Have you ever started shopping for a new guitar neck and got surprised by the price? Ever wondered why?
Why are guitar necks so expensive?
The reason why guitar necks are expensive is because they are made up of many elements that need to be put together perfectly in order for it to function well.
What Makes Up A Guitar Neck?
A guitar neck is made of of many precisely made components that were made with specialty materials and skills. All this would contribute to the price of a guitar neck:
- Neck wood – to make a neck, it starts with a piece of wood that will act as the guitar neck. It has to be made at exactly the right size for the guitar.
- Truss rod – the truss rod in a guitar neck is a metal rod that holds the neck straight. Depending on the type of metal used to make the guitar, the truss rod will be made out of different types of metal.
- Fingerboard – this is where you will put down your fingers to play your notes. The fingerboard can either be made from ebony, rosewood or maple, among others. It has to be made for the exact dimensions of the neck.
- Frets and fretwire – fretwire is thin metal that is used for frets on a guitar. A fretboard cannot have frets that are too close together or too far apart because they would then feel uncomfortable when you play it and the notes would be wrong.
- Headstock – the headstock of a guitar is the end that you see the tuners, headstock shape and other aesthetic details.
- Inlays – inlays are small pieces of materials that are carved to have designs on the fingerboard. Sometimes these are made of exotic materials.
Other Aspects That Make Up A Guitar Neck
Besides the materials and parts of a guitar neck, there are things that need to be handled properly in order for the neck to function correctly:
- Fretboard radius – the fretboard radius is the curve of the neck. In addition to the general shape of a neck, this also gives a feel to playing your guitar.
- Neck fit – the fit of a guitar neck into a guitar body is important for several reasons. Any amount of give between the neck and body can cause the guitar to be out of intonation or even unplayable.
- Proper string spacing on the neck – the space that strings have on the neck depends on the nut and machine heads which have to line up with the bridge saddles.
- The width and thickness of a guitar neck – this is how wide and how thick the neck is.
- Neck profile shape – the neck profile refers to the shape of the neck that can either be slim or full. This determines how playing feels on the guitar.
- The setup of a guitar neck – this includes how action and intonation are done on the guitar neck.
When you see all of these parts on a guitar neck, you would understand why they are so expensive.
What Makes A Guitar Neck Good?
The quality of a guitar neck is determined by the materials it is made out of, its shape, and how well the components are put together.
Sometimes the woods used for making a guitar neck are rare because many of them need to be harvested from old growth forests or protected areas. These are then crafted into each component of a guitar neck. The more premium woods and materials that are used for a guitar neck will translate to a more expensive instrument. This is because the guitar neck would be built for quality and durability of sound, aesthetics, and feel.
It is also important to know how well the components of a guitar neck are put together. The wood needs to be cut at exactly the right shape and size on the lathe so that it fits on the body of the guitar correctly. Each piece of wood on a guitar neck has to fit with its counterpart parts to create a good playing feeling when the strings are tuned just right.
Quality of a guitar neck is not just about how much it costs, but also how well it was put together by its manufacturer.
Where Do You Find A Good Guitar Neck?
The best way to find a good guitar neck is to know what you want and look for one that will meet your needs. As with all things, you get what you pay for so if you don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, then go ahead.
Cheap Necks Vs Expensive Necks
There are a number of differences between a cheap guitar neck and an expensive guitar neck. Budget and needs govern whether you would go for a cheap guitar neck or an expensive one.
If your reason for buying a guitar neck is because you just want something that can get the job done, then there are plenty of good instruments to choose from in all price ranges.
Cheap guitar necks cost between $100 and $200 and can be bought online or at stores that deal with musical instruments. These are the least expensive guitar necks available today while still being good enough for beginner amateur players.
Many times these cheap guitar necks would be made in countries where labor is cheaper and can still get a nice sound. The materials used for a guitar neck will also play a big role in the price. If there are good materials that go into these cheap guitar necks, then that is when you have a good one for the money.
A cheap guitar neck from a reputable brand of electric guitars or acoustic guitar will not just look like an expensive one, it will also sound better than an expensive one. It will often come with a set of strings and its own case.
When you buy expensive quality guitar necks, the most obvious difference is the quality of materials used in making them. You would also get better craftsmanship when it comes to building them. It takes more time to make an expensive guitar neck than a cheap one because of the amount of precision that goes into building each component. These additional steps can increase productivity but can also drive down costs when buying too many instruments at once.
A good example of an expensive guitar neck would be a Fender Stratocaster from the 1950s or a Gibson Les Paul Standard from the 1960s. These guitars can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars and these guitars will come with a case and at least one set of strings. They will also sound great when played and can be played for many years to come.
The better the quality of your guitar neck, the better playing quality instruments experience you will get. You would also be able to play the guitar for longer if the neck is good in quality. When you buy a guitar in general, you can buy one that has all its components in good shape. The same thing follows with a good guitar neck made by guitar manufacturers. If it works well, then all parts will work well together and give you a great experience when playing music.