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A kit with good neck joint and intonation
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Author:  hawkman [ Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:12 am ]
Post subject:  A kit with good neck joint and intonation

Setting the stage: New here and searching for a kit electric. I’m an acoustic player but have always wanted an electric. My woodworking skills are pretty good although equipment is limited and shop access is poor right now. I can solder to some extent and my do-it-myself-ness is at a high level. Of the three main styles, the LP fascinates me the most, then Tele, followed by Strat. My musical tastes range widely but I’ll want to be able to produce some heavy sound at times (overdrive, distortion, compression, whatever) so I have to determine what I need in pickups.

Question: the neck joint seems fairly important for any stringed instrument. What are the chances that a kit guitar will have a bad-fitting neck joint? Can I expect some makers to produce really well-fitting joints? The same goes for intonation.

Then, if would needs to be removed to make the joint fit better, how much can that affect the intonation - if the wood removal has to occur where the pieces butt up to each other, as opposed to the sides of the joint?
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Author:  johnnparchem [ Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A kit with good neck joint and intonation

The electric guitars you mentioned have a neck joint that is different than acoustic guitars. These guitars will bolt on and the neck fits in a pocket in the front. The neck angle can be changed with a paper shim in the neck joint. There are not heal cheeks that will change affecting intonation. Also the electric guitar bridge has intonation adjustments for each individual string. I put together a Saga Les Paul kit and it was easy to go together, really an assembly and finish project. A lot of what your looking for in sound happens outside of the guitar but I choose an EMG Zakk Wylde EMG 81/85 Pickup Set. These allowed a mix between a metal like guitar and a pretty clean sound. The 81 is great for heavy metal and the 85 delivers a nice clean tone.

Author:  Danl8 [ Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A kit with good neck joint and intonation

Finding a good quality kit seems to be an important first step. I would think the neck joint fitting should be easy with most kits. Typically, electric necks are screwed into the body (at least my ES-335 was) and that gives the opportunity to use shims to get the right geometry rather than using chisels, etc. As for intonation, you determine where the bridge is placed or if the posts are pre-drilled in a kit, the bridge itself should have enough adjustment potential to individually adjust string length. My guess is that fretting and finishing could give you the most challenge.

Author:  JLT [ Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A kit with good neck joint and intonation

I think that Stewart-McDonald was advertising an electric guitar kit they were selling in limited quantities. You might want to check that out.

Author:  MaineGeezer [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A kit with good neck joint and intonation

Yes, the StewMac kits looks pretty good.

Author:  hawkman [ Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A kit with good neck joint and intonation

Thank you very much. I’ve watched some videos to know that some necks are bolt-on and some are set. One video of a guy assembling a kit showed he had to add shims on each side of the neck nc the pocket was cut too big. Another video showed a guy removing wood from the heel (?) - the butt end of the neck, and I feared that any shortening of the neck may be disastrous towards the intonation.

I just have no experience with that. I know my old, cheapie Yamaha FG goes out of tune when you go up the neck, so I’d rather get the intonation right.

I did not know how some of these bridges work as some of you described, so thanks for pointing that out.

I’ve looked at the Saga LP kit - in fact one is in my Amazon shopping cart right now - along with a Swamp Ash (veneer)Tele kit. No humbuckers in that particular Tele kit, though.

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