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Author Topic: Neck to Tone Equation?  (Read 379 times)
ncognito
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« on: April 19, 2009, 11:43:42 PM »

How does the neck function in terms of it's impact on tone?  There's all kinds of neck construction features which may or may not play into this.  Some considerations are canteleivered design, wood type, solid or composit of different woods, truss rod(s) or not, profile, width, bolted on or glued and joined, and probably many things I, the my limited knowledge, haven't even thought of.  Please educate me.  Thanks.  

        DAVE
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2009, 12:37:02 AM »

Here's an article that discusses the subject from SCGC
Quote
Neck Design
Q: What effect will neck design (mass) and fret size have on the sound of the guitar?
A: We all love the feel of a well proportioned neck. It enhances the playability and enjoyment of our guitars. The mass of the neck will indeed affect the tone of your instrument. Whether this is a positive or negative influence depends on your taste in tone. When I design a guitar for Jazz applications I want a precise tone with excellent projection to showcase the players single note leads or rapid chord comping. One of the factors to facilitate this is to increase neck mass. This can be done with the use of a heavier tuning machine in a larger headstock or with a denser neck wood. The effect is to prevent vibrations from chimneying up the neck and dissipating. The results are more efficient transfer of string energy to air movement through the sound hole, thus increasing projection. In the case of a guitar designed to have vintage appeal or a roundness, warmth, and openness of tone we benefit from a lighter weight headstock and machine. In this instrument the vibrations transferred to the neck enhance the qualities of this style of guitar by making it more forgiving and less precise. One caveat, guitars with mechanically fastened necks instead of the traditional dovetail joint won't benefit as much from this nuance. By considering these factors you should be able to get both the tone and the right neck in the same guitar. Technically jumbo frets would add mass to the neck and affect the sound as mentioned above. Realistically this would be a small contribution to the equation. More important would be the fret height. The higher the fret, the steeper the angle when depressed, creating more downward pressure and positive contact of string to fret, resulting in clearer tone and increased amplitude.


It seems to me that stiffness is important too. I would think there would be a difference in sound between necks of equal weight where one has a thin profile(not as stiff) and a heavy headstock compared to a neck with a thick profile, maybe a T bar (stiffer) and light headstock. But that is out of my expertise.
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ncognito
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2009, 11:45:33 AM »

Jeremy--

Thanks, that's fascinating.  If someone wanted a custom built guitar, that might be a factor to discuss with the luthier that maybe some (buyer and builder) don't consider, but every little thing does effect the result. 

        DAVE
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-Larrivee LSV11e (sadly sold))
-Lowden S10c
-Taylor 455ce L7
-Guild D40 (donated to science due to terminal      Onthevergeofimplosionitis)
-Brian Fry Custim 000 in the works
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