Playing differences between my 5120 and 6128

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by speedicut, May 17, 2013.

  1. Phelonious Ponk

    Phelonious Ponk Gretschie

    390
    Dec 5, 2012
    charlotte, nc
    My 5120 has a heel joint, but no scarf joint. It's visible, which is not ideal, but any woodworker will tell you a properly glued joint is actually stronger than the wood itself, so it's certainly not a structural issue. I've had one-piece necks and one, on a Gibson J-200, that was 4 pieces lengthwise. This does add strength, similar to using quarter sawn wood, but in 40 years of playing, I've only had one neck that developed a problem that may have been prevented by a quarter sawn or laminated neck, a pre-CBS Strat that developed a twist. In any case, it has nothing to do with "feel," and practically speaking, very little to do with quality. But it is one of the many small things that can make up the subtle differences between high end guitars and more basic instruments.

    P
     
  2. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    What year is your G5120?
    I had an early Historic (1999 or 2001) that had a natural finish neck that showed the scarf joint. I think I saw a thread in the past about a G5120 that came unglued at the heel joint and the scarf joint so I assumed they were all like that. Could be that I was wrong.

    And it could be I'm wrong about my suspicion of scarf joints but they just bug me! I feel that the two and more piece lengthwise laminates (like on most Gretsch hollowbodies) don't fall into the same category as a scarf joint because the maintain the connection between the headstock and the neck block.

    Of course, I believe in old wood too so there you go...
     
  3. Phelonious Ponk

    Phelonious Ponk Gretschie

    390
    Dec 5, 2012
    charlotte, nc
    I don't know what year my 5120 is, I bought it used. Recent, I would guess, based on condition. It's trans orange, neck and all, and a joint between the neck and heel is clearly visible, but none between neck and headstock. I agree that scarf joints and necks laminated lengthwise are two very different things. I just believe that the drawbacks to well-executed scarf joints are purely cosmetic. Most of the classic high-end Gibson hollow bodies have such joints attaching the headstocks to the necks, I've seen many pictures of breaks, and I've never seen one that broke at the joint. I'm sure it happens but it is rare. The joints are actually stronger than the wood. Your lengthwise-laminated neck? That's the strongest of all. Probably stronger and more stable even than a quarter sawn neck. Does it make much difference? Not much, because there aren't many problems with conventional necks, particularly with truss rods and support 11s, 10s, etc. But it looks cool. It is good engineering, and it's part of what you pay for in a premium guitar.

    P
     
  4. Phelonious Ponk

    Phelonious Ponk Gretschie

    390
    Dec 5, 2012
    charlotte, nc
    I don't know what year my 5120 is, I bought it used. Recent, I would guess, based on condition. It's trans orange, neck and all, and a joint between the neck and heel is clearly visible, and it is a scarf joint, I mis-spoke above, but there is no joint between neck and headstock. At least not a visible one. I agree that scarf joints and necks laminated lengthwise are two very different things. I just believe that the drawbacks to well-executed scarf joints are purely cosmetic. Most of the classic high-end Gibson hollow bodies have such joints attaching the headstocks to the necks, I've seen many pictures of breaks, and I've never seen one that broke at the joint. I'm sure it happens but it is rare. The joints are actually stronger than the wood. Your lengthwise-laminated neck? That's the strongest of all. Probably stronger and more stable even than a quarter sawn neck. Does it make much difference? No, because their aren't many problems with conventional necks, particularly with truss rods and support 11s, 10s, etc. But it looks cool. It is good engineering and it's part of what you pay for in a premium guitar.

    P
     
  5. freespoken

    freespoken Gretschie

    176
    Jul 31, 2011
    New Mexico
    I have the same experience as you. My 6121-1955 is super slick and easier to play than either my old electromatic or the 6120 I traded the electromatic 5122 for. Love them both for what each does, but the jet is easier for me to play.
     
  6. old mark

    old mark Gretschie

    313
    May 27, 2013
    Fabulous Hatboro, PA
    Right. The way the nut has been cut affects a LOT of the way the guitar strings feel...as do the type of bridge and tailpiece. My Epiphone Casino has a trapeze bridge and the feel is far different from any of my other guitars that have the traditional Gibson Tune O Matic. Even a slight change in the angle of the bridge can affect the feel of the strings.

    FWIW, TO ME, at least, Ernie Ball strings feel best...I know this is not true for everyone...different brands and type of strings are preferable to different people.

    mark
     
  7. Phelonious Ponk

    Phelonious Ponk Gretschie

    390
    Dec 5, 2012
    charlotte, nc
    Are you talking about a trapeze tailpiece vs a stop bar? I'm confused

    P
     
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