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Semi Bolt On Semi Neck Through?


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I was thinking that this would be the best of both worlds as far as having the ease of making of a bolt on, with almost no heel like a set neck or neck through could offer without the difficulty of building a neck through.

In my really off and not to scale illustration here, the black is the body, neck is pinkish (on my pc anyway!) and strings are brownish and the bolts yellow.

You'd basically make a neck with a really long tenon. The tenon would be just the same shape as your neck blank before you carve it. You'd route a channel half the depth of the body until just before the bridge pickup. The also would let you attach the neck pickup directly to the 'neck'. I figure being a bolt on, you wouldn't have to be too accurate with a set neck like channel.

It's just an idea so I have the flamesuit on :D

THANKS!

The image is here

http://tinypic.com/4jmbyr

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I could be wrong, but didn't PRS do something like that with their bolt-ons? It looked like a set-in but there's a plate with screws. Did I dream that?

correct, its the most half-assed deep set tenon around(not even set).

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So in theory this would be a bad idea then?

no its a good idea, run the tenon to just before the bridge though if youve got enough wood(it should help with sustain), in fact put the bridge on it if you have enough wood. then you can just unbolt it and collapse it down for shipping or maintenance.

im running mine to under the neck pickup and using 4 bolts in the AANJ and 4 under the neck pickup.

p.s. its called a deep set neck tenon, google it and you'll probably find ed roman's site(he seems to be in love with the method, put me off a bit that) but look at other sites and you'll see that it is becoming more and more common.

Edited by Mr Alex
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half-assed is only one person's opinion.

A bolt-in (the term given to this setup) neck has benefits and drawbacks. The benefit is the ability to ditch the heel. The drawback is that you pretty much have to use direct mounted neck pickups because a standard pickup rout will substantially weaken the joint.

In any event, it's bound to be more stable than the Les Paul Jr. DC joint.

Greg

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half-assed is only one person's opinion.

I called it half-assed cos PRS appear to use it as a cost cutter(dont have to get joint as snug as required for a glue in, bad idea cos that crook ed roman then un bolts them and sells them for a huge profit) and then little jimmy get ripped off even more!

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It probably IS partially used by PRS to save costs on their lower-end guitars. I have no doubt about it. By the same logic, a strat, tele, Ibanez, or any other bolt-on guitar must be half-assed. :D

Many people prefer the tone and concept of a bolt-on guitar anyhow, and this takes away that nasty heel.

It can be a perfectly fine idea. :D

Greg

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It probably IS partially used by PRS to save costs on their lower-end guitars.  I have no doubt about it.  By the same logic, a strat, tele, Ibanez, or any other bolt-on guitar must be half-assed.  :D

Many people prefer the tone and concept of a bolt-on guitar anyhow, and this takes away that nasty heel.

It can be a perfectly fine idea.  :D

Greg

I agree, infact I'm doing a bolt on right now, it keeps it nice and simple. well it was a bolt on, then I dropped the neck so the new one became a set neck, and then of course I couldn't be bothered gluing it so I bolted it in.

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I called it half-assed cos PRS appear to use it as a cost cutter(dont have to get joint as snug as required for a glue in, bad idea cos that crook ed roman then un bolts them and sells them for a huge profit) and then little jimmy get ripped off even more!

What are you talking about? Are you saying that the PRS CE series don't have tight neck to body joints? I think you should play one and jerk the neck around on one before you go making flippant remarks about PRS build quality.

The CE bodies and necks are CNC'd on the same machines as the glued-in guitars. The cost cutting comes from using less expensive wood for the neck, less work required for finishing because the body and neck are finished separately, and less time required for assembly because the neck is not glued-in. The neck to body joint is every bit as tight as a glued-in neck joint.

The point you're missing here, though, is that PRS never designed the CE series as a budget guitar. That was what the Standard series, then the SE series was for. A CE 22 or 24 is only $100-$200 less than a Custom 22 or 24 in most shops. When you're already spending at least $1300 on a guitar, another $100-$200 isn't that big of a deal. The CE series was designed to appeal more to Fender and other bolt-on maple neck fans who wanted the snap and tone of such a setup, not to build a budget guitar.

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I called it half-assed cos PRS appear to use it as a cost cutter(dont have to get joint as snug as required for a glue in, bad idea cos that crook ed roman then un bolts them and sells them for a huge profit) and then little jimmy get ripped off even more!

What are you talking about? Are you saying that the PRS CE series don't have tight neck to body joints? I think you should play one and jerk the neck around on one before you go making flippant remarks about PRS build quality.

The CE bodies and necks are CNC'd on the same machines as the glued-in guitars. The cost cutting comes from using less expensive wood for the neck, less work required for finishing because the body and neck are finished separately, and less time required for assembly because the neck is not glued-in. The neck to body joint is every bit as tight as a glued-in neck joint.

