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Thread: Does a Neck Heel / Pocket Gap affect scale length ??

  1. #1
    Tone Member evh_slash's Avatar
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    Default Does a Neck Heel / Pocket Gap affect scale length ??

    So I have about 3 identically set up Ibanez guitars but 1 in particular has always felt quite stiffer to play (the strings feel tighter, despite being gauge 9's)

    After close inspection, I've noticed that the Neck doesnt fit as snugly in the bolt on pocket, and there is a slightly larger gap between the neck pickup and the neck heel . I can confirm also from looking side-on that the other 2 guitars' necks sit deeper in as the side dots of the 19th frets are deeper into the neck pocket.

    Could this be a potential reason for the guitar being harder to play / feeling tighter ? I'm assuming the larger distance between neck heel and body result in a slightly longer scale length ?

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    Perhaps if I could sand / smoothen the edges of the neck pocket OR corners of the neck heel I could get the neck deeper in hence reduce the unnecessary gap and potentially help playability ??
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  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Does a Neck Heel / Pocket Gap affect scale length ??

    No, because you intonate the guitar by adjusting the saddles so it plays in pitch.

    Of course your setup affects the precise intonation, so guitars of identical measured length could end up with different saddle positions. But then again your setup is the root cause of guitars plying differently in the first place.....so its all academic with the original premise.

  3. #3
    Tone Member evh_slash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a Neck Heel / Pocket Gap affect scale length ??

    That's some great info actually, thanks man !
    -RG Air Norton/Megadrive
    -Hard Ash Superstrat Custom Amdusias set
    -JPM100 x2 PAF pro/Super D + Breed/Transition
    -Vigier Shawn Lane Aph1-n/Norton
    -Suhr SSS Strat V60/V60/ML Bridge (SSCII)
    -Mesa 2c+ x2, Myasnikov SLO Pre, 1210, Tri St. Chorus
    -Eventide Eclipse x2, Lexicon PCM 81 x3, Axe FX ii
    -MLC X-ray 60/60, Myasnikov MOD 5, 69' Plexi, Be50, Fryette PS2
    -Zilla 4x12, 2x12 x2, GCX, MLC Midi/Mixer/Loop/Amp Selector

  4. #4
    OH THE GLAZE!
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    Default Re: Does a Neck Heel / Pocket Gap affect scale length ??

    With the guitar strung up, loosen the neck bolts and wack the neck snugly in the pocket then tighten the bolts.

  5. #5
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a Neck Heel / Pocket Gap affect scale length ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    With the guitar strung up, loosen the neck bolts and wack the neck snugly in the pocket then tighten the bolts.
    Extremely poor advice, especially without even seeing the guitar. That is "bull-in-a-china-shop" advice. There is no need for brute force when dealing with a precision instrument. I would never advise doing that to any guitar.

    If your guitar is accurately intonated, it is fine, leave it as is. If the scale length is indeed off, too long, it will be an insignificant amount to affect the feel or playability of the guitar. String sets of the same size can actually feel drastically different depending on brand or type of string (thicker core wire, hex or round core, alloy, etc.).
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  6. #6
    Mojo's Minions masta' c's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a Neck Heel / Pocket Gap affect scale length ??

    What the other Clint suggested here has been done many times with reasonable success. Seems a bit barbaric to me, but dozens of guys from the Warmoth forums to the Strat and Tele forums swear by it. Though, they say to let the string tension do the work...no need to bump it under tension.

  7. #7
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does a Neck Heel / Pocket Gap affect scale length ??

    Quote Originally Posted by masta' c View Post
    let the string tension do the work...no need to bump it under tension.
    Ah, and there is the key. If the neck is already wedged tightly into the pocket (which we don't know because we haven't seen the guitar), "wack(ing) the neck snugly" may cause damage, like cracking/splitting the wood. Wedges are used to great success to split logs.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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