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  1. #1

    What is the purpose of a scarf joint and why is it on so many cheap guitars?

    Reading what Jim Soloway's post concerning Peerless, it got me wondering about the scarf joint. What is it's purpose? Why not just build the neck without it like most US manufacturers do?

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  3. #2
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    I thought it was to cut down on costs and manufacturing time.

    The headstock being one piece, without wings attached to the sides and the neck, 1 piece is then attached.

    I don't see how an 'angle' makes sense, so if you could elaborate Dan, that would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven View Post
    I thought it was to cut down on costs and manufacturing time.

    The headstock being one piece, without wings attached to the sides and the neck, 1 piece is then attached.

    I don't see how an 'angle' makes sense, so if you could elaborate Dan, that would be great.
    Means you can use much thinner pieces of wood for the neck since it doesnt have to be as thick.
    Edit: yeah I dictated that to my phone, and no I'm not going to fix the mistakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamBooka View Post
    Means you can use much thinner pieces of wood for the neck since it doesnt have to be as thick.

    Well that would make sense, since all scarf jointed necks I've played have been very thin. Especially my Af-120

    Thanks :-)

  6. #5
    Well, Jim was in the business, so he probably has a good idea what issues the scarf presents, but I have owned both types of necks during my lifetime and I haven't noticed any practical difference between the two. Perhaps neck stability is better with a multi-piece neck as opposed to a single scarfed board?

    As far as saving time goes, I'm not certain, as from the lutherie books I've read and videos I've watched, you have to cut the neck stock on the correct angle, reverse the cut stock and glue it back together. I know that in wooden model building this produces a stronger joint, but I have no experience building necks yet. Perhaps the time savings is in using a single piece of material rather than building up a profile neck?

    Most of the scarfed necks I have read about or seen being built in videos are also made from a single piece of material, not a built-up laminate of 3 or 5 pieces of wood to the correct neck thickness plus overage (which I would imagine is a more stable design as you can run the grains against each other to help avoid twisting (I believe, based on what I have read about the process).

    Scarfed or built up from profiles, I still see the "wing" pieces being glued to the headstock. I don't think it would be cost-effective (in material and/or labor) to build up a multi-piece neck the width of the headstock and then reduce the excess material not needed. Again, this is all just speculation based on reading and observing with a thought towards actually building one day. I have no actual experience yet.
    "Jus' press." - Raymond Kane

  7. #6
    1. It can be cheaper to build a neck since you don't have to use as thick a piece of wood.

    2. The scarf joint allows the grain of the headstock and the area where the head meets the neck to be oriented parallel with the headstock face. Some maintain that this makes the neck stronger in this area, some disagree.

    3.I have guitars with both types and they're both fine. The single piece of wood does look nicer, to me.

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    The difference is not really one of function but rather, much like other budget or luxury features, one of a more symbolic statement. A scarf joint (along with a glue on heal) dramatically reduces the cost the materials in the neck. I've had several necks made that way and they all functioned just fine but unless they are done in a very elaborate manner, they say to the customer that efforts were made to contain cost. It's not unlike other features like multi-ply binding and purfling, intricate inlays, and heavily figured wood. None of those have a functional value, but they are all part of the luxury package that most people associate with a high end guitar.
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  9. #8
    @Jim - OK, thanks for the reply. I personally like a simple, unbound instrument, no inlays, nothing fancy, so I guess I've never thought about it from that respect. Interesting.
    "Jus' press." - Raymond Kane

  10. #9
    I dunno, it just seems like an unnecessary step to chop up two pieces of wood just to glue them back together for a neck. Wouldn't it be simpler/cheaper to just carve a neck out of one piece and be done with it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broyale View Post
    I dunno, it just seems like an unnecessary step to chop up two pieces of wood just to glue them back together for a neck. Wouldn't it be simpler/cheaper to just carve a neck out of one piece and be done with it?
    Simpler? Perhaps. Cheaper? That depends on what cost more: materials or labor. Neck blanks are expensive.
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    I haven't and never will have anywhere near the experience that Jim has, but in principle, a scarf joint is stronger than a one-piece neck for the reason mentioned by Gilpy. The headstock changes the angle of the piece while the grain orientation stays the same. The scarf joint solves this problem. Like so:

    What is the purpose of a scarf joint and why is it on so many cheap guitars?-joint-explanation-jpg

    This short-grain issue, coupled with a deep groove for the truss-rod nut, is the reason behind the classic Gibson headstock break:
    What is the purpose of a scarf joint and why is it on so many cheap guitars?-white-sg-lollar-006-jpg

    Having their headstock held on by glue tends to make people nervous, but most modern wood glues (and some not-so-modern ones) are much more stable than the wood itself.

