Neck-through LP, now it’s a scratch build

Skyjerk

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No, no! I get it....sharpening a handplane to perfection, planing perfect joints that actually have some surface tension....that's a very satisfying thing!

Nice work.....very nice!
Thanks Freddy. :)

It was kind of amusing to me that at a time when many builders are advancing the technology they use to build, (CNC) to improve their speed and accuracy, I seem to be going the opposite direction ;)

I didnt use hand planes when I first started building. I was kind of intimidated by them if that doesnt sound too silly. Now I'm full-on in love with them.
 

Skyjerk

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So since I started building 8 years ago, I have had many folks ask me why I go to all the trouble with my construction methods.

Theres a few different reasons, actually. Some of them may well be total crap, but it makes sense in my own mind
and thats good enough for me :)


1. From a practical perspective, my necks are far less affected (not at all actually) by seasonal changes in temp and humidity or even environmental. I gigged several of my guitars dozens of times in different clubs, carried them through hot seasons, cold seasons, humid, dry, etc. Once I set my action it just stays that way pretty much forever.
Rock-solid stability. The necks will still flex, and this is desirable I'm sure you'll agree, but they always come back to zero :)

2. While I havent tested the theory, I am 100% convinced that if this guitar were to slide off the amp where I leaned it (I actually dont ever do that) and landed headstock first on a hard floor, it would totally survive that hit without snapping the headstock off. Between the 3-piece laminate, and the carbon fiber rods which pass that bend, that area of the neck is significantly stronger than guitars (Like LP's) built the traditional way.

3. This third one is more subjective and I'm sure not everyone agrees with this, but the neck-through construction and the rods in the neck IMO add stiffness, which may translate into better sustain. I think the theory is sound, but theres no good way to test it other than I do get great sustain on my guitars, even the ones with Floyd Rose tremolo's.

So, I didnt invent any of these construction methods, and theres no doubt that that its a much bigger pain to build this way, and more wasteful as well, but I like it so thats how I do it.

Of course I better be damn sure that my neck angles are right or I'm screwed ;)

bush_lp_neck41.jpg
 
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dcomiskey

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I'm actually shocked that Gibson doesn't use 3-pc necks. They KNOW it's a flaw and, frankly, inexcusable to not build the in on guitars they're charging upwards of $6k for.

I use CF rods on nearly all my builds bc of your inspiration. For the laminates, though, I usually forgo that (I don't see a need for them on a 7-pc neck, for example).

Excited to see this one done!
 

Skyjerk

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For the laminates, though, I usually forgo that (I don't see a need for them on a 7-pc neck, for example).
I'm sure you are correct. Probably dont need them on a 3-piece either. I just tend to over-build everything I make.
Its my way :)

You should see the weight bench I fabricated. If my calculations are correct, the weakest part can support 3500 lbs.

On a good day I'm benching 245 lbs.

That leaves me 3255 lbs of headroom. Just in case I really start adding some more muscle, you know? ;)
 

Freddy G

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3. This third one is more subjective and I'm sure not everyone agrees with this, but the neck-through construction and the rods in the neck IMO add stiffness, which may translate into better sustain. I think the theory is sound, but theres no good way to test it other than I do get great sustain on my guitars, even the ones with Floyd Rose tremolo's.
My observations in building neck through guitars are that yes indeed, there is great sustain. But the main difference that I have consistently noted is that the fundamental of a note is predominant compared to set neck or bolt on. Meaning that the harmonics of a note don't bloom as much....That predominant fundamental is why neck throughs sound "tighter" or more controlled.
 

Skyjerk

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My observations in building neck through guitars are that yes indeed, there is great sustain. But the main difference that I have consistently noted is that the fundamental of a note is predominant compared to set neck or bolt on. Meaning that the harmonics of a note don't bloom as much....That predominant fundamental is why neck throughs sound "tighter" or more controlled.
I noticed a distinct difference from the first handful of builds I did compared with the more recent ones, and this stems (IMO) from one particular thing. When I first started building I liked a guitar with a big, fat neck.
When building a pair of 22 specials I noticed a difference in tone between the two. They were both the same "model", my 22 specials. Both neck-through, both mahogany bodies with maple tops, and both the same pickups. One had a beefy neck and the other was a good bit thinner. The one with the beefy neck sounded kind of flat and lifeless, the other was significantly more vibrant and had better harmonics.

