Bolt On Neck

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by ronnieanand, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u

    I want to know what are the Pros and Cons of a Bolt On Neck as compared to a Thru Body Neck... Leave alone the advantage of easy replacement of neck in case the neck breaks.. Tell me tonally and regarding narural reverberations and sustain..
  2. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    The only difference in sustain and tone may be there because the rigidity of a bolt-on neck fixed to the body will be different from the rigidity of thru-neck fixed to the body.

    This is also according to physics, dunno about real guitars and practical problems faced.
  3. abhijitnath

    abhijitnath Fighting GAS frantically

    Cons-If you use a different wood for the body and neck (typically maple neck and alder/ash/basswood body), the resonance of the woods will be different and you wouldn't get the strong fundamental tone of the same material being used for neck and body.
    Pros-Neck angle is an important component in determining tone. Typically a neck throug would have zero angle, whereas you can adjust what angle you want with bolt ons using shims depending on what kind of tonal characterisitics you want.
  4. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    ^ Hey welcome back.
  5. Luthier

    Luthier New Member

    A neck-through would definitely have better sustain compared to a bolt-on. In case of a bolt-on the string vibrations do not get transmitted to the body from the neck and vice-versa because of the sloppy bolts in between which do not make for good a transmission medium. Whereas a neck through has even wood all through it's neck so it's comparatively better.
    But the same can also be said about peghead joints since they too have scarf joints or are cut in the same wood as the neck. This too is tonally important.
    But in the end it alll comes to how good the construction is ?.
  6. umangu

    umangu New Member

    A Bolt on has NO real advantages.

    Fenders have them only to cut prices and mass produce.

    That's why their guitars are made from 1 piece, unlaminated wood.
    No carved tops.
    Very shoddy routing, which is why they have such big pickguards
    No binding, which is very labour intensive
    No paint schemes that compare to Gibson sunbursts
    No inlay. Their logo is also just a sticker

    1 more thing. Rajnikanth above is wrong. The wood being different doesn't matter. Most guitars usually have maple necks while the body is either mahogany (Gibsons) or ash/alder (Fender). That's cuz maple is a very hard wood and won't break.

    A generally acknowledged fact is that bolt-ons won't have the same sutain as glue ins. But you can always compensate with OD and compression, though it just isn't the real deal.

    That's why I say, glue-ins rock! The feel is just so much more solid.
  7. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    ^ LOL @ Rajnikanth.

    BTW are you a Gibson supporter?
  8. TheDevil

    TheDevil Ruler of Hell

    ahahaha Rajnikanth omfg.....that broke off....!!!
  9. vlada729

    vlada729 New Member

    anyone serious here...?

    it definitely comes down only to quality of production...and personal taste...
    -angle doesn't have anything to do with that. so many neck-thru guitars with zero angle to the body. guys, don't mix set-necks and have gibsons and prs with both zero angle or angled necks (but these are set-necks, that is glued in...), and it has nothing to do with sustain or tone...
    -usually, if u take two shitty guitars, one with bolt and one with neck-thru (or set-neck), there's an obvious difference in sustain. take some good ones and, it'd make you think..? can you say that andersons, or suhr guitars with bolt-on necks don't have enough sustain..? more than a lot of gibsons that i've heard...
    -one same guitar with a bolt-on compared to set neck will somehow have less low end (bass), but then, it's just personal...with a thinner sounding guitar you can always change the p-ups, and get that low end somehow, but the other way way...almost
    -this thing is for sure...if you're bying a low, or mid-priced guitar, you'll have probably more problems with a bolt-on neck, due to changes in temperature, humudity, etc...with really good guitars (more expensive, if u will, but there are exceptions) this is not the case...
    so...does this answer enough..?
  10. Johny Bravo

    Johny Bravo The Boy Genius!

    I actually surprised me tht Ronnie didnt know enough abt neck structure. I thought u were pretty proficient when it came to guitars & tone.

