Neck construction - stability

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Fezzter, Mar 31, 2021.

  1. Fezzter

    Fezzter SS.org Regular

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    Not sure if this belongs in this forum, but it was the best find I could find at a glance.

    I am having a neck made for my guitar, as the current one took a beating from the very dry winter we just had here in Denmark. I can't make my own neck, and this guy looks like he knows what he's doing.

    It's going to be a laminate neck with either of these two options:

    1. 5-piece roasted maple neck with regular maple stripes (Roasted maple/maple/roasted maple/maple/roasted maple) and roasted maple fretboard

    2. 5-piece maple neck with roasted maple stripes (maple/roasted maple/maple/roasted maple/maple) and maple fretboard
    Now some of my concerns are fretsprout, as that's pretty comming with the changing of the seasons here - would the option with the roasted maple be the better choice here? As far as I can read the roasting process makes it less prone to shrinking.

    Also, carbon fiber reinforcement rods come standard in these things, but between the 5-pice laminate and roasted maple, is it going to be stable enough without the reinforcement? Will the neck be too stiff with them in - is that even a thing?

    It's going to be used in either drop d or c, so no weird tunings or really heavy gauges - yet.
    Thanks for any feedback or thoughts!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
  2. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    go with the neck thats more pretty to you. Both should be fine


    the tuning you are going to use it for doesnt matter either. Its about string gauge and tension. But thats also why you have a trussrod for, so dont worry about it either
     
  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Eh, impossible to say. On paper they're fine, overkill even, but in the real world it's going to come down to the actual materials sourced and how well they're put together.

    If you're worried about fret sprout, have the builder hold onto the neck for a month or so to give it time to settle, but they should know that already.
     
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  4. soliloquy

    soliloquy SS.org Regular

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    I cant help much in this regards, as i have limited knowledge here, but i know there are few companies that use two carbon fiber reinforcement rods in their necks to add extra stability.

    maybe worth a look?




    also, as someone living in Canada, where winters suck, maybe look into getting a humidifier?
     
  5. Fezzter

    Fezzter SS.org Regular

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    I should say that carbon fiber rods come included in the base price for the neck I'm commissioning. And I think I'll chose the option with the roasted fretboard, as it seems the general consensus is that it should reduce the risk of fretsprout to some extent.

    My concern now is if carbon fiber rods in that type of neck could make it too stiff? Is that even possible?
    I realize it might be overkill and the difference between having them and not ha ING them in that particular neck is negligible, but if it doesn't hurt having them in I might be fine with it.
     
  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    It won't hurt. Assuming the builder is using a high quality truss rod of course.

    What this really comes down to is if you trust your builder to make you a great neck or not.
     
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  7. Fezzter

    Fezzter SS.org Regular

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    That was my first concern. Of course I haven't tried any of them yet, and it's very hard to find other customers of these private builders. But his work looks really good, and it's cheaper for me this way, compared to buying from places like warmoth. So I figure it's worth a shot.

    I think I'll ask if the price is negotiable regarding the carbon fiber rods. By the sound of it the consensus Semmes to be that in this particular scenario carbon fiber might be redundant.

    Altough I can see that a lot of strandbergs are multi-piece, roasted maple necks with carbon fiber reinforcements. But that's made with carbon fiber sheets in the laminate, and not rods.
    I know both Jackson and Ibanez use either carbon fiber or titanium rods. But they generally don't have multi-piece necks. So I don't know if it's either or...

    I may be over thinking this way too much. And while my first thoughts was to have a very stable neck, I now worry that it might be too stiff with the rods.
     
  8. soliloquy

    soliloquy SS.org Regular

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    I reiterate a humidifier for your guitar room. There is a reason why guitar stores keep their stores well humidified (at least in North America, they do). That would be the cheapest option, really. So long as you're not taking the guitar out much, it should be fine.

    and if the frets do sprout/pop out, then its a learning curve you just learn to live with?




    (alternatively, Carvin/Kiesel does make guitars with multiple pieces and 2 carbon fiber rods in their necks. cant say anything about their stability, as I dont live in as harsh climate as you)
     
  9. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE SS.org Regular

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    Keeping your guitar well humidified isn't always practical.

    My take is if you're super paranoid about fret sprout then try deliberately drying the neck out to encourage the frets to sprout. Then if they ever do, either file the fret ends yourself or pay someone else to do it. Lots of DIY YouTube tutorials out there these days.

    Then the problem will never emerge ever again for the entire life of the guitar and you can stop overanalyzing a problem that was never really a huge deal in the first place. Annoying? Sure. Easily fixable? Also sure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
    makecamera and budda like this.
  10. Fezzter

    Fezzter SS.org Regular

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    It's not always practical, no. And with my current living situation it's close to impossible.
    Drying it out is basically what's been done with roasted maple, no? That seems to be the argument for using that wood. And if true, that's a huge selling point for me personally.

