when you consider that it is not an expensive part, and it's easy to incorporate into the build. Yet can save so many headaches later.
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:35 PM
Llewellin Llewellin is offline
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Another point that has not been made in this thread is that, in conjunction with neck stability and the possibility to adjust relief, a truss rod makes possible different (e.g. thinner) neck profiles, which may offend some purists but may appeal to others. Camps, for example, touts this feature in some of their guitars.

This, of course, opens up a parallel debate regarding the extent to which more or less lumber in the neck affects the overall tone of the guitar.

Last edited by Llewellin; 01-14-2018 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Additional Info
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2018, 01:49 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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This is just a variant of the great tone wood debate. OK, suppose it does change the tone, does it make it better or worse? For the kind of changes you might expect, that would be purely subjective. In the kinds of nylon string guitar I would buy, I would see a truss rod as a very big plus.
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:19 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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A truss rod adds mass to the neck, and mass affects tone.

I had this brutally demonstrated a couple of years ago.
I have a Collings guitar which had a neck profile larger than specified.

I told Collings about it and they arranged to have it collected (from the UK) and shipped to Texas for insoection and adjustment.

They re=profiled the neck (you'd never know) and returned it to me.
The tone was quite different - less bass but still fine. As my luthier tech said - he would have expected that as he builds guitars with different thicknesses to get different tonalities.
(Collings have since changed the info on their website).
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2018, 05:39 PM
Llewellin Llewellin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
A truss rod adds mass to the neck, and mass affects tone.
Adds? Or replaces? Wood/mass is removed to make room for the rod. How much mass is added back would depend on the material(s) of which the rod is made and its dimensions, no?
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2018, 05:41 PM
Llewellin Llewellin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
This is just a variant of the great tone wood debate. OK, suppose it does change the tone, does it make it better or worse?
And thus we enter into the jumble of physics and psycho-acoustics.
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2018, 07:12 PM
TKT TKT is offline
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If the used C10 Parlor I bought didn't have a truss rod so I could adjust it to my preference, which I did (and I also replaced the saddle which was just incorrect and could not have been the original), I would have found it unsuitable for me.

Instead, I was able to dial it in, and I love the snot out of it.
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