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Neck-Body Connection


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Generally it's considered that neck thru provides the best resonance transfer because there is nothing in the way,(ie-glue,air screws etc.),it's all wood.Also there is the added bonus of being able to shape the heel region a little more and not having to worry about plates,stripped screws,shimming etc.However,with a neck thru if the neck goes it's surgery time baby.There's no buying a new one.

A bolt on lets you mix woods without a great deal of advanced woodworking,(I don't mean this i a negative way).You also get the added bonus of being able to adjust the pitch of the neck at will.However,with a bolt-on you have to make sure that you don't strip the screw holes and if the neck isn't set right it just won't work right.

A glue in is mid ground between both worlds,in the pro and the con.Mixing woods,more direct tonal transfer,no stripped screw holes etc.However,if the neck warps....And If a glue in isn't set right,(pitch and alignment),it's a lot more work to get it out and reset it.

Personally I like all three methods and don't have a favorite one.

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just adding to what John said. don't let the cons he mentioned for the neck-body connections scare you. these are all worst case scenarios. :D if you treat your axe right and be careful, you shouldn't have these problems.

anyway, my opinion on the neck constructions. my least favourite is set-neck. some set-neck have ugly heels like PRS and Gibsons Les Pauls and that's about all i don't like about them just another personal opinion, i think that vibration transfer wouldn't be that great with a set-neck because it is glued on - vibrations don;t transfer through glue well - but i have have heard very nice set-neck guitars before. bolt-ons are pretty good, i like thier unique bell tone. they are even better if the are like AANJ like on Ibanez RGs and Ss, i don't find the large Fender like bolt-on necks too appealing. and neck-thru, i would love to have a neck thru, i think they are cosmetically the best looking and theoratically would sound the best. not to mention they feel the best because you can make them heeless.

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Bolt-on : can have bare wood to bare wood contact ( no glue or finish on the mating parts). Can use machine screw inserts for a really tight fit. Can have guitar player play your guitar and say " man this neck plays great". Can sell him the neck, then get another neck on ebay, re-fret it, have the same thing happen again.

(good sounding bodies are sort of hard to find, but a good sounding neck is not as rare). Can change the neck angle later by routing or making a good full-size shim.

Can take neck off and put neck and body into a suitcase. Can switch from a maple neck with a rosewood board to a solid maple neck or the other way around. Can change to a bolt-on neck with a different nut and /or heel width.

I've seen some " set necks" come loose, have the wrong neck angle, have wood rot going on in the glue/wood joint.

I've seen "neck through" where the neck angle was not good, and pretty much nothing could be done about it without something extreme like making a new fingerboard that tapers more upward as it gets closer to the body.

I think " neck through" has more sustain because the neck is usually maple, then you have a maple center on your body. Maple sustains more than most other guitar woods, but too much maple on a guitar usually sounds sterile.

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It all depends on what you like. This can get as ugly as the pickup mounting thread.

None of them is bad or flawed or evil or saintly. They have different properties and pros and cons. Regardless of what anyone says.

A majority of what I own is bolt on. Even my accoustic. Don't know why except the other 2 methods usually are more expensive.

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Barring all buildability issues, I prefer neck thru to play. The lack of a heel makes upper fret access a breeze, and the whole thing just seems more solid when you hold it.

Although bolt-ons are considered to be asier to build, don't rule out a neck thru. Carvin (look here for guitars, here for basses) has neck-thru blanks if you don't want to deal with building the neck yourself.

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Use a truss rod with all types (even neck - throughs).

My opinion on bolt-ons is that they are the most felxible in terms of being able to change things later in life. If the player likes the body but not the neck, no problem. If the player likes the neck but not the body, no problem (usually). If the neck breaks, no problem (except cash to buy another or repair it).

I think bolt-ons are actually harder to build than the others since the pocket has to be near perfect and even more difficult - the alignment has to be dead on. It's not that the other types don't have to be aligned but when you go to drill the holes into the neck, it's a very critical moment. With the other types, you need to be carfeul with the bridge placement but you don't have the concern of drilling the holes in the neck.

If there's one type that you really want, I always say do it. Unless you are planning an extremely complicated guitar, do what you really want and don't settle for something less. It takes a long time and a lot of blood/sweat/tears and it doesn't seem right to go through all of that and not end up with what you wanted. The reason I say this is that it's easy to get spooked by looking at some of the cons of the various techiniques.

