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Manouche guitars: Why no trussrod?

BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
I'm curious about their decision to stop using adjustable trussrods in favor of a fixed aluminum reinforcement bar.


-How will this affect tone?

-What about the longevity of the guitar?

I was sort of thinking of buying a Manouche, but the change has got me worried. I understand that's the way original Selmers were built, but i considered the trussrod an improvement, even high level luthiers like Dupont use them.
If Manouche wants to get even closer to Selmers shouldn't changing the neck wood to walnut have priority?
I feel the lack of possibility to adjust neck relief seriously limits setup, but...
Am I exaggerating?



  • manoucheguitarsmanoucheguitars New MexicoNew
    Posts: 199
    Hi Harry, we made that decision on the adjustable rods because, true, the original Selmers didn't have them, the overall structual integrety is improved (some would differ) and the tonal characteristics have improved as well. Basically if the guitar is built correctly, it doesn't need an adjustable truss rod. I have sold several now without an adjustable rod and players love them. I set them up here and really saw and heard the differences after I strung them up. Michael H will soon have one and he can offer his opinion as well. My understanding is that some custom builders started putting adjustable rods in their guitars because they were losing sales and customers wanted them (though the guitars didn't need them). Anyway like most things it's a personal choice... I like them much better with out that adjustable rod. Of course the guitars do have the rod in the neck like the original for support.

    Robert at Manouche
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Thanks for the info Robert.
    I'm considering buying a Manouche sometime in the near future. Still there are a few things i don't fully understand yet.

    So even with major weather changes and after a lot of years the guitar will still have maximum playability, is this right?
    I'm worried because I heard a lot of the original Selmers are now unplayable.

    Is it necessary to change bridges (for height) now and then to compensate the relief?

    Other non-truss rod issues:

    Are there extra bridges included with the guitars?

    Why aren't the guitars built with walnut necks like the originals?

    I read in a review your bridges are 2-piece ebony, Is this true?

    Where can I try one personally in the US?

    Thanks in advance.
  • mcgroup53mcgroup53 Bloomington, IN USA✭✭✭✭ 1951 Ep Broadway
    Posts: 74
    Regarding the non-adjustable truss rod issue, the best vintage Martins all do not have an adjustable rod. The early Martins used a steel T-bar to reinforce the neck, and the best 1945 D-18 I have ever played didn't even have that in it due to the wartime scarcity of steel for non-essential uses. It has an ebony rod in the neck and sounds fantastic, and that guitar has never had a neck issue. The newest Martin D-18 Authentic series guitars that are 100% accurate replicas of the 1937 guitar have a t-bar and sound absolutely awesome, much better than the nearly identical D-18GE model that does have an adjustable truss rod.

    Additionally, there is much less string tension on a Selmer-style neck than a steel-string guitar, making a truss rod less important
  • Joli GadjoJoli Gadjo Cardiff, UK✭✭✭✭ Derecho, Bumgarner - VSOP, AJL
    Posts: 542
    Patenottes guitars don't have a truss rod either, but the neck is in Linden which is apparently a little more sturdy than the usual walnut or mahogany.
    - JG
  • mmaslanmmaslan Santa Barbara, CANew
    Posts: 87
    My Collins has aluminum reinforcement bars like the original Selmers and I haven't had any trouble, though I admit I was anxious about it at first. Michael believes truss rods actually contribute to unevenness in the fretboard. Le Voi does not put truss rods in his standard models either. But of course plenty of fine builders do.
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    if a guitar is built correctly it doesn't need a truss rod....

    therefore must we conclude that guitars with trussrods are NOT built correctly

    Early Martins without truss rods are nearly a 100% "failure rate" for neck resets .. yes I know there are exceptions...

    I owned a D-`18GE and have played the "authentic" no discernable difference in tone .. I have owne a dozen Martins.. mostly dreds and dating from 1929-2003
    I have played D-18 V models which I prefer over the authentic or GE.. tone is subjective
    and my thought is that the truss rod or lack thereof is a minor portion of the tonal equation...

    Linden ..... linden aka basswood is the same wood used as subfrmaes in Barka Loungers and much of the "stuffed" furniture you buiy

    it is tonally dead.. soft as cotton wood and prove to twisting and warping..
    it is used because it is "homogenous" and cheap

    absolutely no comparison to the much more stable durable mahogany and walnut

    PS linden smells like cat pee

    I use it for carving do many others
    but for instrument construction... never
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