Bolt on Guitars have MORE sustain Study :

valvetoneman

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I just proved to a guy that a set neck strat i made has better sustain than the guys bolt on neck strat that he played

He could hear the difference
 

chasenblues

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Neck through construction (for electric guitars and basses) is considered to offer the best sustain, followed by set neck (i.e. glued on) construction. Bolt-on necks are considered to offer the worst sustain. A recent experiment in this area suggests that this order may be backwards and that folks can't hear the difference in sustain based on neck joint type anyway.
Although limited in scope, this study does suggest that correlation between sustain and neck joint type may not be of practical significance.
.
 

cmjohnson

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One of my guitars, a set neck that I made, has such absurdly long sustain that there are times when you have to mute strings because they'll ring longer than the music calls for. It out-sustains any bolt-on necked guitar I have personally encountered.

Sustain alone is not a guiding principle for a guitar anyway, not for me. I simply do
not care for bolt-on necks. I consider that to be a way to make a guitar more easily, but not to make a guitar better.
 

TheX

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I just proved to a guy that a set neck strat i made has better sustain than the guys bolt on neck strat that he played

He could hear the difference
Two guitars is not a valid test.
 

chasenblues

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Two guitars is not a valid test.
What about using only 1 neck..?

A test instrument was built using neck through construction. Audio recordings were made of this instrument using a uniform picking mechanism. The neck was sawed off and then attached with screws (bolt-on configuration) and audio recordings were again made in the same manner. The neck was then glued in place (set neck configuration) and allowed to dry.
 

cmjohnson

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A considerably more valid evaluation methodology would have been to:

Construct the instrument with a tightly fitting neck joint suitable for glueing in place.

Attach it with screws. Test.

Remove the screws, glue the neck in, let dry, test again.

That way the only variable is the glue joint vs. the screws.

Prediction if this methodology is followed: No statistically significant variance in sustain will be found.
 

rabidhamster

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strangely little info presented in that study, other than a couple paragraphs. Since my own personal findings dont necessarily correlate - and htey dont describe the neck pocket design, I'll continue to trust my own real world findings that disagree with them, to an extent. a well executed neck joint will sustain as well as the sum of the rest of the parts. But there is more to tone and music than what sustains longest.

A PRS neck joint glued in or bolted? No difference in sustain, but definitely a difference in tone, IMO.

A sloppy 70s fender neck pocket vs a new MIJ 70s reissue neck pocket - both bolted? Oh you can hear the difference there too.



Which fruit sustains longer, an apple or an orange?
Well, a new independent study says youre wrong.
 

Open_Book

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Well, a caramelised fruit will sustain longer. In a nutshell: All the resin has been hardened.
 

chasenblues

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A considerably more valid evaluation methodology would have been to:

Construct the instrument with a tightly fitting neck joint suitable for glueing in place.

Attach it with screws. Test.

Remove the screws, glue the neck in, let dry, test again.

That way the only variable is the glue joint vs. the screws.

Prediction if this methodology is followed: No statistically significant variance in sustain will be found.
But your suggestion leaves out the neck thru that was also mentioned in the article.

Maybe i'm thinking about it/looking at this rather simplistically but wouldn't you get a truer result by using a basic "standard" model of

1 bolt on neck guitar,
1 Set Neck,
1 neck thru..
 

valvetoneman

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Two guitars is not a valid test.
You're right all the set neck guitars I've made are better, my ears don't lie

There are other factors too and I just can't stand bolts messing up a good finish

Another limitation to bolts is you can't sculpt a joint like my 2 I've just made, I like to smooth everything in and get rid of the brick for a heel
 

Ripthorn

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People have been conducting experiments such as these with guitars for some time. Most all of the experimental design is non-robust and produces statistically insignificant results. Some do a better job of eliminating certain variables than others (e.g., a plucking apparatus), but there are still a whole world of variables that no one touches. I'm an acoustic physicist by profession and training, so I look at experiments like these much like I look at my kids' science fair projects: entertaining, but not necessarily the kind of science to support broad claims such as "bolt on guitars have more sustain". That's like tasting a strawberry and saying "red fruit is sweet" while neglecting the fact that a tomato is not a terribly sweet red fruit.

I occasionally think about guitar experimental design and the way one would have to design the experiments to carefully control all the variables is difficult. For example, just the glue used is worthy of its own entire study, as would be the effect of machining tolerances on sustain (or tone, or whatever you want). In short, experiments are fun, but the scope of the conclusions should be limited to the instrument(s) actually used and not beyond that, unless you have controlled for all the variables except the one you are comparing.

On a practical note, I just go with whatever works best for the design choices of the guitar I am building. Sometimes, I need a set neck for clean look or sculpted heel, or whatever. Sometimes, it needs to be a bolt on because of aesthetics or other choices. Just do what you like and don't worry about naysayers. A lot of awesome music has been made on crappy guitars.
 

Baylin

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I believe it's all down to the particular pieces of wood used and the quality of construction. A nice quality chunk of lumber poorly joined will reduce the vibrations deadening the sound and reducing sustain. A naff piece of wood well joined may well ring quite well. Whether that join is glue or bolts is irrelevant so long as the fit is good.

The cheap kit (3 piece body and top glued neck) that got me into building sustains longer than my mates 77 custom (1 piece body 3 piece top glued neck)
 

ARandall

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Yep, the testing regime is always flawed with these sort of tests.

Its like you need 3 parallel universes where the very same wood gets made into the 3 types of construction separately.

But too, you need about 1000 test subjects (maybe of each type) to create the volume of data to start to generate a proper statistical significance to the average.
 

Skyjerk

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I don't buy it simply because it makes no sense from a physics perspective :)
 

David Collins

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It's been a while since I read that article, but if I recall correctly Motorola did not make any argument that bolt on necks had more sustain, but rather that although a small amount of increase was noticed or measured in the bolt on, that it was not a statistically significant change, and his conclusions were that the neck joint in isolation did not affect any notable differences in any direction.

This would of course make sense, and line up with any reasonable predictions based on reliable physics.
 

David Collins

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I've seen a few posts mentioning two guitars, or suggesting using only one neck.

It seems the full study may not be published here, but as I recall the arrangement was all done with a single chassis. First tests were done as one piece (neck through), then sawn apart and bolted back together (bolt on), then screws removed and glued together (set neck).

The conclusions from these limited results were that all else being equal (which never is true in anecdotal comparisons most base their positions on), that this singular factor did not appear to contribute to or detract from the sustain by any noticeable degree.
 

Skyjerk

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I've seen a few posts mentioning two guitars, or suggesting using only one neck.

It seems the full study may not be published here, but as I recall the arrangement was all done with a single chassis. First tests were done as one piece (neck through), then sawn apart and bolted back together (bolt on), then screws removed and glued together (set neck).

The conclusions from these limited results were that all else being equal (which never is true in anecdotal comparisons most base their positions on), that this singular factor did not appear to contribute to or detract from the sustain by any noticeable degree.
If they sawed it off and then bolted it on it would have to be both shorter and have less mass after being cut and bolted on and then glued in

I'm trying to visualize how this could be done without significantly altering too many things for any results to have meaning. I'm not having any luck coming up with a reasonable method.

Doesn't mean there isn't one, of course. It's just that i can't imagine what it would be :)
 

Open_Book

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Maybe after sawing the neck they added back the saw kerf amount before bolting it together. I'm sure a bat might have heard the difference. In flight, obviously. Stationary theres too many variable like crickets, tumbleweed...

There was a guy who did an experiment after the Mottola paper -

Sustain Myth or Fiction - more apples, etc...
 


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