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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. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    What's to get confused about? Two different things. First was about what someone hears, second was a statement about perceived thought of where string vibration ends.

    If you place your hand/finger across the strings beyond the nut/bridge, you may or may not feel the vibrations when the strings are strummed. The purpose of the nut and bridge is to affect the vibrations between them to be in scale. They do not stop the vibrations entirely.
    You can see this vid where the player plucks the string(around the 1:15 mark) behind the bridge and uses the trem. That couldn't happen if the strings were "dead" at that point.
  2. Lazer

    Lazer Tele-Meister

    Mar 21, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The neck is more important, unless it's porly mounted. poorly mounted neck and bridge. Nobody claimded the body wood is of no importance, just less. Why don't you try to to stiffen up the neck by pushing the head against a door post and then strum...

  3. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 12, 2004

    That's the beauty and curse of trying different neck sizes, woods and etc.
    And actually mixing and matching body woods and all of the components:

    It's an educated guess crapshoot alot times. Ya just don't know 'til you put it all together!!


  4. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 12, 2007
    Cambridge, England
    If I'm reading Ron's post right, he's saying the neck can make a difference to tone, inasmuch as the mass (which can depend on, for example, the neck thickness or the wood species) affects sustain. Sustain is "tone" right?
  5. 10thoufirst

    10thoufirst Tele-Holic

    Nov 16, 2013
    This is SO true. It serves us well to remember that no two guitars, or parts of those guitars will be exactly the same. Never. And that goes all the way from the science to the subjectivity of your own hearing. Also anything you change on a guitar will have an effect, some more noticable than others.
    It is good to remember that the myths about guitars are exactly that: myths. One guitar may be ace, the one next to it crap. And we know the tone is in the fingers, don't we? And every set of fingers is different too.
  6. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Dec 3, 2009
    Coolum Beach,Australia
    Well..tar and feather me, drag me behind a truck up a dirt road, stick an eagle feather up my cloaca, if you must.....:rolleyes:

    crosses the floor and stands beside tap4154.... I'm with you buddy...... because I've done it with a guitar I played for 4 years ....and it does change the tone.... put on a nice qtr sawn VM neck too....against a mmite RW neck....

    same guitar, same set up, same strings, different necks.... different guitar....

    enough of a change to make me swap the old mm neck back after a few weeks of perseverance..... oh yeh, home again.....:)

    so shoot me....:lol:
  7. Cheshiergrin

    Cheshiergrin Tele-Holic

    Oct 22, 2013
    Not there anymore
    Yes everything that makes up a musical instrument contributes to a unique collective that vibrates in a specific manner (tone) no lightning never strikes twice.
    Yes I have swapped necks and the guitar now sounds different.
  8. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 12, 2010
    Somewhere Over The Rainbow
    Everyone's ears are different in how we perceive sound.

    I generally think maple fretboard Tele's and Strats sound a bit brighter to my ears than ones with rosewood boards but that's about it. Perhaps the weight, density or girth of neck has some influence to some but the difference to many would possibly be unnoticeable.
  9. nickd

    nickd Tele-Meister

    Apr 18, 2011
    Yorkshire, UK
    My CV50s neck vibrated a lot under the hand compared to my MIM 50s. Both sounded great.
  10. TwangToInfinity

    TwangToInfinity Tele-Afflicted

    May 2, 2013
  11. Twang Tone

    Twang Tone Friend of Leo's

    Apr 15, 2005
  12. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    No, it's posts like this that hopefully make people think before they post.

    Ron isn't contradicting the OP, just pointing out that you can't extrapolate one experience with one type of neck, amid a whole lot of other factors and expectations.

    I'm not contradicting the OP either - I'm sure there is a difference sound; you just can't quantify it reliably.

    Some of the theories about tone and materials on this site are about as sensible as witchcraft. People like Ron, who have forgotten more about this stuff than I'll ever know, remind me that some of our certainties are, at best, misplaced and, at worst, silly theories with nothing more than voodoo or wishful thinking behind them.
  13. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    You just described exactly why i stopped building fender style guitars. I will still do a partscaster with a fender neck and body on occasion because i know what the fender parts I use will sound like and tho it varies from 1 piece of wood to the next, it pretty much never varies too much with fender part. But yeah, you nailed whi i think it's much better to find a fender with a neck and body close to what you want then if you wanna mod the electronics or saddles or add lockers to tweak it to perfection thats fine. But you have a guitar to play before you buy and decide if it feels and sounds right. With a parts caster you lose big if you get it together and it sucks. People won't pay much for a partscaster and you end up tossing a lot of $ down the toilet.

