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Graphite vs. Titanium neck reinforcement

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Killed_by_Death, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. absolutely!

  2. not at all!

  3. depends, sometimes

  4. carrot-reinforced is the business!

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  1. Just this week I compared two instruments with reinforced necks, one Graphite & the other Titanium.
    No, they weren't all that similar, so it wasn't that sort of experiment, but...

    I did start thinking that part of the reason I preferred the Titanium-reinforced neck instrument was due to some quality that the Graphite-reinforcement imparts to the other instrument.

    We already did the neck-through vs. screw-on poll, & whether it changes the timbre, so now let's discuss if the type of reinforcement has impact.

    Some would say that neck-through instruments have a more compressed or subdued sound.
    I felt that way about the graphite-reinforced, set-neck instrument.
    zon6c-f likes this.
  2. fretno


    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    who in the bass world us using Ti ?
    Charlzm and JC Nelson like this.
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    The entire structure has an effect. Quantifying or predicting the effect is nearly impossible, however. Making a neck stiffer will mean losing less energy to flexion, but how that translates to tonal response is anybody's guess, and will depend (at least in part) to the attributes of the rest of the structure.
  4. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    Are we maybe talking about the Warmoth necks that have steel reinforcing rods? My old J-bass has one of those. It's hefty but it's also solid as a rock and nicely responsive. More so than what I perceive with pretty much every Fender I've tried or bought in recent years. Very subjective issue I'm sure.
    MobileHolmes and ThudThudThud like this.
  5. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I have a walnut body Warmoth Jazz with steel reinforced neck. All I can add to what is said above is that it has it's own gravitational field. These are HEAVY.
    MobileHolmes and equill like this.
  6. OK, let's pretend like someone takes the SAME neck & swaps the Graphite for Titanium & compares the two.
    (obviously on the same instrument, same body, same electronics)

    Titanium & Graphite seems more plausible to not cause neck-dive.
    zon6c-f and Happy Face like this.
  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    That would mean that the cross-sectional area of the graphite and titanium were approximately equal. Unless the graphite is square-section and the titanium round-section?

    Anyway, are we also assuming that the graphite and the titanium are contributing the same amount of stiffness?
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  8. Ti is heaps harder (10x) than Graphite, but I'm not finding specs on stiffness.
    Graphite is almost half the density of Ti.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    zon6c-f and ctmullins like this.
  9. Gnal

    Gnal Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2014
    I don’t know about graphite bars, but I’ve read and heard in interviews that carbon fiber rods depending on weave alignment and have different levels of stiffness and/or likelihood to resist bending in a given direction.

    I’ve owned an MTD with Ti bars. Mike Tobias said that the added stiffness from Ti along with front/rear peg head laminations can make a maple neck/board respond more like a Wenge neck/board. At least that was what he talked about regarding the Norm Stockton Saratoga Sig.
  10. Ibanez are using Titanium bars in the Premium & Prestige models:


    I guess I have the double-whammy neck then, mine is Wenge/Bubinga with the Ti bars.
    I have sometimes thought the combination is magical!
  11. fretno


    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    interesting , Thanks & KTS at that ! Good stuff . I'd rock it !
    I love their bridges
  12. I’m of the school of thought that every variable has some effect on the overall tone. Every part of the instrument, rig and every part of the player including their personal style.
    I don’t think every variable has the same level of effect though, and to be honest...sometimes I think people perceive differenceS and even similarities that just aren’t there.
  13. fretno


    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Remember Bunker , those are unusual and sound fantastic . Here is mine broken down as I was doing a fretless conversion on it . Personally I think everything affects tone but that is part of the fun .


    The square rod sits in the neck channel and nut cutout and applies force at 2 points to adjust relief
    JC Nelson, mikewalker and ajkula66 like this.
  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I don’t know enough (or anything really) about the properties of titanium or graphite reinforcement rods and what they bring to the party; nor do I have enough experience with necks that have either to form an opinion one way or the other.

    Be interesting to see where this thread goes. Hopefully somebody with a bona fide materials engineering background who also happens to be a luthier will weigh in.
  15. When I've seen demonstrations of resonance the lecturer will strike the material & let the user listen to it.
    In the case of Ti you'd get a clear ring, there are even huge bells made of Ti, but in the case of soft Graphite...

    Kaplan, aproud1 and mikewalker like this.
  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Resonance is not a desirable property in a bass neck.
    Giraffe and miljoneir like this.
  17. everything resonates, just at varying degrees & different pitches

    I guess the less the neck-material resonates the less of a bump it's going to cause in the output (more flat response).
    This could or could NOT be desirable. I want that resonant bump, as long as it's in the right spot, LOL!
  18. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Resonance at bass guitar frequencies = dead spots.
  19. Well yeah, it's it's resonating at 40 Hz I can see the problem, what if it resonates at 1.2 kHz?
    Kaplan likes this.
  20. DiscoRiceJ


    Oct 15, 2018
    Light not stuff. The torsional strength is more due to memory. It will flex and bend back. Steel is a better choice for overall stiffness. Carbon fiber probably has the best stiffness to weight ratio. You won't permanently bend or deform titanium rods though. Incredibly tough stuff.
    MobileHolmes likes this.

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