#1
is there a difference in sound or feeling
with bolt-on, set or neck thru construction?
what are these difference's?
#2
A good bolt-on Will have better sustain than any set neck/neck-thru. Plus you have more adjustment on the neck. It all comes down to personal preference
#3
the answer to life, the universe, and everything in between. AANJ
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#4
Neckthru's are one piece, combined with body. They are supposed to give you the largest amount of sustain on the market but the downside is if you screw up the neck, your guitar goes to a waste completely. Pros of Bolt on neck is that it has a great sustain nearly as good as a neckthru (if it's a good bolt on) but the neck is replacable in case anything happens to it. can't give any opinion about set neck, as I dont have any guitars with a set neck.
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#5
Oh look.

It's this thread, again...
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#6
Another vote for the AANJ...Ibanez really got it right when it came to having seemingly the best of both worlds.
#7
Set and Through necks will have better natural sustain due to the more secure contact the neck has with the body.

Bolt on necks (which still sustain perfectly fine if done well) allow for easy adjustment and replacement.
#8
Bolt on- Will last you forever because you can just replace broken necks. Set or neck through repairs will cost you the price of another guitar.
#9
^or you can jus NOT be a dick and take care of your instrument...
Bolted necks: Easier to make since theres no tennon to shape, cheaper also. Easier to install or replace if broken. They are used MOSTLY on cheaper end guitars, but they are found also on high-end guitar, especially when its an ''historical'' feature, such as Strats and Teles.TYPICAL heels tend to be beefier, and so they reduce high fret access. Before being hated by half of UG, i said typicals heel like strats and teles. Some heels (such as this ) can equal most set necks or even neck thrus. Personaly, i dont like bolted necks since they feel like a neck and a body, not like a whole guitar.

Set necks: Tipicaly found on higher ends models, and gibson's (and many gibsony companies) trademark. Harder to mass-produce. High fret acces range from equal to slightly better(Again, this is very subjective and it depends of wich models were talking here). They might cost you a liver or two (and a lung if your not lucky) to repair, since you have to unglue the neck. Or not, depends on how its broken.Personaly, set necks feels alot more solid to me then bolte necks, and it make the guitar feels like a whole instrument, not two pieces of wood stuck together with some metal. Thats just me.

Neck trhu: This, and its true, is found only on high end model, mostly on basses. The process is to take an extra long neck blank and shape it like a normal naeck, and glue additional wing to the sides of the ''still blank'' part and shape the body there. Since theres no joint to take care of, the heel can be carved to allow crazy high fret access. Downside are that if it breaks, there little chance to have it fixed.
#10
Just to flame you a little companies such as epiphone use set neck on many cheap models.
Its not exactly high end.

Ive owned many of each and dont really care which I play personally. Most of my current guitars are bolt on, as most are ibanez.
#11
What i think of when i say cheap guitar is 250 and lower. Find a decent set neck in that price range...
#12
My epi lp standard plus top cost me 200$ with a set of emgs. So, I did. Although that price was stupid low.

Just you say typically found on high end guitars and hard to mass produce. If your opinion of high end guitars starts above 250$ youve got issues. Ntm the chinese mass produce set neck epi's like its going out of style. 400$ ish for a plain top new. Thats still a beginners guitar.
#13
Quote by n1ckn1ce
^or you can jus NOT be a dick and take care of your instrument...
Bolted necks: Easier to make since theres no tennon to shape, cheaper also. Easier to install or replace if broken. They are used MOSTLY on cheaper end guitars, but they are found also on high-end guitar, especially when its an ''historical'' feature, such as Strats and Teles.TYPICAL heels tend to be beefier, and so they reduce high fret access. Before being hated by half of UG, i said typicals heel like strats and teles. Some heels (such as this ) can equal most set necks or even neck thrus. Personaly, i dont like bolted necks since they feel like a neck and a body, not like a whole guitar.

Set necks: Tipicaly found on higher ends models, and gibson's (and many gibsony companies) trademark. Harder to mass-produce. High fret acces range from equal to slightly better(Again, this is very subjective and it depends of wich models were talking here). They might cost you a liver or two (and a lung if your not lucky) to repair, since you have to unglue the neck. Or not, depends on how its broken.Personaly, set necks feels alot more solid to me then bolte necks, and it make the guitar feels like a whole instrument, not two pieces of wood stuck together with some metal. Thats just me.

Neck trhu: This, and its true, is found only on high end model, mostly on basses. The process is to take an extra long neck blank and shape it like a normal naeck, and glue additional wing to the sides of the ''still blank'' part and shape the body there. Since theres no joint to take care of, the heel can be carved to allow crazy high fret access. Downside are that if it breaks, there little chance to have it fixed.


