sâmbătă, 26 martie 2011

Guitar Neck (Woods)

The most common electric guitar neck wood, Maple has a uniform grain, it’s strong and stable, and it has less reaction from environmental changes than other hardwoods. Its tone is highly reflective, and focuses more energy onto the body wood. All things being equal, bolt-on Maple necks are less of a factor on the guitar’s tone and emphasize the body wood.

The even density makes stable necks, and the open pores make the neck a little more responsive than a maple neck. The Mahogany will absorb a little more of the string vibration than Maple will, and compresses the attack and the highs a little.

The tone is somewhere between Mahogany and Maple with a little sweeter top end.

Heavy, oily wood, a Rosewood neck will produce excellent sustain while also smoothening out the highs. Generally with greater sustain comes a brighter top end. This is not true of Rosewood. It mutes the high frequency overtones, producing a strong fundamental that still has the complexities of mid and low mid overtones.

Stiff, strong, and stable, Wenge trims some high overtones like Rosewood does, while resonating more fundamental mids and low mids due to it’s multi-density “stripes” combing away a little more of the mid and low mid overtones.

Fretboard Woods:

Perhaps more significant than neck wood, the fretboard is the place your string launches from. It is the “bridge” on the other side. Fretboard differences are as dramatic as those between a hardtail and a tremolo.

Very bright and dense, Maple is highly reflective. When used on a fretboard, Maple encourages tremendous amounts of higher overtones and its tight, almost filtered away bass favors harmonics and variations in pick attack.

The most common fretboard, Rosewood is naturally oily, and works well for any surface that sees frequent human contact. The sound is richer in fundamental than Maple because the stray overtones are absorbed into the oily pores

Ebony has a snappy, crisp attack with the density of Maple, but with more brittle grains, oilier pores, and a stronger fundamental tone than Maple. It has a tremendous amount of percussive overtones in the pick attack, that mute out shortly thereafter to foster great, long, sustain.

Pao Ferro:
Quite simply, Pao Ferro is a wood that falls between Rosewood and Ebony, and the tone follows suit. It has a snappier attack than rosewood, with good sustain, and its warmer sounding than Ebony. Some consider Pao Ferro to represent their favorite aspects of the two.

Extended Range notes:
Basswood is not stiff enough for a tight, well-defined low end, especially with a shorter scale. Low notes will have good harmonics, and a good fundamental, but a midrangey tone overall.
Alder has a tighter low end than Basswood, with slightly deeper lows.
Swamp Ash is stiff enough for a crisp low end without becoming muddy. The open pores help resonate low tones. Higher overtones become more apparent in lower registers, for good harmonic content and a sharper attack.
Mahogany’s warm lows and a thick sound overall make extended lows very full and can produce muddiness in the signal. The low notes are very strong and sometimes overbearing for a pickup. A bright, crisp active pickup that thins out the low end could be a good combination.
Walnut’s tight low end and combed midrange dynamics make it well suited for extended range. It won’t get muddy unless it’s a poor specimen with softer yellowish orange areas.
Like Walnut, Koa is a good Mahogany alternative. It will have a tighter low end with less muddiness. The slightly dampened higher overtones will produce a stronger fundamental than Walnut at the expense of a sharper attack.
Korina should respond to extended lows in the same manner as Mahogany. Soft Maple’s dull lows also mean no muddiness in the extended range. It can be a good alternative to Basswood if that’s your main concern. The pickups will have to compensate for the bright upper mids.
Hard Maple will have the tightest lows for the extended range. Low notes will have a sharp attack, plenty of harmonics, and excellent sustain.
Spruce, while capable of reproducing extended lows, is too soft not to get mushy. A neck through, a laminated top, or both would provide the needed rigidity while still highlighting the good points of Spruce. Any laminated top 1/8” or thicker will improve the tightness of the low end. The existence of the lamination will tighten any body’s muddiness. The same qualities hold true in the laminate top descriptions.

