#1
well, my slow moving guitar build is at yet another crossroad. for the longest time i was planning on doing a mahogany body, birdseye top and a bolt on maple or mahogany or rosewood neck with a rosewood or ebony fingerboard. i own the mahogany body blank, have the top, but dont have the neck. nothing is really cut yet, but im unsure of how i want to connect the neck now. i wanted to do a bolt on for easy of installation, this is my first build and a bolt on seems easier. and if the neck gets fvcked up i can pull it off. im starting to think i dont want to do a bolt on. someone talk me into a set neck, a through body(i can slice the body if i have to, the top isnt on yet so im not too far along to make major changes) or a bolt on.

my thoughts....

bolt on: first build, simplifies things, i think

set: better joint between body and neck, more sustain.

neck-through: no joint, much better sustain.

now im trying to stay away from a real bright sounding guitar as my current giging one already is just how i want it for that sound. but i want a better rhythm sounding one.

sorry for the random post, its raining and im looking at my almost stationary build trying to figure out what the hell i want to do to it.
#2
i went to a MAB (Michael Angelo Batio) Clinic recently, and he said that there is little to no diff. between them, just persoanl preference. on a bolt on nexk if there are any breaks or anything all you have to do it pop it off, fix it and move on. but on a neck though guitar its alot more involved and expensive to fix it
#3
neck-thru is the ****. got it on my KH-602 and it plays like a mofo. great feel, great mobility
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#4
you are wrong on all of those when it comes to sustain.

neck-through is the easiest for me. bolt on is the easiest for most... set necks suck to make unless you really know what you are doing and you really know your jigs.
#6
see in my mind a neck through seems the easiest by far because you eliminate the need to cut a perfect neck pocket. i just dont want to fvck something up along the way and ruin the whole thing instead of just half. im very confident in my ability to pull it off, but theres the off chance.... damnit i hate and love making one thats exactly what i want. i change my mind every 3 days it seems like.

and about the sustain, ok, i was taking a shot in the dark, my thought was more wood contact/bonded, better transfer of vibrations through the instrument. if i may ask, what does give it better sustain?
#8
Quote by forsaknazrael
You are right about the neck pocket deal. A neck pocket/heel can be challenging, honestly. It was just the easiest way for Fender to mass produce their guitar.


thats what i figured. you get a cnc machine to churn them out and its not hard to make neck pockets. however ive got a router, not a table router, which im fine using for my pickup and electronics routing since theres a tiny bit more room for error, its just im kinda a perfectionist, or at least try to be when i can, and this seems like the hardest part of the whole ordeal to get right, and needs to be right.
#10
Quote by forsaknazrael
If you build a bolt-on right, so it's super snug, it's pretty much the same amount of sustain as a set neck.

The real reason neck through is nice is because the access should be much better.

I agree on the first part, but have to disagree with the second. Depending on the type of guitar shape you have will dictate the accessibility to the higher fretboard. I am in the midst of building a JEM, where i have access to a 28th fret if a friggin want. The difference in set neck or neck through is negligible when it comes to sustain.

Quote by forsaknazrael
personally, I think shaping the neck is one of the more difficult processes.

I believe the standard procedure is to make a jig or template of some sort and run the router through that. I wasn't there when my friend cut out his neck, though, so I'm not sure.


Most definitely. The neck for me took 2 tries, and i finally got it on my 3rd. It took me lots of forward thinking, double-checking to make sure that cutting or shaping something wont interfere with whatever i needed to shape or cut later. For example, i started with a block of wood and then routed (using a router table) the back shape just to get me started. If i had cut the headstock out and shaped that first, then i would have to shape the back of the guitar by hand, which would have taken forever and would have been a nightmare. Unfortunately you said you wont have a table router, so i would suggest going to your school or something to borrow one; also, the bit is gnarly-looking and really ****ing expensive. You can do it by hand, which a lot of pros prefer, like Ormsby, but personally, i cant see the finished product in my head well enough to start shaving away with a huge rasp.

You can read more about how i did it on my build.

Neck through, set or bolt-on, whatever you choose, will take about the same amount of time. Now, with the bolt on, obviously you will have to rout the body to accommodate where the neck will be bolted. Not too hard with a hand-held router. Make a jig, make sure its perfect, no mistakes. Remember when you are routing something that deep, to make several passes, 1/8"-ish deep at a time. If you dont, the bit will heat up, which leads to all sorts of bad crap happening; not to mention the wood will chip away.
Last edited by dogismycopilot at Aug 25, 2008,
#11
your sustain depends on a number of factors... from my experience, here is a list, beginning from most important to least

setup
picking style
pick itself (thickness/material)
pickups
glue joints
wood (weight of the guitar also applies)
hardware quality (nut/bridge)

