Necks; set vs bolt vs neck through.

Dolebludger

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
14,793
Reaction score
13,699
I don’t know where to post this, so I’ll post it here, as it is relevant to many guitar makes. Which of these neck attachments make for the best guitar? In terms of tone, sustain, and playability? I have all three types. But beyond the high fret accessibility problems with the bolt one, I can’t really hear or feel a difference. But what do I know? So educate me.
 

smk506

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
3,984
Reaction score
6,989
I used to be a firm believer that set necks or neck throughs were the only ways to go for a ‘good’ guitar with lots of tonez and sustains.

I’ve come around the last some odd years though to believing that a good guitar is a good guitar, plain and simple. If the parts all fit well then it doesn’t really matter imo.
 

Ghostman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
719
Reaction score
1,024
Personal taste at best. For every opinion that set necks are the best, you'll get an opinion that neck-throughs are, and another that bolt ons are.

I prefer neck-throughs mostly for the feel. And bolt on's feel cheap to me, since every entry guitar is a bolt on, for some reason this just sits in my brain that they are inferior to set necks or neck throughs.
 

hbucker

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
3,775
Reaction score
1,440
As has been stated, there is no rule. Generally, I think Neck-Through designs have a more ridged feel. And maybe more sustain. But wood and build quality are more important than neck joint style.

I would also suggest that after a point, for many styles, the need for sustain gets overblown.

A good guitar has a good neck joint. But you're the only one who can decide what guitar feels/sounds right to you.
 

Dolebludger

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
14,793
Reaction score
13,699
Thanks all! In fact I can’t hear or feel much difference in guitars due to neck attachment type. When I posted about high fret access, I forgot about my old Honda Longhorn with a bolt neck that has good access up to fret #31!
 

Freddy G

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
14,302
Reaction score
35,345
My preference for tone is a well set neck with a good length tenon. It's different than a neck thru...
 

Walt_T

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2014
Messages
3,523
Reaction score
3,240
I've owned them all. In the 80s I was playing an Ibanez MC300 neck through, wonderful guitar, sorry I let it go. My bandmate was playing a Travis Bean at the time, which was also a joy to play.
I mostly play my Telecasters now, lean and mean. There are set neck Teles available, but I wouldn't expect any improvement in tone.
I've seen some bolt neck acoustics recently, just no.
 

grumphh

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
872
I'll just add to the general consensus that the method of neck attachment is most probably completely irrelevant to the sound of the guitar - at least i wouldn't attribute differences between my guitars to that particular aspect of their construction....
 

moreles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
3,931
Reaction score
2,621
Today's bolt-neck guitars are often made to higher tolerances than in the past, with closely-fit surfaces and neck pockets. (Check out some new, high-end acoustics! Most people don't even know the neck comes off.) This changes somewhat the sonic effect of a bolt-on construction. And, of course, choice of PUs and amps often minimizes inherent differences. But I'm not buying that there is no difference or that it makes no difference. Sure, you can fairly easily get any tone you want from most guitars by various means, but in my experience the old truisms about woods and build features are true across the vast numbers of built guitars (individual instruments vary) -- and actually, pretty obviously so. Yes, I had a maple necked bolt-on with 2 splittable HBs that was as muscular and deep-sounding as my LPs... when it wasn't set to quack, spank, and twang. Doesn't change the basics; just overcomes them.
 

paruwi

Kraut-Rocker
Super Mod
Joined
Dec 24, 2009
Messages
21,191
Reaction score
29,657
that's how I prefer the neck-joint.... :thumbs:

EFL-Neckjoint.jpg
Masterfield neckjoint.jpg
 

efstop

Premium Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
6,926
Reaction score
18,147
A bolt on LP neck doesn't make a Fender, just as a set neck Strat doesn't equate a Gibson. Folks have worked around that (not a) conundrum since 1951.
If it tickles your wick, buy it.
 




Top