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View Full Version : Gotta love the adjustable truss rod in the Pono baritones



OldePhart
01-19-2013, 01:16 PM
I figured, "meh, prolly never use it, even the classical guitars I've owned didn't need truss rods."

Then I found a string combination I really like but thought I was going to have to go back to a wound string on the G because I was getting buzzing. Then, I remembered, "aha, adjustable truss rod!"

About 1/2 turn later, no buzz and my unwound fluorocarbon G is working great. :)

John

connor013
01-19-2013, 01:48 PM
Good to know, John.

I'm actually OK with the stocks Koolau strings (which is a first), but I know it's only a matter of time before they're switched out to Southcoasts, and I've been hemming and hawing over whether or not to go with the softer "heavies".

Nice to know I can tighten things up should it come to that.

What do you have on there for strings?

OldePhart
01-19-2013, 03:05 PM
Good to know, John.

I'm actually OK with the stocks Koolau strings (which is a first), but I know it's only a matter of time before they're switched out to Southcoasts, and I've been hemming and hawing over whether or not to go with the softer "heavies".

Nice to know I can tighten things up should it come to that.

What do you have on there for strings?
The three treble strings are fluorocarbon fishing leader. The D string is a .035 Thomastik-Infeld chrome steel flat wound classical guitar string (the A string for guitar). So far I like this better than any other wound string that I've tried.

Lalz
01-20-2013, 07:34 AM
How do you adjust the truss rod? I have a Pono baritone on the way on which I'll probably try several strings sets. I've never seen a truss rod before (not even sure I know how it looks hehe).

Ben_H
01-20-2013, 08:08 AM
How do you adjust the truss rod? I have a Pono baritone on the way on which I'll probably try several strings sets. I've never seen a truss rod before (not even sure I know how it looks hehe).

Hey L,

You don't get a choice :)

Peer into the soundhole in the direction of the neck. You should see a horizontal piece of wooden bracing with a countersunk nut with Allen/hex socket in it. You need an Allen/Hex key to turn it (think it's 3 or 4mm but too lazy to go looking now ;) ) and you should only adjust very small amounts at a time then leave it to settle.

By small I mean a quarter turn and, by the way it will go both clockwise and anti clockwise. One way will bow the neck upwards and the other downwards.

Lovely instruments, I've been playing mine slack key style a lot lately, strung with Low D Living Water Strings. "Mmmm, nice!" as they say on Jazz Club.

Lalz
01-20-2013, 08:25 AM
Hey L,

You don't get a choice :)

Peer into the soundhole in the direction of the neck. You should see a horizontal piece of wooden bracing with a countersunk nut with Allen/hex socket in it. You need an Allen/Hex key to turn it (think it's 3 or 4mm but too lazy to go looking now ;) ) and you should only adjust very small amounts at a time then leave it to settle.

By small I mean a quarter turn and, by the way it will go both clockwise and anti clockwise. One way will bow the neck upwards and the other downwards.

Lovely instruments, I've been playing mine slack key style a lot lately, strung with Low D Living Water Strings. "Mmmm, nice!" as they say on Jazz Club.

Thanks Ben! So it's clockwise to bend upwards and anti-clockwise to bend downwards? I plan on having it slack key too, in open G tuning. Either that or G6 with high D, but most likely open G. Fun fun fun!

OldePhart
01-20-2013, 09:05 AM
Thanks Ben! So it's clockwise to bend upwards and anti-clockwise to bend downwards? I plan on having it slack key too, in open G tuning. Either that or G6 with high D, but most likely open G. Fun fun fun!

Actually, it's the other way around, which kind of surprised me. All of my electric guitars have the adjustment at the headstock and you turn clockwise to tighten the truss rod and that pulls the neck straighter (less relief). On the Pono bari, you turn counter-clockwise to tighten - but tightening actually pulls more relief into the neck. I guess it depends on where the truss rod is located relative to the centerline of the neck.

Anyway, in my case the strings I put on were a little less total tension and the neck went too straight and started buzzing on the "softest" string (that unwound G). I put about 1/2 turn total (counter-clockwise) on the truss rod and buzzing went away.

As Ben says, you only want to turn it about a quarter turn at a time (once it comes up snug - if it's actually loose then turn until you encounter resistance, then 1/4 turn at a time). Leave it sit for ten to thirty minutes before turning it another 1/4 turn because it takes wood a while to "settle" to the new tension. (I actually try to turn one "flat" at a time - meaning 1/6th of a turn - and in practice that's really about what you have room for unless you take the strings off.)

John

Lalz
01-20-2013, 12:04 PM
Actually, it's the other way around, which kind of surprised me. All of my electric guitars have the adjustment at the headstock and you turn clockwise to tighten the truss rod and that pulls the neck straighter (less relief). On the Pono bari, you turn counter-clockwise to tighten - but tightening actually pulls more relief into the neck. I guess it depends on where the truss rod is located relative to the centerline of the neck.

Anyway, in my case the strings I put on were a little less total tension and the neck went too straight and started buzzing on the "softest" string (that unwound G). I put about 1/2 turn total (counter-clockwise) on the truss rod and buzzing went away.

As Ben says, you only want to turn it about a quarter turn at a time (once it comes up snug - if it's actually loose then turn until you encounter resistance, then 1/4 turn at a time). Leave it sit for ten to thirty minutes before turning it another 1/4 turn because it takes wood a while to "settle" to the new tension. (I actually try to turn one "flat" at a time - meaning 1/6th of a turn - and in practice that's really about what you have room for unless you take the strings off.)

John

Great advices! Thanks!! :)

hammer40
01-21-2013, 03:53 AM
I had to do the same with mine. I was experimenting with strings on the bari and the tensions were lower than the Ko'olau strings so I had some buzzing on the B string.