Quarter sawn vs. slab cut neck, tone difference?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 6stringjazz, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. 6stringjazz

    6stringjazz Supporting Member

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    I've built a few guitars, so I know that quarter sawn neck wood is more stable and less suceptable to warpage than flat sawn. However, I have seen lately that some people tend to think that flat sawn wood sounds better on a tele or strat than quartersawn. Does anyone have experience with a direct comparison on the same body?
     
  2. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    no direct comparison for you but I would suspect the quarter sawn to potentially be brighter?

    HJ
     
  3. Thwap

    Thwap Member

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    The two best sounding strats I've played are quartersawn necks. They're also the two that vibrate the most. I think quartersawn may translate the vibration to the body a little more than flat.

    Or it could be entirely coincidence. No wood expert here.:)
     
  4. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Each guitar has to be judged on its own merits. The neck is only one part of many and it's the right parts combination that makes a guitar special.....but, then again, tone is in the ears of the beholder. For technical reasons though, a quarter sawn neck is better....but that does not always translate to better tone. And no two necks, quarter sawn or not, will sound the same.
     
  5. beNsteR

    beNsteR Member

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    can anyone tell from this photo whether this neck is flatsawn or quartersawn?

    [​IMG]

    it's an EJ strat i've got my eye on..
     
  6. Giraffecaster

    Giraffecaster Member

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    ej's are quarter
     
  7. buddastrat

    buddastrat Supporting Member

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    The EJ's are 1/4 sawn. You can tell by how the grain looks "digital"

    I think some might like the tone more, but I don't. I find a warmer, fuller tone from the normal half sawn maple necks. Hell, maple is bright enough, why make it brighter?

    Everytime I get a 1/4 sawn neck it sounds too plinky or hi-fi sounding for me. Notes have a tight feel and a "zing" to them. Every EJ sounds this way to me, btw. Some guys like that tone so it's not necessarily a bad thing.
     
  8. meterman

    meterman Member

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  9. Big Bob

    Big Bob Guest


    Thats been my experience too. I also think that, IN GENERAL, Quarter sawn maple necks have more extended and tighter lows than flat. I like the sound of QS. However I've played some fantastic flat sawn guitars so......blah, every peice of wood is different, blah, synergy of the parts, blah......
     
  10. buddastrat

    buddastrat Supporting Member

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    I agree big Bob. Maple has tighter lows than rosewood and then 1/4 sawn tighter than flat sawn. I guess, just pick your poison.

    It is in general to. You never know how a guitar will sound till you play it.
     
  11. beNsteR

    beNsteR Member

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    Ok, thanks for the info, guys. :D
     
  12. alanbass1

    alanbass1 Member

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    How about a quartersawn flame maple neck - is this the best of both worlds?
     
  13. meterman

    meterman Member

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    flame = flat sawn I think
     
  14. Luke V

    Luke V Supporting Member

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    Flamed maple is quarter sawn. But not all quarter sawn are flamed.
     
  15. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    Flame is just a figuring. It can be sawn anyway you want to do it. I have a very flamed riftsawn USACG neck.

    I think the Detemple necks are quartersawn flame though.
     
  16. Kelsey

    Kelsey Member

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    My Wildwood 10 50s relic Strat has a quartersawn neck. It is very stable, and the guitar sounds superb -- very bright and twangy, but also incredibly rich and deep in tone. I've heard brighter sounding 50s Strats with flat sawn necks, so I'd look at it on a case-by-case basis.
     
  17. meterman

    meterman Member

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    From the Musikraft Fender-licensed neck website linked in my post above:

    "Asthetically speaking, the wood grain is much more visible on a flat sawn neck as opposed to a quartersawn neck. Flamey and Birdseye necks are most often flat sawn. "


    Interestingly enough, my friend who does everything from build instruments and "reliced" furniture to multi-million dollar home renovations, told me that from a structural standpoint birdseye, flame, figuring and other anomalies in the wood are seen as defects and are weaker than woods without them. When I worked for him building Zendrums (www.zendrum.com) he could actually get flamed and birdseye maple cheaper from some mills because it was rejected by contractors.....
     
  18. Secret Ingredient

    Secret Ingredient Member

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    I'm pretty sure most flamed maple is flat sawn. There is simply too much of it, especially in fairly wide pieces, to be quartersawn. Quarter sawing requires the log to be repositioned for every cut, and results in a lot of wasted wood. Also, the flame is a fairly large pattern, which leads me to also belive it is flatsawn. Take a look at flatsawn white oak vs quarter sawn. the 1/4 sawn has a small, somewhat speckled grain pattern similar to the 1/4 sawn maple.

    Edit: the log has to be moved for each cut if the entire log is quarter sawn. Flatsawing will usually produce a couple quarter sawn planks when the widest (center) part of the log is sawn. Assuming the log is an entire intact trunk.
     
  19. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    I see this as another unproven theory based on anecdotal evidence at best. Has anyone here ever played two necks, made from the same log, on the same guitar, the difference being the cut pattern? I can answer this for you, it's a no. All of these apples versus oranges comparisons have zero scientific data to back up the claims people put forth.
     
  20. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    Agreed to a point. J Suhr, J Page, B Chapin, T McInturff (not that any chimed in here) have all built hundreds, if not thousands of gits. I bet have done extensive testing. So I would take their opinions as more than anecdotal.

    cmn
     

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