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Neck pocket gap: does it matter on a bolt-on?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by the art guy, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. the art guy

    the art guy Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    I've played lots of Fenders, and some obviously fit tightly at the neck pocket while others have a slight gap. So a simple question: does it really make a difference other than aesthetically? If the neck is bolted on tightly, does it have any effect otherwise?
  2. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    Good question. My new P-V has a gap on top that i can use as a pick holder. Otherwise a beautiful bass looks and sound wise.
  3. No.

    And no.
  4. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    I have a $4000+ MTD 535 with a gap and it plays like a dream. I dont think it really matters. :)
  5. lettsbasses

    lettsbasses Commercial User

    Nov 23, 2010
    le3 8pj uk
    If it really mattered, fender would be out of business. Actually thpugh, all aspects of build quality are important. A guitar with a tight fitting neck is always gonna resonate better and have a fuller sound but I wouldn't worry yourself.
  6. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    The only question to ask is of yourself and its "do i like how the bass sounds"..

    Improved neck/body joint = more sustain and better resonance... Gibson glues the necks on LPs for a reason ;)
  7. This is subjective & not always the case. I've played bolt-ons with MUCH better sustain & resonance than the neck throughs. I also own both a neckthrough Spector & a bolt-on with the same electronics & hardware. Next to no discernable difference.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Nope and nope. As long as you have the neck bolted securely in place, it makes no difference at all.
  9. A tight neck pocket indicates a greater attention to overall build quality but in my experience there is no direct correlation between a tight neck pocket and tone or playability.

    It's funny that tbone mentioned his MTD 535. My Norm Stockton 535 had a gap in the neck pocket big enough for a pick (in addition to a nut that had come partly unglued). I've gone through a lot of basses since I sold it, but it is still #1 on the list of basses I'd like to have back.
  10. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Gonna have to ask you to prove this.
  11. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    fyi i made no statement that every glued neck is better than every bolt on neck.. but there are reasons why 3 bolt was dropped in favour of 4 and some have 5 or 6 bolts...to make a more solid neck/body connection (for a reason) while still maintaining a mass produce assembly line operation.

    more mass from more wood, denser wood, bigger neck, better connection between the ends of the system leads to better sustain.. improved sustain comes from more solid anchoring of both ends of the resonating string system, such that less of the vibrating energy is transmitted into the support structure.. ...

    that is science, not subjectivity. Now, does it make hill of beans in general terms?..nope.. that is why i said the only question is "do i like how the bass sounds",

  12. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Is there any link to dead spots as a result of a not so tight neck pocket? I've owned a few neck through basses early on but I don't remember whether dead spots were any more common than on bolt on.
  13. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    For most bolt on's that I've seen, worked on or built, there is a bit of "slop" (not to say the work is sloppy at all). It's good to have a bit of "play" in the neck pocket, which in some cases is slightly tightened up with finish.
  14. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Still not necessarily correct.
  15. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    am confused by your post...

    do you mean that if he likes his bass he should sell it?, or you dont agree with what sustain is?, or is it that you dont have a solid grasp of engineering?.

  16. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    from what i have read dead spots are associated with sympathetic resonance of high Q within the system and are reduced (dampened) by increasing the mass at the head of the neck..
    frankly am somewhat surprised in this age that none of this is modelled, but then again guitar making is kinda largely old school..

  17. the art guy

    the art guy Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Thanks for all this input so far. To clarify, I'm not interested in getting rid of a bass just because it has such a gap. I just happen to have a parts bass I assembled recently with a pretty good sized gap, and I don't notice any difference (other than visual). So it just got me wondering, that's all.
  18. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I think the idea is more that the dead spot gets moved higher up the neck (not that it disappears completely). Then again, Sadowsky uses thicker headstocks than Fender but I've played Sadowskys that still had the "classic" dead spot around the seventh fret on the G string.
    As for neck pockets, I have no idea whether the tightness of a neck pocket has any discernable effect on tone but I do see a neck pocket with a gap as a sign of a lack of attention to detail (so I prefer to have a tight pocket for that reason alone).
  19. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    in that case..pickholder!..:D

  20. Tight neck pocket is better of course... A profesional builder would attach the neck and the body just with the preasure between them... with no screws...just to see if the work is well done...

    Watch this: