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Are stiffer guitar necks better?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DugT, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    A neck can be too flexible, having a low enough frequency to kill response. Stiffer necks can accentuate higher frequencies over low frequencies which might sound less warm. There's a range of neck frequency that will boost a low frequency range, and attenuate some higher frequencies so that the response might be more balanced and flattering. More cross section (thicker neck) and flat sawn Maple will be stiffer than a thinner neck made of softer Maple or Mahogany. And yes, the fretboard is part of the cross section, and Ebony is stiffer than Rosewood.
     
  2. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Don't create a problem where there is none. You didn't mention having a problem with tuning stability in your original post. Try to just enjoy the guitar.
     
  3. DugT

    DugT Tele-Afflicted

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    In this video Kiesel tests necks with and without carbon fiber reinforcement:


     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have a longwise laminated neck (like @Jakedog 's example) on my MIK Epi Sheraton II. By far the most stable neck I have ever owned and it stays in tune forever and have never had to adjust the trussrod in 15 years. That said, there is something about a solid maple neck that feels more "alive" in my hands. Perhaps it is resonance, but "flex" might be a component too. Just my .02
     
  5. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I had a Gibson SG the neck was so floppy you could use it for a whammy bar. HAD is the operative word there.
     
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  6. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    Original Broadcasters were built without truss rods because the old-growth maple available at the time was incredibly stable. Current instrument construction depends on truss rods to offset the flexibility of neck lumber. Flexible neck instruments have different frequency response and sustain characteristics. Stiffer is better for sustain and tuning stability. Rubbernecks are cool for subtle pitch change effects.
     
  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Depends on the player. Some pull and push the neck as part of their style, so a whippy neck is good for them.

    I prefer fatter necks that have little flex.
     
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  8. DugT

    DugT Tele-Afflicted

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    Here is a stiff neck advantage that hasn't been mentioned yet. Besides keeping a guitar in tune better, it would be easier and faster to tune a guitar with a stiffer neck. A softer neck is like having a trem bridge. When you tighten one string it bends the neck or pulls the bridge and flatens the other strings out of tune. A stiffer neck would have less of this.
     
  9. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Carbon fiber items have stiffness that stems from shape . I have CF fenders on a motorcycle and while being very light , they flex like crazy when not mounted .
     
  10. DugT

    DugT Tele-Afflicted

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    I've used CF kiteboards, windsurf masts and cf tubes and rods to stiffen remote control airplanes and my experience is it is very stiff, especially considering how light it is.
     
  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My Dad lead the charge, in incorporating carbon fiber into fuselages, wing sections, composite propellers and so on, in free flight model airplanes. Very cool, finding uses for a substance and taking weight out of the model so that weight can be used elsewhere to strengthen other components. But you had to be super careful to match the frequency of the redesigned systems so they didn't vibrate sympathetically at certain engine frequencies or when the model was launched and was headed for the heavens. Sometimes you had to be satisfied with different construction approaches/blends of materials and practices. I remember this modeler by the name of Brodersen who made his wing sections too light, and the model as it left his launch hand under power, it would begin shaking and convulsing and too often, it would go out of trim and auger into the soil just off the flight line, under power. And he'd go home and build another one just like it, for the next contest.

    Meanwhile, in whitewater kayaking, there's just nothing gained by having a carbon fiber paddle that's much lighter than the same thing in wood. The wood paddle has some flexion, just the right feel to it, and if you might be pushing it beyond its capability you have a sense of that and can retreat in time. The carbon fiber composite paddles, they just fail all at once - no warning. They were once more costly than wood - now they're much cheaper. All the newcomers use composite paddles - that's all they know. If you had asked me, when the Parker Fly came out, would wood fall out of favor, I imagine I would've said yes. If we had used composites instead of wood, I probably would've lost interest in all of this.
     
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