A few things:

- Bad things can happen to a neck even if it's well taken care of (things like warping etc.). Although this is unlikely, it can happen. Also, bolt on necks can save a lot of money in the long run. For example, on a maple neck, a refret can often cost more then the neck itself. This is why many strat players simply get a new neck when their frets wear down too much.

- Having a set/through neck doesn't mean it's a high end guitar. There are plenty of garbage guitars that sport both styles.

I do agree that it is all preference though. I'm a strat guy myself so I've always played with bolted on necks. Never had a problem with sustain, fret access, etc.
#14
0-250:Cheap Guitar
250-300:Low end guitar
300-600:Mid end guitar
600-1000:High end guitar
1000-2000:high-high end guitar
2000-7000:Godlike guitar
7000+:I hate you

No, 250+ isnt a high end guitar.
#15
Honestly as far as sustain goes there isnt a different. A well made bolt on neck will have virtually the same sustain and a well made neck through or set neck. What it will change is tone, bolt on necks tend to have a bit more attack than set necks and neck through which is one of the reasons a lot of shredders like to use guitars with bolt on necks and a lot of rhythm players like set/through necks. Also set/through necks often have better upper fret access but it is not all ways true for exactly Ibanez has the AANJ and ESP cuts a slant into the 4th screw hole on the back of the neck pocket.
#16
I never really understood the sustain issue between set/thru/bolt-on necks. I mean, just how much sustain do you want anyway? Use a violin bow instead of a pick.
I have two Japanese LP copies, a '75 Electra Custom 2242 SuperRock which has a bolt on neck - and a mid-90s Crate Electra, which has a set neck. The bolt-on is a superior guitar and lack of sustain is NOT an issue.
There are many ways to join the nexks to the bodies. As long as there's a good neck-to-body joint, I don't really think much about it. JMHO
I paid $250 USD new for the '75, got the Crate used with a HSC and a Line 6 Spider 2 for $200 total a couple of years ago.
#17
Quote by n1ckn1ce
0-250:Cheap Guitar
250-400:Low end guitar
400-1000:Mid end guitar
1000-2500:High end guitar
2500+ most people will never, ever touch
No, 250+ isnt a high end guitar.

Fixed
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#18
I must disagree with both the $$ rating charts.
For my rg370dx (edge3) to be considered mid end is retarded.
It cost 400$ +taxes and its a cheapo beginners guitar. No doubt about it.

My 'high end'/ high-high end 1100$ torero was a mid level guitar, whereas my 600$ 'mid level' prestige rg1570 is a far far better guitar.
Hell after upgrades my 200$ epiphone lp sounded better then either guitar stock.


Td;dr lists are very subjective
#19
Quote by Robbgnarly

0-250:Cheap Guitar
250-400:Low end guitar
400-1000:Mid end guitar
1000-2500:High end guitar
2500+ most people will never, ever touch
No, 250+ isnt a high end guitar.

Fixed


This is a pretty good list. At least, this is generally how I see/rate guitars.

FWIW since this is a common misconception - all other things being equal, bolt on necks will have the most sustain, because they have the most "pure" transfer of vibrations going on. A bolt on is wood bolted to wood. Neck through and set neck builds have glue in between the pieces that kills some of the vibrations.

That said, the difference is often minimal, and the most important thing is just having a guitar that is built well/high quality in general.
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#20
Quote by StonedColdCrazy
I must disagree with both the $$ rating charts.
For my rg370dx (edge3) to be considered mid end is retarded.
It cost 400$ +taxes and its a cheapo beginners guitar. No doubt about it.

My 'high end'/ high-high end 1100$ torero was a mid level guitar, whereas my 600$ 'mid level' prestige rg1570 is a far far better guitar.
Hell after upgrades my 200$ epiphone lp sounded better then either guitar stock.


Td;dr lists are very subjective

Where are you from? Where I live I can get the Torero for $800 new all day. I was giving my opinion from my area in the US.
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#21
One of the things I've noticed with bolt-on versus set neck is the type of wood being used. Now, not getting into the crazy exotic world of unobtanium here, just talking about guitars I've actually gotten to play.

Most bold-ons that I've played all had Maple necks. My PRS CE-22 has a Rock Maple neck, bolted to a Mahogany, maple topped body. All of the PRS Customs have Mahogany necks. And guess what? They're set.

The Gibsons/Epiphones I've played all had Mahogany set necks. But my old Westone had a maple bolt-on. So did my Fender Strat.

