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Bolt-on Basics

Q: I’ve heard that in order to build a good guitar it should have a glued-on neck rather than a bolt-on neck. Is this fact or fiction?

A: First of all there is absolutely nothing wrong with a bolt-on or bolt-in neck as long as it’s done right. Bolt-on necks got their bad reputation during the 70’s when companies were mass-producing guitars as fast as they could and weren’t paying attention to the neck joint. The secret is that the joint has to be very tight — to the point where it’s almost a force-fit. During construction, if a technician is able to fit a thin guitar pick in between the neck and the body, then the guitar will be lacking in tone and sustain. A tight neck-joint equals a good guitar.

Here are some of the advantages of a bolt-on neck:

  1. Greater neck stability
  2. Direct wood-to-wood contact for greater tone transference
  3. Bolts allow for adjustability.
  4. Easier and much cheaper to repair if a problem occurs

Thanks to modern machinery and woodworking techniques neck joints are a lot better & tighter today. In fact, guitars in general are a lot better today!

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