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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For 2018, various guitars (such as RG8570Z) seem to have replace Maple/Walnut/KTS necks, with Maple/Wenge. [The Wenge strips are *much* wider than walnut ones.]

Anyone know the reason for the change ?

Is it progress, or economical ?
 

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For 2018, various guitars (such as RG8570Z) seem to have replace Maple/Walnut/KTS necks, with Maple/Wenge. [The Wenge strips are *much* wider than walnut ones.]

Anyone know the reason for the change ?

Is it progress, or economical ?
All the 'progress' is hidden inside the neck in the form of carbon and titanium reinforcement, as a result you can make a neck out of whatever you like these days, even balsa wood could be made to work if needed. The neck is simply a support for your hand and laminated necks are more stable than solid necks, much better for professional quality gigging instruments.

Wenge is however a cheaper timber than Walnut, so make of that what you will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
All the 'progress' is hidden inside the neck in the form of carbon and titanium reinforcement, as a result you can make a neck out of whatever you like these days, even balsa wood could be made to work if needed. The neck is simply a support for your hand and laminated necks are more stable than solid necks, much better for professional quality gigging instruments.

Wenge is however a cheaper timber than Walnut, so make of that what you will.
The walnut content always seemed tiny - like a strip of veneer between the adjacent maple. It almost seemed cosmetic.

I think what's really telling is the swapping of titanium for wenge; but why ?

Given these are J.Custom models, you wouldn't expect them [Ibanez] to compromise the stability. [?]

Tonal issues ? Wenge is presumably lighter than titanium [wood floats, metal doesn't...] ?
 

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Wenge is extremely strong. Wood floats because it's less dense than water, titanium is not.

I always saw KTS as an expensive marketing campaign. They only used it in expensive guitars IMO as a way of justifying the expense on the guitars, by using something that was, expensive. Stupid cyclic argument IMO.

What we're talking about is, do I have to make a truss rod adjustment more often or not? It's not like you were never going to have to make an adjustment. If you play a guitar you should absolutely know how to keep it playable, and that means knowing how to make a truss adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wenge is extremely strong.
Cool. That's what I suspected.
Wood floats because it's less dense than water, titanium is not.
Exactly. So titanium is heavier than the wood it replaces. This may be a bad thing in terms of balance.
I always saw KTS as an expensive marketing campaign. They only used it in expensive guitars IMO as a way of justifying the expense on the guitars, by using something that was, expensive. Stupid cyclic argument IMO.
Certainly a possibility.

Comparing a 3250 against 652 [same shallow necks], it's possible the KTS is there to stiffen necks that are subject to trem abuse. Maybe...

What we're talking about is, do I have to make a truss rod adjustment more often or not? It's not like you were never going to have to make an adjustment. If you play a guitar you should absolutely know how to keep it playable, and that means knowing how to make a truss adjustment.
Ok. Some people might argue that one, but it's a fair view-point.

OTOH, on these shallow 17/19 necks [652, 3250, etc] they get closer to floating under normal use [ie moving as you tune], compared to deeper necks. So stiffening via KTS maybe makes sense.

That aside, if wenge gives comparable stiffening, with less weight and (maybe) better tone, that seems like a positive result. Cool.
 

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I doubt the titanium is heavier, it's very lightweight.

KTS was on 3250's, and 3250's Listed for like $2666, Like I said, expensive guitars,. to justify expensive [MO]

Now they only use them on the S's I think? Still, expensive guitars.

Under tuning? Want to see a neck move drop the bar. KTS or 1 piece it's probably going into backbow if you have little relief.

I don't think anybody should argue that every guitar player should know how to keep their instrument in playing condition. That doesn't mean you can't be lazy and have a Thomas in your back pocket, but I guarantee you Steve knows how to maintain and adjust his guitar. His time is too valuable to spend doing it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I doubt the titanium is heavier, it's very lightweight.
We've just agreed that titanium is more dense than wood [wood floats, metals don't], so titanium weighs more than the wood it replaces/displaces. [See pictures of sectioned KTS necks, there are chunks of Ti in there.]

[...]Yep.

I don't think anybody should argue that every guitar player should know how to keep their instrument in playing condition. That doesn't mean you can't be lazy and have a Thomas in your back pocket, but I guarantee you Steve knows how to maintain and adjust his guitar. His time is too valuable to spend doing it though.
Never done it on my more traditional guitars, though.

Maybe I should have, but it didn't seem necessary...
 