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I read this kind of fast so forgive me if I missed it, but I don't think anyone mentioned a deep set neck yet. That's what I use a lot. It's like a neck through but it only goes to around the bridge or middle pickup cavities. It works better with a top, but if you're using the same wood types, and stop it inside one of the cavities, it blends right in. The problem I have (just me - not trying to change anyone else's mind) with a neck through is that I don't like the bridge mounted to the same wood as the neck, especially if it's maple. (I know the studs are often barely off into the wings, but to me its still that same area) That's me. You can carve a deep set neck the same way as a neck through, and it's not much harder to build, if not easier. You can bandsaw most of the "U" channel, and then route it final. Or like on my classical, I left about 3/8" on the bottom of it (like a huge bolt on cavity), and routed a neck angle into it. So I had to do that all with the router.

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I read this kind of fast so forgive me if I missed it, but I don't think anyone mentioned a deep set neck yet. That's what I use a lot. It's like a neck through but it only goes to around the bridge or middle pickup cavities. It works better with a top, but if you're using the same wood types, and stop it inside one of the cavities, it blends right in. The problem I have (just me - not trying to change anyone else's mind) with a neck through is that I don't like the bridge mounted to the same wood as the neck, especially if it's maple. (I know the studs are often barely off into the wings, but to me its still that same area) That's me. You can carve a deep set neck the same way as a neck through, and it's not much harder to build, if not easier. You can bandsaw most of the "U" channel, and then route it final. Or like on my classical, I left about 3/8" on the bottom of it (like a huge bolt on cavity), and routed a neck angle into it. So I had to do that all with the router.

uhm, i am not too familiar with neck thrus but isn't a neck thru guitar a guitar wherein the neck and body is just one piece of wood?

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I read this kind of fast so forgive me if I missed it, but I don't think anyone mentioned a deep set neck yet. That's what I use a lot. It's like a neck through but it only goes to around the bridge or middle pickup cavities. It works better with a top, but if you're using the same wood types, and stop it inside one of the cavities, it blends right in. The problem I have (just me - not trying to change anyone else's mind) with a neck through is that I don't like the bridge mounted to the same wood as the neck, especially if it's maple. (I know the studs are often barely off into the wings, but to me its still that same area) That's me. You can carve a deep set neck the same way as a neck through, and it's not much harder to build, if not easier. You can bandsaw most of the "U" channel, and then route it final.  Or like on my classical, I left about 3/8" on the bottom of it (like a huge bolt on cavity), and routed a neck angle into it. So I had to do that all with the router.

uhm, i am not too familiar with neck thrus but isn't a neck thru guitar a guitar wherein the neck and body is just one piece of wood?

no ...look here

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...?showtopic=4599

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just adding to what John said. don't let the cons he mentioned for the neck-body connections scare you. these are all worst case scenarios. :D if you treat your axe right and be careful, you shouldn't have these problems.

Absolutley,just as the pros are best case.

Usually when everything comes together and the guitar is finished the different neck joins come down to personal opinion.

As I said I like them all,it just varies on the piece.

Also keep in mind that tone is also affected by what you load it with and your hardware.Wood plays a major part for certain,but you can temper it with the rest of the equation.

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I read this kind of fast so forgive me if I missed it, but I don't think anyone mentioned a deep set neck yet. That's what I use a lot. It's like a neck through but it only goes to around the bridge or middle pickup cavities. It works better with a top, but if you're using the same wood types, and stop it inside one of the cavities, it blends right in. The problem I have (just me - not trying to change anyone else's mind) with a neck through is that I don't like the bridge mounted to the same wood as the neck, especially if it's maple. (I know the studs are often barely off into the wings, but to me its still that same area) That's me. You can carve a deep set neck the same way as a neck through, and it's not much harder to build, if not easier. You can bandsaw most of the "U" channel, and then route it final.  Or like on my classical, I left about 3/8" on the bottom of it (like a huge bolt on cavity), and routed a neck angle into it. So I had to do that all with the router.

uhm, i am not too familiar with neck thrus but isn't a neck thru guitar a guitar wherein the neck and body is just one piece of wood?

no ...look here

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...?showtopic=4599

oh ok. Is there a name for a something where the guitar and the neck is just 1 piece of wood if there is such a thing?

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