Thoughts on maple necks?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by beerbelly, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    I get your point, however even if you store your gasoline properly in a flammables cabinet elsewhere, paper is still combustible and subject to ignition from careless practices. On a guitar, or anything else for that matter, there is always a weak link that will be the first thing to fail. Properly handled a Gibson will hold together for many decades. Don't bang it around and it won't break. Maybe a Gibson headstock is weaker than some others, but mine aren't just "popping off" for no reason either. Take care of it, or buy something else. I suppose if you simply must have a Gibson that is "better engineered", one could buy one that needs a neck anyways and solve the problem at the source. Why not use aluminum? titanium? Every solution that would solve the problem will have tradeoffs that may also be unacceptable to some. Hell, they added a "volute" for more strength, people complained to no end (and still do). People also still broke them from time to time.
     
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  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I've never had a Gibson headstock break that wasn't broken on purpose. I've even had a Gibson SG shipped to me all the way from Japan in a gig bag without any breaks.
     
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  3. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

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    I guess taking care of them is the real point- I have a '64 Junior that made it through 57 years with no breakage by me or any previous owners. And I really don't care for the mismatch of woods and colors on the maple necked SGs. Maybe what I'm really pouting about is the cost of an all mahogany one. All mahogany and cherry red says "SG" to me.
     
  4. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Here we go again, hey... the whole neck dive issue. Fact or fiction right?

    SG’s are not perfectly balanced, that’s all it comes down to. Meaning, if you use a nylon strap, have a large headstock or use 11 gauge strings, she might dive on ya. Hey, you wanted a lighter guitar, right. Well, they didn’t make the headstock smaller, so they took that weight from the body :).

    Now what raises an eye brow for me is when you said “Not sure how one is supposed to play by letting go of the neck”. Well... open chords I suppose. A great example here at 5:50 and again at 9:19. I have more examples of this scenario should you need it. Lol




     
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  5. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Well-Known Member

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    I’ve got a newer Tribute LP Special with a maple neck.
    That’s the one that’ll go camping with me. No worries.
    Feels fine too.

    9D4FCC92-559C-472F-9778-D75ADA9A4965.jpeg

    E96B0059-CD19-4ABD-A4D3-1880506264B3.jpeg
     
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  6. An Abiding Dude

    An Abiding Dude Active Member

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    Here's an SG Raw Power.
    [​IMG]

    That just looks weird!
     
  7. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Thoughts on the Maple neck for an SG:

    >I don't believe that the SG design is flawed. I believe that Gibson's use of the 17 degree back angle combined with one piece mahogany necks creates a "weak spot" at the headstock joint, but not a design flaw. That 17 degree back angle contributes to the awesome tone we expect from our Gibsons. All Gibson guitars that combine the 17 degree back angle with a mahogany neck will have
    the same weak spot, and they all have awesome tone. Les Pauls, various acoustics... they all share this, not just SGs. Take care of your Gibson, protect it from blows and falls, and it will last a lifetime.

    >I own an SG special from 2012 with a maple neck and a baked maple fretboard. It's an excellent
    guitar, and has given good service ever since I bought it (marked down) in 2013. Narrow minded guitarists wouldn't risk their cash to buy this innovative and interesting instrument... so Gibson marked them down and I got a desirable price. Gibson later re-issued these with traditional mahogany fretboards, and sold boatloads of them. But there's nothing wrong with the baked maple. It's hard and smooth, it feels and sounds excellent to me. The mini hum buckers rip too...
    This one will balance almost perfectly, with very slight neck dive. Not enough to bug me.
    To me, the maple neck is stiffer and more stable tuning-wise than mahogany. I like that.
    The grain of the maple might not break as easily as does the mahogany. I believe it's stronger.
    I get awesome tone from my SG special with all that maple and innovation. To me, it doesn't sound like anybody else's guitar. And I like that too. If you want your guitar to sound like somebody else's, get a Les Paul with a mahogany neck, and don't let it fall down.
    April 2017@100.jpg
    >I actually use my tone controls, so I can get bright tones from the above SG or darker tones from it, but NEVER muddy tones. I often have an EQ pedal on my board, and this guitar responds well to this pedal.

    > I love the looks of the SG Raw Power above, but they only made them in 2009 or maybe 2010, and I was too poor to buy one. I wish I had. I'm sure those also have unique tone. I hear that all that maple is heavy... *shrugs ...so a mahogany SG with a maple neck seems a good compromise.