Neck Through notes:
The neck through construction method produces excellent sustain. The neck wood strongly influences the tone of the guitar, because it occupies perhaps the most important part of the body: the center. There is a nasal, thinner quality to the sound, often augmented with a figured wood top. Your side woods make up far less of the tone than on a bolt on or set neck guitar. You first have to estimate what that neck wood’s tone is like as a body wood, and then accentuate or counteract that with your side woods. So a Hard Maple neck through will be very bright and cutting. If you want to warm it up you’d use Basswood or Spruce sides. But if you like that quality, you might use Ash or Soft Maple sides. The effect is very different than the laminated top sound. A maple top on Basswood is nothing like a Maple neck through with Basswood wings, which sounds more like a Maple body. Generally, the softer woods excel as sides because they add back some low end resonance missing in the construction method, while dampening the highs.


vineri, 25 martie 2011

Guitar Neck (Tuner Holes)

Guitar Neck (Frets)

DUNLOP 6105 - tall .055" wide .090" (extra high jumbo)
2,99mm 2,29mm
The 6105 series is a tall and narrow jumbo wire for players that want more exact intonation.
DUNLOP 6130 - tall .036" wide .106" (jumbo for Les Paul Guitars)
2,77mm 2,69mm
The 6130 series is commonly referred to as medium jumbo. This is a perfect size for most vintage Gibson® guitars.
DUNLOP 6230 - tall .043" wide .078" (Vintage Strats and Tele)
2,47mm 2,03mm
The 6230 series is a vintage-sized wire as used on early Fender® models.
DUNLOP 6100 - tall .055" wide .110" (for Fender Guitars)
3,18mm 2,79mm
The 6100 series is jumbo fret that is both tall and wide.
DUNLOP 6110 - tall .050" wide .115" (jumbo fret for rock'n'roll and bass and lead guitar)
2,64mm 2,92mm
The 6110 series is both tall and wide, and has maximum mass for easy bending and a scalloped feel.
DUNLOP 6000 - tall .058" wide .118" (jumbo for extreme stringbending)
3,25mm 2,99mm
The 6000 series is the largest wire Dunlop offers. Both tall and wide, has maximum mass for easy bending and a scalloped feel.
DUNLOP 6150 - tall .042" wide .102"
The 6150 series is a classic jumbo with extra width.

Guitar Neck (Nut Width)

Nut Width is definately a significant factor in determining how a neck will feel. You can choose from our various sizes for a Nut Width that fits you perfectly!

1-5/8" (41.27mm)
This is the smallest nut width and considered "Vintage" since most of the guitar makers in the 1950s and 60s used this size. Smaller hands will find this very comfortable as do players who mostly play rhythm.

1-11/16" (42.85mm)
Considered the standard size of the guitar industry for the last 30+ years, 1 11/16 Nut Width allows for what many consider to be the perfect balance between chording and soloing. This is the most popular Nut Width size.

1-3/4" (44.45mm)
For those with slightly larger hands or soloing techniques when a slightly wider string spacing is desirable, this is just the ticket! Some 80s shredder guitar companies used this size along with large frets to create a unique soloing feel. It also may remind you of how an acoustic guitar neck would feel.

1-7/8" (47.62mm) Special Superwide Neck Page
This would be the Grand Daddy of Nut Widths. Giant hands will love this size as would people doing specialized guitar building and adding more strings to the neck. Click on the link above for special information and pricing for this unique offering.
According to Duchossoir's Tele "bible" there are 4 different widths:

A = 1 1/2" (1.500") i.e. narrow

B = 1 5/8" (1.625") i.e. standard

C = 1 3/4" (1.750") i.e. wide

D = 1 7/8" (1.875") i.e. extra wide

"B" has always been the standard, but in the 60's the other widths were optional at an extra cost. They are nevertheless very rare.
11 divided by 16 = .6875.

1 11/16 = 1.6875

Guitar Neck (Fingerboard Radius)

What is fretboard radius?
Fretboard radius is simply the curve of the fretboard from side to side. This curve is to make the fretboard more comfortable for the fretting hand. The radius is described as a measurement such as 7.25", 9.5", 12" or 16". These measurements tell you that the fretboard is a segment of a circle or cylinder, which has a radius, or size of 7.25", 9.5", 12" or 16". The larger the radius, the larger the circle, and the flatter the fretboard will be.

