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The neck REALLY does make a difference in tone!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by tap4154, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've had a fat Squier '51 neck on my VB CV50 for about 4 years. When I first put it on I noticed that both unplugged and plugged in, the S-'51 neck gave it a much brighter and bit thinner tone, but rolling the tone back 1/3 or so it sounded good to me.

    Today I decided to put the stock neck back on, and now it has the "round" full tone I prefer with the tone pot dimed. Really quite a difference overall!

    The Squier '51 neck is made of much harder/denser maple, much fatter, and about 4 oz heavier than the CV50 neck. I'm sort of digging the thinner stock neck again too, and the slightly smaller frets. Thanks again Leo for making these guitars so easy to mix and match parts :D
     

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  2. JayJ

    JayJ Tele-Afflicted

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    Some will argue your findings, but if it sounds different and good to you, that is all that matters.
     
  3. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    in addition to wood being different, it could be due to any number of factors, fitment in the neck pocket, quartersawn vs flatsawn, differing truss rod metals, for example.
     
  4. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    There's nothing to argue, the change is dramatic. It's not just a placebo effect or imagined. Probably the reason it's so dramatic is the dramatic difference in the size/density/weight of each neck. Also the larger frets on the S-51 which I believe are SS. It's the neck I've played most the past 6-7 years, but barely has any divots or flattening.
     
  5. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    Could be, as well as the different fret size and material. But if a given part, for whatever reasons, gives you the sound you like, that's what matters. :D
     
  6. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    While it would be nice to be able to assign specific attributes of one neck vs another as being responsible for any change in the sound, but. . . it simply can't happen.

    There is a litany of other factors that come into play whenever such a change is made...

    simple fact is, the very next "guy" could find the same sonic results, but with the exact reverse swapping of the necks... there is no way to predict..

    One factor that does play a part in perceived "tone".. and does so with some consistency is that added mass of a larger neck can offer some change. However this is simply a function of physics.

    The heavier the neck, the less the string can dissipate energy into making it vibrate... that results in more energy being available to induce a signal into the pickups... it also can result in increased sustain... If "you" like that sound, then it means "better" tone, if not, then the tone sux... "you" get to decide..

    Anything can result in some variation in the sound... However, things that I wouldn't bet money on are those things most often mentioned... they are more times than not suggested as a sonic panacea with nothing more than anecdotal supposition, and no real foundation in anything that can be validated or duplicated.

    Ron Kirn
     
  7. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    This is why many including myself believe the neck is the #1 part on a fender in contributing to the tone. As i mentioned recently, a phrase used often is "the tone follows the neck" meaning if a guitar has a certain voice, putting it's neck on another guitar will make that one sound very close. It becomes very apparent if you do a lot of partscaster building and swap necks a lot. i did a lot of that for years and i even found that 2 necks that are the same exact model can sound a lot different due to the wood. the wood in a body can sound different too, but nothing like the neck. thats why whenever someone asks about getting a new neck to have a different shape or frets or whatever, i always tell them only do it if the tone isn't something special to you or you just can't even play it, because chance are it will sound different and theres a 50/50 chance it will sound VERY different.
     
  8. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    All I can say is that I played this CV50 stock for over a year after buying it. Was very familiar with the tone. Very similar to my 52 AVRI in fact. Then put the S-'51 neck on... noticed an immediate change in tone, much brighter, thinner, so I rolled back tone pot to compensate because I loved the fat neck. Then now, years later, I put the stock neck back on and SHAZAM! Same original tone is back, very similar to my 52 AVRI again.

    So I can either pretend that the changes didn't occur (disbelieve my "lying ears") or just accept the reality I know, and let you guys say it didn't happen/can't happen/I must be smoking some bad weed etc.. and that's fine. I can do that :D

    Deny away. Won't bother me a bit.

    Another cool thing is the stock neck is like new after playing the CV50 4 years with the S-51 neck on.

    BTW you're spot-on about the density of the neck allowing string vibration. The S-51 neck feels like a rock on either guitar. Very little vibrations felt when playing. The CV neck is very alive on either guitar, with lots of felt vibrations when playing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  9. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    How much affect does the nut material have on tone?

    Did you change the strings? A lot of folks talk about this and that, but changing strings, new vs old, size, brand, can have a massive affect on tone.

    I wonder if you take the same strings, take them off, put them back on, if the tone will change.
     
  10. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I use EB 10-46 on all my electrics.

    BTW, I didn't mention that during the time the S-51 neck was on my CV50, the CV50 neck was on the S-51. It also changed, losing brightness and giving it a more "full/round" amplified tone. Now that it has it's stock neck back on, it's original brightness has returned.

    Of course, I'm imagining this all :D
     
  11. dmarcus30

    dmarcus30 Tele-Holic

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    Agreed. I have a QS baseball bat on my Esquire and it sounds massive, even unplugged.
    I had a FS D shaped maple neck on my Strat and it sounded thin so I swapped in a Musikraft QS V to C shape and it just vibrates like crazy. You can feel it radiate out from the neck pocket (2lb 13 oz one piece ash body) into your body.

    I am sold on QS necks now, they are like tuning forks.
     
  12. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Doubters will doubt, it's their job. Pay no attention. Trust your ears.
     
  13. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Zero, if notes are being fretted.
     
  14. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I probably should have said "the neck really can make a difference", not does make a difference. In this particular case, it absolutely does, but it may not in all, or even most cases. As I said, there is quite a difference between the physical characteristics of these two necks

    Tempted to do some sound clips, then switch back to the S-51 neck and do some sound clips, but I have it set up real nice now... so I'll just say "trust me" :D
     
  15. Lazer

    Lazer Tele-Meister

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    Absolutely, the neck and the bridge has much more influence then the body wood, within reasonable limits.
     
  16. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't believe that Ron is "denying" what you hear. He's saying that you can't reliably quantify it. Just as it is hard to quantify the original tone years on after you last heard it
     
  17. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    It is posts like this that make musicians hesitate to share their experience with their guitars on this forum. Why not go into carpentry RK?
     
  18. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    It always amazes me how many people will tell you that your not hearing what your hearing and try to explain it away.
    I disagree, the nut and tuners still transfer vibrations to the neck even if all the strings are fretted. Might be with less intensity, but still happening.
    The body has just as much to do with influence as the neck. The strings are anchored to the neck and body, neck and body are anchored together completing the chain. Strum the strings unplugged with the back of the body against your ear. You can hear the the strings vibrations through the body and feel the vibrations through the neck and body.
    And if people out there still don't think it matters because the pickup poles are under the strings, plug in your guitar, mute the strings and knock on the body or neck with your knuckle and hear the vibrations that are being picked up by the pickup that's not coming from the strings.
     
  19. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    In my experience, Ron generally doesn't question experiences, just conclusions. ;)
     
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