SG neck flex

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by living room rocker, May 29, 2018.

  1. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    Does the SG body/neck connection design make for a more sensitive neck when compared to other guitar models? Simply checking the string tuning can vary ever so slightly depending on how my guitar is positioned. For instance, tuning my instrument while laying it flat and tuning it in playing position yield different results, albeit very slight. Is this normal, or is my instrument ultra sensitive?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
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  2. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

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    100% normal.

    I have a neck crack on my Epi G400 and it used to do that a lot before I filled the crack with glue (Liquid Nails, should have used Titebond though). After filling the crack there is very minimal tuning 'slipage' due to orientarion, tension, and gravity. Less so than a Gibson SG for sure. I can lay on my back with my SG and the tuning wont go shape anymore. Ive checked a few times, because i never liked that I couldnt lay down and play it. It may sound silly but its more comfortbale sometimes. Now i play it laying down a lot. Its less tiring.

    I had alot of time in Nashville the last couple years to 'test drive' a sh*t ton of guitars including new and vintage SGs. Its just something they all do, some more so than others. I've been told its because of the neck joint shape and something about less wood and glue to hold it stable... Just an explanation I got from a friend.

    I think my first post here was asking about tuning instability and my SG.
     
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  3. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    It's not the joint. That doesn't move. The particular problem of the SG is that the unsupported part of the neck is so long and it flexes. Maple may have been a better choice than mahogany.
     
  4. Daniel.S

    Daniel.S Active Member

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    Maple, and maybe a multi piece neck would help with that, I reckon.
     
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  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I don’t experience any neck flex on my 1970 SG Junior. Then again it’s far from being a Slim Taper.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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  7. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    Lol, that's huge!
     
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  8. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

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    Well duh. If you tune to pitch and then turn any guitar 90 degrees, you will have to re-tune.
     
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  9. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    that's true... always tune your guitar in playing position.
    Any guitar will change tune slightly when turned.
    When you set your intonation, do that in playing position also.
    For the same reason.

    SG necks are notorious as flex-capable. But many other electric guitars
    with long unsupported necks will flex too. The early "vintage" SGs were particularly prone to this, which Les Paul noticed right away.
    It was one of the reasons he didn't care
    for the SG, and asked to have his name removed. He said,
    "There's not enough wood there to support the neck. Take my name off the thing,
    it's not my design."

    Gibson corrected this problem after a few years of production, so that the '66 SGs
    and most others since then have been much stronger.

    So the "notorious" part of the SG neck reputation is just one of those false things that people repeat mindlessly, and without knowing anything.
    In truth, SG necks are very strong, and given decent care,
    they will play well, give good service and stay in tune.

    Something an SG owner should never do to their fine Gibson is purposeful neck
    flexing. Never permit this to be done to your SG by some gibbering drunk.
    Tell him to flex his own guitar, (and then shove it). If you do it a lot, you could
    weaken the glue joint. Bad idea. If you want a wah effect, use a pedal.

    To keep your SG in tune, change the strings. Old dead strings will not stay in
    tune. That's how you know it's time to change them. While the old dead strings
    are off, lube your nut slots. I use a home made mixture of vaseline and powdered graphite. A tiny dot on a toothpick is enough for a nut slot. Lube
    your bridge saddles too. Install your new strings with the 'self locking' method,
    (you can google this). You should have much less trouble.
     
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  10. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    oh yeah, about maple necks on Gibson guitars...

    IMHO it's a really good idea. Old Leo figured this out decades ago, but
    Gibson is steeped in tradition, and the Gibson Mahogany Neck is one of those
    sacred cows, or it was up until about 2012.

    At that time, Gibson suffered a raid by U.S.Marshalls who were investigating
    the black market lumber Gibson had been buying in third world nations with
    dicey political situations. The government confiscated lots of Ebony and Mahogany
    that was questionable, and Gibson responded by making guitar necks out of maple,
    just to keep the guys working.

    I own a 2012 SG with a maple neck, and let me tell you something about it.
    The neck is very rigid (more so than the mahogany neck on my '07 SG)
    and the guitar stays in tune very well. Better than most. So I like it.

    Gibson kept on making guitar necks out of maple after this...
    even after they paid their fines & got their wood back from the government...
    and many recent models have maple necks. SGs certainly do, I dunno
    about Les Pauls. But it's a great innovation, and maybe the maple is less
    prone to break where the mahogany does. I don't want to find out.

    Tone wise, the maple neck SG sounds great to my ear. I don't take much
    stock in tone-wood arguments... preferring to stay on the sidelines and play
    my guitar. I own guitars with both mahogany necks and maple necks.
    I just play them.

    Truth is: they all sound fine. They all have individual voices, and this may be
    due in small part to the wood, but IMHO it is also due to a combination of other factors,which I feel might be more important. Wood is like, not magnetic.

    I recently bought a new 2018 Gibson J-45 AG, which has a Walnut body and
    a maple neck. On an acoustic guitar, the wood really does affect the tone.
    On an acoustic guitar, the wood is a HUGE factor in how the instrument
    sounds. My new J-45 also has a unique voice, unlike other J-45s I've
    listened to. I'm sure the maple neck and the Walnut body contributes to this.
    Vibrations in the wood and in the air are what gets into the acoustic
    guitar's pickup, or microphone. So the wood is everything.

    Lucky me, I enjoy having guitars with different voices...
    that's why I own 11 of them. I respect all their individual
    tones and would never say one was 'better' than another.
    Maybe one would be better for a particular song...
    That's why we buy them, eh? AND lug them to gigs.
     
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  11. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I'm not a fan of twisting and turning any neck on any guitar in order to get an effect. Nothing good can come from it.

    I understand "those" moments while playing, especially live, but I try not to tempt fate. Fate always seems to win...
     
  12. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

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    IDK about other guitars, but a mahogany SG is all about balance. Tune it in playing position and all is golden. And really, most all other guitars need that same consideration, some less than others.
     
  13. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    Thank you Colonel. I treat my SG delicately and don't do what you described with the purposeful neck flexing. It holds tune quite well too but have recently noticed a "cent" or two difference in pitch depending on orientation. Luthiers also recommend fine adjustments with the guitar in playing position; I see the reason now first hand. Thanks for the input.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018

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