In simple terms
Quite simply, the smaller radius (which is more curved) is more comfortable for playing (particularly barre) chords, while a larger, flatter radius is better for low action, single-note playing and bending. The other important characteristic of radius is that the flatter the radius, the lower the action can be. This is because when you bend a string on a lower part of the fretboard such as your first or second string, you are bending it towards the middle of the fretboard, which is higher than the edges, so the notes will tend to "fret out" - buzz against the higher parts of the fret, killing sustain.

Another important thing to note is that staggered polepiece pickups (like vintage style single-coils) were originally designed for vintage Fender guitars, which had a small 7.25" radius. These sometimes don't work well with flatter radii, making the middle strings jump out much louder, particularly the G string (which was also designed for wound strings). There is a workaround for this problem, which is to keep the pickups set lower (further away from the strings), where the string-to-string balance will even out. The downside to this workaround, is that you lose volume with the pickups set lower. You should also be aware that there are "modern vintage" pickups, which also have staggered polepieces.

Which fretboard radius is best?
Which radius is "best" tends to be a personal thing, you should be asking "which is best for me?". Generally, most players are going to prefer something between a 9.5" and a 12". Many players who play more "lead-based" styles, or those needing lower action and more bending will probably be happier with larger radii such as 16" or even 20". Ultimately this is down to personal preference, which is largely based on the instruments we learned to play on. The best thing you can do is play as many different guitars as possible (like we need an excuse, right?), making note of which feel more comfortable to you. Bear in mind that other factors such as neck thickness, fretboard thickness, scale length and even finish do affect the feel of a neck, but the more time you spend playing different instruments, the easier it will be to identify each factor.

The fingerboard, or playing surface of the guitar neck, is usually curved or radiused across its width. The purpose of this radius is to accommodate the natural ergonomic shape of your fingers when they are in playing position. Comfort is certainly a major factor in selecting a fingerboard radius but it is not the only factor. Musical Style... the fingerboard radius must also allow you to play the style of music you prefer.

Compound Radius Fingerboard
(A Warmoth innovation)

This is a concept that we introduced nearly two decades ago to improve both comfort and playability. It has proven to be a very popular feature that we have incorporated into the majority of our necks.
Everyone knows how comfortable vintage Fender necks are for rhythm work and chording, but without uncomfortably high action, string bending is not an option the strings "fret-out".

To achieve low action and no buzz string bending, many necks resort to a 16" fingerboard radius. This certainly works, but the comfort factor is lost.

What we developed was the theory and technology to make the fretboard conical. This retains a tighter radius in the area commonly used for rhythm and chording, while flattening the area used for bending and lead playing. We selected a 10" radius at the nut for both comfort and compatibility with the popular Floyd Rose locking nut. A 16" radius at the heel has proven to afford 2-1/2 step bends with action below a 16th of an inch!

In usage, the changing radius is not really noticed. It is simply easier to play on and more comfortable. Compared to a conventional single radius neck, the compound radius is far more difficult and time consuming to produce. So, why do we do it? This is a design that will make a genuine difference in your playing. An improvement in your playing speed... Its fast! String bending has never been easier, and comfortable. And of course your playing will be better if your hand is more relaxed.

One final note about the compound radius
There is no practical difference in accomplishing a fret level, nut cut, set-up or any other adjustment to a compound radius neck. They are as easy to work with as any other neck.

Custom Straight Radius
Straight radius necks have been the industry standard since the inception of guitars and are still used by the majority of manufacturers; primarily because it is much easier to produce than the much more comfortable compound radius necks. For those of who prefer straight radius, we have a custom machine which is adjustable to any straight radius between 9" and 16", in half inch increments. We can offer this custom work on our Warmoth "Pro" and Vintage Modern construction necks, in either 25 1/2" or 24 3/4" scale lengths.

(Article taken from Warmoth.com)

joi, 24 martie 2011

Big Boy Toys

My setup... more or less...


It has been determined that time tested Nitrocellulose Lacquer is the best finish for the necks. We feel that it looks, feels and sounds the best. Nitrocellulose Lacquer (Nitro) is a thin finish and as it continues to cure over time, the natural sound of the wood really comes through. Although Nitro takes longer to allow for proper curing between coats.

