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View Full Version : What is a truss rod and why would I want one in my uke? Noob Question



Hiddencross
07-10-2011, 02:24 PM
I've seen the term come up in a few discussions and mentioned as a strength in some of the tenors I've been admiring. Can someone explain? Bonus points for pics. :)

Thanks in advance.

uke4ia
07-10-2011, 02:32 PM
It's a structural rod in the neck, that allows the alignment of the neck to the uke's body to be adjusted. Here's an earlier UU thread about truss rods.


http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?10710-Ukulele-Truss-Rods

Raygf
07-10-2011, 02:33 PM
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?10710-Ukulele-Truss-Rods

http://www.wisegeek.com/m/what-is-a-truss-rod.htm

Hiddencross
07-10-2011, 03:57 PM
Thanks guys.

olgoat52
07-10-2011, 04:24 PM
I think all the builders that frequent UU to a person (we have at least one non-male) all say that the string tension on a uke does not warrant a truss rod (ie not necessary to adjust the neck if it is built right to begin with.) Some do use a carbon fiber rod to reinforce the neck. (Chuck Moore and maybe Pete Howlett. Mya-Moe uses one as well but does not frequent the forum to my knowledge).

Truss rods are a requirement in steel string instruments. Not so much in classical guitars with nylon strings.

ukulelecowboy
07-10-2011, 05:59 PM
This is the magic in the Pono tenor and baritone ukuleles. The truss rod is adjustable thus you have great control over action and string tension. I have four Ponos with adjustable truss rods. It's the only ukulele I perform with.

Mike

Hiddencross
07-10-2011, 06:45 PM
Of the brands I was looking at both Pono and Mele have these. Glad to hear you like your Ponos. I hear great things about Mele as well.

ukulelecowboy
07-11-2011, 02:06 AM
Mele's truss rods aren't adjustable. It's just a strengthening bar in the neck. The Pono truss rods (only in tenors and baritones) are two way adjustable. Very handy. We love our Ponos!

ichadwick
07-11-2011, 02:16 AM
In the old days, ukuleles were big and heavy, often weighing in at a hundred pounds. The original truss was a supportive device, usually a pad with a belt, worn to prevent a hernia when lifting them. Later, when they became smaller - miniaturized like some dog breeds - some retained a small truss as a recognition of the uke's heritage. It was named in honour of its inventor, Rod Sterling. Thus the Truss Rod came into effect.

True story.

Hiddencross
07-11-2011, 04:54 AM
In the old days, ukuleles were big and heavy, often weighing in at a hundred pounds. The original truss was a supportive device, usually a pad with a belt, worn to prevent a hernia when lifting them. Later, when they became smaller - miniaturized like some dog breeds - some retained a small truss as a recognition of the uke's heritage. It was named in honour of its inventor, Rod Sterling. Thus the Truss Rod came into effect.

True story.

.....::::::=====*
The More You Know

lol

hoosierhiver
07-11-2011, 05:00 AM
There are truss rods and there are stabilising rods.

Hiddencross
07-11-2011, 05:10 AM
There are truss rods and there are stabilising rods.

So Meles have stabilizing rods and Ponos have truss rods, right.

hoosierhiver
07-11-2011, 05:12 AM
So Meles have stabilizing rods and Ponos have truss rods, right.

Not sure, but a truss rod is adjustable and a stabilizing rod is not.

olgoat52
07-11-2011, 06:04 AM
In the old days, ukuleles were big and heavy, often weighing in at a hundred pounds. The original truss was a supportive device, usually a pad with a belt, worn to prevent a hernia when lifting them. Later, when they became smaller - miniaturized like some dog breeds - some retained a small truss as a recognition of the uke's heritage. It was named in honour of its inventor, Rod Sterling. Thus the Truss Rod came into effect.

True story.

You're having a good day today aren't you Ian... Pretty funny. :)

ukulelecowboy
07-11-2011, 08:41 AM
So Meles have stabilizing rods and Ponos have truss rods, right.

Basically, yes. Although, Mele likes to use the term "fixed or non-adjustable" truss rod. The truss rods on Ponos have an allen wrench socket that can be adjusted with a supplied allen wrench. Although I don't adjust them much, it was very handy for fine tuning the action after I adjusted the saddle to compensate for a MiSi pickup that I had installed on my Pono Mahogany Baritone.

You might also want to note that Pono Ukuleles have lower profile frets than other ukuleles. Many people don't like this because you must essentially exert more pressure when fretting the instrument and barre chords can sometimes be difficult. I happen to love the frets on the Pono instruments. It's really about personal preference.