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Thread: 24 fret woes

  1. #1

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    24 fret woes

    I have a 24fret Silo, and it has the neck I've always been dreaming of. It's a 1993 model with unfinished maple neck and fretboard.

    My only problem with this guitar is that the neck pickup sounds are not what I am used to getting from a 22 fret guitar. I know why and I understand it's physics, but is there a way to make up for it?

    I could swap it for a 22 fret Silo, but I need two humbuckers and I am not sure that the neck would fit like a glove like this one does before trying.

  2. #2

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    The bodies are made differently for a 22 and 24 fret necks, so you cannot swap them. The neck will be in the wrong place relative to the bridge and acceptable intonation will be impossible. And who knows, even if you cold, because the bridge pickup will be in a slightly different place relative to the neck, and you might just end up moving the issue from the neck to the bridge pickup!

    Yes, you could get an older 22 fret Silhouette, or a Silhouette Special and have it modified. But the special is a different guitar. Yes, the necks are the same depth, width, and profile but the body is a little different and they feel like different guitars to play, IMO.

    Try changing the pickup. Yes, you cannot get around the physics that some of the string harmonics are in a slightly different place. But that only really applies to the open strings, after that all the note harmonics are moving with fret position anyway. All the "google research" in the world seems to not mention that. So I think the effect is overestimated in internet lore. But that changes our expectation and it's easy to get hung up on it when really all we can do is a pickup change. Or a guitar change. I don't think there really isn't anything else.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    The bodies are made differently for a 22 and 24 fret necks, so you cannot swap them. The neck will be in the wrong place relative to the bridge and acceptable intonation will be impossible. And who knows, even if you cold, because the bridge pickup will be in a slightly different place relative to the neck, and you might just end up moving the issue from the neck to the bridge pickup!

    Yes, you could get an older 22 fret Silhouette, or a Silhouette Special and have it modified. But the special is a different guitar. Yes, the necks are the same depth, width, and profile but the body is a little different and they feel like different guitars to play, IMO.

    Try changing the pickup. Yes, you cannot get around the physics that some of the string harmonics are in a slightly different place. But that only really applies to the open strings, after that all the note harmonics are moving with fret position anyway. All the "google research" in the world seems to not mention that. So I think the effect is overestimated in internet lore. But that changes our expectation and it's easy to get hung up on it when really all we can do is a pickup change. Or a guitar change. I don't think there really isn't anything else.


    thanks, that helped. what are the body differences exactly between a Silo and Silo special?

  4. #4

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    The distance from the nut to the bridge is the same on both guitars. The whole neck is two frets longer on Silhouette than on the Special but the neck pockets are the same size, so they must nbe in different places, and that means the upper part of body on the Silhouette is two frets shorter than the Silhouette Special. See image below, blue is the Silhouette, red is the Silhouette Special, blue and red lines show the end of the neck pockets.

    24 fret woes-silhouette-vs-silhouette-special-jpg
    Last edited by DrKev; 06-07-2021 at 02:24 AM.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
    Irish/American in Paris

    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
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    Click here for my Music Man photo albums


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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    The distance from the nut to the bridge is the same on both guitars. The whole neck is two frets longer on Silhouette than on the Special but the neck pockets are the same size, so they must nbe in different places, and that means the upper part of body on the Silhouette is two frets shorter than the Silhouette Special. See image below, blue is the Silhouette, red is the Silhouette Special, blue and red lines show the end of the neck pockets.
    24 fret woes-silhouette-vs-silhouette-special-jpg

    Wow Kev, that's a really great visual comparison!!!!

    Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in the first Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [2001 NAMM piece, 1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [NOS Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR with the 12th fret logo]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!! @ 6:00"

  6. #6

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    That's like trying to make something that's NOT a Tele sound like a Tele....
    You might get close, at best...
    Balls are Best!!

  7. #7

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    It may be that the neck pickup is just not what you are used to from a guitar. How many of your other 22 fret guitars with a neck humbucker are bolt on guitars like the Silo?
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck
    2021 Stingray RS Pacific Blue Sparkle / Maple FB

  8. #8

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    That diagram is why Kev is a DR.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrofreq View Post
    That diagram is why Kev is a DR.
    Exactly!!

    Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in the first Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [2001 NAMM piece, 1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [NOS Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR with the 12th fret logo]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!! @ 6:00"

  10. #10

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    oh man, that diagram... Made it perfectly clear for me.

    Actually I am used to a Les Paul so I understand it's not going to be the same. That said, the closer you get the pickup to the bridge the less of the "woman tone" you have. So maybe that's one of the reasons I don't get what I want. Maybe I need to play around with different neck pickups.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pureanalog View Post
    oh man, that diagram... Made it perfectly clear for me.

    Actually I am used to a Les Paul so I understand it's not going to be the same. That said, the closer you get the pickup to the bridge the less of the "woman tone" you have. So maybe that's one of the reasons I don't get what I want. Maybe I need to play around with different neck pickups.
    When Joe Satriani moved from a 22-fret model to a 24-fret model he switched from a neck humbucker to a a rail-type single-coil sized humbucker in the neck position to try to get closer to the sound of the regular neck humbucker on the 22-fret model. You would have to of course get an SSH pickguard to try that on a Silo.

  12. #12

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    Just curious, what is that ‘woman tone’?

  13. #13

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    "Woman tone" (makes me cringe just typing it) was what Eric Clapton called it back in the late 60's Cream days when he used the neck pickup on his SG, or bridge or bridge/neck with rolled the tone all the way off. That's all.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
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    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Click here for my Music Man photo albums


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  14. #14

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    Neck pickup tone is a big reason I don't play 24 fret gittars.
    Albert Lee's (all pickup types) have a fabulous neck pickup tone... just sayin'...
    Balls are Best!!

  15. #15

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    See, here's the problem with the "woman tone" and 22 vs 24 frets. The SG is a double cut guitar, and like most double cuts from Gibson, they moved the pickup to make room for a longer neck joint. So, the neck pickup on an SG is at just about the same location as it would be on a 24 fret guitar.

    Much more important for the "woman tone" is having separate volume and tone controls for the pickups. You need to have the neck on full and the bridge around 60-70% to get the right sound.
    Last edited by tbonesullivan; 06-21-2021 at 05:51 AM.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck
    2021 Stingray RS Pacific Blue Sparkle / Maple FB

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