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Thread: Adjustable truss rod?

  1. #1
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    Adjustable truss rod?

    I just heard that the 2012 Angelus has an adjustable truss rod. Does anyone know the reason for the change? The Angelus and Tonare Grand models were without any adjustment and PRS touted that none was necessary.

  2. #2
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Hi Brian,

    We listened to public opinion and changed the specs for the new production acoustic models to include our famous dual-action truss rod. However, the graphite rod is not going away, the Private Stock models will still be available with the graphite rod option.

  3. #3

    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    I'm sure they're great either way, but gotta say that I love the Tonare I have with the graphite reinforcement thing.

    In case anyone's thinking of ordering a Private Stock with the graphite rod option, I can vouch for the incredible stability on the neck. The guitar was shipped to me during the hottest, most humid week of last summer, and then got through a Michigan fall (dry), a Michigan winter (horrible) and now a mild spring, and the neck is as straight as the day it left the factory. It's really amazing.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    I on the other hand still have some legit concerns although that should not be confused with how much I love my Angelus. I do In truth I suspect my concerns arose more out of the reaction of the company than anything that I've here to fore experienced in the past. I suppose in general I write this because I'd love to hear from Shawn here. For the record I'm well aware of the history of carbon/graphite reinforced necks and for that matter non-adjustable necks. I still have my 60's D-18 my father bought in 1966 (which by the way has had the neck reset once and honestly could use another) and I also own and still record with a Modulus.

    Schef: the fact that your guitar made it through a year in Michigan weather and remains straight as the day it left the factory doesn't provide much long term piece of mind. Anything shy of that very statement would indeed indicate a total, complete and utter failure on the part of the system and truth be told a grand majority of the non adjustable Martins went some years before they failed. I would expect the PRS to remain straight as the day it left the factory (in the course of a year, or two or three) even if the system was flawed.

    As I mentioned earlier when I started this endeavor I called PRS (singularly because I couldn't find any info online that even remotely breached my questions and the dealer I purchased the instrument from was equally befuddled). It is NOT my nature to call guitar builders and ask simple sting gauge questions as I believe I've got that covered. However since very little has been published on the PRS non-adjustable necks I needed to have some confirmation/parameters that the builder felt the guitar was capable of. I know of NO manufacturer that doesn't readily have that kind of spec available. It should be noted here we're only talking about a standard medium set.

    To my surprise what I got was several layers of VERY non-committal, shoulder shrugging responses. To be fair (and I almost always am) maybe I caught a handful of folks that weren't educated enough to provide solid answers. On the other hand several promises to call me back went unfulfilled. What I got were responses like: "i don't really know of a reason why that might be a problem" Then: you'll probably be ok. Followed by: I think you'll be good if you don't go any heavier and finally: "go ahead and use mediums and if it warps the neck send it back and we'll fix it"

    I raised a little hell with my dealer who got an answer back pretty quick. The answer was use mediums you'll be fine. 5 days later I ran into a rep who said "no don't use mediums". Indeed I would have felt better if someone would have given me something definitive as if they actually trusted the system under certain proven guide-lines. I'm a professional, I don't ever asked endless ridiculous questions of manufacturers that I'm sure the Taylor folks endure on a daily basis. I needed to have a believable response from PRS and I didn't think that (all things considered, that is a new neck design) should present a problem. I finally got a legal-like e-mail from PRS saying the guitar would remain under warranty if I used medium strings. I'd of rather had Steve or Paul say..."string it up with mediums and enjoy it, it'll handle that with ease".

    Now two months later (after what appeared to be a WHOLE lot of shoulder shrugging on PRS's behalf) the system has been abandoned on stock guitars. I guess I'll take some comfort that the signatures apparently will still be graphite. But even then ya gotta ask why?

    I guess among other things the white elephant in the room would be if the graphite system indeed was an element of "better tone'' for the guitars, how will that effect the tone of the new production models and lastly, this would be directed at Shawn I suppose, am I traveling with a guitar that has a ticking time-bomb neck??

  5. #5
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Hi Joseph,

    Iím not sure I fully understand your first question. Please correct me if Iím wrong, but you seem to be asking ďWhat is the heaviest string gauge I can use on my PRS acoustic without damaging the guitar?Ē. The honest answer is, I donít know. We designed, build and string our acoustic guitars with 12-56 gauge strings at the factory. We feel this will allow the guitar to achieve optimum performance. Could you use heavier strings without damaging the guitar? Probably, but we donít recommend it.

