Bolt on neck question

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by kes7u, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. kes7u

    kes7u Wife's husband and Dog's dad

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    Please excuse my ignorance. I'm seeing a lot of excitement regarding the return of the CE24 with its bolt on neck. Could somebody please let me know the differences in feel and/or tone to be expected from a bolt on vs set neck?

    Thanks.
    Kevin
     
  2. G-Man

    G-Man New Member

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    I saw Paul explain it in an interview as saying that how they are attached the body is not really a deciding factor in the tone, it is the wood materials used. The bolt on has a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard which tends to have a different sound vs. a mahogany and rosewood neck.

    The new CE 24 is a super nice guitar for the money. Same vibe as the old ones but a few changes to bring it up to date.
     
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I've heard Paul state that the difference between a set neck and a bolt on is that one's screwed in, and the other is glued in.

    And I do agree that most of the tone differences have to do with the wood used for the neck.

    But even though Paul knows tons and tons more about this than I ever will, there's something happening with each type that I can't put into words, but they do sound a little different -- to me -- more than just the woods. Subjective, can't prove it, and of course can't really argue with a master like Paul.
     
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  4. The Fight

    The Fight Long Hair Demigod

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    For sure more snappier with a maple neck.
    I feel like with a bolt on neck the sustain is different, or at least that's what I'm hearing/feeling. Just an over all different sound/feel.
     
  5. Furtive

    Furtive Knight of Bangin'ess

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    Personally, I always associate bolt neck with feeling more like a F, and set neck feeling more like a G. I played both of those for years before finding my first PRS - that was 25 years ago, and that feeling still holds true in my mind. For me, it all works out as the PRS body style is as iconic as a Strat or LP, but the option of maple bolt-on vs hog set neck paired with that body allowed players familiar with the old standard guits to gravitate toward something similar from PRS.

    And along with different wood and construction come related sonic properties. Paul completely solved the question of which design is better by offering both.
     
  6. shupe13

    shupe13 New Member

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    I believe Paul also said mahogany is too soft a material to use as a bolt neck.

    Maybe common knowledge to some but answered my question why all the bolt-ons I've seen were maple.
     
  7. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    +1

    I do feel the set neck guitars I own with maple necks don't have the same "zing" my CE's have. The only one that comes close is my Orianthi.
     
  8. CantankerousCarl

    CantankerousCarl Occasionally Onery Member

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    Having, and having had, way too many guitars, I have always felt the CEs to be the "louder, drunk uncle" (in a good way) version of the comparably- spec'd set-neck version. E.G. (haha) my 1991 CE24 definitely has more attitude than my 1991 CU24 with the same pickups. We're taking different neck AND body woods, in addition to neck attachment methods there.

    I have one of the new CEs, and I love it. This is my only PRS with the 85/15s (although I have two McCartys with the 58/15s) and the CE definitely has some serious cojones when played against then back-to-back. But that's not apples to apples either, is it...

    Of the two McCartys I have, pickups are identical, body woods are the same. One has a set mahogany neck. The other has a set flamed maple neck, and the bridge with the brass inserts. The maple-necked one definitely has a bit more presence; the hog-necked a bit more body.

    This ain't night and day. We're talking (as Jack Gretz wisely put it) like maybe turning the treble knob from 7 to 8 difference. But it's noticeable.

    I have really begun to prefer the feel of "less-finished" necks.
     
  9. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc Plugged In.

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    Bolt-on = maple = more grit and spank = YEAH BABY.
     
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  10. Maertl513

    Maertl513 Sherlock 513

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    I bet, if you got the same spec of composition of a neck and a body (which includes the same masses as well), there´ll be no differences in the behaviour of guitar. Core requirement: booth connections (glued or bolt on) are as stiff as possible an have the same amount of contact area to the body.

    You´ll have tonal differences in the guitar´s behaviour if you change the length of the tenon of a set neck guitar (if everything else remained constant).

    As some other guy already stated the largest impact comes from the neck wood (maybe in addition the fretboard aswell). But keep in mind that the neck construction itself affects stiffness and tone. One piece hard rock maple vs. five piece hard rock maple with stripes made of wengé or rosewood or ebony.
    It´s said that different types of wood make the electric sound warmer or brighter. A pickup transfers electromagnetic reation of metal (strings) in a magnetic field into signals that will be translated to audio signals (via amplification).
    IMO wood affects tone in terms of attack and sustain more than the electrified sound.
     
