New Neck-Through vs Bolt-On - Jemsite
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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New Neck-Through vs Bolt-On

OK, I'll have to point it out to you.

"Even more so than having a neck through body? Did you work with neck-throughs as well?"

"I built them, but I donít build them now. The thing is, you take the oscillation energy (between the nut and the bridge) and you divide it in the middle. Thatís the job of the bolt-on construction. It divides that oscillation energy so you end up with faster attack and you have longer sustain."

"So you are saying in summary that the strength of the bolt-on versus the neck through is that the bolts divide that oscillation energy in half, affecting the sound the string produces."

This is right around the middle of the page.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCB
Im surprised that you take the word of one bass luthier against the word of countless guitar luthiers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Grindfiend
Mike Tobias is another bass luthier who no longer makes neck-through instruments.
There are more that elude me at the moment, as well.

The reason is, the vast majority of guitar makers are extremely set in their ways. People have to come to believe that a certain set of information is true, and they are not easily convinced otherwise. Bass makers, however, have always been more adventurous and sophisticated than guitar maker. Boutique bass companies are where you'll go if you want to know what's new in the guitar business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCB
Still, my arguments on why a neckthough has better sustain stand.
Once again, I'm sorry, but no it doesn't.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 10:12 AM
 
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interesting... i'll keep an eye on this thread.. most of my sustain seems to come from high output pups on my bolt-on guitars and my better tone seems to come from denser woods and/or setnecks - coincidence? - maybe...
logic would make me think that transfer of energy thru one piece of wood would be higher than two pieces connected via a set of bolts or glue. i'm also not a luthier - just a player
i would think it to be similar to the transfer of signal when you use too many "jumpers" or connectors in cables that result in less signal. i know that is a totally different kind of energy but the logic would seem to hold true - very interesting

Music is something bigger and greater than myself and I'm just glad to be a part of it. -TJ

A wise man once told me, "never discuss politics or religion in a disco enviroment" -Frank Zappa
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 10:43 AM
 
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I think there's a LOT of other factors in play here...

Best sustain, unplugged, I've ever gotten from a guitar was on an old black Jem. And I've played set neck/neck thru guitars with horrible sustain, unplugged.

I'd say the way the particular peice of wood in the body resonates has a lot to do with sustain. Also, action makes a huge difference- lower action seems to limit it a little- not due to buzz or anything, but notes seem to "bloom" more with higher action. and i suppose type of finish might make a difference, although I've never played a truely unfinished guitar; I'd imagine a heavy gloss finish would kill a lot of the body's resonance.

But, from a player's perspective, all I can really contribute is that most of the better sounding, better playing guitars I've played have been bolt on. This is higly subjective, of course, but that's what my ears have told me.

And I've never noticed any consistant change in sustain between bolt on and set neck/neck through- similar pickups, similar pickup height, similar action, and similar gain, and to me, if there's any difference, it's subtle. Then again, compared to some of you, I've had very limited experience with different guitars, so I'm curious to hear what others say.

-D
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screamndemon69
logic would make me think that transfer of energy thru one piece of wood would be higher than two pieces connected via a set of bolts or glue.
although, it's worth noting that a number of players seem to feel that the best tone from bolt on's comes from using nylon spacers between the neck, idea being to deaden the energy transfer between the two as far as possible, and allow them to resonate independantly (i'd imagine creating further overtones). Not 100% sure, but I believe Eric Johnson might be in this camp.

-D
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 02:18 PM
 
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consider that a string is attached between 2 different surfaces with an infinite stability with no vibrational transfer. Consider that there is no friction at the attaching points and no friction with the surrounding air.
In this case there is no energy loss at all. The strings will vibrate for ever infinite sustain.

In real life the strings are attached to a wooden body and necks. vibration-energy-eating-surface. So sustain will decrease. The stiffness of this construction (including nut, bridge angle of headstock) will influence the sustain.

The more mass there is litteraly under the strings, the more stable the construction (possibly) is, in a good design. This means more sustain. That's why les pauls have a curved body and threetrunks for arms.

Of course the pu will make a lot off difference but this is not the essence of sustain, it is a tool to get sustain out of anything.


Now a Neck trough will, in my opinion not increase the sustain but it will only affect tone. The discussion, bolt on, neck trough, glued necks only has effect on guitar tone in my opinion.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 02:58 PM
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I think the opinion The Gridfiend posted is interesting. Im not sure if its correct though. Its one (or a couple) Luthiers opinion, and its valid but Ive heard, and probably most of us, form a number of Luthier or thech guys otherwise, indicating that neckthrough has better sustain. I would love to see LGM, EKG or Jum Soloways opinion.

In my personal expierencie, wich is subjective and from a player point of view, the guitar with better sustain and tone I ve ever owned was a Gibson Les Paul, that I no longer own. The sustain on any ibanez jem ive ever played is not even close. I own 3 neckthough guitars, and 7 bolt on, and 2 of the neckthrough are the 3 i like to play the most (My 3 favorites are: Yamaha 1412, and my new RGT3120 and the jem10). I have to say that the RGT3120 even when it has a floating trem, seems to have better sustain that my RG3120, but its not entirely a fair comparison since the RGT has Saymour Duncans, and the RG has the regular pups. Also the RGT has a chunkier neck (as the Yamaha does)
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 04:49 PM
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How much sustain do you guys want?!?!?!

The most sustain I've ever got was using a sustainer system in a bolt on guitar.

