H-Expander Truss Rod
Hagstrom’s Patented H-Expander Truss Rod
The neck on your Hagstrom guitar is reinforced with our H-Expander metal truss rod. The design of the truss rod prevents twisting of the neck, and allows the neck to the be adjusted if there is uncomfortable playability between the 5-9th fret area, or even fret buzz in extreme conditions. We have incorporated this special H-Expander truss rod into your guitars for a number or reasons:
- To ensure that the neck on your guitar is as strong and trouble-free as possible
- To allow easy adjustment if/when possible. Please note that if you do not have adequate experience of adjusting truss rods in the past, we suggest to have a professional guitar technician to make such adjustments for you, to avoid possible permanent damage the instrument which may void warranty.
- The H-Expander truss rod also plays part in tonally enhancing the physical vibration and resonance of your instrument. It will increase the instruments sustain, and provide a sharper attack for Hagstrom players.
H-Expander Truss Rod Adjustment
To determine if the neck on your truss rod is out of alignment, follow this procedure:
With your left hand, depress the low E-string between the nut and the first fret. With your right hand, hold the same string against the fingerboard at the 12th fret.
There should be a minimum clearance (at least 0.005” (metric: 0.127mm)) between the bottom of the string and the top of the 5th fret. If the string clearance is more than 0.03” (Metric: 0.762mm) this would mean that your neck is “bowed” and could need to be adjusted.
To correct neck back bow (place more tension on the neck, to make it straighter), you first need to remove the truss rod cover plate on the headstock, and turn the truss rod nut (using a metric Allen Key: 3mm in size) counter-clockwise. Each movement of the Allen nut should be made using small increments of about 1/12 of a full turn and by placing slight pressure on the neck each time an adjustment is made to help set the neck into its new position.
To determine if the neck is bowed, follow the same procedure outlined above. If the E-string touches the 5th fret, the neck has a back bow which causes the frets to buzz when played at the first few frets.
To correct neck bowing, loosen the truss rod but by turning the Allen nut clockwise in small increments of about 1/12 of a full turn until a slight clearance can be seen at the 5th fret.
The location of the truss rod adjustment depends on which Hagstrom guitar you have. All Hagstrom electric guitars and electric basses have their truss rod adjustment at the headstock. If you own a Hagstrom acoustic guitar, all adjustments are made through the sound hole by the neck joint. HOWEVER, when making an adjustment to your Hagstrom acoustic guitar, bowed necks require clockwise movements and back bowed necks require counter-clockwise movements.
Lastly, not only does a proper setup of the H-Expander truss rod help to provide a more comfortability playing instrument and avoid fret buzz, but it also helps to improve the tone of the instrument. Necks with too much bow tend to sound “dull” and necks with extreme back bow have a tendency to sound “thin”. Ensure that your Hagstrom instrument has the truss rod perfectly adjusted for ultimate playing enjoyment.