    Well the neck of a guitar is supposed to be rather medium strength wood, like mahogany, maple etc. Neck is supposed to sustain enormous tension without being too flexible or brittle, as regular action adjustments are inevitable. Too flexible or rigid necks reduce the truss rod functonality. So, usually either it is a thick to medium one piece neck, or a laminated (3pc, 5pc etc) slim neck.

    The body of a guitar differs with type. For acoustics, the top is supposed to be of maximum strength-to-weight ratio. Spruce is usually the wood of choice. The sides are supposed to be rather more malleable & flexible. The back is usually responsible for that extra spice of tone, and therefore need some heavy wood (the top is main tone determinant). Like a Brazilian rosewood back will tend to be more bass-hefty & projecting, while a maple back will add that high end & sensitivity to it.

    But in solid body guitars, a more sensitive wood is needed, as pups read from the whole block of wood, instead of a thin top. This senstivity is gained by using more soft & light woods. This usually asks for maple, basswood, mahogany, etc type of woods.

    So u see, that it is not really usual to have only one kind of wood for the whole guitar. You have to change the type to get the tone of ur choice. Now im not saying tht 1 piece guitars are never made. Heck, I've seen rosewood top acoustics, what can be crazier than this? While the construction method & technique determine the final tone of a guitar, the effect of wood is surely audible.

    Bolt on necks have a metal joint. The vibrations change the medium from wood (medium sound velocity medium) to metal bolts (fast velocity medium) and back to wood. This changing & then conversion back of medium effects the tone. Usually the longer wavelength suffers most. The construction mainly determines the quality of change, whether is it a good one, or a bad one. It also determines how much of that tone is transmitted. Usually the set-in or thru-body necks tend to have a larger sustain, since it is a wood to wood vibra-travel. Sustain is the major difference b/w the neck construction. Other very subtle changes are very minute. U need an Eric Johnson to point em out.

    So in essence, I would say that in electrics, bolt ons are rather bad choice if u need a lotta sustain. But other tonal differences are very minute to mention. Sustain is the only visible difference. Probably a little tiny bit of bass too.
    In acoustics, bolt-ons have an even minor effect on sustain than electrics. Lets do some crappy maths for it:
    The vibrations of strings are absorbed 50% on top, while 50% on nut. If all goes well at the head, that vibration travels through neck to the joint. Here, the neck heel block is square. So 12.5% of that incoming vibrations is absorbed on each side. That makes 12.5% of it goes to the top, making its total to 62.5%. The sides usually dont vibrate since they are too fixed at the curves to vibrate. We will assume that 25% is wasted. The other 12.5% goes to the back. That adds the final topping to the outgoing tone.
    In electrics, the neck's 50% goes into the wood heel block, which is placed in the solid wood. Here it doesn't matter where it is absorbed since the whole body is one solid block. The joining effects the transition, changing the size & taste of it. A bolt-on will lose some sustain to the metal, but electric will convey more than an acoustic who not only loses 25% of it to the sides, but also lacks much senstitive electronics for vibra detection. Lotta crap, but im sure some of it will help. Peace.
  11. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u


    When did I ever tell you that I am proficient in guitar. :shock: :shock: I am a n00b. :beer: :beer: I am proficient only in Beer Guzzling..
  12. g0g0l

    g0g0l ! SpAm

    ^^Yeah ur last Vid gag showz that :RollLol:
    U lier.. :mad: :mad:
  13. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    That was not a gag, man!
    It was a real gig.
  14. g0g0l

    g0g0l ! SpAm

    ^^Arre yaar same thing :p:..
    Forgot the term.....:eek::
  15. satch_attack

    satch_attack New Member

    you are jokin rite ????.anyway..wats up with this bolt-on neck thread ??..u have a bolt on guitar and a string thru ( parker ) ..i think u have all the necessary equipment at ur place for a shoot out !!!!

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