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Graphite reinforcement rods?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 4string4ever, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. 4string4ever

    4string4ever Guest

    Apr 18, 2004
    Orlando, Florida
    In my research for my custom instrument, I have discovered that there is conflicting information regarding graphite reinforcement rods in the neck. The pros are obvious, but a con I've seen a couple of times is that the graphite adversely affects the tone of the instrument. Anyone know about this?
  2. the most of the spectors ive had had the graphite reinforced necks, i noticed no problems with tone, they all sounded great... i think you would have to be super anal to notice a difference
  3. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I don't think the pro's are obvious. It's been my experience that I don't believe they add any stability to a neck. If the wood used is good it will be plenty stable. If the wood isn't good, graphite will not save it.
  4. i think it must do some good. otherwise well known and respected people like stuart spector and others wouldnt bother to put it in there... after all its not like they need to rely on gimmicks to sell basses
  5. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I didn't say it was gimmick, just not needed. There are just as many luthiers that don't use them as do. If it gives you some sense of security then by all means get them in your bass. I've seen several necks warp that had them. I've built necks with and without and didn't notice any difference positive or negative. If you want to use something that probably will do something use steel like Warmoth. There rods are much stiffer but the downside is that they add considerable weight.
  6. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    It is kind of hard to put the Genie back in the bottle. Once the bass-buying public thinks graphite in the neck is a positive thing, you can bet most manufacturers won't go against the herd mentality. The theory behind graphite rods is to increase the stiffness of the neck without significantly increasing the weight. Sounds good in theory, but in actual practice, I don't think it works as well as people think it does. Part of the problem are the adhesives used. If you embed the graphine rods in the neck with epoxy (the usual practice), then the result is still fairly flexible because the epoxy glue posesses flexibility in abundance. If you could find an adhesive that bonded well with both the wood and graphite that was as hard and stiff as glass, then you might have something. CA glues might fill the bill, but I would worry about starved glue joints and long term stability. The old style Fender single truss rod will pretty much guarantee the neck will assume an s-curve over the years. I am not a fan of double acting truss rods in guitars, but I feel like they are the best solution for basses. They solve the s-curve problem without having to resort to graphite in the neck.
  7. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Graphite will provide additional rigidity as long as it is installed with the care and precision the truss rod assembly is usually tended to.

    Channels for carbon or graphite (I use carbon fiber) need to be nearly the exact size of the material that is to live there. Epoxy or other two-part adhesives are the more appropriate in insuring that there is a void free, absolute marriage of dissimilar material.

    Having graphite minimizes dead spots and can offer up better sustain.
  8. Knuckle Head said:
    As I remember, Fender made some play of this fact. But has it really worked. I played a new Hot Rod P the other day and found the usual dead spots. :meh:

  9. DW


    Jun 22, 2000
    1. I don't think there's a ghost of a chance that the bass-buying public as a whole will ever think graphite in the neck is a positive thing.

    2. You sound like you've read too many Warmoth catalogs. I have seen loads of older basses with the original style truss rod and no s-curve. I own a couple myself. Truth is, all adjustable truss rods compress the wood. I have nothing against the two-piece expansion rods, but we'll see 30 years from now if they really prevent s-curves.