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11. Necks

The way a bass is made is equally as important for the sound as the type of wood. Here, we'll explore the benefits and shortcomings of bolted-on necks, continuous necks (neck through) and glued-on necks (set necks).

Bolted or glued

Marleaux Votan Deluxe 5 Pommele mit geschraubten Hals

Above all, this is a matter of personal preference. Generally speaking, bolted and glued necks provide a slightly faster response than continuous necks and lend themselves well to more intricate rhythms. The better the craftsmanship of the joint between the neck and the body, the better the sound. A badly glued neck sounds just as bad as a bad screw joint!

Continuous necks

Fodera Matt Garrison Standard II 6051 mit durchgehenden, 3-streifigen Ahornhals

A continuous neck forms the centrepiece of the body, to which the body "wings" are glued. This style possesses a different sonic characteristic. These basses produce a more homogenous tone. While their response is a bit slower and the tone takes longer to build, the sound is more bass-heavy and "cultivated" and has a longer sustain. Critics often complain about a perceived lack of assertiveness of continuous neck basses, especially in the context of a band. However, continuous necks are well suited to solemn passages, which is especially true for fretless basses, which can produce a wonderfully singing tone with this type of neck.

Roughly speaking, a continuous neck produces a softer, warmer tone with more sustain, while a bolted or glued neck results in a harder, brighter characteristic. However, this is only a rough guideline, because there are many more variables that contribute to the sound and response of a bass.

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