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Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by handtrix, Mar 30, 2020.
Whenever I've ordered a neck with a shelf for a Floyd nut, I've installed one with small wood screws from the top rather than machine screws through the neck. It does the job quite well and see no advantage to drilling 2 holes straight through the neck on either side of the truss rod channel.
Not a fan. The lock nut doesn't need to be held on with that much force and I've seen a lot of necks crack around rear-mount FR bolts.
I know several older angled superstrat headstocks, and they would have fallen over, would be guilty as the notorious Gibson broken neck.
Check either type for looseness when changing strings. Things can move.
As long as good contact remains, all is fine.
I think (can't prove) the clamping action actually helps the neck transfer string energy. Necks and bodies that vibrate feel better to me than ones that doesn't. But I very well may be crazy.
It makes absolute sense to me, they use machine-screws so that there's no "play" in it.
If you use wood-screws they won't fill the hole "exactly" & the thing could slide up & down a smidge & we all know a smidge is enough to mess with the tuning.
On a regular nut, glue is fine, because it's not having to support the string-tension!
Once the double-locking nut is locked down ALL the string tension is riding on it.
Yes, anecdotally this seems to be a thing.
I notice Ibanez have moved away from the rear machine screws to large volute plus wood screw top mount. Not sure if I ever saw an explanation from Ibanez themselves in print, but one imagines it was for a reason. There's this on Ibanez Wiki - "The initial version of the Top-Lok III was secured with two screws running through the back of the neck. This design created a weak point on the neck which was prone to cracking. Starting around 2003 a redesigned nut was secured from the top, eliminating the holes running all the way through the neck."
I seem to recall Steve Vai talking about it in relation to his JEMs as well, but can't find right now.
I do appreciate the point - I guess it's not so clear cut - people still go both ways.
OTOH it is possible to torque it with too much force & crack the neck!
probably a serious problem with roasted necks
The bright side is, with the right amount of torque it will be on there tighter than gluing it or just wood-screwing it.
Although you are right I think there are enough top mounted blocks out there there that if it was consistently problematic the fault would be better known.
I can certainly buy that top mount is not as secure as bolt-thru but, given adequate maintenance, the failure rate may be low.
What are high volume guitar techs seeing as failure points in theses configurations?
We need a poll.
I prefer the machine-screws, because I don't give a damn how the instrument looks from behind it, LOL!
looks are a low priority for me, functionality is far ahead of that
A nut fastened with wood screws won't slide around at all. I've installed several. The head of the wood screw is tapered, and so are the holes in the the nut. That keeps the nut solidly in position. It doesn't budge at all, even with the most aggressive whammy bar use.
I have a Washburn N2 that used to squeak, took me a hot minute to trace it down to a loose top mounted lock nut, i am not a fan :/.
i think i qualify here, and what i see mostly is cracks around the through-bolt heads in old MIJ ibanez RG guitars but otherwise it's fine.
i guess either setup works because i've not thought much about one being better than the other as i'm doing setups on them, done right either method works perfectly. i like the idea of the through-bolts, but then i like the idea of the big original floyd wood screw bridge studs into the body, it just seems more traditional and sturdier.
i suppose that were i a floyd player with a top-mounted locking nut and i imagined there was some actual disadvantage i would just treat the locking nut like a regular nut and (along with the screws) use a couple drops of superglue to lock it in place.
I am in the camp that Floyd got it right from the beginning, The only failures that I have seen were mostly a problem with the neck be it the scarf joint like the old kramer hockey sticks or poorly drilled holes from a questionable installation. I am more concerned about problems with the wood screws but they are much easier if you are not setup to do the through the neck holes. And I too am a fan the big old screw in mounting studs but I have seem them elongate themselves more than I have seen the neck bolts fail but that too is usually a characteristic of the wood that they are mounted in or questionable installation.
I prefer thru the neck bolts. I know the nut isnt moving. Never had an issue with my RG's with this style and Ive owned my RG570 for 30 years. That said I imagine over tightening would be the culprit in any cracking developing.