    As far as simpler/cheaper goes, it is pretty easy to make a saw cut and brush on some glue. I would rather do that than scrap half of my available neck wood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    I haven't and never will have anywhere near the experience that Jim has, but in principle, a scarf joint is stronger than a one-piece neck for the reason mentioned by Gilpy. The headstock changes the angle of the piece while the grain orientation stays the same. The scarf joint solves this problem. Like so:

    What is the purpose of a scarf joint and why is it on so many cheap guitars?-joint-explanation-jpg

    This short-grain issue, coupled with a deep groove for the truss-rod nut, is the reason behind the classic Gibson headstock break:
    What is the purpose of a scarf joint and why is it on so many cheap guitars?-white-sg-lollar-006-jpg

    Having their headstock held on by glue tends to make people nervous, but most modern wood glues (and some not-so-modern ones) are much more stable than the wood itself.

    As far as simpler/cheaper goes, it is pretty easy to make a saw cut and brush on some glue. I would rather do that than scrap half of my available neck wood.

    Well thats because some fool decide a single piece of mahogany was a good idea, with a pitched headstock :-)))

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    Like anything meaning a cost saving for the manufacturer, it is a matter of weighting the pros versus the cons in the end.
    In my book, a thinner stronger and less prone to warp neck is a positive thing and should not mean necessarily a bad thing.
    It makes these instrument less desirable, but without opening a can of worms that remain again a very subjective topic...
    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
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  15. #14
    So, correct me if I'm wrong:
    It seems like the advantage of the scarf joint is that it's cheaper and stronger.
    While the advantage of the one-piece is that it's more expensive and weaker?

    If so, give me scarf!

  16. #15
    lots of very expensive classical guitar necks are made with a scarf joint and stacked heel.

    a neck blank for a one piece-neck could yield 2 or 3 necks with scarf joints.

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by fritz jones View Post
    lots of very expensive classical guitar necks are made with a scarf joint and stacked heel.
    Speaking of stacked heels:

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    There are scarf joints used to join the headstock to the rest of the neck, like those in the illustration upthread, which do make for a stronger head/neck. There are quite a few non-bargain guitars (mainly classical, but also, e.g., some Taylors) that have this. But there's also the style found on many cheaper guitars, especially Korean ones (proud Samick owner here), where the joint is at around the third fret. This is strictly a cost-saving feature enabling the maker to take two short pieces and join them into a neck/heastock. It works fine, but the joint is obvious with lighter finishes and not terribly attractive IMO. My Samick is more than 20 years old, and shows no signs of falling apart.

    John

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by fritz jones View Post
    lots of very expensive classical guitar necks are made with a scarf joint and stacked heel.

    a neck blank for a one piece-neck could yield 2 or 3 necks with scarf joints.
    With some careful measuring, cutting, and joinery, it is possible to construct an entire neck, complete with headstock and stacked heel, from a single 3/4" blank.

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    I too have a 20 yr old Samick with scarf joint neck. It's as straight as an arrow. In fact most of my guitars have scarf joint necks and they are all fine. Many of the sought-after and collectible Ibanez copys from the 70's and early 80's had scarf joint necks and those guitars are considered to be decent quality guitars. Scarf joint necks aren't new; they've been around for a long time and it's a proven construction method.

    If you accept that a scarf joint neck is mechanically sound and possibly better than a one piece neck in terms of stability and robustness (all other things being equal), the only remaining negative aspect is the perception : scarf joint means cost saving technique which means cost saving techniques may have (probably have) been applied to the remainder of the guitar construction which implies it's an inferior guitar. It may not be inferior at all, but the perception can be there because of it.

    No question that with a one piece neck, you've paid for a pile of wood that you never got; it all ended up in the scrap bin.

