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Whats up with your neck angle

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by scottyd, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    Who's here is routing an angle in there bodies neck pocket?

    I'm working on making a new neck jig one that’s a little more universal and user friendly than the one I've got now. The one I got now works great but it requires too much time to set up.

    I was checking out different jigs and I came across Myka's jig which is similar to what I use already. I noticed that he sets his neck with a little angle in the pocket. I did a search and it seems a lot of guitars are built this way. I've always set mine flat with good results. But setting with the angle seems like it may be a better approach.

    Are there any builders here setting necks with angle?:meh:
  2. GregBreshears

    GregBreshears Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2002
    Independence, MO
    Owner: Greg Breshears Guitarworks
    I also do mine flat. I have heard people say they think ones with an angle are more "ergonomic" (sorry if that is the wrong spelling) and comfortable. All of the basses I've made for myself are flat and I think they are very comfortable. If you are going to do your necks with an angle, I would think it would be much better to route them in, than using a shim of some sort esp. if you were using a shim like some older instruments that didn't cover the whole pocket. It would make sense to me that the more solid the pocket the better the tone transfer.

    Greg Breshears
  3. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    Neck angles are usually done on guitars with a TOM bridge to compensate for the height of the bridge. You won't find many of those outside of Gibson guitars or their copies (PRS ect...).
  4. orgmorg


    Jan 25, 2008
    Dismal, Tennessee
    Neck angle is mostly determined by bridge height.
    Many guitars have a tall bridge, so the neck needs to be angled back to get the strings to line up with it.
    Having an arched top also plays into this geometry.
    Basses tend to have lower profile bridges, and the strings usually line up just right with a neck in the same plane as the body.

    Edit: g'mornin' Phil
  5. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses

    Good evening ;)
  6. orgmorg


    Jan 25, 2008
    Dismal, Tennessee
    Ah yes, that other side of the planet thing.
    Makes more sense after a cup of coffee.:smug:
  7. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    I figured it was a bridge thing, its always something to keep in mind though if you find a bridge too tall for an application. Funny, I'm building a good friend a Gui#@r with a tom bridge now, I'm not too bashful to recess that bad boy.... Which reminds me, thats how the bridge on my Warwick is, deep too.:meh:
  8. DanielM


    Jan 6, 2007
    I put a neck angle in my Neckthrough build to accommodate for the bridge (a Hipshot A) which I didn't want to recess. it worked out fine and the action is really nice and low as a result. it's not much of an angle, I think at the bridge end the neck blank was 2mm higher than the wings with the pivot around the heel. I sanded the top and bottom smooth giving the bottom a light inward curve, and the top flat. overall a very comfy bass. mind I could have just as easily recessed it, I just didn't like the look of it too much.
  9. I believe that Carl thompson and Mike Browne both angle their necks.
  10. dgrambo


    Sep 26, 2007
    some thoughts on neck angle; it can allow the truss to perform equally but with less tension and it can also change the central valley of the relief slightly as well. downside, is potentially fretting out near the body and strings too far from the pickups. all very subtle stuff, more tweaker than player!
  11. dblbass

    dblbass Commercial User

    Mar 24, 2007
    Beacon, NY
    Owner of MBJ guitars, Maker of fine sawdust for Carl Thompson Guitars
    adding a neck angle does a couple of things. on longer scale basses (and even standard and short scale) it reduces the reach to the first fret. also i find i can get the action a little lower in the upper frets if all is done right.

    in terms of doing it, on a set neck you can taper the transition block (depending on how you are setting the neck in and if you are using a transition block) and on a bolt on you can just shim it. tapering the pocket works too i guess though i've never done it that way.

    I havent seen any negatives to putting a neck angle on an instrument. If you are concerned about pickup height than dont route your pockets as deep and in terms of it fretting out in the upper frets it just takes a carefull set up and all will be good.

    also because bass bridges tend to be low profile you might have to make a bridge shim. and yes Carl thompson and MIke browne angle their necks.

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