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Bolt On Neck, Neck Plate Or Neck Attachment Sockets?


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I really find it hard to believe it makes all that much of a difference in terms of sound/sustain. Both allow you to get the neck as tight as it needs to be. The main work goes into routing the neck pocket so the neck fits exactly.

There are advantages to both the plate and the inserts.

Using inserts instead of the plate means you're not restricted to a bulky, rectangular heel that gets in your way while you're trying to play up high. You can shift over the treble end screw so that you can carve that bit of heel away (have a look at some Godin guitars). Inserts also look really cool--very classy. Have a look as Zachary guitars to see how beautiful those insert holes can be. He does that on all of his guitars.

Using a plate is a whole lot easier to drill however --with the inserts, you have to be really careful to get the recess exactly centered. And the plate serves to hide an extra hole that's really useful for hanging the guitar while you're spraying/curing it.

Another thought : On the guitar I'm working on right now, I'm considering reshaping and redrilling the neck plate to allow me to shift that treble screw over and carve the heel. In fact, trying to decide that is pretty much holding up my progress on the rest of the guitar...

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Wow, I think I totally missed the point on this one.

I thought we were talking about plates that go inbetween the neck heel and the body neck pocket.

I actually tried that... I used a piece of steel because the heel of the neck I had wasn't thick enough for the neck pocket. It definitely brightened the tone a lot - a little too much, so I replaced it with a wood shim instead.

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For strength of joint, one would assume a neck plate would be strongest, because all 4 screws are tightened to a plate that pushes down evenly over the whole area between the screws, thus pushing down a larger area than just individual string sockets. Though I may be wrong :D

Not really, what pulls the neck towards the body is the tension of the screws. If you tighten the screws as much on both types of joints the neck will be held down exactly as hard. The only difference it makes is the pressure applied to the wood on the back of the heel, with slight differences due to the different areas.

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I originally decided to go with the ferrule option to save me $5 on a neck plate, and have come to love the look of them. You can carve away more wood to give better access to the upper frets. They are no harder to install than a neck plate as long as you have the right sized drill bit.

As for sustain... this particular guitar doesn't have the best sustain, but I'm not sure it's the neck pocket that's responsible.

Here's a pic:

540p3neckjoinqx3.jpg

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  • 8 months later...

I may be forced to go the ferrule route myself, which won't be such a bad thing I guess. But if I could get a hold of (or get fabricated) a neck plate for my N4 project, I would do that first to keep the original look intact.

zoom_stephens.jpg

Washburn doesn't sell these and you never see them on Ebay, so all I could do is get one made by a metal worker I guess. Anyone ever have something like this made? I'm not even sure what metal neck plates are made of, brass maybe?

Edited by IPA or death
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Washburn doesn't sell these and you never see them on Ebay, so all I could do is get one made by a metal worker I guess. Anyone ever have something like this made? I'm not even sure what metal neck plates are made of, brass maybe?

I'm not sure that the type of metal matters, except if you want a specific color.

It's actually surprisingly easy to shape and polish metal. A metal file, followed up with sanding, plus a bit of patience will get you there.

I've found it possible to polish steel to shine quite nicely. A light coating of lacquer will keep the rust off. for the most part. But you can also get hold of a chromed plate and reshape that -- the plate from a jazz bass might be big enough for what you need. Just protect the chrome surface while you're filing--all you'd need to do is polish the new edges (I've done this with tele plates, it works great).

As for the sound thing? I find it really hard to believe it makes a difference. I love the look of ferrules, and the heel is definitely more comfortable. But that's not an issue with the guitar you're working on.

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