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Author Topic: Bolt on Necks  (Read 8622 times)
skyline
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« on: February 15, 2016, 01:31:52 AM »

Don't get me started on bolt on necks, however.

With an opening like that - how can I not try to get you started?

I'm completely on-board with the idea of a "glued neck" as proof of luthier's ability in design and execution..

But a bolt-on necked guitar made it possible for me to learn about string-tension/action, easily, and quickly.

Sadly someone stole that guitar . . .

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ducktrapper
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2016, 03:12:58 AM »

Let me just say that I don't mind one on my strat.   
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B0WIE
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2016, 04:03:08 AM »

Both methods have successes and failures.  Neck resets on Martins are expensive and sometimes happen too soon.  But, you can see that Larrivee glued dovetails are reliable.  Some bolt-ons have issues, others, like Collings, seem to work out as well as any glued neck and are simple to reset.  I think it comes down to who is doing it.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2016, 01:00:30 PM »

To me, it's a matter of aesthetics and price when it comes to acoustic guitars. Yes, bolt on necks work. That is not the question. To me, however, acoustic guitar making is a refined form of fine cabinetry or furniture making and fine cabinetry and furniture is not bolted, screwed or nailed together. The prices of these objects should conform to the former and the latter if priced near or above the former is a form of gouging. They have found a way to reduce costs that is NOT passed down to the buyer.    
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tlp2
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 02:36:52 PM »

Aesthetics?  Quality? 
Talk to this guy,
he knows bolt on necks...

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abalone at last
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 02:40:34 PM »

He was shocked when he found out about bolt on necks. 
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broKen
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 03:57:17 PM »

I thought those were terminal posts for jump starting  rolleye
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SMan
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 04:50:47 PM »

I learned to build under Charles Fox with a modified Spanish heel neck block.  In his method both the neck and fingerboard are bolted to the body.  It is a complex joint involving threaded inserts, furniture bolts, and laminating a block to the tail of the fretboard.  The neck is then routed to the guitar top and upper bout into the heel block.  I don't believe the effort to accomplish Charles method is any less than a dovetail joint.  This method is certainly not traditional but does have many advantages especially when it comes time to re-set a neck.  BTW I have reset a couple of dovetail necks.  I'm not here to say one method is better but believe both are equally acceptable both in terms of craftsmanship and tone.   Both take a high level of skill to properly execute.
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skyline
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2016, 04:59:47 PM »

Let me just say that I don't mind one on my strat.   

which would be similar in style to the neck on that old Norman. It just had two big bolts from the back into the neck - loosen them up - and slide in a shim via the sound hole, tighten the bolts back up and . . .

The Collings approach is a whole other beastie - perhaps more closely related to old Frank there, and certainly not open to quick "user adjustment".

Apparently Seagulls are done a similar way. (http://www.liutaiomottola.com/construction/Bolton.htm)

So are Collings necks held on strictly through mechanical pressure from the bolts?


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SMan
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2016, 06:06:03 PM »


So are Collings necks held on strictly through mechanical pressure from the bolts?




I suspect the bolts hold it on (and the glued fretboard extension to the top).



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Steve ....aka the SMan
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 08:37:34 AM »

I'm in Skyline's camp.  I think the ease of adjusting the neck without having to do a traditional neck reset is a huge advantage, especially on less expensive guitars.  I don't believe there is a detectable difference in tone based on which neck attachment method is used.  As far as following the traditional method just because it is traditional;  that doesn't matter to me.  Guitar design and construction, like most other things, is constantly evolving.

I've owned 2 Normans with the older style, 2 long screws holding the neck on from the back (just like in Skyline's photo).  I have also been hired to repair and set up a couple more of them.  2 of them had severe bellies at the bridge and cratered tops around the soundhole.  They would have been unplayable without a "neck reset", the cost of which would have been way too high for the value of the guitars (and beyond my capability).  By simply shimming the neck pocket, I was able to set them up perfectly.

As was mentioned, Seagull (i.e. Godin and all it's brands including Norman) now uses a bolt-on method similar to Collings.  Personally, I wish they still used the simple 2 screws from the back.  I wish other brands would use that type of attachment also.

Perhaps I'm looking at it more from the perspective of a repairer and tweaker of my own guitars, but that's how I see it.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2016, 03:08:36 PM »

especially on less expensive guitars. 


On that we agree. I'm in the Jean Larrivée/CFMartin camp with dovetails. Proud to be dinosaur. 
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skyline
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2016, 04:04:51 PM »

I've owned 2 Normans with the older style, 2 long screws holding the neck on from the back (just like in Skyline's photo).

I only owned that one in the photo - and I'd love to get it back: if anyone sees a well played Norman Studio 30, Serial Number 1248, feel free to let me know. I'd even buy it again - sans question . . .
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skyline
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2016, 04:27:10 PM »

I'm in the Jean Larrivée/CFMartin camp with dovetails.

Me too - for Larrivées and Martins ;)
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eded
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2016, 05:45:46 PM »

I've had both.  I've liked both.  In fact I've liked both so much that it doesn't even matter to me...  as long as they are well executed.  For me, a guitar is a box made to resonate with strings on it, not some representation of fine cabinetry.  But, I could care less about inlays and fancy marquetry on guitars also.  That stuff does nothing to enhance the sound, and my reason for having a guitar is the sound.

I guess that's why there are so many guitars available...  and, thank goodness there are so many great makers (big and small) out there these days. 

Ed
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2016, 06:28:59 PM »

When the Amish begin bolting, nailing or screwing their furniture and cabinets, I'll be won over. Til then ...   
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2016, 06:34:25 PM »

Me too - for Larrivées and Martins ;)


In that case, I'll just roar and maybe ... eat a jeep or ... a Taylor! 
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eded
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2016, 07:53:25 PM »

When the Amish begin bolting, nailing or screwing their furniture and cabinets, I'll be won over. Til then ...   

Oh, they do... ever been to an Amish furniture factory?  They seem to favor pneumatic over electric tools, but they use both, and plenty of mechanical fasteners.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/32390961/ns/us_news-the_elkhart_project/t/amish-see-recession-challenge-blessing/#.VsN8mMeAJHg

I'm not saying anyone else should like (or dislike) bolt-on necks, just that I don't care one way or the other as it doesn't affect the sound.

Ed
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2016, 11:19:39 PM »

Oh, they do... ever been to an Amish furniture factory?  They seem to favor pneumatic over electric tools, but they use both, and plenty of mechanical fasteners.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/32390961/ns/us_news-the_elkhart_project/t/amish-see-recession-challenge-blessing/#.VsN8mMeAJHg

I'm not saying anyone else should like (or dislike) bolt-on necks, just that I don't care one way or the other as it doesn't affect the sound.

Ed

Hmmm. Not the Amish around here. The dining room table we bought is all joined with dowel pins. Beautiful thing. Not a bolt, screw or nail to be seen. Not cheap, however. Anyway, like I said, I'm a dinosaur. Vinyl and dove tails!     
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2016, 09:37:01 PM »

Oh, they do... ever been to an Amish furniture factory?  They seem to favor pneumatic over electric tools, but they use both, and plenty of mechanical fasteners.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/32390961/ns/us_news-the_elkhart_project/t/amish-see-recession-challenge-blessing/#.VsN8mMeAJHg

I'm not saying anyone else should like (or dislike) bolt-on necks, just that I don't care one way or the other as it doesn't affect the sound.

Ed

There is a difference between Amish built furniture and furniture built with Amish employees. As far as I know there are no Amish factories building anything. ICBWAA
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