Necks and tone

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Mpcoluv, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

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    Guys, to continue the what makes a tonal difference debate, I just swapped a Shecter (I think - Stamped made in canada in '87-88) neck that is more or less a Warmoth 59 roundback profile on my Fernandes bodied parts caster and it made a big tonal difference over the thin "wizard" neck that came on it. The replacement neck also has fairly heavy Sperzel tuners.
    More resonant tone and more sustain.
    Most of the times I have swapped a bolt on neck for a fatter profile, I have thought the guitar sounded better.
    Anyone else experience this?
    Am I hearing with my eyes? It does play better overall ...
     
  2. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    Thicker neck equals thicker tone makes sense to me, but I'm no expert. Everything else being equal, it seems that a denser body wood or neck wood should make for a thicker tone and more sustain. Of course thicker tones aren't always desirable.
     
  3. kiwicanuck

    kiwicanuck Member

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    I think there's a very strong possibility that your ears and brain are working together to fool you. Not saying that's what it is, but it's a well known thing. I've done it a lot.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
     
  4. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    yes ... but your happiness is important to us
     
  5. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Supporting Member

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    On bolt neck guitars, if you swap necks, more of the sound follows the neck than the body. This isn't an illusion.
     
  6. Neo

    Neo Member

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    I agree. I've played or owned many Historic LPs and the fat necked R7s & R8s have typically sounded bigger than R9s I tried. Heavy guitars to me usually have a big sound as well although to me they tend to have that sterile Metallica type tone where all the notes of a chord can be heard with none of that classic rock bloom and growl.
     
  7. Badside

    Badside Member

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    Problem is confirmation bias works both way too :)

    Whenever this topic comes up, some people can't accept that some people hear a difference that is consistent.

    Some experiments with tone gave me results that went against what I was expecting. Necks have a big impact on tone, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
     
  8. dazco

    dazco Member

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    The neck IMO and the opinion of quite a few others is the single biggest contributor to a guitar's particular voice. Can't say how that relates to set necks obviously because you can't just easily swap necks on those, but bolt ons definately make it or break it on whether the neck sounds good or not. Theres a saying here...."tone follows the neck". Meaning if a guitar has a particular sound to it and you bolt that neck onto a different body, it's going to sound very similar barring major changes like going from a alder body to mahogany etc etc.
     
  9. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I have a very nicely built hand made (small builder) Strat type neck that has a fat asymmetric carve and a quite thick rosewood board, heel truss rod adjust. It is one of the fatter necks I own. Evey guitar I have had it on sounds so thin & wimpy that I thought something was wrong with the pickups or wiring until I figured out that it is the neck. It just kills every guitar I have put it on.
    In each case I replaced it with a "normal" size neck & the guitar came alive.
    I conclude that the neck is indeed VERY important to the tone, and also that bigger doesn't necessarily mean much at all in predicting tone.
     
  10. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    Big neck better all the way around, especially the way it resonates in your hand.
     
  11. Judas68fr

    Judas68fr Member

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    Done the same experiment, switching necks between 3 different Telecasters bodies (same electronic), tone seemed to follow the neck for the major part of it (I would say 80-90%). Body seems to have a very minor influence on the overall tone of an bolt-on guitar!

    As for the fat vs thin neck: I've always found a thick neck is better on a Tele (1" all along or more), but a modern C is better on a Strat. The few beefier necks (2) I've tried on mine always led to a thinner sound. But I don't have an extensive experience!
     
  12. Jazzandmore

    Jazzandmore Gold Supporting Member

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    Why not ask this over in the Luthiers section or Small Builder section? That way you could get an opinion from folks that build guitars for a living.
     
  13. kiwicanuck

    kiwicanuck Member

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    I haven't done any experimenting switching necks myself, so I'm comfortable with the idea that tone follows the neck. I still don't know for sure that big is always better though. It depends on the quality of the neck wood more I think.
     
  14. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    What do they know? Pshaw!
     
  15. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    :rolleyes: no guarantee they ain't as tone deaf as the rest of us

    :dunno
     
  16. Tony Bones

    Tony Bones Member

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    Leo Fender made great sounding gear by listening to what players had to say.
     
  17. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    You know, I used to live with the eskimos many years ago, and they use to plunge their faces into the snow.
     
  18. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Bigger is not always better. It like everything else on a guitar is just part of the equation and if the rest needs the opposite of what a fat neck brings to the table tonally then a fat neck in that case is bad. It's the same with all parts. I have 50's and a 60's classic series teles and the 60's with a considerably thinner neck is a much richer and clearer tone than the 50's. It's easily my fav of the 2 because of that.
     
  19. Viewfinder

    Viewfinder Member

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    Just had a Strat neck made to my own specs here..basically its a Fender but with a "Slash/Gibson" profile with some slight changes. Much wider and with a lot more wood at the nut than the typical Fender design. I totally love it. All else is exactly the same, and now it's back together that guitar now sounds VERY different to how it sounded before. Brilliant! Took a lot of planning with the luthier to get the neck built however.
    I'm thrilled with the better sustain as well. Sounds deeper as you might expect.
    There is a real change in the tone that I didnt expect would work so well.
     

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