The point you're missing here, though, is that PRS never designed the CE series as a budget guitar. That was what the Standard series, then the SE series was for. A CE 22 or 24 is only $100-$200 less than a Custom 22 or 24 in most shops. When you're already spending at least $1300 on a guitar, another $100-$200 isn't that big of a deal. The CE series was designed to appeal more to Fender and other bolt-on maple neck fans who wanted the snap and tone of such a setup, not to build a budget guitar.

I am sorry, you obviously know more than me.

Fact is though, where I come from there is about a $1500US price difference between CE's and standard's and I was told that they are made in korea(by quite a few people too) so obviously they aren't made on the same machine.

I won't take your advice and play one, because it is my opinion, (that I am more than entitled too)that PRS is overpriced candy.

I also do not feel that CNC machining is quality worth paying for because the labour cost is still factored in, hence the massive cost. I'm not 100% sure what top shelf candy costs in America but even if I was given it, I'd still go back to a guitar that was built by someone who cares, and I'd give the candy to charity, cos there's too many starving kids out there.

I now would like to apoligise if I have offended anybody, it is my opinion, and you can have your own opinion too.

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I did a little research and CE's are made in America(not korea as I had been imformed) and the prices have come down slighly here, its know about an $800 difference.

but with the fact they all come off a cnc machine, the fact of where it's made is irrelevant, build quality is always the same.

And if any of the fools from PRS are reading this:

make all your guitars in Korea nobody will know and you can then make even more money!!!!

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You're both right (well actually you're both a little bit wrong, too)

There are PRS Koreans, but ony the SE's. The CE's are US made. But lets forget about that and deal with strictly the US models. Of all the bolt ons I've played, most of them (yes, the majority) have creaks in the necks. I appologize if that's different from other people's experiences, but I was never happy with their neck joint. This goes all the way back to when they first came out with them. So while the design is probably partly to blame, you could probably blame tolerances too, but I do have to admit that the stability of the neck joint seems to have gotten better since they moved to the CNC factory. So maybe Crafty has only tried CNC made ones and they've all been rock solid.

As long as you're going to ditch the standard heel anyway, you could strengthen the neck around the pickup area by having it widen as it comes into the body, like an extra 3/4" on each side. Take a look at the Ibanez Maxxas neck joint too. It's similar to the PRS but there's a little more wood there.

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Cracked,

The design is fine. You mention the best of both worlds. Maybe you could say a taste of both. The neck-thru heal will be more versatile as far as shaping, because you do not have the need for a certain amount of body at the heal. A deeper bolt on will carry the load deeper into the body, so you should be able to skinny it up a bit more. The trade offs tonally will be kinda the same. A bolt on guitars tone will be focused on the body. A neck thru is tonally shaped mainly around the neck material. You will transfer some of the (lets say) tonality ratio from the body to the neck (by using this design over a reg bolt on). It should still be very similar to a bolt on. As for sustain, it will all depend on how tight you make the joint. A very good bolt on joint can certainly rival a neck-thru for sustain.

I think all of the different designs have unique advantages or dis-advantages depending. If well built; bolt-on, set, deep tenions, or neck-thru will all do their job very well. I would think more about the tone you are looking for and the woods you are using v.s. the neck design.

P.S. Neck-thru is not more difficult than bolt on. A "Really Good" bolt on joint is very difficult.(IMO)

Peace, Rich

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Greg,

Maybe I been sniffin too much glue ( that titebond can make ya loopy :D ). I probably should have worded that better.

I was thinking that this would be the best of both worlds as far as having the ease of making of a bolt on, with almost no heel like a set neck or neck through could offer without the difficulty of building a neck through

1.Heal not as nice as neck-thru, but better than reg. bolt-on.

I figure being a bolt on, you wouldn't have to be too accurate with a set neck like channel.

2.Pocket needs to be tight.

Many people prefer the tone and concept of a bolt-on guitar anyhow

3. Yes, there is a tonal difference between bolt on and neck thru and deep set and bolt-in. Removable neck can be a plus.

You can rip apart what I wrote, it won't hurt my feelings. Maybe I will learn something.

Peace,Rich

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Nah, all that sounds reasonable. It was the tone from the neck or body part that sounded like voodoo. But when I say voodoo I partially mean I don't believe all that much in it, but I also mean that I don't fully understand it all.

The difference in tone is real, for sure, but I don't know that it's neck- or body- specific. I'm more inclined to believe that a neck-through will sound different because the body and neck are made from the same materials and therefore there's a continuance and resonance possible.

Set necks and bolt-ons have differences, too, but I think they're not so greatly different. Compared to a neck-through, they both have a 'break' in continuity at the joint, which is either negligible or noticeable depending on your ears, the materials, and how tight the connection/construction is. For example, a mahogany neck bolted or glued to a mahogany body (particularly, from the same piece of wood!) will likely have more 'continuity' than a maple neck bolted onto a mahogany body. Any neck poorly glued into an imperfect neck mortise will sound different than the 'same' neck bolted into a perfect pocket.

