Baritone ukuleles without truss rods

bsfloyd

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I could be wrong here, but it seems to be more common that baritone’s have truss rods. Which ones do not have truss rods? I know truss rods are becoming more and more popular in classical guitars, but I remember a time they didn’t have them (some time ago). Just curious to know which baritone ukuleles don’t have them.
 

merlin666

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I think that truss rods are feature of steel string guitars. Though I also heard that Pono tenors and maybe also baritones may have a truss rod.
 

rustydusty

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My Clearwater baritone doesn't have a truss rod. No need so far...
 

counsel1

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My 70+ year old Favilla Bros. baritone has no truss rod and no neck issues-- Highly recommended inexpensive lightly-built tone machine for those wanting to dabble in "vintage" -- but shop wisely--
 
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ripock

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For a couple of years I have been shopping for my baritone. It is now bespoke and in the works. From what I've seen 90% of baritones don't have them. It is an issue of over-building because ukuleles don't need them. I would say if a builder wants to put in a truss rod or employ some guitar bracing...bless their heart. But it isn't necessary and don't pay extra for it since it isn't needed in the first place.
 

Gary52

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My Kala baritone has a truss rod. Ponos also have them. I don't know about other current brands.
 

DownUpDave

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My Kala baritone has a truss rod. Ponos also have them. I don't know about other current brands.

Yes, those are the only two brands with truss rods that I am aware of. The string tension on a baritone in standard DGBE tuning is very light, lighter then a tenor in regular GCEA tuning. I have an old Gianini baritone made in Brazil during the 70s (makes it 50 years old) with no issues
 

actadh

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My 70+ year old Favilla Bros. baritone has no truss rod and no neck issues-- Highly recommended inexpensive lightly-built tone machine for those wanting to dabble in "vintage" -- but shop wisely--
My 70 year old Vega baritone is the same.
 

bsfloyd

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Thanks for the replies, gang. Yes, it is the Kala’s and Pono’s that I knew had the truss rods. I assumed others might have them as well, but it looks like more do not have them. If I had to guess, I would think that perhaps Cordoba is using them but I can’t confirm. I agree that a 20-ish inch scale nylon string instrument doesn’t really need one (though I thought I read that Pono tenors have them too?) if the neck is made of good seasoned woods.
 

rustydusty

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I have a solid mahogany Caramel baritone that has a truss rod. I've used it to adjust the neck and it worked good...
 

Ms Bean

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My Kmise baritone (model KMU 30B) has a truss rod as well. I haven't really needed to fiddle with it. I did need to sand the nut and the gap the nut sits in.
Could it be that the quite a few of the current baritones are 20 inch scale length, and the earlier ones often 19 inch?
 

BBegall

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My sold Kala had a truss rod as does my Pono tenor. My Mainland Baritone doesn't have one.
 

Rllink

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I had to go look and my Kala does have a truss rod, or so least appears to. What is the purpose? Can you really crank in some neck relief into a scale length that short and does it actually do something?
 

kissing

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While I like the technical advantage of a truss rod, I think a lot of the higher-end ukes (as well as for classical guitars) don't have them.
The best set up instruments I've had have managed without truss rods.

So I wonder whether, at least in the context of ukuleles it is more a means to get away with more tolerance in quality control. I.e. if the neck is bent from the factory, you might be able to remedy it.
 

kissing

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I had to go look and my Kala does have a truss rod, or so least appears to. What is the purpose? Can you really crank in some neck relief into a scale length that short and does it actually do something?
It is for correcting the neck to have the ideal or your preferred amount of bow/relief.

Ideally, there should be a slight amount of relief - just enough so that the neck is bent slightly forward so the strings can vibrate without hitting the frets, but not too much that the strings feel uncomfortably distant from the frets. This, of course is only one part of the equation to a setup - you also need to factor in nut, saddle, frets and strings.

There are plenty of materials online on how it applies to guitar - same concept applies to ukulele. However, if you aren't confident about messing around with it yourself, leave it to the pros.
 
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Rllink

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It is for correcting the neck to have the ideal or your preferred amount of bow/relief.

Ideally, there should be a slight amount of relief - just enough so that the neck is bent slightly forward so the strings can vibrate without hitting the frets, but not too much that the strings feel uncomfortably distant from the frets. This, of course is only one part of the equation to a setup - you also need to factor in nut, saddle, frets and strings.

There are plenty of materials online on how it applies to guitar - same concept applies to ukulele. However, if you aren't confident about messing around with it yourself, leave it to the pros.
I'm familiar with what it does and how to adjust one. It just surprised me that a ukulele has enough of a neck that it would bend easily.
 

Gary52

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I've made slight adjustments to the neck relief on the Kala.
 

bsfloyd

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While I like the technical advantage of a truss rod, I think a lot of the higher-end ukes (as well as for classical guitars) don't have them.
The best set up instruments I've had have managed without truss rods.

So I wonder whether, at least in the context of ukuleles it is more a means to get away with more tolerance in quality control. I.e. if the neck is bent from the factory, you might be able to remedy it.
I wonder if a truss rod makes it easier to control greener woods used in mass pro instruments. When the wood is green (not as seasoned), it has a tendency to move. Surely a truss rod can help correct this. I would think that higher dollar instruments would be using more seasoned woods - less likely to move, and less reason for a truss rod. Just some 2 sense.
 

bbkobabe

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Truss rod ukes are the best! My Ponos are so good... Heavy but worth it.

On the other hand, my Oscar Schmidt rod-less Baritone is way less than wonderful... AND the solid top is starting to dip in a bit. It's a chore to play and getting worse...

Not recommended around here as a no rod alternative...