And here’s where we come back to the neck-shimming. From my experience, this is correct in most cases. Neck angle and neck relief are two entirely different things though both affect string height. In fact, if you’re handy with basic tools you can do this yourself, but you need to understand the process and know what mistakes to avoid. I’ve felt like I may not have explained it as well as I could. On electric guitars that have their necks glued in place, such as a Gibson Les Paul, changing the neck's angle is a matter of steaming the neck off and doing a neck reset. If you missed this stuff the first time (or second, or subsequent times), it’s important you don’t just shove a bit of card or something under the end of your neck. Privacy Policy | We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. Glued On / Set Necks. When the neck angle is adjusted improperly, it can ruin a perfectly good neck. Cool. The strings are anchored in the tuners, at one end, and in a tailpiece at the other. Once the neck is removed from the pocket, a shim is used to control the pitch of the neck. A couple of times, I’ve talked about shimming a neck (the right way) to alter the angle the neck attaches to the guitar body. This article written by Gerry Hayes and first published at, Tagged: repair, guitar, bass, jazzmaster, strat, les paul, archtop, neck, bridge, shim. Design, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing, On, "Sponsored Content" refers to articles, videos, or audio recordings that are produced or curated by an advertiser but that, Guitar Shop 101: Touch-up a String Nut with Super Glue, Guitar Shop 101: Using Super Glue in Guitar Repair, Guitar Shop 101: Happy Little (String) Trees, Guitar Shop 101: How to Repair Delaminated Neck Binding, Guitar Shop 101: How to Fix a Misaligned 3-Bolt Neck, Guitar Shop 101: How to Replace a Zero Fret, Guitar Shop 101: How to Install an Onboard Buffer System in a Strat, Guitar Shop 101: How to Install a Soundhole Pickup, 1. Hooked: Kenny Wayne Shepherd on Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", 4. Less pressure means less efficient transfer of string vibration (a lot of energy is lost to sting floppiness) and that’s bad for tone. Fig. This neck angle is too low, so even dropping the saddles flush to the bridge plate won’t bring the strings close enough to the fretboard to play comfortably. Similar to the arch-top solution, having a taller bridge would help enormously but that means the action gets higher and it’s hard to play. When removing angle and loosening the adjustment screw, be sure to snug up the neck mounting bolts. An electric guitar's neck angle may require adjustment if satisfactory string height can not be achieved after a proper set up. When the neck angle is adjusted improperly, it can ruin a perfectly good neck. Typically, this problem can be resolved using a shim (Fig. A hand-drawn, illustrated guide to setting up your own Strat. If the angle the strings pass over this bridge is a bit too shallow, there’s not as much pressure pressing downwards. Most players don’t realize that an electric guitar can compress over time. These pickup things mean we don’t need to have so much downward pressure to get an olde-time arched top vibrating. Check your inbox for an email for me—you'll need to confirm your subscription there. Floppy strings bring their own problems on a solid-body instrument. But what I find even more important is how you adjust the neck to its optimal angle. No nasty angles. As an instrument ages, constant string tension can cause the body to become slightly concave, and this changes the neck angle. It's not that scary. */, Copyright ©2020. Neck Relief is the amount of curvature (bow/relief) in the neck itself and is controlled by the truss rod. In this way, the instrument’s construction dictated it needed a tall bridge, which dictated it needed a backwards-angled neck. This wasn't so much of an issue with something like a Tele or a Strat because the strings passed through the body (or anchored) right behind the saddles, automatically giving a steep angle. Right. In this column, we’ll learn how to fix a neck angle that’s too low. And here’s where we come back to the neck-shimming. It might take a few minutes to come through so, don't worry if it's not there immediately. When the neck angle is set correctly, an electric guitar’s saddles can be raised or lowered to create comfortable playing action and optimum tone and sustain. Then Leo went and made a Jazzmaster. The arch-top guitar has a construction similar to older instruments like the violin. You are signing up for my email newsletter so the understanding that you'll receive emails is pretty explicit. And it’s this latter that I want to touch on a little more. The guitar is hard to play and the intonation suffers. And it wasn’t a problem on a Gibson with the strings anchored in a tailpiece quite close to the bridge. A neck with excessive upward bow (relief) could present similar symptoms if not properly adjusted. When this is done properly, your guitar will play and sound at its best. Now we have a clean slate. Shimming the pocket at the very end of the heel will tilt the neck back, increasing the neck's angle over the bridge and consequently lowering the strings. On electric … You see, fashioning a neck joint for an angled neck is a pain in the… erm… neck. The shallow angle made for less downward pressure on the bridge. Neck Angle is the pitch (angle) at which the neck is set in the body and requires neck removal to change. Fender's Micro Tilt necks provide an easy mechanism for adjusting the neck's angle. Shimming the pocket at the very end of the heel will tilt the neck back, increasing the neck's angle over the bridge and consequently lowering the strings. Down at Fender, on the other hand, Leo decided he’d pick an easier route. 1), the saddles can’t be moved down enough to bring the strings close to the frets. A Strat (and most Fenders) has no neck angle. Neck angle is easily adjusted on instruments with a bolt on neck, such as a Fender Stratocaster. However, if the angle is too low and you can’t move the saddles down any further, the neck needs a shim. Large factories use computer controlled carving equipment to route neck pockets and carve necks, this equipment is frequently calibrated to insure consistency. 3. Prior to tightening the Micro-Tilt adjustment screw, the neck mounting screws should be loosened enough to permit the neck to move. On Fender's 3 bolt neck design with Micro Tilt, the bottom neck mounting screw passes thru the plate but adjust in the same fashion.


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