School me on a bound neck?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by doghouseman, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. doghouseman

    doghouseman Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    240
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Location:
    in your head man....
    What are the advantages of a bound neck? I finally have a guitar that has one and I think I like it. Thinking about getting one from Warmoth.
     
  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    5,638
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I don’t think there are any advantages

    If anything it takes more time to refret and has disadvantages

    I guess if you like chunkier necks the binding can add a little bit of shoulder
     
    Dismalhead likes this.
  3. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    1,220
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Location:
    Midwest
    I like the way they look and feel but I'm not aware of any real differences. Nibs are cool :)
     
  4. Siamese

    Siamese TDPRI Member

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    17
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2020
    Location:
    Muskegon, MI
    Well, you made me think, and do a search on it. Opinions seem to vary as to whether it makes for smoother fret ends.

    Seems like it's mostly aesthetic. i like my guitars plain. love my PRS McCarty P90 with it's unbound neck. Ain't no sharp fret ends there, and I greatly prefer the appearance.

    A luthier might tell us which is easier to re-fret.

    And, aren't bound necks for sissieso_O?
     
    Dismalhead and charliebrown51 like this.
  5. oopsimeltednitro

    oopsimeltednitro TDPRI Member

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2019
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    It looks cool...I've heard there are some protective benefits, but uhhh... I can confirm when you wack your drummers gear by accident it will still divot. Then again, I'm sure no one on this forum has ever done that before. ;)
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    11,813
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    I like the way they feel. I seem sensitive to the fretboard edge. Most bound necks are rounded and smooth t here.
    Disadvantage is refretting is more difficult.
     
    drf64 and coreytree like this.
  7. JJLC

    JJLC Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    431
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest

    advantages? IMO cosmetics & that's it
     
    rand z and Fretting out like this.
  8. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    54,028
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    Doesn't it protect against minor dings?
     
  9. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    765
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Location:
    Marco.......Polo......
    I think they feel better, silky smooth, ....but thats just me.
     
    coreytree likes this.
  10. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,544
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    knoxville, TN
    I've got this cheap Teisco dumpster project and when I went to refret it I found that it was indeed bound, but with brown plastic, it just looked like a regular rosewood fretboard.

    What the Hell? If you're going to bind it dress it up some. So during the refret I just sawed through the brown binding to install the frets, made it much easier.
     
  11. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,159
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Knoxville TN for now
    Cosmetically a plus IMO . . .

    That's all ...
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  12. coreytree

    coreytree Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    340
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Location:
    Falls Church, VA
    I completely agree with a couple of other folks in this thread who cite a much smoother edge to the fretboard. To me, it's often an entirely elevated left hand feel because of that. I really like them very much because of that and definitely prefer them, personally. That having been said, I've run across a couple that weren't done well and that just defeated the entire purpose. Bottom line, play one if you can and let your hand tell you what you think about them. And of course, they look cool, but if you ask me, that's not the whole point of them at all.

    The channel-bound necks are not much to write home about if you ask me, though. It's like they're not really bound, just some sort of recessed fretboard trick.
     
  13. Twang-ineer

    Twang-ineer Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    149
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    I think that any well dressed fingerboard SHOULD feel pretty much the same. I like the way the binding looks on some guitars, but after my luthier touches up any guitar by dressing the frets, rolling the fingerboard etc, etc .... they all feel amazing. I tend toward plain maple fingerboards in part because they wear in nice, therefore I have a small percentage of bound neck guitars. But I do have a pair of old Carvin DC 127's one bound ebony and one unbound maple, I notice every other difference between them, but the binding or feel of the neck is not a thing that I ever notice.
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  14. Chicken Curry

    Chicken Curry TDPRI Member

    Age:
    38
    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2020
    Location:
    Australia
    There's a big difference between a bound neck and abound neck with nibs! Whatever you do, stay away from nibs, they are a pain in the ass!
     
  15. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,766
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    You might be less likely to get fret sprout at the side with some bound necks. Depends how far out the binding goes.
     
  16. charliebrown51

    charliebrown51 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2019
    Location:
    N. California
    I've played so many guitars with bound and un-bound fingerboards (Gibson, PRS, Hamer, Fender...) that I've figured it out. Any WELL-DONE fret job-factory or re-fret, feels great, plays great and with my eyes closed, I can't feel the difference. Bound figerboard look nice; very nice. Guitars do require maintenance, care and any protruding fret ends on unbound boards are easily remedied. Original Gibson ES-335s were first made with unbound fingerboards. People who own them rave about them. They even made a re-issue:

    http://legacy.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2016/Memphis/1958-ES-335-VOS.aspx

    If I were in the market for a 335 and the neck profile felt right, I'd happily buy one.
     
  17. heffus

    heffus Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    781
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    cHICAGO
    Bound necks with dots look so damn cool.
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  18. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    829
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2020
    Location:
    Delaware
    Probably used to be white.
     
  19. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    8,773
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ada, MI
    I've never played a bound neck Tele. I considered getting a G&L Legacy with a bound neck but luckily someone else bought it before I could spend the money.

    Most of my other electrics have a bound neck, but they are all set neck guitars. They look cool, but I can't say there is another advantage.

    Now, bound neck on an acoustic, THAT is what I'm talking about. I love the feel, love the look, love everything about them.
     
  20. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    5,638
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    Woe! You must be my guitar-mate

    I’ve thought this for years, blocks and trapezoids are okay....but binding and dots is where it’s really at
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.