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Thread: no adjustable truss rod?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019

    Default no adjustable truss rod?

    So, yeah, I learned that my new and also my favorite baritone ukulele, a Mitchell MUB 70-S, doesn't have an adjustable truss rod. WTF??
    Even my Mom's $29 Kala has one.
    Right now it's no issue - the neck is n i c e. But I'm wondering if that will eventually be the end of this instrument.
    It just dismays me a little, since every other "detail" type of thing on this instrument doesn't scream "cost-cutting shortcut!"
    Makes me wonder if any of you all's ukuleles also eschew the truss rod.. Yes? No?
    Maybe there's a non adjustable rod in there, not sure, but not an adjustable one.
    I know the Mitchell is on the cheapo spectrum price-wise, but I've been so impressed and delighted with every other aspect of it that this just makes me wonder.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Michigan, USA


    To my knowledge, most ukuleles do not have truss rods, adjustable or otherwise. Some baritones do, as do some 6-string or 8-string instruments, but the majority of all other sizes don't. The tension of having four fluorocarbon or nylon strings just doesn't necessitate a truss rod like having 6 steel strings on a guitar would.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2A | KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia) | KoAloha Opio KCO-10S (spruce top)
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Kekaha, Kauai


    The vast majority of ukuleles, as well as the majority of Spanish guitars do not have a truss rod. Some builders may add a non-adjustable carbon fiber rod for insurance.
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.


    Where do you get the idea from that your mom's $29 Kala has a truss rod?
    Never heard of it or seen it.

    Classical strung instruments don't normally have truss rods except sometimes fixed truss rods.

    Steel strung guitars have adjustable truss rods yet most classical guitars do not.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)


    I'm glad you are delighted with your Mitchell, but I have to say most reports around here have a less than favorable view of the brand as a whole. So consider yourself blessed. Play it. Enjoy it. Don't worry about it.
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1


  6. #6


    As said by others, it has generally been more 'unusual' to actually see a truss rod on an ukulele.

    Companies like Kala and Pono have started doing it, and some others have followed suit. But not everyone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    Pono has really sold having an adjustable truss rod in their tenors and Baritones.

    But, I have had to use it on my Pono MGT. I picked it up after not playing it for a couple of weeks and it was suddenly buzzing as I strummed it.

    The fretboard was absolutely flat instead of have a slight concave shape. I adjusted the truss rod. And no more buzz.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  8. #8


    It might be worth noting that many of the high end Hawaiian makers don't have truss rods either, like Kamaka, Kanilea and Koaloha.

    Truss rod is not necessarily a sign of quality.
    It's definitely a handy feature, but not necessarily considered essential.

    Many high end classical guitars don't bother with a truss rod either. It's not traditional.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019


    My Pono MT-E and three Kala Elites all have truss rods but neck relief was perfect from get-go and I've never needed to touch them. Like others have written, truss rods are rare on ukuleles and not really needed. In fact, I'd rather not have them on a such a small low tension instrument (save a wee bit of weight and avoid strange vibrations). On the other hand, I've had to mess with the truss rods on my steel strings guitars a lot, probably because of the high tension of metal strings. My classical guitars have always been very stable and very few, save for my Takamines, have truss rods.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota


    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.
    My ukulele blog:

    My ukulele YouTube channels:

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