    This is not unlike many manufacturers of high-end luxury and sports cars. They often recommend high octane, premium gasoline for their automobiles. Could you use lower octane, regular unleaded gasoline without harming the car? Probably, but they wouldnít recommend it. We are in essence saying the same thing. We suggest the use of 12-56 gauge strings and do not recommend anything heavier.


    When it comes to tone, Paul feels the graphite rod is the best sounding option, but then again Paul has an acute level of hearing most people cannot perceive. I believe that 99% of the people will not be able to hear a difference between a graphite rod and a traditional truss rod, I certainly cannot. Will you hear a difference? Only you can answer that question.

    Thanks for your feedback, I hope Iíve addressed your questions.

    Shawn

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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Thanks for the quick reply Shawn! Yea the question I was posing to you guys is would the guitar hold up with regular old medium gauge strings. 13-56. I even supplied the exact gauge string by string.

    The frustration then came with a very long list of answers from PRS which included. Definitely yes. Definitely no. Maybe. Maybe not. Probably. I don't see why not. You should be ok.

    I guess I was looking for some authoritative answer (yours works fine ) from the company as to what parameters the guitar was capable of. As it stood it felt VERY MUCH like PRS position was "gosh we don't know what the heck that neck might do". That's not instilling a lot of confidence in the end user for what is after all a fairly expensive guitar.

    Again I gotta say usually I'm not one of "those guys". I make my living here in Los Angeles doing music for television and motion pictures and have for many, many years. I use the guitar to make my living. I am decidedly not a bedroom player and I'm not inclined to bug manufacturers or need someone to hold my hand with any guitar questions. My question however and all things considered seemed legit.

    So on to 12-56. I'm totally fine with that. That's for the response Shawn and I promise I'll leave you guys alone!

  7. #7
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Hi Joseph,

    I apologize for the confusion early on, it was all rather new to us and our lines of communication were not moving as they should.

    Iím glad youíre enjoying your Angelus and we certainly appreciate your continued support!

    Shawn

  8. #8

    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Joseph, I'm in the same situation you are, with regard to professional use. I depend on it; in fact, it's my only acoustic guitar currently. I use the guitar for music for television commercials, documentaries, industrials, and TV projects.

    It may not be a big deal for a neck to need no adjustment after a year in LA, but trust me, it's a much bigger deal in Michigan, where in summer the humidity is often over 60% and in winter the humidity goes down below 20%, not to mention the extreme temperature changes. It was over 100 degrees and humid the day I got the guitar, and I can't imagine how hot and humid it was in the trucks. Within a couple of weeks, fall had started and it was cool and dry. While I do monitor and do my best to control the humidity at my studio, there are still fluctuations.

    So yes, I think it is significant. You may not, I'm cool with that.

    Do I think you're being a bit of a fussbudget over the issue of the graphite thing? Yeah, a bit. You're experienced enough to know the answers to all this stuff and to not make a big deal over it. PRS identified their recommended strings right in the stuff that came in the case, including the brand.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Naw not true Schef. My guitar shipped with a placard that said "your guitar shipped with D'Addario Bluegrass 80/20. I knew that going in since that info was readily available. It indeed came with absolutely no recommendations about what the guitar was capable of handling. Indeed by Shawn's own e-mail had I'd assumed that mediums would be under the umbrella of recommended I would have been wrong. So would have you.

    The situation could have easily been remedied except for the fact the PRS as a company came back with diametrically opposed suggestions. I'm totally cool with Shawn's answer and indeed that would have headed off the problem way back when.

    I'm willing to except PRS's position that their lines of communication was initially crossed. I'm not however willing to accept the questioning of string gauge on a newly created guitar line with a non-adjustable neck, brand new to the market as particularly crumugian-ish

  10. #10

    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna
    Naw not true Schef. My guitar shipped with a placard that said "your guitar shipped with D'Addario Bluegrass 80/20. I knew that going in since that info was readily available. It indeed came with absolutely no recommendations about what the guitar was capable of handling. Indeed by Shawn's own e-mail had I'd assumed that mediums would be under the umbrella of recommended I would have been wrong. So would have you.

