Neck-through guitars

Neck-through guitars

Postby Jon S. » Fri May 02, 2008 5:27 am

I know that Wolf is neck-through but I can't seem to find relevant info. on Tiger, Rosebud, or Lightning Bolt. Anybody know?

Context of my question is I'm (well, my tech is, for me :o ) building my 2nd Jerrycaster. My tech suggested we try a sandwich neck with neck-through construction this time.

The opinions on these types of necks seem to be all over the map though certainly they are used by some top-end builders, e.g., Alembic. Anyone own a guitar built this way with observations you can share?

Thanks.

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Postby Chuckles » Fri May 02, 2008 5:43 am

I got a neck-through Ibanez MC400 a couple months ago and it is night and day between that and my bolt-on Tele in terms of both sustain and depth of character in the tone. You can play this thing unplugged and it sounds like a guitar, whereas the Tele sounds like a toy.

I believe Tiger and Rosebud were set-necks, while the Cripe guitars were neck-through, though I'm sure someone else can elaborate.
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Postby Jon S. » Fri May 02, 2008 5:52 am

>> I got a neck-through Ibanez MC400 a couple months ago and it is night and day between that and my bolt-on Tele in terms of both sustain and depth of character in the tone. You can play this thing unplugged and it sounds like a guitar, whereas the Tele sounds like a toy.

As someone who besides building a Jerrycaster is totally into Teles, with due respect, if yours sounds like a toy, let me know when you're visiting the Northern Virginia area and I'll be happy to invite you by to try one that is anything but. :)

On a serious note (not that the above isn't), Leo did not design the Tele to be a sustainiac monster. The Tele's strength, to me - at least that of a classic-type Tele - is in a sharp, defined attack and full, clear response with only moderate sustain.

This is perfect for country, western swing, and general chicken-pickin' antics.

Many Tele players - myself included - typically place a compressor between our Teles and amps. Moderation here is the key. A bit of compression smooths out the initial attack and stretches out the concluding sustain.

Danny Gatton could play a anything on a Tele and so can I (well, not in the Gatton sense - what I mean is whatever music I can play, generally, I can always make sound good on a Tele).

My own Tele is wired with a 4-way switch to add both PUPs in series. That gives an incredibly fat tone with plenty of bite for which you can, if you want, roll off the top end with the tone knob and sound legitimately humbuckerish.
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Postby Chuckles » Fri May 02, 2008 6:26 am

Yikes! :shock: You might want to cut back on the morning Joe; I'm not disparaging Teles at all!

Don't get me wrong... I love my Tele (though it's not what you may think, as it's a '72 Deluxe w/ the Seth Lover 'buckers that I've owned since '82). And, having spent the last 20 years living in Southern Maryland and DC, I'm well familiar with Gatton. Amazing player who I had the good fortune to meet a couple of times at private party gigs he did in the area.

What I'm saying is that the neck-through is exactly the opposite of what Fender, as you said, designed. The one I have and the couple of others I have played all share one commonality, which is that there is an acoustic quality not to be found in a bolt-on. I you can make your Tele scream without an amp and electronic gagetry like comps, good on ya. But lighten up a tad, eh? 8)
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Postby SpaceYrface43 » Fri May 02, 2008 6:29 am

Have a resurrection bolt replica that is neck through love it. No complaints about it has sustain for weeks. i think tiger rosebud and bolt are all neck thru.
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Postby Jon S. » Fri May 02, 2008 6:36 am

I should have realized that just including a smiley face might be insufficient to convey lightheartedness to a total stranger. It was certainly not my intent to disparage your view or knowledge of Teles. Cool?