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    I can see why they are not popular...
    Certainly not the most desirable thing on an aging natural guitar esthetically wise...
    Here is a shot of my 2003 Peerless Regent : with the flash of the camera it is even worst : no doubt about its presence !
    What is the purpose of a scarf joint and why is it on so many cheap guitars?-scarfjoint-jpg

    However, that neck is the best I have ever played; dead straight and I could achieve such a low action with the 15-56 it plays like a charm.
    The laminated neck on my Joe Pass while also being very comfortable, doesn't feel as great as the one on the Regent.
    Last edited by vinlander; 10-17-2014 at 03:11 PM. Reason: precision addon
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    The whole discussion leads to something I've long considered an interesting question: does perceived value in guitars have more to do with fashion rather than function? I certainly think so but it's a tough trend to buck. I remember in university economics studying a phenomenon known as the water vs diamonds paradox and I think that applies very well here
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 10-18-2014 at 11:10 AM.
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  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    The whole discussion leads to something I've long considered an interting question: does perceived value in guitars have more to do with fashion rather than function? I certainly think so but it's a tough trend to buck. I remember in university economics studying a phenomenon known as the water vs diamonds paradox and I think that applies very well here
    It makes me wonder if there are any people other than guitarists who insist on paying more for lesser quality.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by peskypesky View Post
    It makes me wonder if there are any people other than guitarists who insist on paying more for lesser quality.
    Well, your comment seems a bit off-handed and fecetious, but let's assume you are serious. The first thing to come to mind for me is new home construction. Have you any idea what you could build 20 years ago for 300k compared to today? Lumber, rough or "dried and seasoned"; have you ever looked for straight 2X4s? Cabinetmaking material? Automobiles; luxury or otherwise. They may run better now than before, but a 1970 Corvette with a 454 ran around 6.5k; a 2015 will run around 70K; is it 60K better? I think from past posts that you are a fan of Squire guitars (you have 6 or 7?); if FMIC doubled the price tomorrow, would you never buy another Squire?

    Pretty much everything goes up in price, not always with an increase in quality (and at times quality diminishes even as price continues to rise). I believe you were considering purchasing a Peerless not long ago and perhaps this corporate decision caught you out but I don't see this as paying more for lesser quality any more than I do when custom builders raise their prices for the same builds. Buy or don't buy, I don't think the way things work are going to change just because folks like you and I don't like it. We're not even a drop in the ocean. We're just consumers with a choice. Just my opinion.
    "Jus' press." - Raymond Kane

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by vinlander View Post
    However, that neck is the best I have ever played; dead straight and I could achieve such a low action with the 15-56 it plays like a charm.
    And that's really the point of the instrument, in my opinion. When it's all said and done, it comes down to how it plays and sounds, not how it looks. Very few of us can outperform our instruments, or ever will be able to, for that matter. I'm pretty sure none of us are playing Walmart specials, we all pretty much have decently set up instuments. While these conversations are interesting distractions, the reality is the instrument is just a tool for the player and what's really important is playability. Just my opinion.
    "Jus' press." - Raymond Kane

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    Quote Originally Posted by peskypesky View Post
    It makes me wonder if there are any people other than guitarists who insist on paying more for lesser quality.
    It happens all the time. Go to google and do a search on the paradox of value.

    EDIT: I'll save you the trouble. from Adam Smith's Wealth Of Nations:

    "In a passage of Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he discusses the concepts of value in use and value in exchange, and notices how they tend to differ:What are the rules which men naturally observe in exchanging them [goods] for money or for one another, I shall now proceed to examine. These rules determine what may be called the relative or exchangeable value of goods. The word VALUE, it is to be observed, has two different meanings, and sometimes expresses the utility of some particular object, and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. The one may be called "value in use;" the other, "value in exchange." The things which have the greatest value in use have frequently little or no value in exchange; on the contrary, those which have the greatest value in exchange have frequently little or no value in use. Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarcely anything; scarcely anything can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarcely any use-value; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it.[3]Furthermore, he explained the value in exchange as being determined by labor:
    The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.[4]Hence, Smith denied a necessary relationship between price and utility. Price on this view was related to a factor of production (namely, labor) and not to the point of view of the consumer.[5] The best practical example of this is saffron - the most expensive spice - here much of its value derives from both the low yield from growing it and the disproportionate amount of labor required to extract it. Proponents of the labor theory of value saw that as the resolution of the paradox.
    The labor theory of value has lost popularity in mainstream economics and has been replaced by the theory of marginal utility.
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 10-18-2014 at 10:39 AM.
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    For me, looking, touching, is all part of the joy of playing archtops.

    When I get excited by good art or beautiful craftsmanship, it gets my creative juices going, sort of like inspiration/muse I guess.

    As much as I love the playability of my AF-120 (Scarf neck) the guitar in general leaves me feeling cold and creatively less inspired. Not saying I couldn't make great music on a cheap or ugly guitar but you don't get that same collision of artist inspiration or emotion.
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 10-18-2014 at 11:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven View Post
    For me, looking, touching, is all part of the joy of playing archtops.

