Neck vs. Body for tone

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by mattonium, May 25, 2011.

  1. mattonium

    mattonium TDPRI Member

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    What are people's thoughts regarding the contribution to tone that a neck contributes vs what the body contributes? I've replaced a rosewood neck with a maple one once on a Charvel just to get a punchier sound. Had little to do with playability. I also stripped that Charvel, refinished it in enamel, then stripped it again, realizing that enamel wasn't for guitars, then re-finished it in laquer using what I thought would be a cool vintage ice blue, only to have it look like a big, ugly bathroom tile. I learned a lot with that experiment. Especially, that refinishing a solid body electric changes it's tone quite a bit.

    So, I did a little experiment. I played the open g and d string on my Tele and then did the same thing with it on my lap. Then I tried laying my arm over as much of it as possible. There was a very, very subtle difference, but hard to notice.

    I played the same strings but instead cupped as much of the neck as I could with my hand. It was a very noticeable difference. At least to my ears.

    I'm leaning towards the neck having a greater influence than the body, overall. However, the body has subtle nuances that when altered may make a guitar lose its "magic."

    Any thoughts on the matter?
     
  2. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Obsession with tiny details is the road to madness. :D
     
  3. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    What kind of amp?

    M
     
  4. donh

    donh Tele-Afflicted

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  5. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

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    'And'....not vs.
     
  6. ledet

    ledet Tele-Holic

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    Pickups, amp and effects...
     
  7. Guitarmadcat

    Guitarmadcat Banned

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    My own findings concur with yours, Mattonium. In fact, the body or finish thereon hardly made a difference but changing necks - even like for like - (Maple/ maple - rwood/ rwood) made a HELL of a difference, some sounding better than others.

    Must be something to do with the molecular structure of the wood or something.
     
  8. rp1138

    rp1138 Tele-Meister

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    You're all wrong. Tone comes entirely from the tuners and the front strap peg.
     
  9. Twang Chung

    Twang Chung TDPRI Member

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    Actually it's the strap itself that delivers the tone. Spaghetti straps give the most twang.
     
  10. BradL

    BradL Friend of Leo's

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    Wasn't this belief/view that "paint strangles tone" behind the stripping off of guitar finishes in the 70s? I'm really not convinced it does myself but I'll happily open a box of popcorn and watch the discussion unfold..
     
  11. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    No, it doesn't.

    But removing the neck and putting it back on, may change tone noticeable.

    And your rosewood neck probably was maple with a rosewood cap or slab board, right?

    Neck mass probably would make more difference than wood species ...

    While I don't believe in magic, I agree that the neck will have a greater influence on the vibrating strings, since the sympathetic vibrations from the neck is bigger than that of the body. But it's really the interaction between them that counts ... Which is why sometimes removing the neck and putting it back on, makes a difference.
     
  12. Steamroller

    Steamroller Tele-Meister

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    I think you're talking about maple or rosewood fretboards.

    I've read a James Burton interview, and he was inquired about fretboard maple or rosewood, and he answered : maple for studio, but for concerts he didn't care what kind of fretboard.

    And talking about necks, IMO the neck is the most important part of a tele and the most difficult for build. I suspect, only suspect, the difference between a custom shop tele and the others is basically the neck quality. But, What do I know?
     
  13. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    Madness

    While I believe this is a true statement I also believe that sometimes two pieces of wood, ash / alder body with a maple neck sometimes work together.... in varried degrees of success. I've played really dead guitars, we all have. And I've played really lively guitars. Some combos of wood are dead and some are alive. Adead neck could kill a lively body or visa versa.

    Gary
     
  14. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    What Gary in Boston says.

    People really need to stop trying to apply formulas to guitar tones.

    Having built many guitars myself, I have known the horror of doing everything right and using top quality wood and parts only to have spent 6 months building a dud.

    I have also known the joy of picking up a guitar at a music store that for whatever reason, has incredible tone and a lively feel.

    We all need to stop trying to force our ideas on guitars and to just start listening and accepting them for what they are on an individual basis.

    How many times do we need to split the "tone hair."

    It so much depends on what you're doing with your guitar.

    Most times, a guitar with dead, lifeless pickups will sound great through a digital multi-effects processor where a top quality Tele will sound lame.

    Put those two guitars on stage directly into an amp and see if you still feel the same way about the two guitars.

    Everyone is different. Every situation is different. There is a certain joy in discovering that.

    Why people insist on listening with their eyes, minds, ideas, or anything other than their ears, is way beyond my comprehension.

    Ash Body + Maple Neck + single coil pickups DOES NOT always = "Bright Telecaster"

    Guitar + Cord + Amp DOES NOT always = "The Ultimate Tone"

    Break free guys. Too many people are missing out on a world of great sounds because their too wrapped up in their own ideas to just sit down, shut up, and listen!

    Why do I feel a little like Ron Kirn right now? LOL!
     
  15. dconeill

    dconeill Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes. Get back on the meds.
     
  16. oldmark

    oldmark Tele-Holic

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    Combination of the body and neck, plus how they fit together, plus bridge, strings, etc...plus your fingers.

    I don't believe there is one "magic" thing that makes or breaks tone in a solid body.

    Even similar CNC made guitars are different from one to another...part of the fun.


    mark
     
  17. Prison Rodeo

    Prison Rodeo Tele-Meister

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    My own belief: The biggest influence on tone is the girl you're playing the song for.
     
  18. Sharp5

    Sharp5 Tele-Holic

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    Bingo
     
  19. Bolide

    Bolide Friend of Leo's

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    Waterslides based on the work of Mel Ramos produce a meatier tone, Vargas waterslides a more piquant tone.
     
  20. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    Again with the Spaghetti Straps !

    celebrity-pictures-salma-hayek-spaghetti-straps.jpg
     
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