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Fender truss rods - when did they get modern?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by T-boneParish, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. T-boneParish

    T-boneParish Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2016
    Austin, TX
    When did Fender come to their senses and start manufacturing truss rods that didn't require neck removal to adjust?
    Is there actually any benefit to the old-school truss rods? Can't think of any, but others know lots more about this topic than I do.
  2. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    They actually still make a few with no access.
    This from a few years ago.
    And this current model.
    Yeah, that's not an access hole, just decorative.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  3. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Answer: 1970's (Bullet truss rod)
    ahc and esa372 like this.
  4. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    American Series, Standards, and now Pro’s have had easy access to the truss rod for a long time now, going back to at least the 90’s. Not to mention most of the MIM models have access at the headstock. Where have you been?
    Aqualung60 and Spidey2112 like this.
  5. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    1951, I think. I’ve never had to remove a neck to access the truss rod nut on a heel-adjust Fender.
    Templar, Jim C, saabfender and 2 others like this.
  6. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    The singularity occurred right after 'vintage', and right at the exact moment of 'Aha'...
    4sight and Bodeanly like this.
  7. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Sometimes I forget my USA GL's birthday... removing the neck reminds how fast they grow up.
  8. mojomike001

    mojomike001 Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    Some of the pickguards don't have the access notch. For example, the gold annodized aluminum ones. The neck doesn't have to be fully removed, but can be loosened and popped up a bit to access the screw.

    Aqualung60 likes this.
  9. There are benefits. I think that the neck near the nut area is the worst place to remove more wood. Also it discourages people from messing with it to much if they are not knowledgeable. The main benefit for me is that I prefer the look of a headstock without the truss access.
    Templar and petrus61 like this.
  10. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Yeah it doesn't need to be removed , just the p/g and sometimes not even that . You can slip a small flat driver down in from the side and get enough bite to give it a bump . That never bothers me . Only bad thing that bothers me is if a bass is way too heavy like + 12 lbs. or that it's neck diving . I can deal with pretty much everything else . I only need that tr to work properly and we are good to go .
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    As noted above, the bullet truss rods appeared in the 1970s but only on J's, P's never had them. The first Ps with adjustment at the headstock were the Elite series of the 1980s.
    Alex Bass likes this.
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    The USA Geddy Lee does not have truss rod access.
    Aqualung60 and Spidey2112 like this.
  13. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    That's been my experience (I've not had to remove the pickguard, but I can see how you might in the adonised guard pictured earlier) - if the nut is properly lubricated and you manually take the stress off the neck (i.e. backbow it slightly with hands/knee), you don't tend to need too much purchase on the slot, so you can use quite a small driver to make it work.
    PWRL and fretno like this.
  14. smtp4me


    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have a 2013 MIM Geddy Signature with the truss rod screw at the heel of the neck, whereby I have to remove or at least loosen the neck to make adjustments. Granted, one bass model does not represent all Fender products, but yeah, I get the OP's frustration.
  15. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I DESPISE the old heel truss rod nut if I can’t get to it without removing, or adjusting something else. It’s one of those designs that stays there just because it’s period-correct, even though it sucks and makes no sense.
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Me too. But I still think the wheel adjuster they used on the Dimension was the way to go.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  17. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    True dat!
  18. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Be ambitious and drill an access hole from the bottom strap button to the heel adjustment. Luthier 101, people.
    Fun Size Nick, rllefebv and 4sight like this.
  19. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Ditto - I have however hacked up many pickguards.
    Fun Size Nick likes this.
  20. saabfender


    Jan 10, 2018
    I have a half-moon file you can borrow.

    If you can’t get a bridge-end truss rod adjustment, remove some material from the body and/or pickguard. We’re talking about bass guitars, not Faberge eggs.
    Aqualung60 and gln1955 like this.

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