A modern guitar without a truss rod?

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TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 723
edited July 10 in Making & Modding
So I had this recommened  to me on youtube so thought i'd give it a watch



He has excellent craftsmanship and I do see what he's trying to acheive with the couple mechanism and that but I'm not sure I could get behind a guitar without a truss rod in this day and age? 

Essentially he's using an incredibly rigid D tube carbon fibre rod which takes a rather large chunk out of the neck blank. Basically, he's stating that this D tube will give you a totally flat neck and he's relying solely on string tension to give relief. Surely this is a risky prospect? being able to dial in the perfect amount of neck relief is such a core part of any guitar setup, how will he be able to make it playable with a range of string gauges and tunings?

I might be mistaken but I am not a fan of the idea! Thoughts?
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Comments

  • ICBMICBM Frets: 56896
    edited July 10
    Vigier have been doing that for decades, although with solid strips instead of a tube. It seems to work perfectly.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 723
    ICBM said:
    Vigier have been doing that for decades, although with solid strips instead of a tube. It seems to work perfectly.
    Interesting, across all gauges and tunings and action choices?
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  • moremore Frets: 133
    edited July 10
    Originally, guitars did not use truss rods, until steel strings arrived. The first ones used strong stiff woods like  Ebony. Later,nonajustable  metal box rods were inserted into the neck. All Martin had this kind of rod until  1985. There are a number of different adjustable truss rods available.  I could not get your youtube link to work, But I don't see it would be a problem to do things differently. 
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  • DrBobDrBob Frets: 2601
    Doesn’t Rick Kelly at Carmine St guitars build Teles/Esquires without truss rods, I think he said that having the Truss rod under the D&G strings makes them sound “different” .. Don’t know if I fancy having nothing at all in there 
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 723
    My concern isn’t whether the guitar neck will be stable, more that the relief isn’t adjustable for different styles of playing
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 5511
    edited July 10
    If the neck never moves regardless of string gauge you can build in relief when doing the fret levelling.
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 723
    If the neck never moves regardless of string gauge you can build in relief when doing the fret levelling.
    Interesting, fair point indeed!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 56896
    TrentGuitars said:

    Interesting, across all gauges and tunings and action choices?
    It should be. There's actually far less variation in the 'correct' relief than you might think, and you generally need slightly more with heavier strings so it should work out right as long as there is *some* even with the lightest strings.

    It's a bit like nut height - a lot of people think it's a 'player preference', but in practice - as long as you're not a complete gorilla - the same height of just microscopically higher than the first fret is correct for all styles and string gauges.

    If the neck never moves regardless of string gauge you can build in relief when doing the fret levelling.
    That would be tricky, since the normal way of doing that is to set a deliberate back-bow using the truss rod and then level the frets...

    You would have to do it with external clamping, although that should be possible.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 8613
    edited July 10 tFB Trader
    DrBob said:
    Doesn’t Rick Kelly at Carmine St guitars build Teles/Esquires without truss rods, I think he said that having the Truss rod under the D&G strings makes them sound “different” .. Don’t know if I fancy having nothing at all in there 
    The two i have seen first-hand had truss rods, not that they did much as the necks were so huge

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 723
    ICBM said:
    TrentGuitars said:

    Interesting, across all gauges and tunings and action choices?
    It should be. There's actually far less variation in the 'correct' relief than you might think, and you generally need slightly more with heavier strings so it should work out right as long as there is *some* even with the lightest strings.

    It's a bit like nut height - a lot of people think it's a 'player preference', but in practice - as long as you're not a complete gorilla - the same height of just microscopically higher than the first fret is correct for all styles and string gauges.

    If the neck never moves regardless of string gauge you can build in relief when doing the fret levelling.
    That would be tricky, since the normal way of doing that is to set a deliberate back-bow using the truss rod and then level the frets...

    You would have to do it with external clamping, although that should be possible.
    I see what you’re saying, the idea being that it can set it’s own relief simply through the side affect of more tension from heavier gauges. 

    I have just found in the past when the neck is too flat you get the buzzing that’s easy to remove with a hair of adjustment on the truss rod. But like you say this system is operating on a different set of variables.

    the carbon fibre is epoxied into the neck, too.

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  • BlueingreenBlueingreen Frets: 1738
    ICBM said:

    It should be. There's actually far less variation in the 'correct' relief than you might think, and you generally need slightly more with heavier strings so it should work out right as long as there is *some* even with the lightest strings.


    Interesting that you should say that.  When I buy a new guitar almost invariably one of the the first things I do is take out some of the relief.  The guitar tech I go to most often has similar preferences to me (and knows I'm a fussy bugger) so when he's set a guitar up it's usually perfect, but almost everyone else seems to set a guitar up with more relief than I like.

    Not sure the explanation.  Maybe I just like an abnormally flat relief.  My other thought is that perhaps people setting up guitars fear fret buzz more than they fear a sub-optimal relief setting and and err on the side of caution.

    “To a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail.”
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 12250
    ICBM said:
    TrentGuitars said:

    Interesting, across all gauges and tunings and action choices?
    It should be. There's actually far less variation in the 'correct' relief than you might think, and you generally need slightly more with heavier strings so it should work out right as long as there is *some* even with the lightest strings.

    It's a bit like nut height - a lot of people think it's a 'player preference', but in practice - as long as you're not a complete gorilla - the same height of just microscopically higher than the first fret is correct for all styles and string gauges.

    If the neck never moves regardless of string gauge you can build in relief when doing the fret levelling.
    That would be tricky, since the normal way of doing that is to set a deliberate back-bow using the truss rod and then level the frets...

    You would have to do it with external clamping, although that should be possible.
    I see what you’re saying, the idea being that it can set it’s own relief simply through the side affect of more tension from heavier gauges. 

    I have just found in the past when the neck is too flat you get the buzzing that’s easy to remove with a hair of adjustment on the truss rod. But like you say this system is operating on a different set of variables.

    the carbon fibre is epoxied into the neck, too.

    I've done quite a few necks with CF bars and often with laminated construction too.

    It's possible for them to be so stiff the strings don't add any relief at all... so I'm always thankfully I included a truss rod to dial it in.


    These days, when I favour a more flexible neck, controlled with the truss rod... everything is under tension.  Its a more vintage flavour than a very stiff neck, which can sound very direct and modern.   

    If I do use any CF reinforcement I now go for hollow rod, epoxied in.   It adds predictability and stability without making things too stiff.
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  • JeremiahJeremiah Frets: 415
    Didn't Status use graphite necks with no truss rod on their basses at one point? Though I'm pretty sure they have truss rods now.
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