Big neck = stiffer feel?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Wagster, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Wagster

    Wagster Member

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    I have a Tele that is 1" at the nut and it's pretty stiff on the bends. Does the thickness of the neck affect the tension on the bends? It sounds great but is kicking my arse after a nights gig.

    Thanks,
    Billy
     
  2. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    I don't think so. I had a guitar with a neck like a baseball bat and it was the sweetest neck for bends i've owned.
     
  3. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Use lighter gauge of strings. How's the action? High off the fretboard?
     
  4. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    I haven't found this to be true either. The Scale length plus string guage/Brand has more to do with a stiff feel. I use a Tele with a 1" neck depth all the way up with Ernie Ball 11-50's and it is just fine for me. My Strat neck is close to 1" depth, but due to the Trem, I use 10-46 because the 11's are pretty tough to bend up to pitch on the lower frets.
     
  5. AEROSNIFF

    AEROSNIFF Member

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    Radius has a lot to do with string bends. Yours might be a 7.25 which is a vintage.
    The longer scale length makes bending a little stiffer also. Do some hand excersises.
     
  6. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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  7. Pythonman

    Pythonman Member

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    I have a Road Worn Tele I modded with a Lindy Fralin Tele neck thats' precisely 1" at the nut and 1" at the 12th fret and after a good setup with 10s the strings feel like butter. Radius is 9.5" and my luthier slightly compounded the frets themselves to be flatter in the middle from the 12th to 21st frets to combat fretting out with the med. jumbo fretwire. Make sure you have little to no relief in the neck and lower the action and you should be good. Another thing that really helped with the feel, tone and playability of this axe was swapping in a Joe Barden bridge with the compensated saddles. The bridge itself is much nicer than the crap stamped American Vintage piece I had on the guitar prior and it has two extra mounting screw holes on the front edge which helps it make a more solid connection with the guitar. All I know is it played pretty decent with the fender bridge and got loads better after the Barden bridge was installed.
     
  8. cherrick

    cherrick Member

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    Yes and no.

    Much more likely is the fretboard radius of curvature.

    On the other hand the way your hand holds the neck could be part of it.
     
  9. Wagster

    Wagster Member

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    My neck is way bigger than the Roadworn Teles. It may just be the way my hand holds the neck. The guitar sounds huge which is why I've tolerated it for so long.
     
  10. edwinhong

    edwinhong Member

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    to me the Radius and the guage of the string.
     
  11. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    The break angle behind the bridge is a big factor. The less severe the angle, the slinkier the feel.
     
  12. Steve73

    Steve73 Member

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    Yeah, I just swapped the neck on my EJ Strat to a Warmouth 1" Boatneck and it is WAY easier to bend on than the quartersawn EJ neck. Lots of factors on why it is harder to bend on some necks but I don't think thickness is one of them.
     
  13. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    If not maxed for you bring the strings up.
    I get improved resonance and depth with them higher as well.
     
  14. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    What's your relief like?

    A bit more relief makes it easier to get under the strings and bend and too much makes it stiffer...a find flat relief to be very fatiguing to bend



    Chow,
    Seegs
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  15. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Good point, I usually mention that on this kind of subject.
    A great deal revolves around that.
     
  16. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    After all the above, check your break angle over the saddles. A sharp angle brings better tone but a stiffer feel as well. How do you reduce it? Not easy. You need to take a sliver of wood out of the neck pocket if you saddles are really high off the plate.
     
  17. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    I think how stiff the strings feel is related to a few factors. However, in my experience and observation, a lot of it comes form how much force the truss rod needs to exert on the wood to get proper fretboard relief. I've noticed that some of my Strats truss rods feel tighter than others when adjusted, and the one's with the tighter truss rod nuts the strings always feel a little stiffer than the one's with looser truss rod nuts. I have one Strat where the truss rod nut is just tight enough to keep it from rattling at proper relief and its strings always felt a gauge or two lighter.

    The other major string stiffness factor for me is whether a trem block is shallow or deep drilled. Shallow drilled trem blocks always gave the strings a looser feel (and the tone seemed to have more meat around it)...and both were steel blocks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  18. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    Not in my experience. It's usually scale, overall string length and string gauge that make the difference for me. The other item is string spacing (neck width).

    I've found that wider necks are easier to bend on than narrower ones; you don't run into another string that needs to be moved out of the way quite as quickly, I suppose, and that extra string's tension adds to what you're doing. At the end of three or four hours (who plays that many sets THESE days?), it can get to you. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. But while I normally play 9's (on tele scale guitars) and 10's (on LP scale guitars), I was amazed to find one guitar that actually made it comfortable (except for my unaccustomed fingertips) to play 11's. It had a 1-13/16" wide neck and a 16" radius fretboard with a 25.5" scale!
     
  19. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Guys, break angles, widths, are so sleight and hardly make a difference. It's not necessarily the thickness. I have a huge fat back neck and plays real slinky. Much more to do with the necks density/rigidness. A quartersawn neck typically plays much stiffer as it will want to move side to side, instead of up and down which will create give when you not only bend, but fret! Yes, the headstock flexes a tiny bit and that's sort've like what the springs of a trem can do but more noticeably.

    Here look at my replies (Jeepguy). http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html?db=&topic_number=768885&lastpost=2012-01-2721:14:04 is the reason. Do my neck bend test on every guitar and you'll figure this stuff. No luthier or tech has been able to ever tell me this when I've asked. I've just noticed this with remarkable consistency on 100's of guitars now that come into the shop I work at.

    You think there is some subjectiveness in how tight a guitar is percieved but a stiffy is a stiffy and most folks notice that. For years, I was puzzled why .010's could feel slinky on one and tight on another same guitar. The neck is 90% the reason.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  20. Wagster

    Wagster Member

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    My findings are similar to yours. My neck will rip out of the neck pocket before it will flex or bend.
     

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