#1
Hey there, friends, I have always associated luscious figured tops with premium quality instruments that were always out of my budget. That is until last friday when i went to the local guitar store to see the fresh new stock of guitars. The guy working there is an absolute gear head, and he knows a lot about guitars, how they are made, and of course how to play them well. We were having a conversation about a bolt on ltd eclipse with mahogany body and maple cap. It seemed like it had a quilted maple cap, but or its puny price of 350 euro, i asked if it was a veneer. The guy looked at me as if i had asked the weirdest question ever, and he replied with 'Of course it's a veneer. NO bolt on instrument can have a full figured maple cap on it because it will kill all the sustain. Figured caps are solely for set-neck/neck-through constructions'. He then proceeded to say that all prestige ibanezes, suhrs, etc use veneered tops for their bolt-ons. When i was on the kiesel website though, they do use 4A flame maple caps for their bolt on superstrats (Aries), so I was wondering if the guy at the shop was full of shit, or if his statement has any truth to it.

Sorry for the long post!
#2
I'm very skeptical of the sustain argument. Why would it affect bolt-on guitars exclusively?
The real reason is economics. Bolt-on necks and veneers are cheap to make, so you're likely to see both of those features together on affordable guitars.
#3
Guy is full of shit on every account.

He sounds like way too much of a dick to be working a customer sales job.
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#4
I've yet to see a scientific comparison showing conclusively that a bolt on even produces less sustain than glued/neckthrough, most of the sustain comes from your bridge/nut/frets, the points of contact with the string. The price thing also doesn't really matter these days, glued in set necks are not expensive to produce with lots of entry level guitars sporting them, along with a massive array of extremely expensive guitars that use bolt-on necks.

A lot of stuff that used to be more expensive to produce on guitars is almost irrelevant these days because of vastly superior manufacturing processes and tools like CNC machines. As for veneers, I don't know what to say to that but since I don't have any guitars with veneers I will leave it there.
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Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 26, 2017,
#5
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Guy is full of shit on every account.

He sounds like way too much of a dick to be working a customer sales job.


I dunno, in my experience I'd have said he was well qualified for it

EDIT: But yeah, obviously garbage. There are plenty of bolt-on instruments with proper caps. the old Ibanez RGA121, for example, had a very thick maple cap. It was available in a natural finish, too, so you could see it.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Mar 26, 2017,
#7
Absolute meth head is more like it. Guy is an idiot. Don't go back to that store
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#8
AcousticMirror well the guy was only trying to teach me what he knows tbh... I think he really believes that and he wasnt just pulling shit out of his ass for the sake of selling me bs :P He also asked for my number so i could come back when his boss wasnt there so we could crank up an H&K 100W coreblade and jam out lol
#9
Quote by imarios19991
AcousticMirror well the guy was only trying to teach me what he knows tbh... I think he really believes that and he wasnt just pulling shit out of his ass for the sake of selling me bs :P He also asked for my number so i could come back when his boss wasnt there so we could crank up an H&K 100W coreblade and jam out lol


Well. He doesn't know much. So I don't see the value in continuing to talk to him.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#10
Quote by imarios19991
I was wondering if the guy at the shop was full of shit, or if his statement has any truth to it.


Seriously full of shit. 
#11
Figured tops do resonate differently than their more consistent plain grain brothers but electric guitars are not designed for you to hear the wood resonat.  What we hear is the string moving over the pickup.  The wood actually robs energy from the string and filters out sound.  This does matter but it's a "silence between the notes" sort of thing.  The solid body electric guitar is designed to prevent the wood from vibrating and the bodies are generally thick and heavy enough that switching between figured cap to veneer will produce no audible difference in things like sustain.
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#12
All you need is a guitar, with a good playable setup, that meets your minimum sustain needs. I dropped out of the "minor element X affects sustain by Y%" arguments because it was irrelevant to my needs.  What do I care if I can increase my natural sustain at low volumes from 12 seconds to 12.5 seconds, when the most I need for my songwriting style is 6 seconds? First world problem for guitars that are already good. 
#13
^ yeah definitely. i haven't worried about sustain for some time. give me a decent high gain tube amp and an sd1 or tubescreamer up-front as a boost, and i have all the sustain i need.

granted, what works for me might not work for someone else, but yeah.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
I dont get it... if people want a glued neck, why dont they just take the screws out and glue the neck? What is the difference?
#15
because glue isn't that strong. a set neck needs a tenon joint connecting it to the body
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#16
Quote by AcousticMirror
because glue isn't that strong. a set neck needs a tenon joint connecting it to the body

If the joint is well done, wood glue is often stronger than the wood itself. You sometimes find that when a Gibson's headstock breaks off, is reglued and is broken off again, the break is usually found somewhere else along the neck.
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#17
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
If the joint is well done, wood glue is often stronger than the wood itself. You sometimes find that when a Gibson's headstock breaks off, is reglued and is broken off again, the break is usually found somewhere else along the neck.


Those get scarfed and reinforced with tenons. There's a joint there plus glue. That's how mine was repaired. A regular bolt on neck isn't designed that way. The bolts act as part of the joint. If you take the bolts out and replace it with only glue you're missing an important stabilizing piece. It's not going to break right away but 180 or so pounds of pressure there over time is no good.
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#18
Quote by AcousticMirror
Those get scarfed and reinforced with tenons.

Not on the ones I've seen. On most headstock repairs, they just glue the headstock back on as it broke apart with no attempt made to reinforce the structure with tenons or scarfs. Yet the headstock will break somewhere else if the guitar takes a fall.
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#19
Yeah wood glue is really strong. I just saw a neck that had broken in half somewhere in the middle and was simply glued back together. It had been like that for 20 years. It was a gretsch corvette. I cant believe there is much difference in sound or sustain between glued or screwed necks as long as the screws are nice and tight.
Last edited by geo-rage at Mar 30, 2017,