    When I get excited by good art or beautiful craftsmanship, it gets my creative juices going, sort of like inspiration/muse I guess.

    As much as I love the playability of my AF-120 (Scarf neck) the guitar in general leaves me feeling cold and creatively less inspired. Not saying I couldn't make great music on a cheap or ugly guitar but you don't get that same collision of artist inspiration or emotion.
    And therein lies the heart of the paradox of value. So we end up with woods chosen for their rarity and beauty rather than their musical function; binding where it does no practical good; large and intricate inlays that obscure the fingerboard position and replace that same said rare and beautiful wood; and yes, one-piece necks. The paradox of value is so powerful that we actual choose to pay more (and be inspired more) by objects of lesser practical value because they are more difficult to build and/or acquire. (And I do not claim to be entirely immune. I replace 2 dollar knobs with hand machined inlayed wood knobs that are ten times the price and much more difficult to see).
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 10-18-2014 at 11:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    And therein lies the heart of the paradox of value. So we end up with woods chosen for their rarity and beauty rather than their musical function; binding where it does no practical good; large and intricate inlays that obscure the fingerboard position and replace that same said rare and beautiful wood; and yes, one-piece necks. The paradox of value is so powerful that we actual choose to pay more (and be inspired more) by objects of lesser practical value because they are more difficult to build and/or acquire.

    The term 'lesser practical value' doesn't take into account the idea that 'value' is whats perceived and unique to the owner/player. So in that regard, value to me, is something of art and if it had lesser artistic value for the sake of 'practical value' it would then have 'lesser practical value' because of it.

    Now theres a paradox
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 10-18-2014 at 11:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven View Post
    The term 'lesser practical value' doesn't take into account the idea that 'value' is whats perceived and unique to the owner/player. So in that regard, value to me, is something of art and if it had lesser artistic value for the sake of 'practical value' it would then have 'lesser practical' value because of it.

    Now theres a paradox
    Indeed, that is a paradox. And having watched the movie Time Bandits countless times I am reminded of the rant by Satan that precedes the climax where he lists the many useless things that were created by God and includes "nipples on men"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    Indeed, that is a paradox. And having watched the movie Time Bandits countless times I am reminded of the rant by Satan that precedes the climax where he lists the many useless things that were created by God and includes "nipples on men"
    Lol

    And still, regardless of their uselessness, they gave nipples to Batman and male bats don't even have nipples!!
    Seems we're rather keen on the useless things :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven View Post
    Lol

    And still, regardless of their uselessness, they gave nipples to Batman and male bats don't even have nipples!!
    Seems we're rather keen on the useless things :-)
    Complements from my wife. We both got a good laugh out of that and she said you get an A plus on that one (I suppose if we were in the UK we're give you an upper first?).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    The whole discussion leads to something I've long considered an interesting question: does perceived value in guitars have more to do with fashion rather than function? I certainly think so but it's a tough trend to buck. I remember in university economics studying a phenomenon known as the water vs diamonds paradox and I think that applies very well here
    People subjectively value (and objectively price) objects with all sorts of attributes beyond functionality, and a lot of this has to do with social context. Within a group of people interested in creating a taxonomy of guitars based on minute details of their history and construction details, and then trading and collecting based on these attributes, these attributes take on an importance they don't necessarily have in other contexts. But there are also people (imo, WAY more), who are responding to completely different signals of status and functionality, and valuing/pricing things very differently. So, I don't think there's single fashion trend in guitar value/pricing. There are many streams of this, and in some streams function has much more weight than in others.

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    The last missing bit to the Puzzle of scarf joint is: It allows one factory to build necks for many brand names by a simple exchange of the headstock shape.

    I often had some kind of deja vú feeling after playing different guitars/necks from China or Korea. Didn`t you?

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    The availability of high quality wood for musical instruments is diminishing- some classic woods are either prohibitively expensive, no longer available or heavily regulated because of over-harvesting. Luthiers compete with furniture makers, architectural wood uses, etc. Access to some woods is really, really tight now- ebony is one example, some of the mahoganys and rosewoods are others.

    Sustainable Ebony | Taylor Guitars

    Using that wood judiciously and conservatively seems to me to be a wise choice- using the scarf neck design there is a huge reduction in waste compared to a 2/3/4/x laminated neck. I think that combination wood and synthetic tops and backs- such as double tops with ultrathin wood veneers over Nomex or something similar will be the standard within a decade or two in archtop and flattop acoustic guitars. There's an interesting video documenting Andersen building a double top laminate, with a little commentary from Bill Frissell playing it.