Other input on neck-throughs from anyone else?
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Postby Chuckles » Fri May 02, 2008 6:38 am

Cool.. Sorry if I took it wrong.
8)
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Postby milobender » Fri May 02, 2008 6:53 am

I played my Ibanez neckthru for over 10 years, practically every night, and loved it. That said, for me the sustain issue doesn't mean much. I play a bolt on now, and I get every bit as much sustain as with the neck thru. That is because, when I let a note ring, I always have some sort of finger vibrato going. Doing this, I can make the note last as long as I want... seconds, minutes, days... :D
I think the real issue is tonal quality, and I can't really comment on that because my two have so many different variables. In order to a/b you'd have to have the same hardware, frets, and pickups on the two types to compare. I'm working on that now... I've made my bolt on Jerry-Caster, which I'm thrilled with (doesn't sound like a toy when unplugged :lol: ) and I'm starting on a neck-thru with almost identical hardware and pups. Actually I think it's a pretty good test of an electric guitar, to play it without power, to see how it feels tonally... I think I need more coffee this morning... 50 mph winds, snow, roads are closed, major blizzard... 1st of May :D :smile: :D

Good luck with your project... either way I'm sure you'll be happy.

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Postby Jon S. » Fri May 02, 2008 6:55 am

Thanks, Brian.

P.S. to Chuckles: Glad all is copacetic again. :) As it turns out we are (or were) veritable neighbors, I PM'd you a pic, perhaps we've met or even jammed together at one point!
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Postby ELPManticore » Fri May 02, 2008 7:00 am

I have a neck through body fretless bass. It's an imported chinesse brand or something (Douglas) but its not really cheap per se. I got a little more than what I paid for it. I assume its a 'sandwich' neck (and body) but a bit different than the Hippy sandwich as you see the different woods on the face, not on the edge.

But anyhow, it sounds totally different than a bolt on bass, the sound is much more dimensional than my bolt on bass (from the same company). There's certianly more sustain than my other bass, but I can't say that its better or the high end or the low end. Everything is much more defined and blended into one tone than sepearate tones from the indivdual strings.

That make sense? :D :D :shock:

I also find that if its not plugged in and i turn my neck (physical one) I can hear the bass in my inner ear. Like the sounds waves travel through by body, up my neck and into my ear....

But Hey, If its your 2nd jerrycaster, go for it! Why have two of the same?


(edited for typos...the ones i spotted)
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Postby ELPManticore » Fri May 02, 2008 7:06 am

I know this is sort of off topic, but Brian, do you think the way you tapered the joint on your new jerry caster has an improved effect of sustain? it seems to me like there's more wood to wood contact than there would be in a standard 'Fender' style joing.
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Postby milobender » Fri May 02, 2008 7:19 am

I don't think there's really much more wood in contact, maybe a little, but it's the same 4 screws making the pressure to connect, in the same spots as a traditional make... I do think the angle makes a difference (as opposed to inserting a shim in a flat pocket). And I'm very careful to make a precise fit. That keeps all of the neck wood in direct contact with the body's wood. Also, I used one whole piece of wood for the body's core, no glue joints, so the neck and the bridge are both connected to the same piece of wood. And, to furthur complicate matters :D I think the grain pattern (and of course type of wood), especially of the core, has alot to do with the way it resonates, as well as the resonant frequency or frequencies of the whole guitar. :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Postby milobender » Fri May 02, 2008 7:23 am

Sorry, lost-in-space...

To be more direct, the tapering on mine is really just for comfort, and easier access to the higher frets. I hate the traditional chunky, sharp angle connection... it's just cheesy and lame, and I think the only reason people still do it is because Leo did it in the beginning! (probably just to save the cost of shapeing each one) :x
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Postby waldo041 » Fri May 02, 2008 7:36 am

Chuckles wrote:I believe Tiger and Rosebud were set-necks, while the Cripe guitars were neck-through, though I'm sure someone else can elaborate.


100% correct! :cool:

peace,
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Postby Jon S. » Fri May 02, 2008 7:49 am

I posted a pic of my current Jerrycaster in my intro yesterday but FWIW will repost the pic here as well. It's a bolt on with a Warmoth neck and body.

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