The preparation of the necks is made the same way which involves a multi phase process that includes preparing the necks for finishing through finish sanding, radiusing, fret board leveling and general prep for the paint shop.

Guitar Neck (Finishes)

Necks finished with shellac have many advantages over other sealers. Shellac blocks out, or seals in, trace amounts of oil, wax, and silicone. Shellac is easily repaired. Its a Very thin finish (The neck is extremely fast). Absolutely no influence on tone (The natural resonance of the wood is not compromised. You can continue added additional build coats for a great final finish. Its a Stand alone sealer for a Lacquer topcoat Finish. Easily removed with Denatured alcohol.

Same as above but with an amber formula and slightly thicker coating.

Most oils available as wood finishes are either linseed oil or Tung oil in some form, with or without any additives. Some of these oils are thinned with mineral spirits to make application easier. These oil finishes are actually varnishes because they are reactive finishes - meaning that they change into a hard film by exposure to air (oxygen) not by the evaporation of the solvent like lacquer or shellac. These oil varnishes are probably the earliest and simplest wood finishes and the natural luster, or glow, of wood under an oil finish is very appealing.

Similar to above but with our exclusive blend of high quality oils that gives your neck that aged oil look, similar to what it may look like after years of playing and exposure.

For that thicker glassier look. This finish material has been the dominant finish used by U.S. musical instrument factories for steel string guitars, arch top guitars, banjos and mandolins since the 1920’s. It would not be an exaggeration to say that all, or nearly all, vintage/collectable American factory steel string instruments are finished in lacquer. (Until very recently solvent-based nitrocellulose lacquer was simply referred to as “lacquer” in the musical instrument business.)

Guitar Neck (Profiles)

Guitar Neck Back Contours

Back Contour is the profile or grip shape of the neck. How much wood does it take to fill up your hand? Too little equates to quicker hand fatigue. Too much is even worse, you can't reach around it. Do you play thumb over? Check out your favorite guitar and compare its neck thickness, (fingerboard face to the back of the neck), to the ones below.

Guitar Neck (Truss Rods)

Truss Rods: Here are some pictures of our various truss rod types. Standard Vintage Style 1 Piece Construction Single Acting Truss Rod with Skunk Stripe and Teardrop Plug and Standard Nut Slot.

Cross section cutaway side view of a single acting truss rod in a maple neck. As you can see below, the rod is in a concave channel that exerts pressure on the neck as it is tightened at the heel causing the neck to bow backwards away from the strings and lowering string action and height.

Guitar Neck (Stripe)

Skunk Stripes

These Stripes are patterned after the original vintage .20" walnut skunk stripes from the old days. These classic versions of the thinner skunk stripe do not really serve any mechanical function but have really pleased our vintage enthusiast crowd with their accuracy and streamlined good looks. The difference is obvious as shown in the picture below. Shown on the left is the standard 1/4" skunk stripe and on the right is the vintage thin stripe which measures .20". This option is available at no extra cost on any of our Tele or Strat necks with single acting truss rods.

Guitar Neck "Maple wood" (Flat Sawn-Quarter Sawn)

Flat Sawn-Quarter Sawn:

There are many questions that come up when discussing the differences between these two woods and hopefully we can try to answer some of those questions here and explain some of the differences as well. Shown here in this photo is a Flat Sawn neck with a standard fingerboard on the left and a Quarter sawn neck with a vintage veneer contoured fingerboard on the right. As you can see from the picture, the grain lines on the flat sawn neck are running left to right and the grain lines on the quarter sawn neck are running up and down. Quarter sawn and flat sawn woods are cut with a different grain orientation and come from different areas of the tree. This greatly affects the internal strength of both and subsequently, the quarter sawn neck tends to be a tighter grain and allot stronger and more stable than the flat sawn.

The quarter sawn wood is usually very straight and rigid and the flat sawn is much more pliable. There are advantages to both types of woods. Due to its strength and stability, the quarter sawn is a great wood for use with heavier string gauges, unfinished necks, necks with a stronger dual acting truss rod, and longer necks like bass necks etc. There is also a difference in tone on these woods. The quarter sawn has a distinctly brighter tone due to its density.