    The situation could have easily been remedied except for the fact the PRS as a company came back with diametrically opposed suggestions. I'm totally cool with Shawn's answer and indeed that would have headed off the problem way back when.

    I'm willing to except PRS's position that their lines of communication was initially crossed. I'm not however willing to accept the questioning of string gauge on a newly created guitar line with a non-adjustable neck, brand new to the market as particularly crumugian-ish
    Joseph, the letter from PRS stating that their warranty would cover medium strings would have been plenty for me, and certainly tells you what you needed to know in the first place.

    If I preferred medium strings (I don't) I'd certainly use them without worry, since that's what's already on the guitar with its heavier bottom three strings. Shawn gave you conservative advice, as he should, since you made an issue over it. But it's much ado about nothing.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  11. #11
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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Scheff,

    PRS said in essence....medium strings may in fact destroy your guitar neck and indeed they didn't know what adhering to that gauge would ultimately mean to the health of the guitar..then they said... however...don't worry it's under warranty and we'll fix it when and if it's toast.

    Why would anyone with a modicum of common sense go down that path?

    I mean ok..they fix (hypothetically) my guitar which was destroyed by using medium strings which they indeed DO NOT recommend although they still warranty, then when I get that guitar back from PRS (which was fixed under warranty even though they told me not to use medium strings) what do I do?? Put lighter strings on the guitar? Why wouldn't I be a tad more sly and just do what they're now recommending?

    Come on man this is a stupid argument...even Shawn said there was indeed some confusion surrounding what was right and what was wrong for the guitar. I love my guitar but a die-hard fan boy attitude is too much for me. I just wanna be happy and confident knowing my $5000.00 investment is maintained properly so I don't have to have the neck reset twice...like my Martin. I certainly don't get the objections here.

    I have my answer and am happy. Mean while please feel free to string your guitar with whatever makes you happy...I'm good with that.

    Seems reasonable to me to put the issue to bed?

  12. #12

    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna
    Scheff,

    PRS said in essence....medium strings may in fact destroy your guitar neck and indeed they didn't know what adhering to that gauge would ultimately mean to the health of the guitar..then they said... however...don't worry it's under warranty and we'll fix it when and if it's toast.

    Why would anyone with a modicum of common sense go down that path?

    I mean ok..they fix (hypothetically) my guitar which was destroyed by using medium strings which they indeed DO NOT recommend although they still warranty, then when I get that guitar back from PRS (which was fixed under warranty even though they told me not to use medium strings) what do I do?? Put lighter strings on the guitar? Why wouldn't I be a tad more sly and just do what they're now recommending?

    Come on man this is a stupid argument...even Shawn said there was indeed some confusion surrounding what was right and what was wrong for the guitar. I love my guitar but a die-hard fan boy attitude is too much for me. I just wanna be happy and confident knowing my $5000.00 investment is maintained properly so I don't have to have the neck reset twice...like my Martin. I certainly don't get the objections here.

    I have my answer and am happy. Mean while please feel free to string your guitar with whatever makes you happy...I'm good with that.

    Seems reasonable to me to put the issue to bed?
    Joseph, you're not going to be happy with my reply.

    Recall that you jumped in with this complaint and objected to my simple statement that my guitar's neck was very solid over the past few seasons.

    Your Martin, like all Martins of that era, has no adjustable truss rod reinforcing the neck. It may have a T-bar, but may not have anything at all. And as you know, a T bar, if your guitar has one, is nothing at all like a carbon fiber reinforcement.

    I had a '69 Martin I bought new when I was in college. It's interesting that you bring the old Martins up. My Martin didn't make it a year without problems, and went back to the factory after the winter of '69-70 to have its neck straightened. Back then, they clamped the neck to a frame of some kind to straighten it, since there was no truss rod.

    You know darn well that it's very common for old Martins and other old guitars to need a neck reset. Yours is what, 46 years old? Talk about no big deal!

    It makes zero sense to compare the neck of an old Martin to a PRS, since the materials used are very different. The chance of your guitar being "destroyed by medium strings" as you claim, is about the same as the chance of it being destroyed by light gauge strings -- pretty close to zero.

    But the main reason I'm expressing disagreement with you is because you've overstated everything. You've called the carbon fiber "experimental." The truth is that you know it isn't; you claim to already have a guitar with a carbon fiber neck, the Modulus.

