PRS vs Gibson neck joints, similar different?

Sirstringalot

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Was curious to learn if one method is better than the other strength wise.. For example a Gibson SG vs S2 PRS.
Thanks
 

searswashere

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Strength wise in terms of what? Neither guitar is going to break at the neck joint unless you seriously mistreat it. I'm not a woodworker but they are basically the same joint near as I can tell (my main touring guitar was an S2 singlecut, I have a 594 and a few les pauls).
 

ArchEtech

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The heel on the PRS is superior in my opinion but I don’t there is drastically any differences in how the neck is fitted it it hr pocket.
 

Arkog

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PRS propaganda says they get one neck from the strongest part of a large billet of wood.

 

ARandall

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^ I wonder what guess work goes into finding the 'strongest' part of a wood blank you can't see into nor test for strength before you irretrievably remove wood.

As to the premise of the thread, the strongest neck joint is the one with the right fit between mortice and tenon, with just the right amount of glue used so it can be easily clamped with the right amount of tension.
 

cmjohnson

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The PRS neck joint is larger with more surface area for gluing. It is also simpler and doesn't require careful hand trimming of the joint where the face of the body mortise meets the face of the neck tenon.

I don't make the Gibson style neck joint on my own guitars. I use the PRS style, which is, in my opinion, both easier to make and superior in terms of contact area and strength.

PRS style neck joint. (Typical example)

1653388841826.png


The Gibson style neck joint: (Some have even less material, like an SG joint.)
Note, this isn't an actual Gibson. But the neck joint style is similar to a common Gibson neck joint.




1653388952702.png
 
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cmjohnson

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Don't know. I know that Gibson has used a lot of different neck joint types. The example I posted above is not their long tenon type. Long tenon is better but in any event it still doesn't have the contact surface area of the PRS joint.
 

Arkog

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^ I wonder what guess work goes into finding the 'strongest' part of a wood blank you can't see into nor test for strength before you irretrievably remove wood.

As to the premise of the thread, the strongest neck joint is the one with the right fit between mortice and tenon, with just the right amount of glue used so it can be easily clamped with the right amount of tension.
Tapping on wood method at 2:47:

 

ARandall

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Tapping just gives the tone of the whole blank. Tap it on each side and it will still ring the same way, even if the impossible scenario of one half being 'weak' and the other half being 'strong' actually ever occurred.
 

rfrizz

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I don't know if this is relevant, but some PRS guitars have a 25.5-scale (ex: SE Standard 245.) compare to Gibson's 24.75 and Fender's 25.5. That means a little less tension from the strings.
 

cmjohnson

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The difference in string tension is only about 6 percent. I know some people are really sensitive to the difference in the tension feel and scale length of a 24.675" and 25.5" neck, but as for myself I barely notice and care even less.

I don't care for Fender style guitars much but the reason is everying BUT the difference in scale length.
 

rfrizz

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The difference in string tension is only about 6 percent. I know some people are really sensitive to the difference in the tension feel and scale length of a 24.675" and 25.5" neck, but as for myself I barely notice and care even less.

I don't care for Fender style guitars much but the reason is everying BUT the difference in scale length.
My objection to 25.5'/650m comes from my tiny-ass hands. My shoe size is 7&1/2 to 8, and my hands are just as small. Charlie is average, so either it is a myth, or I got lucky.
 

cmjohnson

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Funny...when I was 22 my shoe size was 9. I was 6 feet tall then and I'm 6 feet tall today. But now I'm 56 and my shoe size is 12 1/2. They just keep growing!
 

1allspub

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I don't know much about PRS's neck joints, but I will say that their headstock design, while highly functional in keeping the strings straight from the nut and set to an angle that doesn't lend to neck breaks, is just so ugly (IMO). Besides it's odd shape, it's like the headstock is too short/small for the rest of the guitar. I always feel like it should be at least 10% longer/larger. That said, I could probably live with it since the rest of their guitars are generally pretty attractive, except for those hideous fretboard bird inlays Paul Reed Smith insists on using. I freaking HATE those! They destroy the whole aesthetic of an otherwise good-looking guitar (nowhere near as good-looking as a Les Paul, but I digress! ;)). I guess Paul's mom was a birdwatcher, hence the bird inlays? IDK, regardless, they're ugly as homemade sin in my book... every time I have ever considered a PRS, those stupid birds ruin it for me (also, not a big 25.5" scale length guy either). Oh well... I think Gibson's neck joint has proven itself to be plenty strong over the last umpteen decades, they the best looking headstock in the industry, period! (yeah, I know, 17* angle, get over it :laugh2:) And no bird inlays. All good!:cool2:
 