In any case, I'm not one to rip you apart for anything, I'm just another numptie. :D

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Greg,

Yeh, I think we are on the same page. I didn't mean to imply anything was absolute about the neck/body wood ratio thing. Really my thought is if the wood used for the neck-thru design makes up better than 30% of the body, it would only make sense that it will be much more significant to the tone. A Maple neck thru design with Mahogony wings will have more of a maple sound than a maple bolt on with a Mahogany body. That really makes sense to me and from my experience seems to hold weight (but it is just my opinion).

Peace, Rich

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Just an idea, maybe a bad one:

Playing off of Mr Alex's idea of running the neck all the way to the bridge, if you did that you would have the sustain of a neck through (strings are attached to the same piece of wood at both ends). But more fun than that, the outer "shell" could be changed without even taking off the strings (assuming that the weak parts at the pickup routes don't collapse). This means if you worked everthing out, including how the pots and wires detach, then you could have an SG shape, then unbolt it, pop in a new body and be playing an explorer in just a few minutes. Sick of that? Pop on a tele body. Might be stupid, might be cool.

Hope that made some sense.

Mike

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It's been done, and while it's a fun concept, the execution would probably be less than spectacular.

Kind of like Zips. Anyone remember those? They were imitation Converse All-Stars, but you could change the fabric part to different fabrics. You were considered a total loser if you owned then. :D

I have to admit, though, I do think that it has potential, and I'm hoping to incorporate 'removable body wood' into my headless design, so it'd be a lot like your idea except that the idea would be that the 'outer shell' would be just to facilitate seated playing.

:D

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I'm building my current guitar this way.. bolt-on neck that extends under the neck pickup.. PRS style.. Mine will have the slightest bit of heel and I will use brass inserts so 2 inserts will be going into about 3/8 of neck wood while the other two will be going into the full thickness of the neck.. so it should be plenty stable.

What irks me about PRS is the block heel that extends 3 freakin inches past the body of the guitar.. it's not necessary and it totally blows the look and feel of the thing. I gigged the other night with a friends CE bolton and it's is a top notch player, aside from the hideous heel. Not a cheap guitar by any means..

I contemplated something similar to the neck to bridge idea.. but your neck would have to widen out to a width to accomodate the pups and bridge and unless you covered it up with a pickguard it would be pretty ugly.. or you would have to use 6/4 neck stock to be thick enough to have routing in it and not comprimise the structure.

If you're going to go to that trouble, do a neck through with removeable wings. That could be interesting. It would take some specialized hardware to make the wings easily removeable, but maybe a couple of access plates and side bolts revealed inside.. Aside from a construction advantage i have no idea why anyone would want one though..

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I did a little research and CE's are made in America(not korea as I had been imformed) and the prices have come down slighly here, its know about an $800 difference.

but with the fact they all come off a cnc machine, the fact of where it's made is irrelevant, build quality is always the same.

And if any of the fools from PRS are reading this:

make all your guitars in Korea nobody will know and you can then make even more money!!!!

Man, either CEs are really underpriced or the Customs are really overpriced where you're from because the price difference (after haggling) is only $100-$200 here in the states. Also, every CE I've ever played has a neck joint that's 100 times steadier than my Fender. I think the move to CNC has really benefited the quality of the CE line the most.

Sorry about the heat of my previous post, but I really get tired of people bagging on bolt-on and bolt-in guitars. Also, in my opinion, I'd rather have a guitar that was CNC'd to close tolerances rather than having to play every guitar in the shop to find a decent hand carved one. Modern mass production is just about unaffordable anymore unless you either automate the process or raise the price of the product. PRS still assembles and finishes every guitar by hand and that's about the best way to do it these days.

PRS, Gibson, and Fender COULD make the exact same guitars overseas for a lot less money. Fender proved that in the '80s when Gakki was building all the Strats. The point is that they reserve the best features for their American-built instruments.

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crafty, I'm in New Zealand, we have a shockingly unbalanced exchange rate at the moment so prices keep changing(just before christmas a prs custom 22 cost approximately $3700US) and now its down. But the rule of thumb for us is to take an american price and times by 3!

I agree with you on everything but the cnc, I just dont like it, it's hard to explain why cos its just one of those things, like I hate Fender(very long story).

I also remember reading(cant remember where) that the reason prs' have insane heels is because they need it for holding the neck still in cnc millers. I think they should then have somebody hand carve off the heel, I saw one of ed roman mods once and he makes prs' the guitar they were meant to be.

galaga mike, your idea about the removable bodies is something I've been toying with for a while, but I just cant justify 4 or 5 guitars with only 1 neck.

Edited by Mr Alex
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