The Flat sawn neck tends to have a more mellow tone and is more pliable so it is better for use with vintage style, single acting truss rods and does very well with a hard finish but can also be left unfinished as well. Aesthetically speaking, the wood grain is much more visible on a flat sawn neck as opposed to a quarter sawn neck. Flamey and Birdseye necks are most often flat sawn.


There are a variety of ways that lumber can be cut out of a log. These include plainsawing, riftsawing and quartersawing. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Quartersawn wood is created by cutting a log lengthwise into quarters, then creating a series of parallel cuts, with the middle cut being perpendicular to the tree's rings.

The grain patterns of wooden boards can affect the way that they expand and contract. In quartersawn wood, the grain patterns are relatively consistent, so the end product is stable, which makes it preferred by many woodworkers and furniture-makers. Quartersawn wood might include medullary rays and wavy grain patterns that some people prefer over the patterns that are revealed through the other sawing methods. Oak is the most common quartersawn wood, although builders might also be able to find quartersawn walnut, cherry and maple.

Quartersawn wood's stability makes it highly sought after for making musical instrument parts such as string instrument necks and fret boards. In most cases, it is best for a wooden part of a musical instrument, such as the neck of guitar, bass or violin, to remain stable throughout the instrument's life. Using quartersawn wood helps ensure that the instrument's sound will remain as invariable as possible.

One disadvantage of quartersawing wood is that it leaves some scrap. This typically makes quartersawn wood more expensive than plainsawn wood, because plainsawing produces little to no scrap. Quartersawing's yield, however, is greater than in riftsawing, so quartersawn wood typically is cheaper than riftsawn wood.

Plainsawing is perhaps the most straightforward way to cut rectangular-profiled boards out of a round log. Sawmills create plainsawn lumber by cutting a log lengthwise with a series of parallel cuts. This system provides excellent yield because it minimizes scrap, but plainsawn lumber has some disadvantages. Depending on where they were cut out of the log, plainsawn boards can have substantially different grain patterns, which can cause it to expand and contract in different ways. Plainsawn wood, however, often has interesting grain patterns, sometimes called cathedrals, that are not created by other types of cutting.

Riftsawn lumber is much more stable than plainsawn lumber. Each board is cut perpendicular to the log's rings, so each board has essentially the same grain pattern. Furniture made of riftsawn wood has more of a uniform appearance because of the similarity of grain patterns in the boards. Rift-sawing provides very poor yield, however, leaving lots of wedge-shaped scraps. Its low yield is why riftsawn wood is rarely produced by lumber yards, which typically makes it more expensive than quartersawn or plainsawn wood.

Guitar Neck "Head Shapes"

The photo shows from left to right the CBS style, Standard Strat and San Dimas Headstocks. They appear similar, but each has some distinctions. The San Dimas has a larger overall headstock and it has a deeper and more broader cutaway at the base of the ball across from the 2nd B string tuner.

Guitar Neck (Scalloped neck)

What is Neck scalloping?
Neck scalloping is the removal of fret board wood or material between each fret. The two popular types of procedures to scallop a fret board are "barrel- straight through automated machined" and "hand scallops (which follow the neck radius)" DC Custom Guitars offers hand scalloping because we feel not only is a radius hand scalloped neck more natural & comfortable to play, but in fact it leaves more wood intact which equals a stronger, straighter neck. When the procedure is complete, the fret board will look identical to many popular shredder custom shop necks found on high end guitars.

So Why Scallop?
There are many reasons why some musicians prefer scalloped fret boards over conventional fret boards. The most important reason and most noticeable advantage is more control of the note being fretted. More control of each note being fretted equals better tone and a cleaner sound no matter how fast you are playing. This also means more control when bending and using the vibrato/pull on/off techniques. The extra control is due to the fact that your fingers wrap themselves around the string, instead of being bottomed out on a conventional flat fret board. More surface area of your finger has a grip on the string which gives you the advantage of gaining complete control of each note! Unlock the secrets of Blackmore, Malmsteen, Stump, Cascione, and Impellitteri & get shredding!!