Now my PRS Modern Eagle Quatro has a Rosewood neck that is set.

I can't comment too much on the whys and wherefores but it's something I've noticed. Obviously this isn't true of all necks, but it sure seems to be the vast majority...

Didn't Leo Fender design the Strat & Tele to be able to have components changed for tonal reasons? That might be your answer...
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#22
im partial to set necks, but a good bolt on is just as good to me
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#23
Quote by Acϵ♠
im partial to set necks, but a good bolt on is just as good to me

Same here. Some times I prefer bolt on just cause its easier to do fretwork on and easier to clean the guitars body when you do not have to worry about smacking the head stock on something.
#24
Quote by Robbgnarly
Where are you from? Where I live I can get the Torero for $800 new all day. I was giving my opinion from my area in the US.


So can I now. I bought it the second it came out at Axe Music in calgary AB canada.
Cost the same as my buddies ltd mh-1000 and I got a much better playing guitar.

I was just stating lists are subjective and in certain instances a 300$ guitar will rape a 1000$ guitar in tone and playability.
#25
Quote by kangaxxter
Oh look.

It's this thread, again...


+1, each neck joint has better sustain that all the others
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#26
Quote by StonedColdCrazy


I was just stating lists are subjective and in certain instances a 300$ guitar will rape a 1000$ guitar in tone and playability.



This sadly has some truth. Anyone remember the Devry guitar?
#27
Quote by StonedColdCrazy
So can I now. I bought it the second it came out at Axe Music in calgary AB canada.
Cost the same as my buddies ltd mh-1000 and I got a much better playing guitar.

I was just stating lists are subjective and in certain instances a 300$ guitar will rape a 1000$ guitar in tone and playability.

I wasnt talking playability, but prices for low,mid and high-end guitars. I have a $300 G-400 that personaly I'd put up against most Gibson SG's for playability and tone.

And even though its not by much, you guys pay more for alot of music equipment when compared to the US prices.
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#28
Sometimes maybe. I order from MF alot so its the same.

Ranking guitars into classes by price is a bit asinine is what I'm getting at.
Tone, playability and build quality are the important factors, not price. Although usually mo money= mo better guitar, it doesnt always and there are thousands of examples.

But this whole thread is subjective anyways. [/rant]
#29
IMO a "set" neck is not much different than a bolt on, it is still not a whole guitar, it has a termination in it and it will sound different than a NECK THRU.
I know some "set" necks go deeper into the body, some under the neck pup. the later will have better sustain. The BEST sustain comes from thru necks period, not to be confused with the best sound for the application.
I also think some times a bolt on sounds better I.E. I had a cheap Schecter Omen and that thing had George Lynch tone that I am sure was caused by the neck. I am sad I sold it.
I also have 3 neck thrus. A Scecter c1 elite that is super reasonant and sounds good in E,D,B.
A mid 80s Bich that has had the headstock busted off twice(before I got it) sounds good only in E....maybe because of the break? Maybe the guitars wood in a whole only likes E.
A 2010 Mockingbird special that is really reasonant too.

I have one set neck Schecter that sounds good for everything in any key.

And a few other bolt ons. It seems to me that for speed metal super distorted stuff the bolt ons sound better and if I want more expressive tone I grab a neck thru.
What the hell!!!
#30
Quote by n1ckn1ce
^or you can jus NOT be a dick and take care of your instrument...
Bolted necks: Easier to make since theres no tennon to shape, cheaper also. Easier to install or replace if broken. They are used MOSTLY on cheaper end guitars, but they are found also on high-end guitar, especially when its an ''historical'' feature, such as Strats and Teles.TYPICAL heels tend to be beefier, and so they reduce high fret access. Before being hated by half of UG, i said typicals heel like strats and teles. Some heels (such as this ) can equal most set necks or even neck thrus. Personaly, i dont like bolted necks since they feel like a neck and a body, not like a whole guitar.

Set necks: Tipicaly found on higher ends models, and gibson's (and many gibsony companies) trademark. Harder to mass-produce. High fret acces range from equal to slightly better(Again, this is very subjective and it depends of wich models were talking here). They might cost you a liver or two (and a lung if your not lucky) to repair, since you have to unglue the neck. Or not, depends on how its broken.Personaly, set necks feels alot more solid to me then bolte necks, and it make the guitar feels like a whole instrument, not two pieces of wood stuck together with some metal. Thats just me.

