Sustain and Electric Guitar Neck Joint Type


An experiment was conducted to ascertain what effect the type of the neck joint of an electric guitar has on sustain. A test instrument was built using neck through construction. Audio recordings were made of this instrument using a uniform picking mechanism. The neck was sawed off and then attached with screws (bolt-on configuration) and audio recordings were again made in the same manner. The neck was then glued in place (set neck configuration) and allowed to dry, and audio recordings were again made. Spectrographic analysis was performed on these recordings and averaged sound clips were produced for listening evaluation. Sustain for each iteration of the instrument was measured. Listening evaluation did not indicate any difference in sustain among the three instrument iterations. Measured sustain values indicated that the bolt-on neck iteration produced the greatest sustain.


Mottola, R.M. "Sustain and Electric Guitar Neck Joint Type" American Lutherie #91, 2007, p. 52.

Reprints of this paper can be ordered from the Guild of American Luthiers or viewed here.


• Latest American Lutherie article: "Book Review: The Caldersmith Papers", American Lutherie #148 Table of Contents

• Latest research article: "Quantifying Player-Induced Intonation Errors of the Steel String Acoustic Guitar"

Like Coffee?

My neighbors Ever's Distributors are now importing great coffee from Costa Rica. They ship everywhere. Check out their website!

Woodworkers' Popup Units Conversion Calculator

Calculator converts to/from decimal inches, fractional inches, millimeters. Popups must be enabled for this site.
Did you know....
.... you can click on most of the assembly photos on this site to enlarge them for a close look? Also, hovering the cursor over most linear dimension values will convert the values to decimal inches, fractional inches, and SI units.