Set Neck and Bolt On Guitars

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by CFFF, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    520
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    Location:
    .
    It seems to be the case that manufacturers like to ask much more money for set neck models. The glue cost more money then four screws and a steel plate?
     
  2. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,014
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Big D
    Typically a set net requires more work than a bolt on neck, especially since we are in the age of CNC machines.

    You would be amazed at how many neck blanks you can machine on a CNC table at one time. The same with bodies to a lesser degree. But when you are looking at a neck through you waste a lot of space on the CNC bed.

    Also many of the set necks need some transitions made from the body to the neck, which can be done on some CNC machines but in many cases they have to be hand finished.

    I have played both set neck and bolt on necks and I will say that I used to think on basses the set necks were better. But I have a P Bass that has a bolt on neck that sustains forever which is what I always thought was a neck through characteristic. It may help that it has a baseball sized neck but it sustains really well.
     
  3. don71

    don71 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,477
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Location:
    Central Missouri
    I suppose you could look at it that way.

    All I know is, the bolt on neck is much user friendly in so much as user repairable. I probably wouldn't attempt a set neck repair. That alludes to my ability, yours might be different.
     
    rz350, radiocaster and nojazzhere like this.
  4. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    49,255
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    I've gotten to love bolt-on necks, but I have to admit, I prefer the feel to upper fret access on a set neck guitar.
     
  5. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    386
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Location:
    germany
    The neck/body transition on a glued in neck needs a lot more work.
     
    RoyBGood likes this.
  6. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,807
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    toronto
    I think your premise is wrong. You pay the same amount of money for a player series Fender as a Epiphone Les Paul. You can get an SG for less than a Fender pro series as well.
     
    stxrus and LowCaster like this.
  7. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    324
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Pretty sure that one of the reasons Leo Fender advanced the bolt-on neck design was the ease of mass-production; i.e., lower costs.
     
  8. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,759
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, UK
    ^ I heard it was because he liked Frankenstein films.
     
    Rev Rhythm likes this.
  9. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    520
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    Location:
    .
    Thank you everyone.

    I understand of course that it is possible to buy set neck guitars that are less money then bolt ons but can we remove the comparison with USA and Mexican or Asian made guitars?

    If they were made in the same factory using CNC would would you be happy to be asked to pay a large premium for a set neck guitar version of the same model that uses a bolt on?
     
  10. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    630
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Paris, France
    I agree with you. I recently saw a Gibson factory tour and was thinking about how quick and easy was the process of gluing the set neck.
     
  11. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    497
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    A set neck requires more time and a marginally higher degree of skill to build. That's what you pay extra for. The difference in cost of materials is negligible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  12. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    630
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Paris, France
    To build, yes, to CNC and glue probably not so much.
     
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,609
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    The price difference is all in the marketing induced perception.

    Fender started using bolt on necks because the Gibson headstocks broke so easily and frets wore out easily that a Fender player could easily swap a replacement neck on themselves and go back to playing while the Gibson player had to drop his guitar off at the guitar tech, who had a backlog of other jobs and cost a lot of cash a working player maybe didn't have.

    When set neck guitars are generally priced at $4,000 and bolt on necks are priced at $3,000 then buyers make the assumption that the bolts must be cheaper to build. The same machining skill needs to happen to both versions or things don't fit or buyers complain of 'why is there so much gap?'... glue is less expensive than bolts and a plate.

    .
     
    The Angle likes this.
  14. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,660
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Sou Cal
    I have both like most everybody here, it only makes a difference when your looking at it, once your start playing it, you forget all about it. One plays as well as the other.
     
    Ricky D. and KevinB like this.
  15. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    251
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Location:
    Yukon OK
    A properly fit set neck takes time and skill, much more than fitting a bolt neck.

    The price difference in set necks might have something to do with USA labor costs vs third world labor costs. ;)
     
  16. jim777

    jim777 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    218
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    South New Jersey
    It's funny, I wouldn't buy a neck through Strat, but I also wouldn't buy a bolt on SG.
     
    ScribbleSomething and RoyBGood like this.
  17. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,807
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    toronto
    You can go to guitar fetish and directly compare Asian to Asian if you want.

    Can you point to an example of this? You're making an example up out of thin air to defend your false premise.
     
  18. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    472
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Location:
    USA
    Seeing neck-thru getting tossed about in this thread. I thought the question was about a set neck vs bolt on,,,which to me means a glued on neck vs bolt on.

    Neck thru is not a set neck in my world.
     
  19. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    16,204
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Correct.

    “Set neck” and “neck through” are two completely different construction techniques. The terms are not interchangeable.
     
    joe_cpwe and 6stringcowboy like this.
  20. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,230
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I guess what I'm wondering is - what difference does it make? Suppose someone supplies an answer to your inquiry that you find satisfactory - what do you suppose that will change, if anything? Will you then become an apostle for the version of neck construction you prefer?

    There's so many other factors to consider - and for the most part, during playing any guitar, I can't say I have ever thought: hey, "set neck" or gee, i wish this was a bolt-on instead.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.