    I see strandberg, jasckson and Ibanez doing similar things which speaks to the validity of the option with multi laminate and carbon fiber reinforcement, and that it doesn't make it too stiff. After all you need to be able to use the truss rod still.
    Although some of it may be attributed to marketing.

    I suppose it comes down to any difference in price with and without reinforcement, and aesthetics regarding the two options.
     
  11. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    I think Max is totally right here. I had a chat about this with Tom Waghorn (very famous British luthier who taught Dylan of Daemoness) a while ago.

    It totally comes down to the quality of the wood and the quality of the preparation and construction. Honestly, you can have single piece maple or mahogany necks which are incredibly stable. And you can have 5, 7 or 9 piece laminates which are terrible. So as Max said, that really comes down to whether you trust this person to build a good neck, and not really the choices of woods used.

    From what you have stated, baked maple seems like the best choice regarding fret sprout. If it dries the wood in advance, and frets are tailored to that, then hopefully it won't be a future issue.
     
  12. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE SS.org Regular

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    The wood being roasted still doesn't mean the wood still cannot expand after manufacture and subsequently shrink again.
     
  13. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    Fret sprout is going to be more an issue of humidity (or lack of). Get a humidifier in your guitar room and/or humidifier packs in your guitar cases.

    Maple/roasted maple laminate will be good either way, but make sure that it is a finished neck to help hold humidity in the wood too.
     
  14. Fezzter

    Fezzter SS.org Regular

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    It's always hard to have total confidence with anything you buy. Even with production guitars you risk getting the cat in the bag - is that a saying in English as well?
    Would carbon rods help offset any warping or twisting, if the wood decides to move? Or would the difference of having rods or not be negligible, if I chose rostaed maple with regular maple stripes (5 piece)?

    I've already decided to get it finished before shipping to have even more stability. You never know what happens in shipping, which is why it's odd warmoth is willing to ship roasted necks without finish.
     
  15. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I feel like this has been answered.

    If you just want someone to make the choice for you, I'd be happy to. :lol:

    Warmoth only warranties necks that they themselves finish. So if you buy something "raw" it's on you.
     
  16. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    Now that this wood roasting seems to be a thing, I'd ask about that too. Many builders seem to neglect the fact that the kind of roasting process that you'd use for a wood for a shed isn't the way to go with an instrument. The process is different when you're making wood for an instrument and if you're not doing it right you'll end up having roasted wood that has lost all its acoustic qualities.

    https://ruokangas.com/specifications/thermally-aged-tonewood/
     
  17. Fezzter

    Fezzter SS.org Regular

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    No, with their roasted maple options you get their 2 year warranty without finish. I suppose that speaks to the qualities of roasted maple.

    I guess that's a valid point. But once again, it's hard to know exactly where and how builders source their wood. Even with name brands yiu never truly know - especially when there's a big coat of paint over.
     
  18. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    My point exactly. Now that it's a trend, it's easy to fool customers out of their money, without actually providing a product of promised quality.
     
  19. Fezzter

    Fezzter SS.org Regular

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    I tend to think of myself as pretty good at spotting when something is more af a marketing trend than anything else. But if you're not in the actual guitar building industry it's just impossible to know. I guess you just need to have faith in whoever you're buying from. It's especially risky when buying from a private builder, but I guess using services like PayPal removes some of the risk.
     
  20. yan12

    yan12 SS.org Regular

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    Neck stability is a good question. My two cents based on 25yrs of collecting, playing, and some building.
    Laminate necks are the most stable. I have some necks that have not needed a truss rod adjustment in over 10 years on my laminates. I live in Colorado, one of the driest states there is and fret spout is everywhere. Warped and cracked guitar tops abound on acoustics and folks that have really nice ones keep them in special rooms with humidity controlled.

    That said laminate (multi pc) necks are the bomb. Roasting is a newer thing that IIRC started in Finland to speed up the drying process because there is too much demand for maple neck material. Sort of like single malt, SINGLE BARREL scotch...there is only so much of it any one time. But you can't force a 25yr old scotch from a barrel sitting for 6 yrs. Same with wood.

    Most big builders have their own stash and sell off what they don't need or lesser grades. By piecing together necks with opposing grain, you greatly reduce warpage or twisting. A one pc neck is fine if the wood is properly dried. I had ET guitars build me an IBBY style neck that turned into a banana...but coming from the island of AUS to Colorado it only stands to reason the wood was not fully dried and I have a nice prop.

    Fret sprout can be handled a bunch of ways already mentioned, but I like blind fret tangs to help in this regard. This way you only need to address the crown edge and not tangs running along the board. Any way you slice it, you should be fine with your proposed ideas provided the builder has the right woods and know what he is doing.
     

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