    Steve Andersen's Double-Top Archtop | The Fretboard Journal: Keepsake magazine for guitar collectors

    Luthiers are going to have to become even more creative than they already are to continue to produce fine instruments in a world where the raw materials have been heavily exploited for centuries, in some cases, and will be harder to source and more expensive. As in agriculture, metals and energy, sustainability is becoming more and more important as the human race approaches 8 billion humans (which exceeds our ready natural resources but a whole lot, especially as a higher percentage develop energy-intensive lifestyles), perhaps 30-50% of species heading towards endangered status, etc.

    The Extinction Crisis

    One of my very favorite and best-sounding guitars uses a scarf joint mahogany neck, probably not for sustainability reasons per se but for headstock strength and less waste of wood- which is no doubt helpful to small luthiery shop.

  36. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by redwater View Post
    The last missing bit to the Puzzle of scarf joint is: It allows one factory to build necks for many brand names by a simple exchange of the headstock shape.

    I often had some kind of deja vú feeling after playing different guitars/necks from China or Korea. Didn`t you?
    the headstock would still be cut and routed from a pattern, regardless of the neck construction method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fritz jones View Post
    the headstock would still be cut and routed from a pattern, regardless of the neck construction method.
    Yes, and then glued to the neck via scarf joint.

  38. #37
    i dont think so. the scarf joint is done first, with a board, then the headstock and neck are shaped.
    it has to be done with a board with a jointed edge.

  39. #38
    With the state our planet is in, it somehow seems unethical to produce a one piece neck knowing the volume of wastage involved. This is especially so when a 3 piece neck is more stable. There are numerous great players out there who play guitars that do not have one piece necks. The point is that a one piece neck does not add anything either structurally or acoustically to a guitar....if anything, it detracts. It all comes down to the 'snob' factor from the individual demanding it.

  40. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzfab View Post
    With the state our planet is in, it somehow seems unethical to produce a one piece neck knowing the volume of wastage involved.
    OK, but going by these standards, it would be even more unethical to own more than one guitar (or, perhaps more aptly, to buy more than one guitar new).

  41. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome View Post
    OK, but going by these standards, it would be even more unethical to own more than one guitar (or, perhaps more aptly, to buy more than one guitar new).
    A ridiculous statement. What about different tuning when playing live or different acoustic requirements when recording?

    Simply put, the point I was making was, if a product can be produced efficiently without any detriment to the quality of the product, other than vanity and ego, there is no reason to 'over engineer' the product.

    If you personally feel a one piece neck sounds better, then you have better ears than me! If you feel it helps you to perform better, then by all means curtail your choice by only opting for guitars with one piece necks.

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzfab View Post
    A ridiculous statement. What about different tuning when playing live or different acoustic requirements when recording?
    Well, it seems to me that if you were really taking one for "Team Planet", you'd be willing to change your tunings on stage (most Hawaiian players do it all the time, but not for any ecological reason that I am aware of, the music just demands it; so many tunings) or not worry about "different acoustic requirements" when recording "We Are The World" type tunes in a studio. I think your statement might have been seen as a bit hyperbolic by some, certainly by me. You seem to be saying that it's wasteful and planet killing to build a one-piece neck, but it's perfectly OK to incur the wastage involved in building at least 3 guitars to meet your needs in the scenario outlined above; I find that interesting.
    "Jus' press." - Raymond Kane

  43. #42
    The purpose of the scarf joint is to save wood .

  44. Besides the looks and tradition department, the presence of a scarf joint for me would add two more things to worry about, the long term stability of the neck, and the actual quality of the scarf joint. How would you feel about say a guitar with a broken and repaired neck? I don't have enough experience to have an opinion on its sound contribution, but having a choice I wouldn't bet for the scarf joint. Also since it is mainly used in cheap and middle priced guitars, it would be a sign of where the instrument belongs in terms of quality. I would rather trust the well known professionals in their opinion about it, and they all chose not to use it unless pressured by cost or wood sparsity (the exception being the classical world, but that's a completely different construction and tension thing).

    Of course times are always changing, and instrument manufacturers have to comply, whether we are taking scarf joints, synthetic woods, waste, considering competition, quantity vs quality, etc. But reality forced choices and quality choices don't always coincide..

    And it DOES also come down to price point. If you want to charge thousands of dollars for a guitar, wood has to sound good but look good also. Binding will be more elaborate, inlays fancier etc, it makes sense.

