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Light vs. heavy tuners, dual expanding vs. 1924 rod

jay42

Member
Messages
7,047
I'm narrowing in on the final options for a Warmoth strat neck. I have to decide:

frets :stainless vs. regular
truss rod: Pro vs. Vintage Modern
tuners: Sperzels vs. Gotoh locking vintage style, height adjustable

I have read Terry McInturff's thoughts on truss rod designs. What I don't get from those discussions is a good idea of these options really mean for the way the guitar will respond. Why would I want the lightest possible tuners vs. heavier ones? Does one set of options yield more sustain? Which will tend to make it louder acoustically?

The rest of it is maple neck, pau ferro fb, Clapton profile, and their '6105' fretsize. It will either mate with a junk body that has always sounded great with every neck I've tried, or a Chandler with a pretty thick poly finish -- it sounds a bit dead with every neck I've tried.
 
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uOpt

Member
Messages
898
I have tested the same Strat-alike neck with vintage tuners (Gotoh) and sealed Schallers or alike. I couldn't notice a difference in sound. Keep in mind the difference isn't as big as people make it. I measure 190 versus 220 grams for the whole package(s).

The double truss rod seems to change sound considerably. I have one Warmoth Tele neck with it and I'll sell it to get something more traditional. But the neck is also a thick boatneck V with Brazilian board, so the sound I hear might be a result of those.

The neck with the double truss rod is not heavier. The two parts are thinner, the weight difference isn't really there. It sure is practical.
 

Aardvark

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,908
Having fiddled around a bit with these options, I would say:

Frets: Totally, definitely SS. So slick to play, and I hear no difference
when plugged in. I will never buy nickel when I can have SS.

Truss rod: I prefer vintage style (either Warmoth vintage or vintage
modern, which has more playable specs to me). I had a couple of
Warmoth guitars with the double rod neck, and they both sounded okay
but kind of sterile and plain. I sold one of the guitars. On the other I
replaced the Warmoth Pro neck with a vintage modern one and liked it
much better. The vintage modern just had more complexity to the tone
and more organic 'bounce' to the notes.

Tuners: I have switched from heavy to light and from light to heavy
tuners on the same guitar. It's hard to say exactly what the impact is,
but I think the heavy tuners may give you a bit more sustain and
fundamental. Unless the guitar is headstock-light, I would favor lighter
tuners. Maybe this allows the neck to vibrate a bit more, adding some
overtones to the fundamental. Maybe I'm just crazy. If you go with a
vintage style tuner, consider a vintage Kluson-style split post, which is
about as quick to change strings on as a locking tuner. You can also
get the split post in staggered heights. I like the split posts because
I don't have to hunt for the tiny string holes like I do on the locking tuners.

Good luck!
 

PFCG

Member
Messages
2,803
Id say Stainless without a 2nd thought

Sperzel tuners due to the reliability that i have had with them. (3 guitars have them)

Id go single action, but its not a big deal to me. do you expect to have to adjust it the other way?
 

MrMunky

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,387
1) Stainless steel offers much to the player of the guitar: considerably longer life and the absence of corrosion which can damage the frets and slow you down. It doesn't have too many drawbacks for the player, but some techs don't have the tools/expertise/desire to work with them. I think that sentiment is fading, but you might check with whomever you plan to have do the initial level and recrown on the neck.

2) I agree that the vintage vs. pro truss rod makes the kind of difference that a reasonable ear would hear. If you want a guitar with the character associated with a vintage Strat or Tele, you will probably find that the modern truss-rod design lacks something. But the pro truss rod offers more sustain and a lower rate of failure, and can be a superior option if the nuances of the guitar's response are not the centerpiece of your tone.

3) I don't have enough knowledge to speak about the differences in tuners.
 

Pfeister

Member
Messages
1,586
The tuner weight discussion reminds me of an ongoing motorcycle problem with a lot of people. A lot of guys who really into sport bikes tend to get obsessed with the weight of the bike. Five lbs could make or break a sale because they want it top notch.

A guy was making fun of that in a letter to the editor in a motorcycle magazine once and said he needed to skip breakfast because he was about to be late for work and couldn't risk the extra weight.

I think this is very similar. There might be a slight difference in sound or sustain, though I've never noticed, but it's something you'll never hear, especially once it's plugged into an amp. Though, if you want to be that obsessive, then go for it. In my experience, obsession always leads to best innovations.
 

uOpt

Member
Messages
898
The SS frets I dunno about.

Ever since I started doing my own fretlevels and re-crowning I know how much better a guitar is with fresh or re-freshed frets. If you have SS frets on there you make that much more difficult. And expensive, your tools last 1/4 or so of the time.

When it comes to smooth playability, just polishing traditional frets seems to be a huge improvement in itself. Non-SS frets definitely pick up layers of goo very easily, in particular on the medium-high frets where you don't go with chords and when you go there you bend - on the goo.

I have no opinion on the sound of SS frets, but one more thing about the sound of frets: large frets, even made from the same material, should definitely do something. The largest frets have more than twice the mass above the fretboard. And the string on high fret has a bigger impact on the fretboard because due to lever forces it now "pulls" much stronger.

I would rather do a test on fret size's effect on sound than on SS frets.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,047
One of the ways people seem to look at this, is if you really like the 'vintage' sound, then you want all those vintage components, both internal and external. In my case, I've only played a '59 strat for about 2 minutes into a high gain amp, so I'm low on experience with what a vintage strat is about.

I recently viewed a youtube test of some pickups. They had a real late 50's les paul with its original PAFs and the equivalent R8 or R9 with the test pickups. Ignoring computer speakers and all that, the old Les Paul was obviously louder acoustically than the RI and with a distorted amp setting, the notes were more distinct -- less smear if that makes sense. With equal distortion, the notes were better centered. I have no idea if that translates to Fender style bolt ons.

Thanks for the help and keep it coming. I've settled on the SS6105 frets, Sperzel holes, and I think the Vintage Modern neck...the side adjust Gotoh thing seems like a solution in search of a problem. dunno. It may be fine, but I don't follow the adjustment explanation too well.
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,971
I'll be posting some technical writing regarding truss rods at the TCM Forum in the near future. Anyone interested is welcome to visit and to comment.

Since my original posts here regarding that subject Ive recieved a notable number of Q's regarding the subject; and so Ill endeavor to address them.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,047
I'll be posting some technical writing regarding truss rods at the TCM Forum in the near future. Anyone interested is welcome to visit and to comment.

Since my original posts here regarding that subject Ive recieved a notable number of Q's regarding the subject; and so Ill endeavor to address them.
Quick one: I'm not sure you were explicit about one facet of the truss rod discussion -- is it fair to say that one of your preferences would be to maintain as much wood as possible while adding the rod?
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,971
Quick one: I'm not sure you were explicit about one facet of the truss rod discussion -- is it fair to say that one of your preferences would be to maintain as much wood as possible while adding the rod?
That's absolutely correct. Another vital thing is an absolute minimum amount of gaps.

Ill go into these things in as great detail as you'd wish over at the TCM Forum. Ill begin my writing there this evening. Thanks!
 




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