  11. HarrySound

    HarrySound New Member

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    So I played a CE24 and then bought a Custom 24 a day later.
    There is a very slight brightness added on to the CE24 but that's about it.
    The CE24 is actually something I would buy because it's an extremely high quality great sounding guitar. It has a satin neck which feel lovely. The birds look great on it too. I'd highly recommend one if you don't want to go full custom 24.

    In fact I might keep an eye out for a really nice finish on one and maybe get one as a second guitar.
    ... Even though I have 7 now lol
     
  12. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    Possibly completely useless anecdotal factoid:

    I played my Swamp Ash Special last night when the band jammed/practiced. I usually play my P24 or Spruce Hollowbody. Although the acoustic guitar emulation was obviously compromised it still sounded good through my Fishman Aura Spectrum, and when I kicked it over to electric mode with dirt, it had a twang/honk that was really nice, especially in single-coil mode! The SAS has a maple fretboard, so it was also really different, feel-wise - I have always found maple fretboards to be faster than rosewood, and I really noticed it last night.

    The CE24s should sound a bit closer to a CU24 due to the rosewood board and maple/hog body, but I would suspect the maple neck and bolt-on feature would tilt it a bit more towards that brighter, spankier sound.

    Again, just my recent observations, possibly totally irrelevant.
     
  13. limey

    limey New Member

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    This. I picked up my CE24 yesterday. I had gone to purchase an S2 Cu24 but when I saw this hanging on the wall it was love at first site.

    I've never owned a guitar with such clear, sparkling pickups. The clarity is like glass. This took me a while to get used to and almost made me go with the warmer (to my ear) S2 Cu24. But the playability of the thin, satin nitro neck was natural to me.

    After playing with both for a long time in the store I started to realize that pickup clarity like the CE24's has simply been out my price range until now - and going for the warmer (you could say 'muddier') tone of the S2 HFS/Vintage Bass gives less tonal range. With the tone and volume pots the possibilities of tone from the CE24 seem endless.

    I couldn't believe the tonal difference was all down to the neck wood, but they didn't have a Core Cu24 with 85/15's for me to A/B.
     
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  14. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    The new CE's make me wish I liked maple necks more. I've just never fully embraced them, guitars with maple necks are always just a little too toppy for me. Who knows though, maybe someday I'll try one and love it.
     
  15. Pete Bosco

    Pete Bosco New Member

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    I left my tele and my Les Paul alone one night and I woke up to a brand new CE 24 PRS. Love the guitar !
     
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  16. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    2 SC’s breed and make a DC! Good work!;)
     
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  17. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans Portsmouth uk

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    A lot of people here saying what I want to say. We defer to what Paul says but...

    I played a core Custom 24 yesterday, immediately followed by two CE24s (and bought one). The CE does have a sound that I associate with bolt on necks. Would I pass a blindfold test? Yes I'm confident that I would.
     
  18. jchix

    jchix New Member

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    From the CC 24 PRS Page: "The original CE was introduced in 1988 and offered players PRS design and quality with the added snap and sparkle of traditional bolt-on guitars."

    I'm not sure why Paul's opinion would conflict with the marketing text, but I agree with the sentiment. I've never heard a set neck guitar truly chime like a bolt on. I have 2 set neck PRSi and 2 bolt on non-PRS and they are distinctly different in part from the neck joint. But... that is just like, my opinion man.
     
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  19. kes7u

    kes7u Wife's husband and Dog's dad

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    Man, I'm getting old. I would have bet money that the original post in this thread was not mine......

    Kevin
     
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  20. 67King

    67King New Member

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    My Les Paul has a maple neck, and it sounds like about any other mahogany neck Les Paul out there. My experience is that the joint is much, much more critical than the material. Furthermore, as an engineer, my experience with soundwave propagation is that any time a sound wave (or really any vibration) goes through an interface change, some is passed along, and some is reflected. The greater the difference in density, the more is reflected. Air is the least dense, so very little is transmitted into air compared to any other solid material. I don't care how tightly something is installed, there is an air gap there - that is why in ultrasound testing (be it babies or materials!) there is a gel substance placed between the probe and the material - otherwise, almost all of the energy would bounce back. So I'm not sure why Paul would state this, as it pretty much contradicts physics. Perhaps whoever was in the audience misunderstood him.
     
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