  45. #44
    the classic broken Gibson headstock occurs in 1 piece necks often, because they are weaker in that area than necks with a scarf joint.

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    589
    The scarf joint is needed if you have a 4/4 board of nice mahogany and you want to make a neck from it. To make a neck for an acoustic you will need to stack and join a few layers for the heel also. A well made neck with a scarf joint is likely to be stronger than a one piece neck.
    If you have a 4/4 board that is flatsawn, then a 3 piece laminate is a good choice. The three piece laminate is also likely to be stronger than its one piece counterpart.
    This is a good way to use stock that has already been cut down to 4/4. It depends on the species but some wood is hard to find in the wide widths needed for a one piece neck. I should mention it is faster to build a one piece neck.

  47. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Besides the looks and tradition department, the presence of a scarf joint for me would add two more things to worry about, the long term stability of the neck, and the actual quality of the scarf joint. How would you feel about say a guitar with a broken and repaired neck? I don't have enough experience to have an opinion on its sound contribution, but having a choice I wouldn't bet for the scarf joint. Also since it is mainly used in cheap and middle priced guitars, it would be a sign of where the instrument belongs in terms of quality. I would rather trust the well known professionals in their opinion about it, and they all chose not to use it unless pressured by cost or wood sparsity (the exception being the classical world, but that's a completely different construction and tension thing).

    Of course times are always changing, and instrument manufacturers have to comply, whether we are taking scarf joints, synthetic woods, waste, considering competition, quantity vs quality, etc. But reality forced choices and quality choices don't always coincide..

    And it DOES also come down to price point. If you want to charge thousands of dollars for a guitar, wood has to sound good but look good also. Binding will be more elaborate, inlays fancier etc, it makes sense.
    Yes ..I get this and the 'Scarf Joint ' telegraphs this to everyone ....

    SURPRISINGLY - This IMO also applies to Bolt Neck Guitars including ALL who have 'string trees ' on the
    Headstock ..

    Because they would sound better/ perform better in most cases with more down pressure at the Nut with an ANGLED HEADSTOCK ..but this was also a cost cutting measure by Leo Fender and has carried through suprisingly to modern bolt on Guitars including non budget Models and even Boutiques.

    We can debate whether an angled headstock improves tone of course and we will have few models to compare because most Builders are copying Fender who is copying itself and others are copying that ...lol.

    But it IS was a way to save lumber and save labor .

    Less obvious to many because it's so common and Strats and Teles are low resonance Guitars anyway ...generally.

    But IF a Guitar sounds and plays how you want it to or expect it to...scarf joint and string trees etc are tolerable.

    Suposedly glue joints are stronger than the wood but I wonder about that Joint and I wonder about Luthiers using the same Glues from 50 years ago
    aiming to recreate rather than go beyond ...and if that joint will break easily ..

    I think you're analogy to a broken and repaired neck is a good one ...kind of bad for a scarf joint .

    But some of those Peerless sound and perform way above their price point .

    I might take a chance on one for sure...

  48. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SW France
    Posts
    594
    Is anyone here willing or able to post images of a scarf joint that failed?

  49. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat View Post
    Is anyone here willing or able to post images of a scarf joint that failed?
    This is a good point ...I don't ever recall reading about one that failed....

    Broken Headstocks - usually from drops or guitars falling etc...those I have heard of or read about..and headstock repairs on guitars for sale ...

    But never heard of a failed scarf joint only scarf joints that fail to impress ...haha .

    I didn't even know about those being a common construction technique on Guitars until I read about Peerless - and Peerless are highly regarded at their price point , and often go way above...meaning Players who have more expensive guitars but still use their Peerless frequently .

    I think it's cool that most experienced Jazzers on here love their Vintage Gibson's etc. but are first to admit when some inexpensive model plays and sounds way above it's price class...

  50. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    589
    Don't forget almost all guitar necks are made from more than one piece of wood. If you count the fingerboard. In fact the best necks are often multi piece necks. When you laminate a neck it is like plywood in that it is more stable than a single piece of wood of equal size. The problem with many necks with scarf joints is that you can see the joint. It is possible to completely hide a scarf joint under the headplate and rear veneer on a neck that uses them.

  51. #50
    @Matt Cushman...
    True the necks with longitudinal strips glued together
    lengthwise ( redundant to be clear ) especially on softer woods like Mahogany and on Basses are said to be stronger and stiffer and need fewer truss rod adjustments...

    I have asked ...but only know what Luthiers and end users with one piece and multi piece necks have said
    multi piece longitudinal joint multi piece necks are more stable .

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