Everything you need to know about acoustic guitar neck joints – how they work, and why they matter for your tone

Taylor 417ce
Taylor 417ce (Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

It’s hard to pinpoint the time when the belief that glue is good and bolts are bad took hold. The cynic in me might suggest that it was instigated, or at least propagated, by some traditionally minded guitar manufacturers in response to a Californian company that sent shockwaves through the industry in the early 1950s. 

By the 1970s, sustain worshippers were even making the case for dispensing with neck joints altogether and making guitars from continuous lengths of wood. The main beneficiaries of this simplistic thinking were Fender fans, who could pick up vintage examples of their beloved instruments for next to nothing.

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Huw Price

Huw started out in recording studios, working as a sound engineer and producer for David Bowie, Primal Scream, Ian Dury, Fad Gadget, My Bloody Valentine, Cardinal Black and many others. His book, Recording Guitar & Bass, was published in 2002 and a freelance career in journalism soon followed. He has written reviews, interviews, workshop and technical articles for Guitarist, Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, Acoustic Magazine, Guitar Buyer and Music Tech. He has also contributed to several books, including The Tube Amp Book by Aspen Pittman. Huw builds and maintains guitars and amplifiers for clients, and specializes in vintage restoration. He provides consultancy services for equipment manufacturers and can, occasionally, be lured back into the studio.