    >I play both Gibson and Fender. I get awesome tone from my Fender guitar and bass, and I just love the maple neck Tele. Mine is a MIM replica of a '70s Tele Deluxe, so the maple neck is coated in Polyurethane. To me, that's a very practical and tough guitar finish, and all of the noise about
    "vintage" guitars coated in lacquer seems like blowing smoke. I just play 'em. My Tele with the Poly finish is nearly impervious to anything except hammer blows and bullet hits. Maple neck is classic Fender, and has given excellent service and awesome tone since 1951 when I was just a BB.
    Snow White 19@100.jpg

    >If a maple neck gives excellent tone on a Fender, it will do so on a Gibson. Also, maple necks are made from wood that grows right here. I like that too.

    >Epiphone guitars have fewer problems with breakage than Gibsons of the same design, because of the "Scarf Joint" used, as described above, and because they use maple necks often, and because they use a 14 degree back angle instead of a 17 degree. Would Gibson's customers accept these changes? I don't think so. Gibson's customers don't think that Epiphone guitars sound as good. Epiphone customers aren't troubled by this, and I'm not either. Epi guitars are bought and played all over the world. I own an Epiphone ES-339 with a maple neck and Poly finish, and I like it a lot more than I ever thought I would. It's got Ken Rose P-90s and is another unique sounding
    instrument. Maple neck works fine and stays in tune very well.
    Caledonia close@100.jpg
     
  8. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    oh and Angus' guitars don't neck dive. He can raise both hands over his head
    with no problems, as could I if this was my style.

    What I thought was weird about that ACDC video was that the audience was all guys.
    Thousands of them. To me, that's just weird. *shrugs
    But what do I know? Only that maple necks are a great idea. Especially in North America
    where we can grow it, and cut it and mill it and quarter saw it.
    Angus balance.jpg
    It would be interesting to me to find out whether Angus Young has his guitars
    specially balanced by his techie employees, or whether they just balance the way
    they should. Mine do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
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  9. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Can’t say where the wood for Angus’ guitars was grown, but it was cut and constructed all in the UK.
     
  10. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    When you have open floor and general admittance, it’s a survival of the fittest to stage proximity. All those bucks squeeze the does out, not to mention it’s probably a 4:1 ratio to begin with. But good on ya, you spotted a whole lotta Bro’s hopping up and down. lol

     
  11. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    that's weird to then... he doesn't play Gibsons?
    Of course, he has a collection of more than 500 guitars I believe.
    Some of them might only look like Gibsons, but be totally custom crafted.
    He can afford it, I'll bet.
     
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  12. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    You are probably spot on with your comment, I see he is playing the small guard early/mid 60’s “blackie” there. So ignore my comment. I always get to defending or articulating his #1 in my mind..


    I apologize, I should never disagree with the Colonel. Especially when I am a lonely Sgt…
     
  13. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    When is a weak spot not a design flaw? When Gibson do it. Come on, colonel, you can't say there is no design flaw, and then go on to describe it in some detail. It only takes a moment's inattention - a guitar leaned against an amp for a moment, and someone walking past and catching the cord for the guitar to be headed for the floor. That sort of accident must be allowed for in the design process, and if a detached headstock is even a possible outcome, that is 100% a design flaw. Epiphone have addressed it two ways - the scarf joint I mentioned and the angle reduction to 14 degrees. PRS take this even further and angle their headstocks at 10 degrees. Tone does not suffer as a result.
     
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  14. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Well-Known Member

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    Current SG Tribute has maple neck.
    I’m tempted.
    A. I like SG Tributes neck profile.
    B. I like maple necks

    457C510D-3A4E-4B3E-9E5E-43E0BE5BDFE2.jpeg
     
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  15. Oig

    Oig Member

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    Nope. If the match didn't drop, the paper and gas wouldn't have ignited. Therefore the trigger and the cause is the match.
     
  16. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    So you reckon that the cause of a large part of Beirut being vaporised a couple of years back was not the storage of several thousand tons of Ammonium Nitrate in a warehouse? Nothing to answer for by that company then.
     
  17. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    If there were no guitars, there would be no guitar problems...
     
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  18. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    I have heard this question being posed before, does Angus have his guitars balanced etc. The reality is really much simpler. For one, Angus uses a good leather strap that helps stop the guitar from the usual nosedive. Although it appears his straps are smooth leather on the inside and out, so likely doesn't help as much as it would if it was rough leather on the inside.

    To be honest, I think the most contributing factor to his guitar balance is the fact the the radio receiver is attached to the strap. This added weight is likely just enough to stop any diving. That's my guess anyway

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    That is a small part of it. But looking at that last picture it is clear that the strap button is at roughly the 20th fret. That is a full inch and a half further up the neck than my SG. That is more than enough of a shift to balance it.
     
  20. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I've drawn a couple of thin yellow lines to locate the strap button

    angus1.png
     

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