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Old 02-13-2014, 01:32 PM   #1
Playsabadguitar
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Why aren't more guitars "neck through"

I always thought neck thru was the second best option after a single piece guitar. I have seen some fairly cheap guitars that are neck thru so I'm guessing it's not more costly to design them this way.

Most high end guitars I've looked at though have glued on necks though.

Are there reasons that glued on can be better than neck through.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:49 PM   #2
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Traditionalism is the main reason.

But another reason is that they are more expensive to make that way. A lot of companies that offer cheap neck thru guitars often compromise the other aspects of the guitar to keep it affordable.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:54 PM   #3
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are there a lot of single piece guitars? for being the best I don't see too many of them about

but yeah seriously i think toodeepblue nailed it.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:54 PM   #4
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Makes sense.
Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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Expensive instruments tend to be purchased by working musicians who are pretty much guaranteed to break a neck now and then, and who need their necks refretted pretty often. In both cases its often less expensive, not to mention faster, to just replace the entire neck.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:13 PM   #6
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Set and bolt-on necks are also easier to work with. You can't just easily replace a neck on a neck through guitar now, can you?
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:01 PM   #7
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Another issue has to do with the angle of the neck to the body. On some guitars (Les Paul, for instance), the angle is pretty severe compared to a lot of others. Since the neck itself has to be nice and straight (before the truss rod tension), making one long block of wood with the proper angle built-in is probably a royal pain. A relatively straight neck-to-body setup - like those used by Carvin - are more suited to a neck-through design.

Some people also claim that neck-through construction does not sound as good as mortise & tenon or bolt-on construction. I do not know if this is trues, but I have heard the claim before. Guitarists are, as others have mentioned, a very traditional lot.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FatalGear41
Some people also claim that neck-through construction does not sound as good as mortise & tenon or bolt-on construction. I do not know if this is trues, but I have heard the claim before. Guitarists are, as others have mentioned, a very traditional lot.


I call bullshit on that one. If it were true the bass market would be very different.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:04 AM   #9
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I call bullshit on that one. If it were true the bass market would be very different.


Bassist Glenn Letsch wrote in one of his books that he nearly got fired from a gig with Robin Trower because he was playing a neck-through bass that was designed for him. At the end of the gig, Trower told him "Tomorrow night, you'd better get rid of that thing and have the Fender!" Letsch attributed the lack of punch in his tone to the neck-through design of the custom-made bass. One of the reasons Fender still rules the electric bass world is because of their bolt-on neck design. People claim that the massive block of wood created by the neck and the sturdy neck pocket gives Fender basses more punch than neck-through or glue-in mortise and tenon designs. I don't know if that is true, but a number of my Fender basses definitely have more punch than do my neck-through designs with identical pickups.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
Traditionalism is the main reason.

But another reason is that they are more expensive to make that way. A lot of companies that offer cheap neck thru guitars often compromise the other aspects of the guitar to keep it affordable.


this for sure. i'll point out that Gibson"s firebird started as a neck through model (not sure if it still is). it wasn't a really popular model so they didn't contimue along those lines. most of the early BC Rich models were neck thru and they were one of the first companies to really push that as a standard for their guitars. the design does require more work and of course if the neck breaks you're pretty much screwed.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playsabadguitar
I always thought neck thru was the second best option after a single piece guitar. I have seen some fairly cheap guitars that are neck thru so I'm guessing it's not more costly to design them this way.

Most high end guitars I've looked at though have glued on necks though.

Are there reasons that glued on can be better than neck through.



Which specific cheap neck through guitars are you talking about? To some cheap could mean expensive.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:57 AM   #12
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^I got a neck through Grass Roots for about 500$. I'm pretty sure it's odd pieces of wood glued together though. But I threw in an SH-6 and I play with distortion so tone woods kinda don't matter at that point anyway.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:51 AM   #13
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Price for a neck-through instrument depends primarily on the materials used. Sure, you can make a neck out of cheap woods and extend it through the "wings" of the body pretty cheaply, but most people do not settle for that. Now; if you glue seven pieces of exotic woods together for a neck-through instrument, then you are talking serious money. Case in point: Alembic:

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