Lets discuss neck pockets and the fit!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cap217, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. cap217

    cap217 Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Since I am becoming obessed with guitars and building a few, lets discuss the neck fit.

    I talked to a few people who said that the best guitars they have owned had very tight and perfect neck pocket fits. All of them even said that it goes against the thought that it shouldnt be so tight because its bad for the wood when it expands and contracts. But they said for some reason it always ended up being the best sounding and sustaining guitar.

    I am interested to see if there is a science to this or if its just trial and error.

    I plan on buying 8 necks and 8 bodies and just start matching up quality, woods, fits, and then pickups and finally the test of does it work? I figure I will learn a lot, have fun, get annoyed, but have at least 4-5 guitars that turn out great.
  2. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    I don't think it matters much at all as far as sound. The two best sounding Fenders I've heard had huge gaps. Literally could fit a thick pick in one of the gaps. A good guitar is a good guitar, the more I play them, the more I see how important the wood and it's frequencies are to getting a good tone. It could be hanging on by one screw and you'll still hear it's voice. The bad thing is the wood today ain't what it was yesterday.

    From a build quality and aesthetic, it's nice to have a nice flush fit. I wouldn't want it real tight, snug is fine. I wouldn't get too worried about it. I've assembled a lot and played a lot of so-so guitars, with perfect fitting neck pockets.
  3. Gnarlly

    Gnarlly Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Davidsonville, MD
    The tightness of the neck pocket on the sides of the neck is irrelevant IMO. More internet mythology. I've had necks you could slide a business card between the sides of the neck and body that sounded great, and those that fit tightly against the sides that didn't sound as good. The top/bottom pressure created by the wood screws is what matters, with the butt of the neck sitting firmly against the back side of the pocket.

    But moreso, the neck itself plays the biggest factor in tone and sustain (wood, thickness, etc.). You'll probably find that the good tone and sustain follows a particular neck no matter what body you match it to, and not whether it fits tightly against the sides of the pocket.
  4. Schroedinger

    Schroedinger Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    I agree 110% with this post.
  5. old goat

    old goat Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Donner Lake
    I can't comment on the tone, but as far as the "problem" with a tight neck pocket expanding and contracting it's a non issue. As the wood expands with increasing humidity the neck pocket will expand (as the wood at the bottom of the pocket expands) and so will the neck. There might be a problem if the neck was made of a wood that expanded a lot more than the body, or if the construction were cross grained, but neither of these is the case with guitars. Think about guitars with set necks--the dovetail joints last for generations.
  6. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2005
    North NJ
    Here's the pocket in the last Warmoth that I built. You can't get any better than this:


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