#1
Hi folks,

Anyone have any sound clips of bolt on vs neck thru? (Obviously identical setups besides this difference) Metal preferred, but not essential.

Thanks!
#2
you would never know the difference in tone. if you have good guitar, it doesn't matter much tonally from bolt-on, set, and neck thru. none are inferior nor superior, it is the guitar. if you say bolton's limit playing talk to steve vai or john petrucci. if you think that. if you think set necks are inferior list talk to joe bonamassa. if you think thru is inferior, play a high end parker or some jacksons.

none is better than the others, phenomenal guitarists play them all. the carve may be different, but i don't think that is an issue with any of the aforementioned guitarists. the difference is inaudible. individual identical pickups differ more, or a bit of corrosion on the strings.

i have owned all veresions and own them all now, with the exception jackson i sold it was neck through but it got used a lot.
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#3
From my experience... tone... not much difference at all.

Sustain... oh yea. That could be negated with a compression pedal. But all things equal... Neck Through = a bit more sustain to a lot more sustain.

Sorry I'm not much help. I've been looking for a video like this a few times and came up empty. Just stating my personal experience.
Last edited by cheesefries at May 31, 2014,
#4
I've tried googling this stuff of course, and all I could find (surprisingly) was a ton of people saying bolt on was better! I love the style of the neck thru. I don't have any other way to compare the two, just the style and how it looks.
#5
I say the better sustain on neck throughs minimal at best. What matters is that with neck throughs you have better access to higher frets because the neck does not turn to fat block. On the other hand bolt on is easy to repair, just change the neck if its broken. With glued neck guitars damage to neck can be disasterous.

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#6
Quote by kerryhall
I've tried googling this stuff of course, and all I could find (surprisingly) was a ton of people saying bolt on was better! I love the style of the neck thru. I don't have any other way to compare the two, just the style and how it looks.

That's all good then because that's the only real difference.
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#7
In terms of sustain, bolt on gives the measurably better results than set necks. It's not really noticeable to the ear but it can be seen with high tech equipment. Neck through are not something I have personally measured mostly because and I don't know of a reliable to compare thos measurements to set and bolt on necks. People I trust say that they actually have the least sustain but I don't know if i believe that or not.

In terms of tone, I prefer the bolt on neck to set neck. The wood on wood contact (no spongy glue layer) gives you better top end and more definition between notes. If you want a slightly more muddled (smooth) sound then set neck is a better option. Again, I don't have the experience with neck throughs (all other things being equal) to make an informed judgement about how they compare. The seem to be more responsive and defined than bolt on or set but that might just be from body design and wood choice .
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#8
imo, the tonal differences are minimal at best, and probably completely inaudible if you're playing metal, because the chances are the amp will be distorting the sound to the point where it overrides most of the details of the guitar's tone. combine that with the natural compression that occurs when you overdrive an amp that much and that's the variation in sustain practically eliminated, too.

Personally, I like guitars with smooth heels and a lot of bolt ons tend to be clunky, but then again, so are some PRS set neck heels. the impact it has on the tone has never been something i've considered when buying a guitar.
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#9
^in metal, I can't imagine I'd be able to tell a difference either. I play mostly clean so if I listen I can hear a difference but it doesn't jump out at me. I do think you brought up the key point though and that is "how does it feel" because if a guitar doesn't feel right in your hands then nothing else matters. In terms of tone the difference in marginal at best but they feel completely different.
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#10
Bolt-on neck tend to very durable and a lot cheaper to fix.
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#11
There was a formal, published test sometime ago & threads about it on this very site.
Using 3 "well made" examples of the joining methods, the bolt on won by a margin not detectable to the human ear but detectable on measurement equipment.

When you're talking cheaper guitars all bets are off.
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#12
You can't really tell if there's a difference between them. There are so many other factors.

But I think it's more about high fret access vs being easy to repair than tone.

Just try different guitars. I wouldn't rule out a guitar just because it's not neck through body (unless you absolutely hate the (lack of) high fret access of a bolt on neck). Same as I wouldn't rule out a guitar because it's not made of a certain wood. Try some guitars, don't just look at them on paper.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jun 1, 2014,
#13
Quote by KenG
There was a formal, published test sometime ago & threads about it on this very site.
Using 3 "well made" examples of the joining methods, the bolt on won by a margin not detectable to the human ear but detectable on measurement equipment.


Nope. If you're talking about the "test" whose conclusions (only) were widely quoted while the actual methodology is rarely mentioned? That "test" was unscientific, badly done and no guitars were actually used. And the "bolt on" fixture (single string bench device) didn't win -- no measuring equipment was used, no repeatable/controllable "pluck" method was used and the audience (perhaps 10 people who listened to a recording was unable to tell a difference. It was just a ****-up.
#14
Quote by CorduroyEW
In terms of sustain, bolt on gives the measurably better results than set necks. It's not really noticeable to the ear but it can be seen with high tech equipment. .


Never happened. Point to a single instance. Just one that used real guitars and results that were measured with "high tech equipment" in a scientifically viable environment. Don't dredge up the bozo who produced an inconclusive test using unscientific methods with no guitars (single string bench fixtures simulating bolt neck and set neck) by playing recordings to perhaps 10 people who weren't able to discern a difference. He published it in his own club's magazine.

Out of perhaps 50 guitars that I've got , probably a solid 50% are neck-through (there are seven Carvins alone). I own a total of four bolt-necks (one cheap fender bass, one custom-built metal pointy, one Variax 500, one Variax JTV-89F). The rest are set neck or neck-through. I can tell you that a Travis Bean neck-through with an aluminum neck and a Yamaha SG2000 very heavy neck-through are the two sustain leaders of the bunch. And by that I mean guitar into amplifier on a clean setting.

There are a lot of factors that enter into sustain (again, native guitar sustain, not that derived from electronics or feedback) and that also determine native guitar tone, and those vary from guitar to guitar. It's nearly impossible to find a manufacturer who produces nearly identical guitars in both neck arrangements.
#15
Quote by JustRooster
Bolt-on neck tend to very durable and a lot cheaper to fix.


I think that depends on the guitar, the materials, the design, etc. I've never had a guitar that needed a neck replaced or removed for any reason. And in terms of guitar man-years and travel mileage, I've got some pretty high reference numbers.

The reputation for bolt-on neck durability has a lot to do with headstock design. The silly thing that Gibson LPs have produces a lot of work for guitar repairmen, who fix the same basic break over and over again. The second-most broken headstock is the Jackson-style tilted pointy, which breaks usually between the farthest and the second farthest tuners.

Fender strats/teles rarely have a headstock break in part because the string pull is largely straight-line. Other guitars with the same kind of headstock have the same durability.

A neck-through guitar with a straight-pull headstock rarely shows up in a guitar tech's place with a break, period. A bolt neck-guitar will show up with issues around the neck-body join -- it's usually not the neck that's the problem, but the body (neck pocket cracks and breaks around the bolts). And it's too often the work of a pissed-off wife <G>.