Neck pocket...wood to wood vs wood to poly?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dazco, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. dazco

    dazco Member

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    This is one area i have never experimented with, and reading a post here that mentions having good flat surfaces so that the neck and body couple well got me to wondering. Has anyone stripped the poly off the mating surface of the neck so that the finish doesn't interfere with tone transfer, and if so did you hear any sonic benefits?
     
  2. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    Like anything thee will be those that proclaim it made all the difference in the world and others who noticed no difference. In the end it is one minute issue in a chain of many items altering tone.
     
  3. dazco

    dazco Member

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    True, but many minute things have made differences to my ear that were well worth the effort. So i'm simply looking to see if i get enough replies to note a general consensus one way or another.
     
  4. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes there are some builders who do that. Years ago when I sent my G&L neck to Vintique to have his bolt kit installed, he stripped the finish off of the heel of the neck. I seem to remember some other builders mentioning this as well. I also seem to remember some strat tweek where they scrape the finish off the body under the trem claiming it sounds better to have the trem sit on bare wood rather than finished wood. Must be Eric Johnson types.
     
  5. Broken Cord

    Broken Cord Member

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    I have recently done this to a Birdseye Maple neck on one of my Strats. I was changing one of my Strats to a 7.5 radius, V neck while also using the Onyx Forge Bolt Neck System. I decided to sand of the Nitro in area that sits in the pocket. To me the tone difference was dramatic. The bolt system is a much more solid connection that can come apart and go back together with out loosing the bite that the original wood screws seem to loose when taking the necks on and off. The wood-to-wood vibration transference seems to brighten the sound and allows me to get a Tele type twang out of my Strat.

    The Onyx Forge bolts do require some drilling and may not be suited for the faint of heart with out wood working skills.
    Just for the record, I did attach the neck prior to sanding it and played it through a modified Peavey Royal 8 dimmed, and also through a 65 Amp London 18 @ ¾ volume in a home studio environment. The tone, to my ears, seemed more lively after being sanded.
     
  6. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I wonder tho if the brightness has anything to do with the inserts. The last thing i want to happen is more brightness, as this neck is already on the verge of being too bright which is one reason i thought about this.
     
  7. baimun

    baimun Member

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    The biggest issue is smooth surface to surface contact. Often times when there's paint in the neck pocket, the edges of the pocket are rounded, making the guitar neck "sit up" in the pocket, and not having flat contact in the bottom of the pocket.

    When I'm putting a guitar together, even if the body and neck are both being painted, I always leave the surface in the bottom of the neck pocket and the heel of the neck raw right where the two meet, then seal them with tung oil. (personally I prefer tung oil or tru-oiled necks over any sprayed on finish anyways, but in the case of a hard-finished neck, the end of the neck is always a thin finish.)
     
  8. Broken Cord

    Broken Cord Member

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    I think you are right in saying that the insert bolts may add a little to the brightness, because they defiantly seem to have a tighter hold of the neck. However, I will use this guitar with the bolt inserts for travel because it is less of hassle and less worrisome than wondering if the guitar will show up in one piece when flying.
     
  9. baimun

    baimun Member

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    The nice thing about some added brightness though.... it's much easier to dial out a bit of treble on the amp than it is to add sparkle to something that is inherently muddy.
     
  10. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I think either is problematic. I can't dial out brightness or muddiness to any satisfactory degree. I always find if it ain't happening at the guitar, tuning the amp won't help. Thats just my ear and YMMV, but thats been my experience.

    By the way, if anyone has doubts about the nut contributing to the tone INCLUDING fretted notes, you should hear the difference between the bone nut i just finished for this neck and the graphite that was on it ! This was not at all subtle. i no longer have the brightness issue either ! (and i've been making nuts for decades so it's not a case of a well made bone vs a badly made graphite) I've long known this, but this is the biggest difference i've heard to date.
     
  11. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    That's interesting. I had a Levinson Blade some years back that I changed the nut from a graphite to an LSR, which is a huge difference in hardness, and I thought it made a very distinct difference, too. I originally did it for tuning reasons, but fortunately wasn't disappointed with the tonal difference. It seemed like it added harmonics more than anything else, and made picking harmonics easier.

    If someone else told me that story, I would be sceptical. I mean, once you fret a string, the nut should be out of the picture, right? But, apparently not. Or, at least that's the way it seemed to me.
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    Starting to sound like getting cap at the dentist, TAP TAP TAP.


     

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