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SET NECK vs NECK THROUGH

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Jun 5, 2004.


  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    So I played a Warwick Infinity/SN (SET NECK) at G/C, sounded great! my question? what is the diff between a set neck and a neck through? does one have advantages over the other?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    DO A SEARCH!
     
  3. Eyescream

    Eyescream

    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Set neck, as I understand, is when the neck is glued into the neck pocket instead of bolted to the body, and a neck through is when the neck wood runs all the way down the body of the bass.

    I'm not 100% sure what the tonal differences are, though. All I've ever played on are bolt-ons, cause I'm poor.
     
  4. I can't speak from personal experience-yet-
    but from the info I've gotten on this most excellent of bass sites, talking with players and instrument dealers I know are among the most knowledgable and experienced, set necks offer much of the sustain of a through neck bass and much of the "punch" of a bolt on.

    The neck is glued into the body as far as the first pick up cut out.
    The theory (I believe) is that the body is freer to resonate than it does with a through neck.

    It sounds like a perfect sonic compromise/combination and I hope it's true. I'm having a set neck bass built in the Fall.

    There's quite a bit of discussion about what a set neck is on one of the "Carey Nordstrand" threads.

    Do you have a specific set neck bass or luthier in mind?
     
  5. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    IMO a set neck gives some of the advantages of the neck thru but also gives the major disadvantages of a neck thru and that would be that you can't shim the neck to optimize the set-up and if the neck goes bad you can't just easily replace the neck. I've owned only one set neck bass (older Les Paul) and it sounded very average (it was a medium scale though). I played the original PRS bass and I believe that it had a set neck. Nothing to write home about IMO. I've owned several neck thru basses (Pedulla's, Tobias, Alembic and Yamaha) and although they sounded good, I was never able to get the set-up on them that I'm able to get on my bolt on basses. Plus I really prefer the sound of bolt-on neck basses.
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Neither Gibson nor PRS are known for making great basses. Their lackluster performance may or may not be attributable to their set neck construction.
     
  7. I'm back to loving bolt-ons. Purely from a setup standpoint. I've yet to find a huge tonal advantage of a neckthru over a bolt-on. the bolt-ons are infinetly tweakable.

    A million Jbass fans can't be wrong.
     
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    IIRC, PRS basses have been noted as being good for Reggae. Robbie McIntosh swears by his. Used to, anyway.
     
  9. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Neck-through has better sustain and generally is smoother feeling with the neck and body being shaped as one. With a set-neck you get both these advantages of a neck-through, but like a Bolt-on you get the aggressive attack and midrange that a bolt-on tends to have. I believe this is in partly because, like a Bolt-on a Set-neck attaches to a body which is a totally different woods species for the most part verse a Neck-through which the string’s and pickup continue over with out ever changing up wood properties like a Set-neck or Bolt-on does. I think the transition from the neck wood to the body wood is what creates the aggressive and mid attack that many people like about Bolt-on’s. Where the sustain and smoothness of a neck-through is why many like the comfort and feel of a neck-through. Many say a Set-neck is the best of both worlds.....

    Here’s a few set-neck and neck-through example. Most are hard to tell the difference unless pointed out.

    (Standard) Neck-through with out Full Top
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/ben5aq/h5q7.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/ben5aq/h5q6.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/Picture 006.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/newnamm04/namm1/30.JPG

    (Standard) Set-Neck with out Full top option, which shows the neck set in to the neck pickup.
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/Pc030009.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/Pc030008.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/Pc030010.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/Pc030011.jpg

    (Full Top) Neck-through with Full top. Notice the Neck coming out at the butt of the instrument where it runs all the way through the instrument.
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/dokken/Dscf0003.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/dokken/Dscf0018.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/newnamm04/DSCF0102.JPG
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/newnamm04/DSCF0111.JPG

    (Full Top) Set-neck Full top Option, Notice the neck doesn’t show in the Butt of the instrument like the neck-through. The Neck ends at the Neck pickup.
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/bbraz2.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/bbraz6.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/bspalt2.jpg
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/images/benavente/bspalt7.jpg
     
  10. Hi Brian,
    GREAT example pics.
    I've been meaning to tell you that your new Rosewood Bass looks fantastic!

    I was curious about pickup covers though. I've been wondering why most "matching" covers are made with their grain perpendicular to the body's grain instead of in line. Too much wastage to do it the other way?

    Jim
     
  11. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Jim

    Thanks man for the compliment on the post and on My new bass. Every time I pick it up and play it I fall in love with it a little more.

    I just bought a Tung which is a little bit of a project, but this shows how Nick did his Bolt-on which is attached deep like a set-neck. The Tung has a stripped trust rod and someone has taken the original preamp out and installed a Bartolini which I plan on removing. I'd like to get a hold of Nick if anyone has a number for him PM me. This bass has no serial number and has an inlay in the headstock instead of the normal TUNG. The guy that had it had Moses make a custom replacement neck for it as seen in pics.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Link to other pics of it
    http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/viewtopic.php?t=706

    And here is a Set-neck Tung I had at one time which shows how the Neck's are both set in the same way.
    (sorry for the bad pic, before digital camera's :)
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    So basically, if you break/crack the neck on a set neck, you are screwed! correct??? just like a neck through....
     
  13. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA


    NICE PICS! Thanks for sharing, I like that nine string I saw :hyper:
     
  14. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com


    Well, I guess if you did break or crack the neck on a set-neck or Neck-through you could always make it a Set-neck again by routing the pocket out or either make it a Bolt-on. But your right, it couldn't be a neck-through again.

    I don't see a lot of broken necks and when I have seen them and they have been repaired they are stronger then before. Actually a repair done correctly is stronger then the rest of the neck. If the neck breaks again you can pretty much guarantee it won't be at the repair if done correctly!

    Side note I got the trust rod nut off the Tung I just bought. I was lucky in that it would screw off so now I just need to find a replacement!!! How excited am I it wasn't one piece :D
     
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    OK, they're good for reggae.
     
  16. Fliptrique

    Fliptrique

    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification
    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
     
  17. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    I personally prefer neck through on long scale basses and set neck on short scale ones.
    Just my personal preference.
    Cheers,
    TD

    :cool:
     
  18. TD,
    Would you elaborate on why you prefer set necks for short scale basses? I'm having a short scale six built and would like to hear more. Thanks.

    By the way, the Les Paul bass mentioned in someone else's post above, was I believe, a "glued neck" (ala acoustic guitars) not a set neck?

    Why do people here not seem to like the PRS basses? Are they a "one trick pony" sound wise? Only low and dubby for Reggae?

    I was originally planning on a neck through bass for my short scale low B string, figuring that it'd give me the best sustain, but I decided to try for more punch if I can get it with the set neck.

    One thing not mentioned here about through necks is that you usually get the best string to string balance in sound and feel with a through neck compared with a bolt on. I don't have any experience to say how this compares with set necks...
     
  19. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Le Fay Pangtons are set-neck, and sound great, so it's not that per se.
     
  20. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    No. Depending on the glue used, you just heat it a little and you can safely remove the neck and glue a new one in.