    You've implied that PRS gave you the runaround. Well, the truth is they sent you something in writing saying they'd stand behind the warranty even if you changed string gauges. That's hardly a runaround. You asked people on the phone, and you weren't satisfied. But you have a written guarantee.

    You've talked about a "ticking time-bomb neck." What's the point of all the hyperbole?

    Shawn is a good corporate citizen, and gave you the safest of answers. I wouldn't have been quite so kind.

    Incidentally, it's my understanding that Martin Simpson plays medium gauge strings with a heavy on the high E. I'm willing to bet this hasn't changed with his PRS.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

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    Senior Member 11top's Avatar
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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman
    I'm sure they're great either way, but gotta say that I love the Tonare I have with the graphite reinforcement thing.

    In case anyone's thinking of ordering a Private Stock with the graphite rod option, I can vouch for the incredible stability on the neck. The guitar was shipped to me during the hottest, most humid week of last summer, and then got through a Michigan fall (dry), a Michigan winter (horrible) and now a mild spring, and the neck is as straight as the day it left the factory. It's really amazing.
    Les, I have no doubt that the graphite TR is great and solid as a rock. My problem with it is that not everybody likes the action set the same. I like a little straighter neck than what comes from the factory, and I want the option to make that adjustment. I have two PS Angelus models, and both have adjustibles. I think they may be the first two actually. They play fantastic (but I admit that I have not adjusted the TR on either, but I want the option).
    Sh*tter's full

  14. #14

    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by 11top
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman
    I'm sure they're great either way, but gotta say that I love the Tonare I have with the graphite reinforcement thing.

    In case anyone's thinking of ordering a Private Stock with the graphite rod option, I can vouch for the incredible stability on the neck. The guitar was shipped to me during the hottest, most humid week of last summer, and then got through a Michigan fall (dry), a Michigan winter (horrible) and now a mild spring, and the neck is as straight as the day it left the factory. It's really amazing.
    Les, I have no doubt that the graphite TR is great and solid as a rock. My problem with it is that not everybody likes the action set the same. I like a little straighter neck than what comes from the factory, and I want the option to make that adjustment. I have two PS Angelus models, and both have adjustibles. I think they may be the first two actually. They play fantastic (but I admit that I have not adjusted the TR on either, but I want the option).
    Not disagreeing at all, I think it's great that PRS offers the adjustable neck for those who prefer it!

    My reason for posting on the thread originally was simply to say that the carbon fiber is doing its job and working very, very well for me. It's good that PRS offers both options.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

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    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Je#us dude. Drop it. You win. Leave me alone.

  16. #16

    Re: Adjustable truss rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna
    Je#us dude. Drop it. You win. Leave me alone.
    [King Arthur has just cut the Black Knight's last leg off]
    Black Knight: All right, we'll call it a draw.
    King Arthur: [Preparing to leave] Come, Patsy.
    [King Arthur and Patsy ride off]
    Black Knight: [calling after King Arthur] Oh, oh, I see! Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!

    --Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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    All wooden guitars will eventually need a neck re-set with or without an adjustable truss rod. The only wooden acoustic guitar I know of that might never need a neck reset is a McPherson guitar, and maybe a PRS with the graphite truss rod. McPherson Guitars do not have an "adjustable" truss rod but they do have a carbon fiber truss rod. Also on a McPherson guitar the fretboard is not glued to the to the body so the body can move and the neck will not. The neck on a McPherson Guitar is a bolt on so it can be removed very easy if a neck re-set is needed. The reason for a neck reset is because of the body changes not the neck. The Holy Grail of Martin guitars (Martins made in the 40's) all had a non adjustable ebony truss rod. Gibson invented the Adjustable truss rod in the 1920's. Martin started using an adjustable truss rod in 1985. If a guitar needs a neck reset the adjustable truss rod will be no help. I don't think the PRS acoustic guitars need an adjustable truss rod. I'm not a big McPherson guitar fan, I just mentened it because it is in the same price range as a PRS and it also has a carbon fiber non adjustable truss rod. Just like PRS.

  18. #18
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    Looks like PRS recomends Med bottom Light tops for there acoustic guitars Med/Lites. 12, 16, 25, 35, 45, 56. I use D'Adario EXP Bluegrass strings.http://www.prsaccessories.com/collec...oustic-strings

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