yeah you can pluck an A note on two different guitars and one will go longer, but you never do that while playing. its all about the way you play when it comes to notation and longevity. if you have perfect vibrato and picking skills, you will have more sustain. etc.
#12
I believe that a bolt on has more sustain because there's more wood on wood contact (don't quote me on this though). But, really it all comes down to personal preference. For this build you shouldn't do a neck through for obvious reasons. What sort of body shape is it - some types of neck joints just look better with others (IMO, an LP with a bolt on looks hideous from behind, but a strat wouldn't really be complete without it), but like I said it's all personal preference. I hear that doing a bolt on is easier (dunno why, I guess because you may be working with a neck angle or glue with a set in neck)
#13
Quote by kenan6346
I believe that a bolt on has more sustain because there's more wood on wood contact (don't quote me on this though). But, really it all comes down to personal preference. For this build you shouldn't do a neck through for obvious reasons. What sort of body shape is it - some types of neck joints just look better with others (IMO, an LP with a bolt on looks hideous from behind, but a strat wouldn't really be complete without it), but like I said it's all personal preference. I hear that doing a bolt on is easier (dunno why, I guess because you may be working with a neck angle or glue with a set in neck)
IMO, the reason so many people do bolt on necks for their first build is that it's much easier to fix mistakes. I removed the neck on my LP-100 for repairs, and when I bolted it back on, I didn't notice that Epiphone didn't line their pocket up correctly, so when I strung it, the high e string was off the fretboard, and the low e was in the middle of it. Luckily the neck pocket was severely oversized for the neck, and I could simply loosen it, and pull one way while bolting it back on to compensate. Such things are impossible with a set neck. It does lend itself to less accurate pockets. A proper bolt on will have just as tight of a pocket as a set neck, but there is more room for error in the pocket.
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Last edited by DuctTapeNinja at Aug 26, 2008,
#14
I like the feel of playing on a neck through - But there is no real proof that theres a difference in sustain between bolt on, set neck, or neck through. And I've never actually found a difference myself.

Bolt on certainly can simplify your build. If you go bolt on you can keep working on the body and decide what to do with the neck later.
#15
I used to prefer set necks and neck through construction to bolt on's, but I find myself leaning more and more toward bolt on's as I get older. I constantly screw with the setup on whatever guitars I have and it's way easier to change things like the neck angle on a bolt neck guitar. If I go to a bridge that has a different static height, I can compensate without having to do any serious wood work, and I can angle or shim as necessary to put the action in the correct ball park while optimizing the adjustment I have over the scale.

I don't worry about sustain.....ever. My basswood bodied bolt neck with plastic neck shims sustains every bit as well as the Les Paul I sold last year.
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#16
yeah fvck it... i really want to do a set or neck through, but imma probably end up with a bolt on. i havnt herd a good enough reason to not do a bolt on.
#17
Quote by chris024
yeah fvck it... i really want to do a set or neck through, but imma probably end up with a bolt on. i havnt herd a good enough reason to not do a bolt on.


I mean, you dont need a neck.
#18
honestly, a neck thru is easier to build. bolt ons require good routing skills.
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#20
I was fine making a neck socket for a bolt on with just a pencil and a chisel. Not the most precise method i know but at the end of it i have a tight fitting joint with no shimming needed. Plus i prefer workign with handtools and im a cheap bastard :P
#21
Just to clarify something...
Quote by chris024
and about the sustain, ok, i was taking a shot in the dark, my thought was more wood contact/bonded, better transfer of vibrations through the instrument. if i may ask, what does give it better sustain?
You came to a very common (but incorrect) assumption.

IF you stop and give the whole construction some thought, it becomes more obvious why a good bolt-on provides more sustain than a neck-through, and in some cases, even a set neck gives more sustain than a neck-through.

A neck-through gives more wood-to-wood contact, right? Wrong. You need to remember that really, none of the wood makes contact - it's all glued in, after all. It's basically just one giant set neck join.
Then you think but ah, surely just having more mass in the join makes more sustain? Well again no, since whatever extra wood you have on the neck join, you have to take out of the body. So you're not actually gaining any wood mass anywhere. If both the neck and body are made of the same wood then all you're doing is adding extra glue and reducing the body's natural sustain (leaving it all intact as one solid piece is always going to provide more sustain than a body which is made of two or more separated parts). Worse still, if the body and neck are made of different wodds (and most commonly, the neck wood will be one which provides less natural sustain than the body wood), then you're replacing perfectly good high-sustain body wood with inferior, lower-sustaining neck wood - what's the point?


Really, the only good thing about neck-throughs is the higher fret access for people with smaller hands. Bolt-ons and set necks both offer far more advantages for the average player though, not to mention are easier to make and easier to repair if things go wrong!
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