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Thread: light vs heavy neck ?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkey View Post
    gore/gilet talk about this in their books and from memory the sentence goes like this"never had problems with heavy necks but have had problems with light ones". Why is sustain and volume relationship opposed ie more volume less sustain? just asking.
    Regards
    Chris
    I'm not sure why Trevor says that. It doesn't sound correct to me, but trevor can probably prove it mathematically.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkey View Post
    gore/gilet talk about this in their books and from memeory the sentencegoes like this"never had problems withheavy necks but have had problems with light ones". Why is sustain and volume relationship opposed ie more volume less sustain? just asking.
    regards chris
    Well think about it: The sound that comes out is a function of the energy that is put into the system (plucking a string). If the sound lasts longer (sustain) than the energy is released slower over time. If the same amount of energy is released quickly, the sound is louder but lasts a shorter period of time.
    Last edited by sequoia; 10-15-2019 at 11:09 AM.

  3. #13
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    That argument would seem to work for two systems which had exactly the same string-energy-to-sound-energy efficiency. If you are going to get the same amount of sound energy out of two systems, if it is delivered slower (sustain) it must be lower volume as you state.

    However, this says nothing about the efficiency of the overall system, that is, how much sound energy you get per unit of string energy. If there is some energy damping component in one system, you will get less overall sound energy out of the system, regardless of whether it is as volume or sustain. So lets say that you have an instrument with two interchangeable necks. One neck damps the sound more than the other. With the 'damping' neck in place you are going to get less overall sound production than with the non-damping neck in place. This means that both volume and sustain will be lower with the damping neck than with the non-damping neck. One can build for both increased volume and sustain (not mutually exclusive) by making the instrument as efficient as possible at converting string energy to sound energy.

  4. #14
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    I am neither an acoustic engineer nor a physicist, but I like to think about these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by jupiteruke View Post
    ... If there is some energy damping component in one system, you will get less overall sound energy out of the system, regardless of whether it is as volume or sustain.
    Good point and damping must be taken into account. I think you could look at damping as energy "absorption" where the energy is absorbed (as heat?) and there is no sound transmission. Think of a metal bell versus a rubber bell. But here is where I'm skeptical about neck thickness having much (or anything) to do with sound transmission. The connection of the neck to the box is relatively small in area and would be a poor transmitter of energy. Plus, the neck itself does not transmit audible sound. I would think that any damping difference between a thick neck versus a thin neck would be vanishingly small and undetectable.

  5. #15
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    I don't think im talking about thin vs thick neck. more of light soft woods like cedar necks compared to dense heavy wood like maple or even hard koa.

    the soft woods wood probably need a carbon rod or a hard wood in between and you can always shave a heavy wood neck thinner to save weight.

    but I just read that a heavy dense wood neck make more sustain, but has nothing to do with volume as the soundboard is already thin and braced well for optimal vibration. plus how much volume can you loose from a heavy neck compared to a light neck? i think poly finish like a pono will probably kill the volume.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post
    ...

    The connection of the neck to the box is relatively small in area and would be a poor transmitter of energy.
    ...
    It's huge in comparison to the connection of the string to the box. I've no idea what that proves though.

    Also, If you put a contact mic on the headstock you get a pretty good signal albeit along with a lot of finger noise.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post
    I don't mean to start a squabble here or a sustained (ha!) discussion, but just would like to point out a persistent fallacy: Volume and sustain are mutually exclusive acoustic events. In other words you can't have both. It is just physics as any acoustic engineer will tell you. Higher sustain means lower volume and higher volume means lower sustain. Guitar makers continue to market this fallacy though: "Our guitars deliver high sustain and high volume!". That is actually physically impossible. Think about it.

    "If wishes were horses beggars would ride"
    Sequoia, I can attest to this. My banjouke screams when I pick it, or strum it hard, but there is no sustain whatsoever.
    A heavy headstock is a big turn off to me. I guess that's why I don't care for open headstocks, as they can be heavier.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

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