    That will serve your purpose, to tell you whether you like it or not. But unless you are capable of hearing it it won't tell you is there IS a difference. Case in point, and I've mentioned this several times, when i started i couldn't tell the difference between nearly anything. As time went on that changed and things i couldn't hear the difference between with a gun to my head became spo apparent to me that there was quite a difference that i now buy guitars based on many specs that affect tone, none of which i could begin to hear when i started and many which even after 20 years i couldn't. After 40 it became such that i could pick every detail and know it's going to sound a certain way. So yeah, use your ears to decide what YOU want, but NOT to decide that because you can't hear it that theres no perceptible difference. Not to you, but there will be to others and eventually in time you will hear it to.

    I only mention this because there are things that make what to some people are huge differences and when you mention it on a forum someone will chime in to lambast you for making foolish statements about something *they feel can't* make a difference. Like Ron says, EVERYTHING does. The only question is whether you can hear it or not. Some can and some can't depending on experience, it's that simple. It would eliminate 90% of heated forum debates if everyone realized that.
  14. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Sep 5, 2014
    Greensboro, North Carolin
    I am not a doubter, for the record. I know neck swaps can change the way a guitar sounds. I'm just saying it's not predictable in any sort of way where you can say "heavy is bright, light is darker" or "maple is airy, and rosewood has more note fundamental".

    It sounds like you've assigned a universal attribute to a chaotic form of life: a tree.

    No two trees grow the same, same species or not. No cut of a tree is going to behave exactly the same as another cut even if it comes from 2 inches to the right or left out of the same tree!

    Two maple trees in the same swamp might have different nutrient densities and light availability and access to water before being harvested!

    One dense piece of ash might have dried adequately and be "brighter" while another slightly under aged piece might sound dead due to latent moisture and improper sourcing techniques.

    Maybe the blade slips at the lumber yard and quarter sawn is just a word for today because every piece is more like 2/7 sawn .......we are just players, VERY out of touch with the margin of error and chaositude of sourcing parts for and assembling a guitar from lumber grown and harvested by more people.

    It's just not predictable. You have to string it up, plug it in, and see if ya got a good one! :D
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  15. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California

    That's all I was saying. I know that if I put the same S-51 neck back on this CV50, with the same setup/strings, it would be back to the brighter/thinner unplugged AND plugged-in tone I had before, and I'd be rolling off the tone pot again. Then if I put the same stock CV50 neck back on, it would be back to the same original "factory" tone I have now, and I would dime the tone pot to get "my" tone.

    Now if I took a neck from another CV50 or CVC with rosewood fretboard and put it on my CV50, it might provide a different overall tone. If I put my other S-51 neck on my CV50, it might be a different tone than the first S-51 neck I had on it, or it may be very close. I'd have to try it and listen.

    As others said, it's all a crap shoot... but a guitar neck's various physical characteristics and construction can and often will make a difference in the overall tone of the guitar IMHO YMMV etc. etc.

    I've never implied that you can derive a formula to predict what tone/sustain you'll end up with with certain bodies and necks. I'm just referring to one specific CV50 body, one specific CV50 neck that came with it, and one specific S-51 neck. I can now predict what tone I will have when either of these specific necks are installed on this specific body.

    Hope I've made myself clear now ;)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  16. kidmo

    kidmo Friend of Leo's

    May 25, 2008
    Give it up tap, you're fighting a losing battle. I got what you meant the first time I read your post. But, this is an internet forum rife with "experts" eager to beat you down with conjecture. It is extremely disappointing when some of the more "knowledgeable" posters jump on the pile. I'm always glad to hear opinions, but to just come out and say that you're wrong, is just fatuous. IMO ;)
  17. dmarcus30

    dmarcus30 Tele-Holic

    Sep 29, 2010
    By the sea, California
    Quartersawn. Mine both have a "vintage style" truss rod.

    Interesting side note, I used a MIJ 62 burst Tele reissue as the platform for the Esquire and the finish is thick poly and I was concerned about muddy tone but the QS neck and the fact that for this build I used neck bolt inserts seem to have overridden any concern about the body resonance. It sounds beautiful, even, and loud when played unplugged/plugged. Can't beat it for blues.
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