Truss Rod Location- Which do you Prefer

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Klaxxi, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Headstock Access

    133 vote(s)
  2. Heel Access

    102 vote(s)
  1. Klaxxi


    Mar 6, 2017
    Beaumont, TX
    So on most basses the truss rod access is either located at the headstock or at the heel of the neck, with a cutout or wheel. Which of the two do you prefer and what are the advantages/disadvantages of either that would make a bass manufacturer chose to make their instrument that way? If you were in the market for say a custom bass which one would you prefer it to have?
  2. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    Depends on where the adjustment screw or nut is. If it’s behind and underneath the nut then I prefer heel. If it’s right through to the top like my Kubicki’s then headstock end.
    Low84 likes this.
  3. I don't really care one way or the other, but I'm used to the Ibanez headstock with the nifty slide open access cover ... really simple.
    Alik, 4dog and MattZilla like this.
  4. the_home

    the_home Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    I have a lot of experience with 6 string electrics, which almost universally are headstock adjustments and those that aren't are generally a pain in the rear (70s Gretschs). So I voted headstock. I'm more comfortable with what I have more experience doing.
    micgtr71 likes this.
  5. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Wheel at the heel is the easiest for me. I don't have a problem with the truss rod at the headstock, but I find that Musicman's style the easiest. I hate the vintage style where you have to remove the neck and adjust the truss rod with a phillips screwdriver.
  6. Lee Kirkham

    Lee Kirkham

    Jan 14, 2013
    Mesa, AZ
    This is one where I'm torn. I prefer the ease of access the headstock version gives, but I like the look of the heel version. *sigh*
    RBrownBass, leto and Eric ER like this.
  7. Anything is better than 8 of my 10 Fender basses...
    Should be a no brainer: easy access with a tool nearly everyone has at hands without removing parts or damaging anything.
    O.K. one can manage it, but truss-rod access was one of the weak points of the otherwise so genial first designs of Leo Fender.
    The MusicMan version was much better.
    leto and jnsnj like this.
  8. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    Prefer at the heel. Without a cover.

    I hate having to remove a cover from the headstock, then try to put it back. Small screws in a tight space. Frustrating.
  9. maplenecked


    Dec 1, 2017
    I like heal with the wheel or the hex-key. If it’s old school and requires neck/PG removal it’s a bit of a chore, sometimes try to sneak in there without removing either and end up getting a little scratch on the pickgaurds lol. It’s funny though because I feel like the truss rods on the more easy-to-adjust heal truss (wheel/hex key) end up needing adjustments more often than my old school ones. Prbly just part of my brain talking me out of making the adjustments on the old school ones :D
    mannysilvers and basslicks like this.
  10. basslicks

    basslicks Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2015
    I prefer the heel, especially when compared to headstock access with a plate covering it.

    Best IMO is the wheel at the heel. No real special tools needed and it’s easier to gauge exactly how much I’m turning it.
    gebass6, Planespotter and Emre Hanli like this.
  11. I think the Fenders with the truss rods at the heel with the hex key are the easiest I've had, I hate the Fenders where you need to take off the pickguard and use a screwdriver although that's the way my first 20 years of Fenders were but never took the pickguard off, I just nicked the pick guard, never even heard of taking of the pickguard until I got to this forum. I have an american Hotrod P bass where I have to take of the pickguard also. PITA. I've owned many Rics too and after taking off the TRC on the headstock they're not too bad once you get the hang of two truss rods.
  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Wheel at the heel
  13. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    I prefer the convenience of the adjustment at the headstock, but prefer the look of the headstock when the adjustment is at the heel. The best of both worlds is the hex adjustment at the heel. Way easier than the vintage-style truss rod adjusting at the heel.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  14. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Headstock or wheel at the heel.

    Ironically, neither of my current main instruments have that. They are both "vintage Fender" style at the heel. But I haven't needed to adjust one of them in seven years (seriously, and I measure) and the other since my initial just-got-it-home setup three months ago, I guess I'll survive.

    - John
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
    mikewalker likes this.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Heel if it's got a wheel, headstock if it doesn't. But I really don't care where it is, although some of them that require you to unbolt the neck can make you hate life.
  16. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    Wheel at the heel for the win! You can’t use a nail to adjust any other truss rod system!
  17. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    So much this. I have several warmoth instruments with heel adjust that you have to remove to adjust, and I hate it.
    JimmyM likes this.
  18. Afc70

    Afc70 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
  19. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I like the T wrench adjustment provided with the Fender American Std, Series, and Pro Basses. FWIW, the T wrench also works for headstock adjustment on the MIM Basses. Quick and easy!!
    jnsnj likes this.
  20. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    I will not buy a bass that requires loosening or removing the neck to adjust the truss rod.

    That is simply a bad design.

    Of course i prefer neck through, so not an issue.

    Also the reason why the Jazz is a MIM.
    Dan B, chip134 and todd burns like this.
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