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Who's got vintage style truss rods?


Fractal Fanatic
I have a MIM limited edition strat and MJT/Allparts jazzmaster with heel access truss rods. I have a capo so I can tweak at home, but haven't attempted it as yet.

Heel access team, did this sway your decision to buy in any way? Are you making truss rod adjustments yourself?

Note: this isn't a debate about which is better (and I left out micro-tilt), just curious as to how much others care about this spec.

Happy playing!


I’ve done them to be authentic, but practically they are kind of a pain due to access. Which is why they changed the design in the first place no doubt, only to bring it back when people wanted to be vintage.

I don’t really adjust too often though so not a big deal in the end.


I have heel access on a Tele. I mostly find it annoying. The capo trick works great to keep the strings on the pegs.
Measure, remove neck, adjust, install neck, tune, measure, play to check feel, repeat....


Yeah they are a pain. StewMac sells a spoke wheel type replacement nut that works nicely for some necks. It sticks out of the neck heel a little, so you have to route the neck pocket and pickguard a little for access. If you live in an area that requires frequent adjustments, it's a worthwhile mod to keep from having to take the neck on and off all the time.



I hate them and it bugs the crap out of me that I can't order a 7.25 radius neck from Warmoth without getting the heel adjust truss rod. What the hell does the radius have to do with the truss rod? I emailed them once and asked them and got a "just because" type answer.


Fractal Fanatic
I have a heel access Strat. Hate that about the guitar.

Yep. Mr fender may have just saved the day for me though.

I had hoped Bill Nash would do a headstock truss rod if asked, but a large dealer told me that's a no go. Likely going to order one anyway and do the stew mac mod.


Fractal Fanatic
I hate them and it bugs the crap out of me that I can't order a 7.25 radius neck from Warmoth without getting the heel adjust truss rod. What the hell does the radius have to do with the truss rod? I emailed them once and asked them and got a "just because" type answer.

Lots of things get done and/or done a certain way 'just because'. We are creatures of habit and are not in the habit of critically examining the things we do. I remember when I got into pedal building, first using kits, then sourcing my own stuff. Until one day I asked myself, why do I still build pedals with side mounted jacks? I started out with buildyourownclone kits, who had side mounts, but I got a few generalguitargadget kits, and they have top mounts. I liked that better. And yet I kept on building side mounts for way too long. Creatures of habit!


Fractal Fanatic
But vintage sounds better! just ask all the if it aint a tube, or if it aint tone wood guys.

I have many Charvels with the vintage heel adjuster, but prefer the head stock, or new heel wheel by far.


I slighly cut a very clean and small U-shaped access hole in all of my CS strats that have this setup. I took the neck off to do that and also trimmed the pickguard.

I then use this tool and do all the adjustments myself:
I actually prefer the heel mount setups as I have Floyd roses on all of my guitars and it is a bit of a pain to adjust at the top of the neck with the nut and bar retainer being there.


Fractal Fanatic
I've had a couple of Tylers and they have the adjustment at the heel. They do cut out the pickguard/body for easy access to it though. The only thing to remember is to lower the neck pickup before adjusting it, or the cover will get nicked.

I would never buy a totally vintage style one without the intention to modify the heel access.


My Anderson is 17 years old and has the heel adjust. It hardly ever needs it but there is a way to do it without taking off the neck. Bruce showed me while I was there visiting. You use a long skinny screwdriver, and basically use it as a lever and insert into the slot and in a conical motion loosen or tighten. It's hard to explain. But I just do it by loosening the neck if I ever need to. Scared to mess up the finish.


Heel access is traditional. I like my RI style guitars to have it. Adjustment is relatively painless when done @ string change. However, is a real pain if your particular neck is vulnerable to rapid shifting with the weather. This usually happens with one piece figured necks. If you want a figured neck get one with a fingerboard cap and you'll avoid the headache. (graphite rods are a huge plus as well) I completely understand for a player to shy away from heel truss rods when there are so many other practical alternatives.

Andy Eagle

Power User
Vintage single rod has a tone so you just have to put up with it on vintage style instruments. They do require seasonal adjustment though. Whoever thought up bracing wood against metal in this way forgot about the different expansion/contraction rates and made a thermostat that incorporates humidity for the fun of it.:tearsofjoy:
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