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Lets talk neck angles.

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by amstratnut, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Im convinced that the neck angle on my gibsons makes for a more even action across the entire lenth of the neck.

    My strats action just isnt as good.

    Im not a luthier or very technical.

    One thing I wonder is why strats arent made with a neck angle in the pocket?
     
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  2. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That is why they put in the micro tilt adjust.
    I used it on my Blackmore and it really helps staightening the neck.
    I know people say it doesn´t matter but it really does and helps on some guitars.
    My white V has a dead straight neck and it doesn´t need a bow. My Blackmore(micro tilt) does not either and both are angled.
    Then I have guitars I can´t have the neck completely straight like my SG Junior but that one has a super low setting anyway.

    All the best,
    Robin
     
  3. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    My Strat has its neck pocket routed a bit deeper and a 1mm shim added, and the truss rod adjusted for just the barest hint of relief. The action on that guitar is so low and consistent that lots of guys don’t like it... they expect more fight from a Strat and end up pulling it sharp.
     
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  4. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    you are correct.

    i understand it but can not explain it without a diagram or working model but it is indeed the neck geometry that decides how parrallel the strings run the length of the board or not.
     
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  5. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My american deluxe has micro tilt and Ive never used it. Gonna try it.
     
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  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Micro Tilt.

    *Spits*

    Shim, shim and shim again.



    Raise the shields No 1. All fretting hands to battle stations...
     
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  7. nederemer

    nederemer Senior Stratmaster

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    Personally it doesn't bother me. I prefer a higher action. If it's too low I have a tendency to bend string on top of other strings.
     
  8. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

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    My first used Strat, back in '96, had micro-tilt and I liked it a lot. My most recent Gibsons have very low light action, the way I like 'em. Setting up a Strat is more challenging for a number of reasons, but neck "tilt" is my least favorite to deal with. The longer scale length complicates neck relief and tilt even more. All that said, I can get very good light action from my Strat. Probably not as low as my Gibsons, though.
     
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  9. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    I should probably mention that my Strat’s neck is a Warmoth compound radius (10”-16”) that’s had an expert fret level.
     
  10. Supernut

    Supernut Strat-Talker

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    If you google neck angle calculator, and go to the result that is tundraman.com, there is a tool that I use to machine the neck pocket when I build a guitar. If your interested. It calculates the neck angle from the variables on a guitar, and it seems to be pretty accurate. At least in my experience.
     
  11. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    I’ve been curious about this as well. I’ve been playing Strats and Telecasters full time for the last couple of years but I have two excellent early 80’s set neck Ibanez Artist electrics which may as well be Gibson’s as far as build quality and design are concerned. I pulled out the semi hollowbody the other night and it was stunning how low and even the action is on that guitar. Now I want the same thing on my Strats. Two of my Strats have 12” radius boards so I wonder if a shim can get me close. The Eric Johnson Strat is already very similar but the Classic Player 60’s isn’t.
     
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  12. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I just like the fact that Fenders generally dont have a neck angle. Its one thing that contributes to the Fender feel. Dont know why Leo made them this way, but I think its more comfortable and symmetric, to me at least. When I play my LP I feel like my fretting hand is way behind, while the picking hand is a kilometer high.
     
  13. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    The action depends on the height of the nut and the height of the saddles in relation to the frets. The neck angle has no effect. It is used to "make space" for a bridge on a gibson, and the micro-tilt or shims allow the right adjustment of saddle height on Fenders.
     
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  14. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's what I have on my partso. It has no shim, so no appreciable back-tilt to the neck, but it plays like a longer scale 1950s Les Paul.


    WarmothStrat.jpg
     
  15. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Senior Stratmaster

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    A Gibson LP typically has a stop or trapeze type tailpiece and a separate bridge. The break over angle (over the bridge) controls how much pressure the top sees from the bridge. On a solid body electric guitar, this pressure really only keeps the bridge/saddles in place, so the specific angle isn't all that important. On a hollow-body or archtop, the angle is more critical...but again, with electrics, it isn't much of a contributor to what comes out of the amp. On an acoustic archtop...neck angle is a big deal.

    With Strats and/or Teles, "string thru" designs, the angle is controlled by the height of the fretboard vs the height of the bridge saddles. With the strings coming up from the back of the body (or out of the trem block), the break angle is nearly 90 degrees. If you have a string-thru bridge plate on a Tele (where the strings go thru the back of the plate rather than down thru the guitar), the angle is really controlled by the position of the string holes...but again, only really to keep the saddles in place. Leo designed the system to be low cost, no critical angles in the neck to body system (everything is flat and parallel) which makes it simpler to manufacture. If the neck heel or body route isn't perfect, a shim can save the day.

    Jazzmasters, Jaguars and to some extent, Mustangs are a different breed as they have essentially a specialized tailpiece/bridge setup. I don't have experience with them but I would expect them to do better with a little neck angle (as opposed to flat).
     
  16. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Nothing to do with playability..
    But
    God told me...*
    Leo was considering wood grain at design time...



    *
    What’s your sacrilege?
     
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  17. rolandson

    rolandson Still Breathing Strat-Talk Supporter

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    For what it's worth, I make shims out of thin maple veneer cut to fill the entire pocket. Mostly, they're used to raise the neck without changing the angle...so that the saddle height screws aren't digging into my hand.

    If I want to change the angle, sandpaper works good.

    Everything is about the feel. It's a trial and error method that takes a lot of putzing and a tremendous amount of time. Truth is, perhaps that's part of the allure.

    Neck angle is just another thing Fender gave us to tinker with...

    Lucky us.
     
  18. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I've used shims to change the angle for many years. Over those years, I've found that a shim about this thick usually works, whilst one that thick is just too much... :whistling::D
     
  19. garyhoos1

    garyhoos1 Huffing n Puffing. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have one partscaster that’s in bits at the moment I have always used card packing in the pocket with that one never a problem
     
  20. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    There is a scientific way of doing it. First, loosen the neck screws with the strings down-tuned a couple of tones or so. Loosen the two closest the bridge a little more than the two closest the nut.

    With a sharp pencil mark the heel of the neck at the point where it is at the same height as the top, near the end of the neck. Now tilt the neck back manually until you achieve the action/string height at bridge you desire. Make a second mark on the heel of the neck.

    The distance between the two marks equals the thickness of the shim.

    It helps to have an assistant, or to secure the body of the guitar between your knees while seated.
     
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