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Guitar Necks

The neck of any guitar typically begins as one solid length of material, often a carved piece of dense wood. Reinforcement with a rod that runs lengthwise inside the neck adds weight and balance. To complete the neck’s build, a fingerboard with slots in precisely measured intervals is wired with frets and a groove in the tail is cut to fit the body of a guitar.

What are some important components of a guitar neck?
  • Model and make: Over the years, different designers have refined their manufacturing and build components in order to create a signature sound for their instruments. Standard sizes for bass, electric, acoustic, and other specialty guitars can all sound subtly different depending on brand and personal preference in tone and sound quality.
  • Width and curve: Generally, a thinner neck is often chosen for fast-paced players interested in moving their fingers along the strings quickly while fatter and heavier necks are preferred for their resonance and ability to sustain a note. The way a player grips and the dexterity in their playing can also factor into the neck profile they prefer.
  • Materials and specialty features: From the type of wood used to make the neck to the way a manufacturer attaches it to the body of a guitar, the particular materials that make the components of a neck greatly influence the piece’s effect on playing. Guitar necks built for specialty instruments like 12-strings and mandolins may have an even more specific set of measurements to consider in order to play properly.
Does replacing a guitar neck change the way it plays?

For many brands, replacing the neck depends on the circumstances and if the piece is broken or simply needs replacing. If already broken, it’s important to check the entire guitar’s body for additional damage and assess if that will impair the quality of sound or the instrument’s ability to play. Often, repairs can appear successful but are ultimately unable to hold a tune or sustain the notes while being played.

Will different brands of guitar necks and bodies fit together?

While it is possible for guitar necks manufactured by one company to fit on the body of a guitar made by a different brand, there are a lot of specific requirements to make sure the parts can work together. Some brands can fit another company’s guitar neck with additional pieces or modification to the stock parts. Other third-party sellers have designed conversion necks or parts to help broaden the types of guitar bodies they can fit.

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