What's interesting is like screamndemon69 said, with highoutput pickups and cascade gain amps, playing rock music, how much sustain are you guys after

just a thought
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 10:00 PM
 
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I don't want to do a long rant, but I can adds some quickies. One think I don't like about NThru's is that the bridge is essentially attatched to the neck. It may as well be a Steinberger at that point because the wings are very limited in the way they can affect string vibration. Most of the energy is dictated by that center piece. I do deep set necks where I take the neck to around the middle of the bridge humbucker route. The sustain is more like a neck through but the tone is more like a set neck because the bridge is driving the body wood.

I personally prefer bolt-ons for tone because I am one of the people who like separation between the two points. I like the more open and tonally rich sound you get from some good wood combinations. It's like, the neck wants to do one thing, and the body another. And when you glue them together (especially a neck thru) you limit each piece's ability to vibrate in it's own patterns. Tonally there are some phase cancellations.

Another thing you're not considering is the attack and early envelope of a note. I think you'd find the actual sustain duration to be very similar, unless the bolt on is poorly built. What is fooling you is the fatter, louder attack and swell in the beginning of the note, that soon decays. Imagine if a neck through sustained: 54321, then a bolt on might go: 56521. You see the percieved sustain would be less because the string wasn't choked off in the beginning of its vibration.

And comparing various factory guitars you've owned won't tell you anything. There're lots of various reasons for sustain to differ between 2 factory guitars.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jemke
In real life the strings are attached to a wooden body and necks. vibration-energy-eating-surface. So sustain will decrease. The stiffness of this construction (including nut, bridge angle of headstock) will influence the sustain.

The more mass there is litteraly under the strings, the more stable the construction (possibly) is, in a good design. This means more sustain. That's why les pauls have a curved body and threetrunks for arms.
First off, I'm pretty sure I agree with your final conclusion, that sustain, theoretically, shoul;d be about the same, all else being equal. That said...

Wood may be a vibration-eating surface, but in doing so, it also vibrates sympathetically. This adds additional overtones to the sustained note, but it also, as the wood's vibration would cause a second order sympathetic vibration in the string, which would INCREASE sustain. And I think mass has very little to do with this- take an acoustic guitar- my Martin is light as a feather, you'd need three or four of them to equal my 7620. And yet, if you compare unplugged sustain between the two, the martin is a pretty even match for my Ibanez, and MUCH louder. And it's not just the soundhole that does it, either- it projects away from your ears unless you have really WEIRD playing position. sure, the "room" sound is augmented by this, but the strings themselves seem "louder" to me. That's because the whole body is vibrating sympathetically to the strings, and feeding that energy back into the strings themselves.

Also, Les Pauls have carved tops because Les Paul thought it looked elegant, and thick necks because they didn't warp as much as thin ones. Has nothing to do with sustain or tone, it's just cosmetics and practicality.

-D
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 11:46 AM
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This is a oint that has been overlooked. What about the sound coming from the wood? Every body focus on the string vibration, but not in how the wood affects the sound.

This thread is very interesting, and interesting information is being shared.

How muchs sustain are we after? Well, I can play with a bolt on, a set neck or a neckthrough. But the discussion is interesting. I have both kind of guitars, and like them all.

The tone in my RGT3120 just sounds better than the one on my RG3120 with my set up. They have different pups though, so it may have to do with that.

The low end response i get from my neckthrough gives them a more balanced and "noble" tone. The same think happened with my Les Paul. As I said before the added bass frecuencies in a guitar are a plus, wich may not be the case with a Bass (because the sound may get muddy)

I guess, as I said in my first post, its all about tastes. You cant really say that bolt on are better, or neckthroughs are better.

Another consideration is the aesthetical factor. I really think a neckthrough looks much classier than a bolt on (given they are both similar guitars aside from the type of construction). But ist all about tastes. I heard people say they think the 7VWH looks elegant (to me it looks like: elvis meets the pope guitar)...... so anything is possible when it comes to tastes.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 02:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
...and feeding that energy back into the strings themselves...
WOW! that's pretty much kind of a turbo-sound!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
...Les Pauls have carved tops because Les Paul thought it looked elegant, and thick necks because they didn't warp as much as thin ones. Has nothing to do with sustain or tone, it's just cosmetics and practicality.
agree 100%.
even cause i dont really hear all that difference in tone and sustain between a LP and a bolt-on guitar, while playing them unplugged, of course.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 02:45 PM
 
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haha, that or mysticism, your call.

Now, if only there was a way to make the amount of acosutic energy coming in greater than that the wood is absorbing... unplugged endless feedback- score.

-D
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 03:01 PM
 
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I don't personally think body mass has too much to do with sustain personally, I have picked up many light guitars unplugged that have sustained beautifully a long slow decay to the sound. In contrast I have picked up some heavy guitars that have have very little sustain.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 03:06 PM
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alot of basic stuff is being overlooked during these discusions....

first you guys need to keep in mind if you build 50 "identical" spec guitars, each will resonate and have different characteristics as they're made mostly of non-synthetic (once-living) wood. so one badly sustaining lespaul is not an endictment over the "overhyping" of materials/mass, and vice versa.

next if a pickup is too close to strings and/or has too high of output, it will NEGATE sustain as the magnetic pull will stop the string vibrations.

lastly, most superstrat players use so much fx/processors and an overabundance of GAIN that sustain properties of one guitar to the next is almost a pointless part of the equasion... glen
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 05:55 PM
 
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but.... Then we'd have nothing to argue about...


-D
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acoustic guitar , bridge angle , bridge hum , bridge humbucker , eric johnson , gibson les paul , ibanez jem , les paul , les pauls , neck thru , output pickup , pickup height , playing guitar

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