I concluded from this that theres definitely such a thing as the neck being too stiff, and that having 3-piece neck-through, with carbon fiber, and a fat neck was just too stiff and it choked the life out of the sound. My more recent builds all have much thinner necks and the sound is much more lively. Everything in balance. Too flexible= bad. Too stiff=bad

Is it possible that the neck being too rigid is the cause for the effect that you noted, or do you think its more than that?

I temper my beliefs with the fact that I've built (including my current build) a total of 20 guitars. Its a small sample size and cant be considered representative
 

Freddy G

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I noticed a distinct difference from the first handful of builds I did compared with the more recent ones, and this stems (IMO) from one particular thing. When I first started building I liked a guitar with a big, fat neck.
When building a pair of 22 specials I noticed a difference in tone between the two. They were both the same "model", my 22 specials. Both neck-through, both mahogany bodies with maple tops, and both the same pickups. One had a beefy neck and the other was a good bit thinner. The one with the beefy neck sounded kind of flat and lifeless, the other was significantly more vibrant and had better harmonics.

I concluded from this that theres definitely such a thing as the neck being too stiff, and that having 3-piece neck-through, with carbon fiber, and a fat neck was just too stiff and it choked the life out of the sound. My more recent builds all have much thinner necks and the sound is much more lively. Everything in balance. Too flexible= bad. Too stiff=bad

Is it possible that the neck being too rigid is the cause for the effect that you noted, or do you think its more than that?

I temper my beliefs with the fact that I've built (including my current build) a total of 20 guitars. Its a small sample size and cant be considered representative
The stiffness of the neck itself will certainly influence things. But I based my prior statement of observation on necks of the same basic stiffness in the different construction techniques.
 

Skyjerk

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The stiffness of the neck itself will certainly influence things. But I based my prior statement of observation on necks of the same basic stiffness in the different construction techniques.
Interesting. I wonder how the addiction or removal of a glue joint produces this effect.
Possible that in a through-neck, rather than reducing the harmonic, the fundamental is enhanced ?
The net effect of this change in ratio being the harmonic overtones to appear reduced in the overall sound?

Just tryin to make sense of it :)
 

Freddy G

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I would think it is simply because the entire length of the string's anchor points, from one end to the other, and the material in between is homogeneous. One piece with a specific resonance. The wings are a minor afterthought.
 

Skyjerk

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I would think it is simply because the entire length of the string's anchor points, from one end to the other, and the material in between is homogeneous. One piece with a specific resonance. The wings are a minor afterthought.
that makes sense.

I wonder if it would make a difference when its neck-through, but also a 3-piece laminate as I build em...

I'm probably over-thinking things. I'm just curious...
 

Freddy G

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that makes sense.

I wonder if it would make a difference when its neck-through, but also a 3-piece laminate as I build em...

I'm probably over-thinking things. I'm just curious...
I think lams (of the same type) do make a small difference in averaging out the resonance Q.
 

Freddy G

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nobody want to see how the sausage is made
 

Skyjerk

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16 days and no sign of the holly veneer. Tired of waiting.

Guess I'm driving to Hearnes this afternoon and getting way more holly than I actually need
 

Kennoyce

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16 days and no sign of the holly veneer. Tired of waiting.

Guess I'm driving to Hearnes this afternoon and getting way more holly than I actually need
I'd offer to send you one, but that would take a couple of days to get to you at a minimum, and of course the one from Tom would end up getting there as soon as I sent one!
 

nuance97

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A nice piece of clear/white Poplar is an indistinguishable substitute for holly, and they sell very small headstock sized pieces at Lowe’s
 

Skyjerk

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Too late. Hearnes is. 25 minute drive and I’m there and back already :)
 

fatdaddypreacher

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A nice piece of clear/white Poplar is an indistinguishable substitute for holly, and they sell very small headstock sized pieces at Lowe’s
that would have been my answer, especially for a build that is not vintage. i have tons of clear white poplar laying around and made some veneer for headstocks. it is ideal for hs material.
 

Skyjerk

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that would have been my answer, especially for a build that is not vintage. i have tons of clear white poplar laying around and made some veneer for headstocks. it is ideal for hs material.
my goal was to keep materials “vintage” even if the construction methods aren’t, so poplar wouldn’t have been an option anyway. It’s for me, I’d hear the difference ;-)

I even have a braz board going on here

no biggie. It’s my fault really. I was at hearnes for the mahogany and I intended to get a piece of holly there and just forgot. So I got lazy and ordered one from Bartlett’s not thinking that the USPS or Canada post would screw up so badly.

This is price of poor planning, but it’s paid now. Moving forward :)
 


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