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Set neck question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by I am Soma, Mar 18, 2013.


  1. I am Soma

    I am Soma Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    MN
    Hey all,
    Just a quick question on necks. I've used nothing but bolt on and neck through basses but have been looking at a Fernandes Triturador with a set neck. Are there any pros/cons to a set neck?

    Any information would rule.
     
  2. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    Maybe not Pros and Cons so much as differences. GENERALLY,or at least all things being equal (which they never are), a set neck could give you more sustain due to a more "unified" connection between neck wood and body wood, ASSUMING that the neck and body wood work well together as tonewoods. Many players feel that Bolt-ons are better for slapping and popping, but I've found good and bad examples of Set-necks, Bolt-ons and Neck-thrus. Victor Wooten's Fodera Yin-Yangs are Set-necks, and I think he has a pretty good slap sound... (duhhhh). He also uses light-gauge Nickel strings and heavier bridges with active electronics and a few other secrets. The biggest DRAWBACK to any set-neck instrument is that if the neck needs to be REPLACED or re-set, you cant just screw on or shim-up a new one, so serious problems MUST be REPAIRED in most cases. Replacing a glued-in neck is a big and expensive job. Hopefully, you have been able to PLAY this Fernandes and if so... try a few different styles and sounds on it and if you like it, BUY IT. Don't "fret" about neck construction.
     
  3. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    I'd say that there's a more "unified" connection on a bolt on neck since there's nothing between the neck wood and the body wood whilst on a set neck there's glue. I also think that neither have any advantages or disadvantages sustain-wise.
     
  4. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    I always say "All things being equal" (which they never are)... It is possible that one instrument's bolt-on may be a better connection than another's set-neck HOWEVER... a properly made set-will be constructed the way we do it:
    1. Mortised joinery to insure full wood-to-wood contact even before it's glued.
    2. Proper clamping pressure AND choice of adhesive so that the glue joint becomes part of the wood fibers and become stronger than the wood itself.
    3. When needed, a veneer of wood species in the joint to get the proper bond and sound enhancement from the neck and body woods.

    Most bolt-ons just sit in the pocket and are held on by wood screws. Those builders who enhance the integrity of this joint by an improved mortise in the neck pocket to "trap" the heel and minimize movement thus improving vibration transfer AND use additional screws in a properly offset pattern... Thank You, you make the world a better place!!!!!
     
  5. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    Guy Pratt says neck-through's are hopeless when you're trying to make an impression:

     
  6. I have owned basses with all three construction types, and all worked fine. My first bass was a Rickenbacker 4000 made in 1974 and that is one of best basses I have ever owned. That neck is stable. A bolt on will allow a neck to be replaced if something happens, a neck through will not. Same with a set neck, unless there is a clean break, which then would tell me the neck may not have been glued on very well.
     
  7. THat is funny!
     
  8. woodyng

    woodyng

    Dec 19, 2007
    Oregon coast
    Some of my favorite basses are set neck. My '74 Ric 4000,'67 Epiphone Embassy,and even my new Italia Rimini. I also have neck throughs and bolt ons,if they are properly set up,any design works well and sounds good. Having said that,in my history of bass ownership,the most problems i tend to have are with fender style bolt on necks,so it is a good thing they are easily replaced.....
    The Guy Pratt video is hilarious.
     
  9. I am Soma

    I am Soma Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    MN
    good for a laugh
     
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    If it is done right a set neck, neck thru, and a bolt on will all be good instruments.

    The main advantage of a bolt on is you can replace the whole neck easily.
     
  11. FYI, the 4001 is a neck through design. and a good one!
     
  12. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Wow. I was just thinking of *my* Embassy, a '64, as a good example of a set neck I liked...
     

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