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  #1  
Old 12-03-2011, 06:31 PM
gstring gstring is offline
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Default Bolt on necks

Hope this does not get bumped to general discussion before a few of builders have a chance to comment.

I am in the market for a Dreadish style guitar. Sloped D ... Curvey Style Dread or what ever other wonderful creation is out there.

I just discovered that one builder I was considering commissioning from ( base price in the $4000 range) uses a bolt on neck with a glue down finger board. I was surprised. Do you use bolt on necks and if not why not and if yes why ?

Thanks in advance.

daniel
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:05 PM
Brad Goodman Brad Goodman is offline
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Hi Daniel,

I use a bolt on neck with glued on fingerboard on all my flattop guitars.

I have used most other systems in the past -dovetail,tenon, spanish style intregal headblock.

I don't feel that it matters which type of joint you use,it' what ever works best for you (the builder).

I like the simplicity of construction (I use a butt joint with inserts) and the fact that future repair is easier.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:44 PM
Tom West Tom West is offline
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I also use the bolt on neck and concur with Brad. Also I don't think there is any differance acoustically between the two neck.
Tom
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:58 PM
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There is no difference at all until the neck needs to be removed. That's why I build with a bolt on neck joint.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:58 PM
Rod True Rod True is offline
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I use a bolt on neck. Some custom builders even use a bolt down fretboard extension.

$4000 base price ain't to bad, Kevin Ryan uses bolt on necks and his prices are at least 3X's that much

Actually, you will find many custom builders use bolt on necks. There is no scientific evidence to prove that a dovetail neck is superior in anyway to a bolt on neck. It's been debated for many many years in the guitar building relm.... Tradition is one thing and there is certainly nothing wrong with ones desire to stick with tradition. But you certainly won't get an inferior guitar by buying one with a bolt on neck.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:17 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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There are several "top end" luthiers who use bolt on necks.
What matters is not they type of joint...but how well it is done.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff M View Post
There are several "top end" luthiers who use bolt on necks.
What matters is not they type of joint...but how well it is done.
Bingo....
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:59 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I had always been told that bolt-on necks hurt the tone of acoustic guitars, and I think that might have been true for such early efforts as the 1960's-vintage Made In California Fender acoustic guitars. (Of course, there were plenty of other design features on those Fenders that worked against the sound, as well...)

But the neck joint designs have come a long, long was since then. Like the Luddite I can be when I haven't bothered keeping track of progress, I still felt dovetail neck joints were the only way to make a good-sounding acoustic guitar, until the day about twelve or fifteen years ago when I learned that Collings guitars have bolt-on necks.

I did a 180º turn the moment I learned that. Collings guitars sound great, so the bolt-on neck joint clearly isn't hurting them any. Since learning that, I've also learned how many top notch handbuilders use bolts these days, so in my book that officially makes all of this a non-issue.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:53 AM
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I've been "bolting on" (neck and fretboard extension)for about 30 of the 40 years I've been building. To me there is no difference with a well done joint, in fact the Voyage Air guitars which really don't have either and they seem to actually enhance sustain a bit... my base price dread is $7K. To me the only advantage is when the neck needs to be reset, the thought of injecting steam into a guitar in my humidity controlled shop just doesn't make sense. I do like that some builders are still using them though because it's an art form that I can appreciate. I am just finishing up one of Lance McCollum's last guitars and it has a dovetail neck, I didn't want to see how rusty my chops were after 30 years so I took the guitar the Luke Wilson (the guy who taught Lance) just got it back for finishing and it's fun be able to see the expertise of the joint again in my shop. Of course if there is ever a need for a reset I’ll be sending it back to Luke

Cheers,
Harv
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:35 AM
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I would never consider using a bolt on neck with a glued down fingerboard. All mine bolt on with floating fingerboards and adjustable necks.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

It is interesting how there can be so much disagreement about this kind of thing though.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:52 AM
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For some reason neck attachment method always seems to turn into a hot topic. Personally I prefer dovetails just to keep the extra hardware out of the guitar. I also use bolt ons, with bolted down fingerboards, as well as bolt ons with glued down fingerboards. IMHO there's other small factors (like finish, or glue type, which are also hot topics sometimes) that have a bigger effect on the finished product.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:15 AM
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Steve Kinnaird Steve Kinnaird is offline
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I had the privilege of playing Rick Turner's Antarctic guitar.
The neck doesn't even touch the body.
It bears on three points of contact--metal on metal--used to determine neck angle, pitch and yaw.
That guitar is a revelation of sound, and flies in the face of the purist's view about neck joints.

Don't let the joint system put you off about a future build.
Just make sure the builder is comfortable with his/her preferred method.

Steve
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:22 AM
Tom West Tom West is offline
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Think that the hype about dovetail neck started with companies who were using them and did not want to change. We get so much of this type of spin in everything that it's hard for the average person to keep things straight in ones head. The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say.
Tom
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:58 AM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Chasson View Post
I would never consider using a bolt on neck with a glued down fingerboard. All mine bolt on with floating fingerboards and adjustable necks.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

It is interesting how there can be so much disagreement about this kind of thing though.

There is as much (or more) stubborn "traditional thought" in the guitar-community as anywhere else in the world.

Folks don't want to consider any change as good, since it was "good enough" (or better) in the old days.

This kind of thought is pervasive, and spreads to many areas...coated strings, varying scale lengths for player ergonomics, the adjustable neck-joint that Kent and others use, and oh-so-much-more.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:32 AM
KolayaGuitars KolayaGuitars is offline
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i also use a bolt on neck design on all my guitars including my slope dread-curvy traditional guitar, the Ox. While visiting Kevin Ryan in his shop we discussed it a bit and he thought that it may even be better as it pulled the cheeks of the neck heel very tight to the guitar body. The dovetail neck is much more difficult to do "right" than a bolt on neck in my opinion so it just made more sense for me.
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