Flush rear mounted truss makes routine adjustment easy.

All of our Stick models feature an easy to adjust rear mounted truss rod for maintaing the perfect profile for tapping on your instrument. First introduced in 1990, Emmett was granted patent 4,953,435 for his innovative truss design, which can provide tention in two directions to compensate for both bowing and arching.   In 2010 he instroduced a new "4-Way" truss rod that divides the board into two independently adjustable fret zones. This new system is used on all models except the short-scale Alto Stick and Stick Guitar, and the NS Stick, all of which still have a single truss nut adjustment deu to their shorter scale length.

You can read Emmett's 2010 announcement about his new 4-Way truss below.

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Adjustments at both ends for a more refined fretboard profile

announcement by Emmett Chapman, March 2010

The Stick's new "Divided Truss System"™ consists of a single truss rod firmly pinned down at the midpoint in its rear channel of the neck, thus creating two independently adjustable truss sections. This allows individual truss settings for the lower and higher fretted regions.

During my final setup phase in recent Stick production runs, I've enjoyed having this refined control over the entire fretboard profile, individually "tweaking" each nut at opposite ends of the truss rod.

If your Stick has this new feature, I hope you'll enjoy a greater precision in maintaining an optimum setup for very low tapping "action" and light touch. Your music and technique should benefit from the fluent dynamics, expression, comfort and speed that such a setup enables.

Typically, the newly added adjustment nut nearest the headstock should be set looser to create some small "relief" at frets 2 to 8, forming a slightly concave ("bowed") profile at this lower pitched region. At the other end, the original adjustment nut under the belt-hook is typically set tighter to form as straight a profile as possible from the middle to highest pitched frets.

This new truss rod invention actually adjusts four ways. An adjustable nut assembly sits in its own T-shaped "thrust cavity" at each end of the rod, and can "pull" against the inner T-cavity wall, acting in tension (like a cable) from the rear to correct any bowing of its fretboard region. If need be, it can also "push" against the outer T-cavity wall, acting in compression (like a jack) to expand the rear neck surface and thus straighten any arching (back-bending) of its corresponding fretboard region.

As with my earlier patented truss rod, this "Divided Rod"™ sits flush with the rear neck surface, at its maximum point of force, and thus acts in an unusually straightforward and predictable manner to immediately straighten the neck.

Tension is usually all that is needed at both sections of the rod, by way of tightening each nut just enough to counteract the pull of the strings, thus straightening any bow wherever it might be located along the fretboard. In some cases, however, an opposite truss force is needed to conquer a convex neck profile at some particular fretted region, and then the compressive force is available for convenient use, by way of turning one or even both nuts in the opposite direction.

Of course, both halves of the Divided Truss Rod, though fastened stationary at the rod's midpoint, are still slightly interactive as seen from the string action. If you tighten the original nut under the belt-hook to straighten the higher pitched region, the strings will drop a bit lower to the fret tips all along the board, and inevitably, the string heights at the other end will drop by a small fraction of that amount, necessitating a small counter-adjustment at the "Flaps" dual nut unit to regain the ideal minimum string clearance over the first fret.

Three flat-head Phillips machine screws are used to secure this "4-Way"™ trussing system inside its channel and flush with the rear neck surface at its midpoint under the eighth fret. These screws should be kept tight so that the rod's midpoint never moves.

Both adjustment nuts have regular right handed threads, but because they are at opposite ends of the same rod, they turn in opposite directions to tighten their respective sections of the rod.

On December 8th, 2009, I received US patent #7 629 521 issued for this new truss rod invention in the field of stringed instruments. It makes my life easier as manufacturer and musician, and hopefully will also make maintenance easier for you in the field and on the road. Licensing inquiries by other stringed instrument makers are welcome, of course.

All the Best, Emmett.

Divided Truss System, Divided Rod, and 4-Way Truss Rod are trademarks of Stick Enterprises, Inc.

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