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Electric guitar neck on acoustic

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Electric guitar neck on acoustic

Postby ajsideways » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:04 am

So I have a friend that is a carpenter but also makes acoustic guitars on the side, and I want him to make me a 8 string acoustic but he doesn't make his necks he buys them. I looked around and figured out that an electric would be cheaper and way easier to find, but was wondering if it would still sound good and play good.
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Re: Electric guitar neck on acoustic

Postby blinddrew » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:10 am

I think that's going to have to be a question for your friend to see if he can work it into his existing design. Fundamentally a neck is a neck, find a shape you like and run with it. But how the heel of it integrates to the body is the important bit from a construction perspective.
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Re: Electric guitar neck on acoustic

Postby zenguitar » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:16 pm

Some thoughts from a trained luthier.

A guitar neck is a guitar neck. In terms of construction and materials there is no distinction between acoustic and electric. However, where they can differ is in how the neck joins the body. But the 60's and 70's have plenty of examples of acoustic guitars with electric guitar style bolt on necks. So there's no reason why you couldn't source a suitable electric guitar 8 string neck and make an acoustic guitar body that would accept that neck.

It makes sense to buy a neck if you are making an electric guitar because a shaped and routed solid body is simple woodwork and the neck is the most complicated part.

Acoustic guitars are a very different beast. Making the neck is one of the easiest steps (and when I first trained that included making the truss rod from scratch). Buying in necks is an option to speed up production and keep prices down, but I would expect anyone competent would be capable of making something not available off the shelf. But the extra work will bring a higher cost.

Remember, what you want is very uncommon, an 8 string acoustic guitar, and by definition it is something that needs to be custom built. The neck isn't the only challenge for a luthier, you also have to factor in the additional string tension and how that changes the thicknessing of the front, the style of bracing and a whole bunch of small details.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Electric guitar neck on acoustic

Postby ajsideways » Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:32 am

zenguitar wrote:Some thoughts from a trained luthier.

A guitar neck is a guitar neck. In terms of construction and materials there is no distinction between acoustic and electric. However, where they can differ is in how the neck joins the body. But the 60's and 70's have plenty of examples of acoustic guitars with electric guitar style bolt on necks. So there's no reason why you couldn't source a suitable electric guitar 8 string neck and make an acoustic guitar body that would accept that neck.

It makes sense to buy a neck if you are making an electric guitar because a shaped and routed solid body is simple woodwork and the neck is the most complicated part.

Acoustic guitars are a very different beast. Making the neck is one of the easiest steps (and when I first trained that included making the truss rod from scratch). Buying in necks is an option to speed up production and keep prices down, but I would expect anyone competent would be capable of making something not available off the shelf. But the extra work will bring a higher cost.

Remember, what you want is very uncommon, an 8 string acoustic guitar, and by definition it is something that needs to be custom built. The neck isn't the only challenge for a luthier, you also have to factor in the additional string tension and how that changes the thicknessing of the front, the style of bracing and a whole bunch of small details.

Andy :beamup:
How would you compensate for the higher string tension, because the funny thing is that he doesn't play guitar, he's a wood worker that makes them for family and friends
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Re: Electric guitar neck on acoustic

Postby zenguitar » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:51 am

ajsideways wrote:How would you compensate for the higher string tension, because the funny thing is that he doesn't play guitar, he's a wood worker that makes them for family and friends

Sorry, there's no simple formula for this. Put simply, the bracing of the front is what gives it the strength. But the bracing also distributes the vibrations across the front of the guitar and helps shape the tone.

You could use the same bracing but made slightly heavier to compensate. You could use the same bracing but add some additional struts. Or you could come up with a new bracing design. It just comes down to experience and understanding what you are doing and why.

It has to be strong enough handle the tension but light enough to allow the front to vibrate freely.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Electric guitar neck on acoustic

Postby Alba » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:08 am

I think I might be looking around for a 12 string with a slimmish fingerboard and converting that.

Funnily enough i spent the lockdown converting a Tanglewood TW28 with a laminated cedar top from 6 to 12 strings. I picked the guitar up for a song in a local red cross shop and it felt particularly well constructed with a genereous width board and a really nice bottom end to the sound.

I did it, i wouldn't recommend it and it was many hours. I don't have a pic hosting account or i'd post some pictures but it turned out really well... The fourth attempt at the nut was a keeper :headbang: ) and its two strings to a bridge hole and the brass pins i filed a second slot in each :beamup: )

But its gorgeous.

Sorry to hijack your thread but had you considered a conversion?
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Re: Electric guitar neck on acoustic

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:16 pm

8 strings probably needs a wider neck than a 12 string usually has, I'm partway through the process of converting a cheap 12 string to a 7 string (with the 7th string tuned to low B or A) which should work ok. What is your intended tuning, two lower strings or one low and a high string above the top E?
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