For those who have peeked at my RGX-312 46 pup combination in this thread. In addition to this project, I'm planning a 42 pickup combination with two humbuckers on a custom, double cutaway body (a la Hamer XT) with fixed bridge. If I can succeed in this build, I will consider myself a genuine luthier.
Since I've never done anything this ambitious, I expect to have lots of questions. The first one has to do with neck pocketing:
1. How much wood (thickness) do you leave on the body under the neck if you're going to use screws to fasten it?
I'd like to have easy access to the 22nd fret line so there won't be much wood holding the neck. Keep this in mind when providing your advice to the question above. A strategy was suggested to me that I am considering:
2. How do you guys feel about angled screws in the neck heel a la Billy Sheehan, is it viable?
My last question in this post has to do with positioning the pickups:
3. Is there a reference that describes the plucked string node locations for a given scale length?
Last Edit: Oct 9, 2019 12:36:17 GMT -5 by yldouright
Q1. The rough answer is, it depends on the body's wood type. But for starters, the average guitar body uses about 1/2 of the total thickness for the pocket backing the neck. That can go up or down by several percentage points, but not by double-digits. A harder (and heavier) wood could stand the strain with less wood but then the trade-off would be an increase in your Blue Cross premiums, because you keep complaining of shoulder pains/injuries? Stick with 45-50% of the total depth, OK?
That 45-50% rule of thumb seems to be fairly de-riguer (not to mention good common sense) and stands the test of time, but my Yamaha Pacfica 912 has 36% body and 64% neck and she plays and sounds real beaut. Yamaha even used it as a USP for some reason.
I've never personally heard of a Yamaha axe suffering a broken neck pocket joint, particularly for being "too thin", but then again, I've never heard of such for any guitar, either. (OK, if one mistreats the kit in an exaggeratedly violent manner.....)
The 50% ratio is not really so much for strength as it also relates to the vibration transfer, which translates to what we perceive as sustain. A certain amount of wood is necessary to effect this quality of tone - too little a "base" for that transfer, and sustain will suffer. Perhaps not easily demonstrated - after all, wood differs in every respect, even if it comes from the same tree when making two otherwise identical guitars - but it can be shown with in-depth analysis tools.
Can we hear such? I'd hazard a guess that yes, we could.... given that all other conditions are optimal for such a test. Would we care if there was a tiny difference in sustain, or even in tone? That would be up to the listener, not me.
Post by yldouright on Oct 11, 2019 12:16:08 GMT -5
I'm reading some more general rules that say plywood tolerates a thinner mount than solid wood given the same modulus and the modulus of the wood depends on lots of variables, including the grain. This seems to be one of you need to feel the right amount kind of answers. Better to err on the cautious side here.