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Neck Angle On Bolt On Guitar/bass


lukeo
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Does the bridge's saddles you want to use require a neck angle due to it's height off the body? You can shim a bolt-on neck and/or utilise a microtilt system a la Fender, but it's generally frowned upon compared to building the neck angle in from the outset. Shimming or altering an existing angle is more a repair or adjustment than a build concern.

You can either angle the neck pocket (draw it full-scale and work the angle out) or angle the face of your heel. If you are using a pre-built neck, then you will most likely need to angle the pocket instead. Just make it shallower than full-depth initially, and then work it to depth with the angle you need. By all means post more build detail and elucidate further.

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Tone voodoo indeed. You're likely to *lose* (insert tone/sustain/frequency range/hair/sanity here) by shimming something between the heel face and the pocket, although you definitely won't gain anything useful other than it being a mere adjustment.

Having greater string break angles over the nut, or saddles *may* increase coupling and therefore transfer of energy, but I wouldn't even consider these as useful to your first build.

Just build well, and take care in each procedure! :D

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:D Neck angle.... and I thought it was only for TOM bridges and botched Floyd Rose installations :D

Seriously I would dare say that neck angle creates a void between the top and the strings and has some bearing on the acoustic properties of your solid body guitars. For example my Charvel Model 5 has 3 degrees or so and the strings are far from the body. It has a hollow acoustic tone when you play it without amplification. On the other hand my King V has a 2 degree neck angle with a very low set neck. The strings are very close to the body. It has a very solid acoustic sound when not amplified.

But when I plug them into the Mark VI mesa all bets are off. And I doubt that the height of the strings from the body are the major factor in tone. I would say that both sound similar do to Seymour Duncan.

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the neck angle does nothing more than compensate for a high action with tall bridges. It will do absolutely nothing to your sound. If anyone is telling you that it gives more bass response there are biger factors that they are over looking. If they are saying a Les Paul has more bass response because they all have a neck angle, they are over looking the fact that it is an all mahogany guitar with a shorter scale length. Both of those will give a warmer tone with more bass.

Adding a shim or an adjustment screw will only prevent you from having a tight, solid wood to wood contact when the neck is tightened down. And then having to shim the bridge higher off the body is going to make what could be a nice project look like a weekend hack job. Build with a flat pocket and no neck angle unless the bridge requires one. Then, just angle the neck pocket.

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My current build (with a TOM bridge) has a recess for the TOM, specifically to avoid the need for a neck angle. I see the neck angle as something to be avoided if at all practical to do so.

I guess there could be something to be said for a small neck angle being more ergonomic for the fretting hand. I don't think it makes very much difference.

I'd like to hear differing opinions though. (I'm sure someone has one. :D)

Edited by Rick500
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I like some neck angle for ergo reasons. However I hate the strings being miles off the body so I always end up sinking the neck as deep as possible into the body.

I think coupled with an angled headstock it makes the guitar look better from the side. More like a refined elegant instrument.

[Please Flame appropriately as this is an opinion]

Not so plank like. You know strats always look so ... well plank like, bolt together things. Like a good piece of decking or a wall stud or furniture even.

[Flame away!]

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I CNC all of my neck pockets to the individual neck heel so it is a snug fit. I can incline the body on the jig to give myself a 1.5 degree of back angle (for comfort playing) when cutting the pocket. I find that with the increased angle coming off the back of the saddles, it imparts greater normal force from the strings into the saddle and gives you a bit more body resonance in the overall tone of the guitar when compared to those I have not backset. Sustain is not adversely affected because my neck fit in the pocket is so good. I can push them in place and with no screws holding them in, I can twirl the guitar around by the neck. So far as I am concerned, this is as good as any set neck but with the servicability and flexibility of a bolt.

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Well, they're talking about acoustic guitars there, different animal.

An angled neck isn't difficult to achieve ---just route the neck pocket accordingly. But then you'll need the appropriate bridge. Some hardtail bridges come with extra plates to give the bridge more height (I'm thinking of the Schaller 475).

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