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Kts was a gimmick and obviously two thicker Wenge pieces substitute nicely since Titanium is flexible, requires more wood routing and surely doesn't 100% bond to the wood it allegedly stabilized (and Ibanez claims d improves sound of lol).
 

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No, the wenge is the full depth of the maple. The rod is not.

The only benefit to the rods is they are on the inside so you can't feel the difference in the grain of wenge or walnut beside the smooth maple, which many complain about, still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No, the wenge is the full depth of the maple. The rod is not.
True, but I was arguing something a little different.

I meant the Ti weighs more than the wood removed to form the channel it sits in; so adding the Ti rods makes the neck heavier.

I guess I was assuming that wenge and maple are of comparable densities, so a maple/wenge neck would weigh pretty much the same as a maple or maple/walnut one.

This is not be the case [Maple: 600 - 750 ; Wenge 870], so the maple/wenge neck would be heavier. Whether it's heavier than the maple/walnut/KTS one, would be harder to tell - however, Ti is 4 times denser than Wenge, so it seems possible.

The only benefit to the rods is they are on the inside so you can't feel the difference in the grain of wenge or walnut beside the smooth maple, which many complain about, still.
Interesting.

That aside, it does sounds like wenge has potential advantages over KTS - which is what I wanted to hear..!
 

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We're talking so little weight as to be unnoticeable. The difference between one piece of maple and the next would be greater than the difference between Ti, Wenge, or Maple.
 

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Doing the math using 20% of the .00005m3 for a fretboard you're talking about a difference of 1 ounce between an all maple neck and a maple wenge 5 piece neck, distributed over the entire length of the neck.

Unnoticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Doing the math using 20% of the .00005m3 for a fretboard you're talking about a difference of 1 ounce between an all maple neck and a maple wenge 5 piece neck, distributed over the entire length of the neck.

Unnoticeable.
Cool. [That's what I want to hear.]
 

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I imagine the KTS system has gotten unjustifiably expensive, Titanium is frankly an ostentation, carbon reinforcement is much stronger and lighter and probably cheaper. Titanium is also springy which frankly isn't very useful in a guitar neck.

Vigier carbon reinforced necks are so rigid they don't even need truss rods at all.
 

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I'm skeptical if KTS rods add significantly more stability. Like Rich and others have said, so you make adjustments less often. You'll still make them. Still where I live we get decent humidity swings from one end of the year to another. My RG20th has them (and it was cheap AF relative to other guitars that have KTS I think) and I think I've only adjusted the neck a few times in 10 years. It also doesn't get all the playing time too so there's that...
Funny, I dig the MSM1, and might pick one up one day, but it went from a wenge / bubinga neck to panga panga and purpleheart with KTS rods. I'd rather have the wenge/bubinga makeup. I know, it's a Premium and such. Guess I'm a glutton for punishment. :D
 

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So, we seem to be saying the maple/wenge neck is better than the maple/walnut/KTS one ?
I'm a firm believer in the simple axiom that a guitar neck is either rigid enough or it isn't. More rigid is not better if a neck is already rigid enough as it is.

A neck that requires frequent truss rod adjustment will never be right, I've only ever owned one guitar like this, I sold it.

Bear in mind that people fit really heavy gauge strings to vintage Telecasters and experience no issues, others use weird tunings with really uneven and high string tension, again with no issues.

Professionals who wear guitars for hours every day seriously value lightweight instruments, therefore Titanium truss rod systems and Carbon reinforcement can be used to save weight especially when this means you can use a lightweight timber for the neck construction.

I'm saying either neck construction method is more than rigid enough for the guitar neck but one is cheaper than the other.
Tone is not an issue since you don't want any string tone coming from the headstock end of a guitar since it will be at the wrong pitch and its phase will be inverted so it will be dissonant and subtractive, not resonant and additive.

Lack of a basic technical education makes many people rather susceptible to marketing drivel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
[...]
Professionals who wear guitars for hours every day seriously value lightweight instruments, therefore Titanium truss rod systems and Carbon reinforcement can be used to save weight especially when this means you can use a lightweight timber for the neck construction.
Though it does seem that the equivalent profile neck is lighter without KTS.
I'm saying either neck construction method is more than rigid enough for the guitar neck but one is cheaper than the other.
Tone is not an issue since you don't want any string tone coming from the headstock end of a guitar since it will be at the wrong pitch and its phase will be inverted so it will be dissonant and subtractive, not resonant and additive.
However, a lot of the neck will be on the bridge side of where the string is fretted; so would have similar tone effects to the body.
 
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