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Thread: no adjustable truss rod?

  1. #11

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    My old Pono mahogany tenor has a truss rod. I never needed it until I did and then it fixed a buzzing problem for me. My Kala Baritone has a truss rod too.
    Kamaka (S) Gold Label, Bonanza (C) Cherry Oreo, Pono (T) mahogany, KoAloha (T), Kala (B) Cedar top/Acacia laminate.

  2. #12

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    For lower end things I've only seen any kind of adjustable rods on banjo ukes (around $100), and with nylon strings I've had some builders say just use anchor bolts if you're building something cheap like a drumhead banjo uke.
    I've never had one, but I'm wondering how you'd get at one anyway. It's outside on the neck? Seems it would be a pain to get at in the body

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain-janeway View Post
    For lower end things I've only seen any kind of adjustable rods on banjo ukes (around $100), and with nylon strings I've had some builders say just use anchor bolts if you're building something cheap like a drumhead banjo uke.
    I've never had one, but I'm wondering how you'd get at one anyway. It's outside on the neck? Seems it would be a pain to get at in the body
    I think you’re confusing an adjustable truss rod (which is buried in the neck under the fretboard) with the coordinator rods on banjos, which are inside the pot.
    The coordinator rods can adjust string height on banjos by “warping” the pot slightly, thus changing the angle off the strings vis a vis the fretboard.

    An adjustable truss rod in a neck is accessible by a bolt head in the peghead or inside the body of the guitar ( or uke) at the neck heel block. It’s there to adjust relief (bowing) in the neck.

    My opinion of truss rods in ukuleles is that they’re heavy, throw the balance off, and are not necessary in even a baritone with nylon or fluorocarbon strings. If the instrument has steel strings, then that is a different matter.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Kiwaya KPC-1M; Kiwaya KCU-1, Takumi TC-1M, Takumi TC-3K, Musicguymic’s Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    I think Cocobolo uses a strip of Cocobolo in the neck partially to use as decoration, partially to use as a truss rod of sorts. I'm not sure if any of my other ukuleles have a truss rod, but I only have one Baritone. I know Caramel began to use truss rods in their instruments a couple of years ago, and many now ship with them.
    Many ukulele makers have a stiffener center section of wood in their necks. It looks good and helps to keep the neck straight and true. Not just preventing bowing, but gives greater torsional rigidity as well. Is it needed? Many higher end ukuleles do just fine without it.

    Pono tenors come with a hex wrench for adjusting the truss rod. The rod is accessible through the sound hole at the neck block. Easy to do.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 05-05-2020 at 09:46 AM.
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    I think you’re confusing an adjustable truss rod (which is buried in the neck under the fretboard) with the coordinator rods on banjos, which are inside the pot.
    The coordinator rods can adjust string height on banjos by “warping” the pot slightly, thus changing the angle off the strings vis a vis the fretboard.

    An adjustable truss rod in a neck is accessible by a bolt head in the peghead or inside the body of the guitar ( or uke) at the neck heel block. It’s there to adjust relief (bowing) in the neck.

    My opinion of truss rods in ukuleles is that they’re heavy, throw the balance off, and are not necessary in even a baritone with nylon or fluorocarbon strings. If the instrument has steel strings, then that is a different matter.
    Didn't know if they worked the same. Sounds like similar but not quite. Thanks for clarifying. Getting that neck break angle on those little banjo ukes I make drives me crazy.

  6. #16
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    I have ukuleles from sopranino to baritone. The only one with a truss rod is an Enya camp uke soprano.
    - Laura

    Martin, KoAloha, Brueko, Mele, Mainland, Outdoor, Kala, Enya, Harmony, Tempo, Globe, Vega, Silvertone, Kay, Luna, Vorson, Zither Heaven, First Act

  7. #17
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    In guitars the truss rod adjusts the relief in the neck. You use it to put just a bit of a bow into the neck. It has always been my understanding that ukuleles don't have relief. None of mine have any relief. They are straight as can be, no bow what so ever. I would also think that ukulele necks are short and would be hard to bend if you even wanted to put some relief into it. So if that is the case, what purpose would truss rod in a ukulele serve?
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    In guitars the truss rod adjusts the relief in the neck. You use it to put just a bit of a bow into the neck. It has always been my understanding that ukuleles don't have relief. None of mine have any relief. They are straight as can be, no bow what so ever. I would also think that ukulele necks are short and would be hard to bend if you even wanted to put some relief into it. So if that is the case, what purpose would truss rod in a ukulele serve?
    Most ukuleles, even high-end ones, don't have a truss rod for adjusting relief or anything else but some certainly do. For example, the Gold Tone Little Gem banjo ukes have a truss rod for adjusting relief. Ponos have been mentioned several times, and I also have a Pono baritone that has a truss rod. Not sure if the relief is adjustable. To be fair, there's generally no reason for an ukulele to have a truss rod but some manufacturers do use them. Go figure.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    ...... what purpose would truss rod in a ukulele serve?
    The only reason that comes to my mind is ensuring that a tenor ukulele equipped with an adjustable truss rod will always land on its peghead if dropped from a height of more than three feet.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Kiwaya KPC-1M; Kiwaya KCU-1, Takumi TC-1M, Takumi TC-3K, Musicguymic’s Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  10. #20
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    As said in a previous posts, a truss rod enables adjustment of the neck's "relief." Thus, it provides an additional tool for tweaking action & intonation, over & above nut & saddle adjustments. If I was choosing between 2 ukes, both of which had equal appeal to me as to sound, playability, appearance, and price -- but one had an adjustable truss and the other didn't -- I would certainly buy the one with the truss rod.

    I would agree that absence of a truss rod is not a deal killer, but I do NOT consider that it is totally useless on a uke. There are other things besides string tension that can adversely affect a uke's neck -- humidity, heat, etc. Fixing a screwed up neck is almost always VERY easy with a truss rod, but it can be a real difficult job without one.

    All of my Pono & Kala baritone's have adjustable truss rods. Oh -- I also have a Caramel with a rod but I believe it's there because Caramel uses cheaper, weaker, less rigid materials to construct their necks -- that's just an opinion so don't shoot me.
    Last edited by bellgamin; 05-06-2020 at 12:32 PM. Reason: re-word

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