Square heel vs Ergonomic heels vs w/e

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Thread: Square heel vs Ergonomic heels vs w/e

  1. #1

    Join Date: Jun 2011
    Location: London
    ME: Caparison MJR
    Rig: ENGL E650/E625

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    Square heel vs Ergonomic heels vs w/e

    So I had a conversation with some one about an old jem with the Square heel and I said "for the money I think its a little expensive for a square heeled bolt on"

    queue opinion I hate

    The person went on to say "i love square heel joints" this made me cringe since it brings to mind the first shitty unbranded fender type guitar I owned with a square heel and shit hardware.

    Not im not saying a square heel MAKES guitars shit, im sure there are some lovely guitars with them but personally i prefer the EBMM, Caparison round heels, the Ibanez AANJ or the ESP style through necks.

    Am I the only one with this aversion to square heels or what? and what do you think is the best type of heel joint/neck joint for your playing style.


    is there ever a situation when a square heel is advantageous opposed to any other type of heel joint?

    some pics for comparison

  2. #2

    Join Date: Jun 2009
    Location: New Orleans
    ME: Elysian Custom
    Rig: Bias Desktop

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    imo I feel the Setneck and neckthru has the best heel or semi heel experience however I still get along with bolt on heels as there's so many different shapes out there.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Grays, England
    ME: LTD SC600 / UV7BK
    Rig: JMP-1>VHT 2/90/2>Zilla's

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    It's down to preference really. I'm not much of a lead player, but I still personally prefer neck-throughs or those set necks that feel like a through neck. Bolt on wise I'll always take an AANJ-type heel over a plain square heel, the only exception being a Universe. The old square heel models crap all over the AANJ one in terms of feel.
    I'm so metal I shit bats

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  4. #4

    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: San Diego, CA
    ME: Jackson Fusion HH
    MA: Seagull S6
    MB: Farts
    Rig: POD HD500

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    I used too bitch about square heels until I got my Jackson. Doesn't make much of a difference to me now (though I'm a shit lead player )
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  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: JP6 / Carvin CS4
    MA: Martin DC-1E
    Rig: Axe-Fx II XL

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    Here's my opinion on the matter.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner 5
    Rig: Mesa Roadster, Recto 4x12

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfenstein View Post
    So I had a conversation with some one about an old jem with the Square heel and I said "for the money I think its a little expensive for a square heeled bolt on"
    [opinion mode]
    Kinda disagree with you here - neither construction technique is "more expensive" than the other, and if you think about it, on a bolt-n you have less room for error than a set net - your tolerances HAVE to be tight, since you can't cover it with glue or filler.
    [/opinion mode]

    It makes a big difference for UVs and Jems, but not for the reason you might think. On the old square neck joint guitars, the fretboard extends two frets further than the neck itself, while the AANJ necks have mass all the way to the end of the fretboard. Because of the lack of mass (evidently - I don't get it but I can anecdotally confirm the result) under the fretboard, you get significantly less sustain on the 23rd and 24th fret than you do on an AANJ.

    That said, for your typical Jem nut, it's sort of an "old school" thing - the "original" Jem design rather than a redesign. From my perspective, I can go both ways - upper access (and sustain on the last two frets) are a little better on an AANJ, but even the square neck joint is still pretty comfortable, and my (square joint) UV gets way more play time than my (AANJ) 7620.

    In fact, come to think of it, the three guitars that get regular playtime - my UV, my Strat, and my Charvel - all have traditional neck joints. It doesn't bother me at all.
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  7. #7

    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: Wisconsin
    ME: RGA 121 & SLSMG
    Rig: Blackstar Stage 60

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    AANJ is ace and super comfy.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: Ireland
    ME: Jackson Sl2H
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    I don't mind a square heel, I have them on my tele and charvel. I prefer a heel with better access but it's not a deal breaker for me, and I wouldn't consider one joint cheaper than another. The heel that bothers me most is the Les Paul neck joint, it's very much in the way when you try playing the higher frets.
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