dspelman

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I'm not thrilled with either guitars' neck joint. I'm much happier with guitars with neck THROUGH construction. All of my Carvins (but one) are built with the neck running right through to the back strap button. I have several Agile AL-3200s that are neck-through. These are LP-likes that also have a carved neck heel and tummy cut, and the necks are multi-piece; much stronger than those of either PRS or Gibson.
 

cmjohnson

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Actually neck-thru is no guarantee of superior sustain or even neck stability compared to a well fitted set neck. But it does mean you don't have to execute a tight neck joint.

Neck-thru construction sounds superior from a theoretical standpoint. In the real world it's just another valid design choice with its own tradeoffs, but does not offer any clearly superior attributes.

Personally I like the PRS headstock shape, which is ACTUALLY an old Gibson shape that they hadn't used in a long time, and actually got formal permission from Gibson to use, and I like the birds.

There are people who love these cosmetic choices, and there are those who don't care for them. We all have our own tastes. Personally I find Telecasters to be butt ugly but some people love them. Great. To each his own. If I'd been living in Maryland in the late 80s there's no way I would have NOT ended up working for PRS in the early years....(or trespassed and told never to set foot on the property again, and that means stay out of our dumpster! :laugh2: ) Paul's design aesthetics match mine very closely and always have. But he treated it as a lot more than a hobby and earned huge success by doing so.

My own headstock shape (seen in my avatar) is a derivative of the PRS shape, obviously with a reshaped top section. The reduced mass helps to keep balance with a slightly more massive body. It is close to a straight string pull design, with the string angle deviation being just a few degrees, contributing to tuning stability. Reduced mass also means that in the event of a fall, the headstock has a higher chance of surviving, and I recently accidentally put this to the test. It passed with flying colors. If it had been a Les Paul it would have cracked for sure. SG? SNAP!
 

ARandall

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I guess if you're not into the mechanics of what real glue in neck joints entail,....or you've never actually had a raw glue in neck/body in your hands before the gluing is done, then out of ignorance you'd try and convince people that neck thru has to be better.
But there is zero truth to it. Plus you have much more flexibility with a bolt on or glue in to manipulate angles. Neck through is a real waste of wood too, which is why you usually see so few design other than super strat type builds done using it.
But the real downside to neckthrough is where you have serious neck shaft issues.......its bonfire time at this point usually.
 

BKS

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My objection to 25.5'/650m comes from my tiny-ass hands. My shoe size is 7&1/2 to 8, and my hands are just as small. Charlie is average, so either it is a myth, or I got lucky.
Oh come on man, your hands are larger than mine and I have no issues with my 26.5" 7 string... and I have tiny feet as well :p
 

BKS

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I don't know much about PRS's neck joints, but I will say that their headstock design, while highly functional in keeping the strings straight from the nut and set to an angle that doesn't lend to neck breaks, is just so ugly (IMO). Besides it's odd shape, it's like the headstock is too short/small for the rest of the guitar. I always feel like it should be at least 10% longer/larger. That said, I could probably live with it since the rest of their guitars are generally pretty attractive, except for those hideous fretboard bird inlays Paul Reed Smith insists on using. I freaking HATE those! They destroy the whole aesthetic of an otherwise good-looking guitar (nowhere near as good-looking as a Les Paul, but I digress! ;)). I guess Paul's mom was a birdwatcher, hence the bird inlays? IDK, regardless, they're ugly as homemade sin in my book... every time I have ever considered a PRS, those stupid birds ruin it for me (also, not a big 25.5" scale length guy either). Oh well... I think Gibson's neck joint has proven itself to be plenty strong over the last umpteen decades, they the best looking headstock in the industry, period! (yeah, I know, 17* angle, get over it :laugh2:) And no bird inlays. All good!:cool2:
Love those birds. Better than those half moon dots they used on those se. Love the headstock too. Hey even Gibson gave it a go...you probably going to hate this...
DSC_0447_compress60.jpg
 

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