I have a Stella copy on the drawing board that will have a trapeze type tailpiece with a floating bridge. Would it be better to install a truss rod or will a carbon fiber rod do the job? O yeah, there will be steel strings. Thanks folks, I really LOVE this forum.
If it's 12 fret to the body with hardwood or a mahogany neck that is not super thin, the fretboards is at least 5 mm thick and the strings 0.11 or less, a carbon rod will work very fine. If it's a 14 fret, a thin neck, soft neckwood and/or 0.13 strings a truss rod is preferred.
With a carbon rod you will most likely get some relief with strings on at tension. Maybe perfect or maybe not. To be sure I always test the neck with temporary mounted frets and strings at tension. The guitar is put in a version of the "Erlewine Neck Jig", the strings and frets are taken away and the fretboard sanded to the relief you really like. After the proper refret, the neck will bend to the relief you want at tension and the carbon rod will keep it like that.
What Roger said seems reasonable. But my thinking is what would negative would arise from putting in an adjustable truss rod, rather than a fixed reinforcement of a CF rod? A double action truss rod would give more scope for adjustment. It is not authentic for a Stella instrument - but neither is carbon fibre. I don't think that is a problem because it maks sense to use new technology to our advantage. Just my $0.02.
A truss rod is strong and adjustable. Very convenient sometimes. The drawback is the weight permanently added to the neck and in my opinion the permanent loss of "tone". A carbon rod have about the same weight as the wood you take away. Done right there will be no need for adjustment ;-)
Thank you Roger, much appreciated
Thanks for your reply Mark
In a new build, you can't go wrong with either. I think Mike Hauver builds Stella replicas with an adj. truss. On badly bowed Stella necks (vintage) I'll remove the board and inlay cf rods for stiffness and to eliminate the excess bow.
Advantage to the adj rod is it's adjustable .. advantage to the cf rods is they're invisible and, like Roger said, a 'wash' weight-wise. I personally like light weight guitars. Tom