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Buzz Feiten's Ideas About Bolt-On Neck Joints

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by The Mock Turtle Regulator, Feb 20, 2001.

  1. I thought this might be worth discussing here;
    in this month's edition of UK's The Guitar Magazine there's a guitar tech section by Dan Erlwhine (of Stewmac) who mentions Buzz Feiten's (famous for his altered tuning system) idea of inserting a thin vinyl shim on the front (towards the nut) of the bolt-on neck joint (of a guitar) with the express purpose of separating the neck and body to alter (in his opinion improve) the tone;

    according to Feiten, "the bottom end and volume of the guitar increased dramatically" and "I think the neck and body each have their own resonant frequency, and by separating them slightly you allow each to resonate somewhat independently".

    no comments about the effect on sustain though.
    now this is the exact OPPOSITE of what most luthiers think, ie. tight neck joints, or even set or through necks being best for sustain and tone.

    there was, however a similar idea from Alvarez with their "Scoop" guitar, with a hugely extended cutaway around the neck block claimed to allow greater sustain- in a review in Guitarist they couldn't detect any sustain improvements but said that the tone was "very even all over the neck"- which would be very beneficial for basses re. deadspots.

    anyone experimented with anything like this?

    I tried loosening the bolts on my Fender P-bass Plus as indicated in the article, but couldn't really notice any difference.....

    ps. in the same issue of the mag there's a very interesting interview with Les Paul- apparently he came up with the idea for the headless guitar- Gibson wouldn't take it up so he let Ned Steinberger take the idea for free....and later Gibson licensed it off Steinberger.
  2. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    So far,every instrument I own that has a bolt on neck has had those bolts tightened to the point of actually breaking a screwdriver once,and to me it always sounds better that way but to each his own.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Mock- I was reading an old Bass Player the other day and Rick Turner, (I think it was), mentioned in an article about strings that the design that Steinbergers use for stringing the instrument goes back to the 17th century in Europe when they were making some kind of cousin of the guitarron.

    I guess Ned just the sense to make some money from it.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    <center>Hm, reminds me of what Marleaux does with the neck/body joint on their fretless basses to improve the sound...


  5. now that's one complex bolt-on joint, JMX. another design was by a German company I think called "Max" who used a specially carved neck heel to alter the tonal response on their "Human Bass" model.
    all these theories are very confusing, and I'm tempted to butcher a cheap beaten-up left over hard ash P-bass body I've got to test them out. eg. tight bolt-on vs. Feiten's setup, and then applying the Alvarez Scoop idea- sawing almost all the way round the neck block :eek:
    all I need is a cheap neck too.....

    rickbass1, do you know which issue of BP that was in? I've got nearly all the issues back to 1994, and I'd like to track down that article.

    Les Paul makes loads of claims in that interview about Gibson not being convinced of the need for 2 pickups- about Gibson not having a clue basically. he also says that if Gibson really listened to him properly they'd have a killer bass.
  6. He's probably right, Gibson have'nt a clue, they are one of the most "head in the sand" companies you will ever come across.
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Mock- Sorry I haven't been back here for several days. I'll keep your wanting to know about where I saw that, in mind. I'm doing all the research I can for having a custom job made, and I see tons of stuff every week.

    Oh, and about Gibson listening- If they listened to McCarty, they wouldn't have axed the original Flying V and Moderne either, then come back years later, saying, "Oh yeah, the market really did want these. Lets slap a mess of `em together right quick!" :D

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