Neck trhu: This, and its true, is found only on high end model, mostly on basses. The process is to take an extra long neck blank and shape it like a normal naeck, and glue additional wing to the sides of the ''still blank'' part and shape the body there. Since theres no joint to take care of, the heel can be carved to allow crazy high fret access. Downside are that if it breaks, there little chance to have it fixed.


lots of bad assumptions here. there are plenty of high end (and middle as well) guitars with a bolt on neck. if the guitar has a tight pocket for the neck and is fitted well then it will sustain just as well as the other types. this has been proven if you do your research.

plenty of cheapies with set necks out these days. obviously not really harder to mass produce. a poor glue job will result in shit sustain.

neck throughs are increasingly found in cheap guitars. cheap wood doesn't make for better sustain. you can find Douglas guitars (part the Agile group) for $150 that are neck through and have floyd roses.

research into the subject has found that none of the types are really inherently better if done correctly. any difference woudn't be perceptable to the ear. they key of course is done correctly.
#31
the only thing i will contribute, is that a set neck is glued and clamped to the body one it is fit properly. a piece of wood glued using proper glue to another piece of wood will likely have a stronger joint that just the wood individual piece of wood.

set necks if done properly are just as good as any other joint.

bolt-on necks are nice because they can be tweaked or changed out instead of a refret at some point. the screws, definitly put a vice like grip between the neck and body, holding it together. i only really like carved bolt-ons so the neck joint has better access.

i don't really know enough about neck-through, other than that it would suck if the neck were to be warped, the guitar is firewood.
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#32
I beg to differ. Set necks have glue. Glue does not have the same consistency or resonance as the wood, and in theory will kill resonance and sustain. The same may be true of bolt ons depending on the sound carrying quality of metal, I dont know
This is all theorhetical so if Im wrong please correct.
Also im sure since its still 99.9% wood the diff wouldnt be much, but I bet its there.
#33
I LURVE bolt-on necks compared to set necks/neck tru. They just seem overall better to me. Find what you like.
#34
Much of the above is true. But I was reading a Guitar World once and Kirk Hammet said he hates Bolt-On necks for a number of reasons. One f which was that if he were to bend over (to retrieve a pick or otherwise) he swears he can here his guitar de-tune. I can't discredit that cause I've also heard it. Personally if your a tone-chaser then I would go for set neck. On the other hand if you need to budget yourself then a bolt on is the way to go.
#36
Bolt-ons are not objectively inferior. They are the easiest to make, which is why a lot of cheap and crappy guitars have them. There are, however, plenty of bolt-on guitars in any price range. Besides, these days, mass produced guitars are made by CNC machines, so set necks are no longer an obstacle.

I have found that bolt-on guitars tend to have a stronger attack to their tone, while set necks are sort of smoother sounding. However, since the majority of guitars borrow heavily from Fender and Gibson for their design, it may be down to other factors.
Guitars with bolt-on joints tend to have maple necks and a 25.5 inch scale length.
Guitars with set necks tend to have mahogany necks with rosewood fretboards and a 24.75 inch scale length. These are also contributing factors, so while I can definitely hear a difference, I'm not sure if it can be attributed to the neck joint alone.
Quote by StonedColdCrazy
I beg to differ. Set necks have glue. Glue does not have the same consistency or resonance as the wood, and in theory will kill resonance and sustain. The same may be true of bolt ons depending on the sound carrying quality of metal, I dont know
This is all theorhetical so if Im wrong please correct.
Also im sure since its still 99.9% wood the diff wouldnt be much, but I bet its there.

Wood glues form a bond stronger than the wood itself. Also, consider the fact that very very few guitars are one piece of wood. The fretboard needs to be glued on. The body is usually 2-3 pieces of wood, sometimes with a 2-piece top as well. Even on a neck-through guitar, the neck is made of several pieces for stability, and the body "wings" are glued onto it sideways. I'm not saying it doesn't make any difference, but it's more subtle than you might think.
Last edited by sashki at Jan 6, 2012,
#37
It really just depends on the quality of the instrument. The differences will be negligible with any good playing guitar.


If you have a bolt on guitar with a 5 piece body you can bet your sweet ass there's going to be more glue than a single or two piece body with a set neck.( obvious exaggeration to make a point)

As I said before it all comes down to quality of the instrument. I personally don't care what type of neck a guitar has as long as the heel doesn't bother me.
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Last edited by whyze250f at Jan 6, 2012,
#38
I already my arrogancy in my last (facepalm) post. Even though no one raged at me I thought I'd make it clear. I just came to say that + that both of the 2 posts above THIS post are full of facts. If you haven't (and are wondering about the matter), read them.

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