Is the higher end Artcore 3 piece neck better than regular 1 piece? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Is the higher end Artcore 3 piece neck better than regular 1 piece?

The 50, 60, and 70 series Ibanez Artcores have a one piece mahogany neck but the higher ones from the 80 series on up have a three piece neck with opposing grains and woods of mahogany and maple.

Two questions:

1) Being that we are talking about Philippine mahogany and a mid-grade piece of maple, is it all that harder than a one piece out of just the mahogany?

2) Also, with opposing grain the way the three pieces are laid out as on the Artcore, does it really oppose neck twisting any better or is that just for added basic stiffness?

Gibson usually seems to do quite well with a one piece Honduran mahogany neck without too many twisting issues under normal care. I don't know that this more expensive type of mahogany is any stronger than the more plentiful Philippine mahogany Ibanez has on Artcores so maybe the one piece and that particular higher end mahogany wood are just for tone and maybe part tradition on Gibson's part. Many expensive Gibsons take to maple, which is harder than mahogany, but then also like a one piece construction. I don't know if one piece of anything resists warping better than if you split the wood into three and made it opposing grains with two pieces going one way and the other facing the opposite way. The idea would be two may want to warp one way over a long period of time but be tempered by the middle piece going the other way.

Thoughts on 1 piece versus 3 piece neck on Ibanez Artcore?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 09:07 AM
 
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Re: Is the higher end Artcore 3 piece neck better than regular 1 piece?

I have many Artcore Ibanez guitars including four of the Custom series guitars with the three piece necks.
Really the necks are five piece, three maple and two small slivers of walnut or rosewood between them.
They use really nice flame maple pieces that are great looking.
Out of the forty or more Ibanez guitars I've owned over the years, I've only had one twisted neck.
It was my GMC, too bad.
The truss rods Ibanez uses really work well at keeping the necks straight.
I don't think it really matters one piece or three piece.
One thing I do know is one piece necks resonate better acoustically.
This would be an advantage a little bit on an archtop guitar.
But the higher end models have better tops that give off better acoustic tone than lower models that have one piece necks.
The top of the guitar is more of the tone so that out ways the lower models.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Is the higher end Artcore 3 piece neck better than regular 1 piece?

Thanks for the reply. I saw so much on the internet that thought that the one piece was not as stable but master builder Bendetto feels that there is also no difference.

Looking at the physics of it, wood is very soft and somewhat like a sponge to moisture and there will always be movement every which way daily, and even within the course of one day. I can't see how any truss rod isn't strong enough to keep things in check. I would think the strings pull one way and the truss rod pulls the other way to achieve desired neck relief.

Any movement that happens otherwise would be some twisting but anything really bad would probably have to have steam treatment or grinding down but then after that I couldn't see any future movement that would be detectable.

A severely twisted neck is wood that came in contact with too much moisture either before or after the neck was made. I saw what can happen to a guitar stored too long in a moist garage or worse, trapped in a flood. Given enough effort, literally anything can be repaired.

I have a tough "banger" guitar that goes everywhere with me in the car, on walks, and is indoors and outdoors with me. It's a solidbody and that thing is like a brick. Basically it's the only way I have made myself improve in all areas.

I rather like my Artcore I leave safe indoors but now I want a general purpose, tough Artcore all the time and I thought maybe the three piece neck models are tougher and can take what I put my LTD Viper solodbody through. Heck people cart around a cheap acoustic without consequence other than dings/scrathes so I was thinking something like an AM-93 or AF-95. I don't care about cosmetics on a banger guitar that is always with me, like a favorite pair of shoes, but I don't want the neck to fail or that and the top to warp or anything that would make the action too hard to play.

While I have treated strats and teles like the unbreakable tools they are, which also adds to their usefulness, I have never considered making a hollowbody my #1 travel, gig, and practice guitar because they were pricey and delicate, but I think due to great price I am going to have an Arctore be like a tough as nails strat and see if that works.

People don't generally use a hollowbody for punk and hard rock but I can't see why the affordable Artcore has to be a sit down jazz guitar. Do you rock out on any hollowbodies?

Last edited by 63Blazer; 02-28-2013 at 10:10 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Is the higher end Artcore 3 piece neck better than regular 1 piece?

I was also looking at RGs and I noticed in the store the other day that some of those also had three piece maple necks. Two pieces went one direction opposed by the center strip going the other way.

Usually I have not seen too many guitars with twisted necks, except for one piece Gibson or Gibson style necks, but a twisted maple neck seems to be an extremely rare thing. I don't know if Ibanez has these strat like RG necks with three pieces to save on wood or if they do so to strengthen the finished product.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 03-01-2013 at 02:24 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 12:44 PM
 
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Re: Is the higher end Artcore 3 piece neck better than regular 1 piece?

It is cheaper to use more small pieces of wood to make a neck vs one big piece.
It really depends on how dry the wood was when it was made in to a neck and the environment it spends most of its time in.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Is the higher end Artcore 3 piece neck better than regular 1 piece?

It makes me think more makers should use carbon graphite for their necks unless the cost is too prohibitive. Many low cost and sturdy tennis racquets are made of this stuff and nobody considers them too expensive to manufacture except maybe only when they first came out. I don't think tone should be changed too much as most comes from pickups, effects, and amp, and then maybe later wood of guitar body. Perhaps the very stiff carbon graphite neck would give the guitar an ever so slightly bright tone a little bit like an all maple neck versus a rosewood fretboard but I can't imagine the sound being that different.

Just like Leo found carved tops and binding with a set neck a stupid idea for a low cost, mass produced electric solidbody, somebody should go out and pioneer a mass produced graphite neck as standard equipment.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-17-2013, 08:54 AM
 
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Re: Is the higher end Artcore 3 piece neck better than regular 1 piece?

All I've got to contribute to the thread is that the five-piece neck on the AS103 I owned was rock-solid and stable. Looked great, too.

Nothing wrong with a well-made one-piece neck, with properly selected and dried wood. But multiple-piece necks are stronger.

Peace

Mike
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