acoustic guitar bolt on neck vs dovetail

COMPARED: Acoustic Guitar Bolt On Neck Vs Dovetail

Are you trying to decide between acoustic guitar bolt on neck vs dovetail? Maybe you just want to learn more about the similarities and differences? Check this out:

What Is A Bolt On Neck On An Acoustic Guitar?

The term bolt on neck refers to an attachment of a neck to the body of the guitar using bolts to fasten them together.

Advantages Of Bolt On Necks On Acoustic Guitars

The advantages of an acoustic guitar bolt on neck include:

  • Easy to make and repair: Because the neck is bolted to the body, any repairs or adjustments due to twisting or warping can be made in mere minutes. You will not have to wait for someone to build and sand a new neck that will match your old guitar’s inlays.
  • Versatility: As you can see from the list below, bolt on necks are versatile in the type of guitars they can be used on.

Acoustic Guitar Manufacturers That Use Bolt On Necks

Things That Acoustic Bolt On Necks Are Not Good For

Despite the advantages of bolt on necks, they are not good for the following:

  • High end guitars: Because bolt on necks can be removed and replaced easily, they are not good for those who want to keep their guitars forever. The neck will eventually loosen or the bolts will rust. Ultimately, you may need a new guitar if you play hard enough to break your instrument.
  • High tension/high string guitars: Those who play instruments with high tension strings or a lot of pressure on the neck will be better off with a dovetail neck. The dovetail is more sturdy and better able to handle the pressure than a bolt on neck.

What Is A Dovetail Neck?

The term dovetail refers to the way in which the neck and body of an acoustic guitar are attached together. In this case, the dovetail joint is holding the pieces together by interlocking them on every corner of each piece.

Advantages Of Dovetail Necks On Acoustic Guitars

The advantages of an acoustic guitar dovetail neck include:

  • No moving parts: The neck and the body are attached to the body using dovetail joints, which makes them more stable and prevents mechanical failures. A bolt on neck will have a tendency to loosen over time because of vibration and/or your fretting hand rubbing on it.
  • Long life:Because there are no moving parts, the dovetail neck will last for years and years with almost no need for adjustment or repair.
  • Distinctive look: The dovetail neck actually looks really cool. It makes your guitar look more like an acoustic bass guitar than a standard acoustic guitar. Also, the way the body is angled makes it look longer and thinner than it really is – a nice effect on an otherwise short instrument.
  • Higher value: Because the neck and the body are attached using well-made dovetail joints, they will hold their value much better than bolt on necks.

Acoustic Guitar Manufacturers That Use Bolt On Necks

  • Martin

Things That A Dovetail Neck Is Not Good For

Despite the advantages of a dovetail joint neck, it is not good for the following:

  • Easy to make and repair: Because the joints are made out of wood, there is a little bit more skill that is necessary when repairing or making adjustments to a set dovetail joint.
  • Versatility: As you can see from the list below, dovetail necks are not versatile in the type of guitars they can be used on.
  • Higher action: Because the strings are attached higher up on a dovetail neck, it will take you a little longer to adjust it properly for a neck reset than it does on a bolt on neck with a truss rod.

Which Should You Choose?

The best way to decide which type of guitar neck to use is to try both of them on your guitar and see which one you like better. The contact information below will tell you where you can purchase a bolt on or dovetail neck in case your guitar does not have one.

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