#1
I noticed many of the big players like malmsteen, gilbert, timmons, satriani all use guitars with normal block heel joints as opposed to better access joints etc. Is there a big advantage to these, such as better tone or sustain? Or is it a case where these players grew up playing on them and hence still use them.

I learnt guitar on an ibanez with an AANJ, and thus find it hard to play on guitars with large heel joints. I played a charvel socal today, and it had the typical fender block heel joint. I noticed the sustain was really great, especially for an alder guitar with a bolt-on maple neck. Has anyone been in a similar position and learned to overcome these joints, where they hated it at first but managed to work around it?
#2
It may have to do with height. Generally being tall means you have big hands, and as Malmsteen I believe is 6'1", Vai is 6'2", and Gilbert is 6'4", I assume they all have fairly large hands. Satch is 5'8" though, so it's not a guarantee I suppose. I'm 6'3" though, and as a result have very large hands, and I can tell you here that I can't even tell the difference between a bolt-on neck or a neck-thru neck half the time.

So I would assume that either large hands help and Satch just has big hands, or that it's what you learn on since I recall all of those guys saying they learned a fair amount on a strat when starting out(Except for Satch, who actually got a telecaster since that was what he saw Jimmy Page using on the tour supporting Zeppelin I). As for why they use them, probably either comfort because they grew used to it, or tone and sustain, as I recall Paul Gilbert saying when talking about the PGM 301 "Big neck joint for big tone and sustain".
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#3
I can´t imagine the neck joint size makes a big enough difference to make the intentional decision to play uncomfortably. I´m sure they were all just used to it.
#4
there`s nothing wrong with the high access on the js, if you look at the back of the body you`ll find a angled rout on the heel plate wich fit comfortably into your hand when playing around 19- 22.
#5
everything makes a difference, its all relative, the biggest thing ive noticed is heavier metals on the tunning pegs and bridge really make a difference, i played a vintage firebird with steel tuners and a steel bridge, it sustained forever, so i can assume another big metal piece would actually help. also neck thrus will sustain more, simply because the vibrations are moving all the way up and down the neck without a heel or joint to stop the movement
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#7
Gilbert used to have an AANJ, or at least a contoured heel on his sig guitars, but for the new ones he tried to analyse which of his guitars sounded best, and he found that the best sounding were the ones with the big heel.

I guess it has something to do with the transmission of vibrations between the neck and body, so they sort of "resonate" together.
#8
the square heeled neck join on ibanez guitars are actually quite small. Or at least the on on my rg760 it is. I have tiny hands and it doesn't really get in my way.

Fender ones are slightly more uncomfortable but I've yet to find a lick that I can only play on my AANJ guitar. It makes sense that there's a difference in tone and sustain. More wood contact = more energy transferred.
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#9
Quote by ibanezgod1973
there`s nothing wrong with the high access on the js, if you look at the back of the body you`ll find a angled rout on the heel plate wich fit comfortably into your hand when playing around 19- 22.


Ah k, I actually hadn't played an ibanez block heel, I just assumed they were the same size as the fender/charvel ones.
#10
I prefer the neck join on my strat to a lot of 'shredding' guitars such as ibanez's. It's just what I'm used to I guess, but I find it a lot easier to play on the higher up frets on my strat than any other instrument.
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#11
Quote by robert_says
Ah k, I actually hadn't played an ibanez block heel, I just assumed they were the same size as the fender/charvel ones.


Strat vs. RG:



RG neck joint top down:

#12
I love the neck joint on my 550. Sure, it's big, but it's still easy to get around. That plus what you pick up in sustain and tone is great.
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#13
You also have to consider the number of frets. That affects where the neck and body meets, which affects where the bridge is. They're both the same scale length. But the location of the bridge probably effects resonance since there's more body wood under the strings on the guitar with less frets.
#14
I prefer playing with a bolt-on neck joint. It gives me something to really hold on to when playing that low... Maybe it's the same for them?
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#16
My two guitars are block heel; the GRX20 being a budget guitar, it has the large block rather than the tamed one in the pictures. When I first started playing electric guitar, it was pretty uncomfortable, but I eventually got used to it. If what necrosis said has any weight tho, I'm 5' 11" and have pretty big hands.
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