thelax
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2007
4,564 IQ
#1
what's the real difference in sound between bolt on and set neck??
when talking about les paul or PRS, people seem to consider set neck as superior

but most of fenders and ibanez are bolt ons

i've heard from many that set necks have longer sustain... but is that it?
what's the real difference and why do les paul or prs users prefer it more than bolt ons?

I'm mainly a strat guy so i have shallow experiences with set necks
Lordbob
wat
Join date: Jan 2008
44 IQ
#2
People think there is longer sustain in set necks and neckthroughs, but there really isn't.
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blue_strat
UG Amplified Editor
Join date: Feb 2006
1,481 IQ
#3
It depends. A well-put-together bolt-on can give better sustain than a poorly-done set neck.
thelax
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2007
4,564 IQ
#5
so it's just sustain? no real difference in sound?
given that all other factors are the same, that is
(i mean, i cant really think of a big reason why there would be a noticeable difference in sound)
Trinitron
I love you
Join date: Jul 2008
59 IQ
#6
Quote by blue_strat
It depends. A well-put-together bolt-on can give better sustain than a poorly-done set neck.


So basically the better made guitar has better sustain and is better overall, which is basically how it always is.
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AngelOfHatred
Is Raping Your Churches
Join date: May 2007
967 IQ
#7
They say that set necks get better sustain, but I don't think it's true. My strat sustains for ages, and it's a bolt on.

I find set necks more comfortable, though. They don't have that chunk of the body that connects to the neck sticking out.
ironman1478
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2007
1,910 IQ
#8
there was a study that proved that bolt-on's have the MOST sustain and neck thru's have the LEAST sustain. set neck is really just a bolt on, but with a little better fret access and instead of being bolted on it is glued.
nekromantic
Registered User
Join date: May 2008
1,000 IQ
#10
personally i like set necks more, but its really all opinion, just like some people like passive pickups and others like active pickups
i really just dont like the way they look
but i like the fact that if you break the neck you can just order a new neck instead of having to pay a fortune to get it fixed
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daryle_goh
none
Join date: Sep 2005
947 IQ
#11
i can't comment about sustain or anything

for a bolt-on, if the neck breaks, you can order a new one

but for a set neck, if the neck breaks, you can order a new guitar
nekromantic
Registered User
Join date: May 2008
1,000 IQ
#12
Quote by daryle_goh
i can't comment about sustain or anything

for a bolt-on, if the neck breaks, you can order a new one

but for a set neck, if the neck breaks, you can order a new guitar

hahaha
about the breaking is what i was trying to say
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MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,135 IQ
#13
Indeed, in terms of sustain, bolt-on has proven to be the best, while neck-throughs have proven to be the worst. Bolt-ons also offer better dynamic response, while neck-throughs take a huge hit to their responsiveness.
The upshot of that though is neck-throughs can have far better fret access than a bolt-on. For some people, fret access isn't a problem anyway (personally I can reach fret 24 on a bolt-on Les Paul... but then I know others who struggle to get to fret 18 on a neck-through LP, so it can vary wildly depending just on the size of your hands and fingers basically).

Set necks sit somewhere in the middle. Fret access is usually quite good with set necks, and they don't murder responsiveness and sustain as much as neck-throughs (though they do harm it a bit).


The key is though, this is assuming the bolt-on join is a good one. A bad bolt-on join kills tone, sustain and responsiveness more than anything else.
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ironman1478
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2007
1,910 IQ
#14
Quote by MrFlibble
Indeed, in terms of sustain, bolt-on has proven to be the best, while neck-throughs have proven to be the worst. Bolt-ons also offer better dynamic response, while neck-throughs take a huge hit to their responsiveness.
The upshot of that though is neck-throughs can have far better fret access than a bolt-on. For some people, fret access isn't a problem anyway (personally I can reach fret 24 on a bolt-on Les Paul... but then I know others who struggle to get to fret 18 on a neck-through LP, so it can vary wildly depending just on the size of your hands and fingers basically).

some set neck(i don't think there are any normal neck thru les pauls) les pauls have that huge ass heel in the back and
I am wet
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Join date: Aug 2008
1,284 IQ
#15
It's kind of what you like, i just have issues when going onto a Fender necks on the upper frets.
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Metallilmeister
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2007
198 IQ
#16
The tone and feel of a set neck is very different.

Bolt ons are usually bright and piercing. Set necks have a warmer fuller tone.

I personally, would only use a set neck or a Neck through.
marko jawornick
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2013
210 IQ
#18
Set necks found on gibsons and afew others
Bolt on necks found on like fenders and a few others
And it all depends on how you think which looks best and which is most comfortable when playing at high frets. but i guess sustain is the only thing that really gives the difference