Birdseye necks

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JimiJames
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Birdseye necks

Post by JimiJames » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:24 pm

I posted on Ed's BE neck in another thread...
Image

Beautiful aesthetically;
I'm not looking to buy, just bringing myself up to speed with BE.
Short story: I just don't like BE for neck construction, but I guess I might be ill-informed and would be good to learn about current production.
At the least I know that an all BE neck is bad news.

What would be the strongest config or what do guys go for ? BE fretboard & Maple neck or Maple fretboard & BE neck?
I also have curiosity on the size and spacing of knots and the sawn cut...

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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by fhn_lopes » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:32 pm

Do you mean that the BE maple is a sort of 'low grade" maple? I didn't realize that... I love the look of a heavy figured all BE neck and actually I"m planning to build a guitar with an all be neck... :scratch:
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by rgorke » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:09 pm

No, i think he is saying that the Birdseye could potentially cause some weak spots or an over all week-er neck.
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by yngwie308 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:25 am

John Suhr said that wasn't true that be maple has strength issues. I have a museum grade maple cap neck on my NOS 1993 Washburn Steve Stevens guitar and it tunes and plays fine, looks pretty too..
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... f78054.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... b3bfd2.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... 3291-1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... 3289-1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... 3274-1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80034.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80035.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80049.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80050.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80063.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by fhn_lopes » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:07 am

WOW, that is one gorgeous guitar yingwe308! Congratulations! Which pups are in her now? That reverse angled pup cavity is nice too.

That neck is sick! Heavy figured, the same way I want for my custom build.

EBMM Steve Morse Y2D also has a heavy figured BE maple neck and I have never heard about tuning issues or strenght (even with the hardtails) on those guitars.
76' JMP 50w w/ 71' metro board
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by rgorke » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:41 am

yngwie308 wrote:John Suhr said that wasn't true that be maple has strength issues. I have a museum grade maple cap neck on my NOS 1993 Washburn Steve Stevens guitar and it tunes and plays fine, looks pretty too..
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... f78054.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... b3bfd2.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... 3291-1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... 3289-1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... 3274-1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80034.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80035.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80049.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80050.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... S80063.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
yngwie308
Yeah that looks awesome!! good to hear that there aren't issues. What is that line on the back of the neck just below where the nut screw are?
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by yngwie308 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:44 am

That is a coating on the back of the headstock which stops shy of the unfinished neck, Yeah thanks she is my prized beauty along with my other black SS 80 that I ordered in 1993, both guitars were actually built for Steve personally, the black one is his exact artists spec and Washburn and Steve sort of told me it was built for him. Pickups are SD JB's, with a Gotoh Foyd on the quilt and a OFR I replaced the original with on the black one.
The quilt is a Washburn Custom shop as all the American SS guitars were, there is only this one in the world.
http://s57.photobucket.com/user/davida5 ... t=3&page=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by fhn_lopes » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:39 am

A masterpiece. She is indeed gorgeous.

You should keep her in a glass box and save it for the future generations :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Kidding, but for sure your son would be proud to own her in the future.
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by yngwie308 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:05 pm

fhn_lopes wrote:A masterpiece. She is indeed gorgeous.

You should keep her in a glass box and save it for the future generations :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Kidding, but for sure your son would be proud to own her in the future.
Thanks man, no kids though just pets, three dogs and a cat!
I do treasure all my guitars though they all still look new, good for the next guy, ha ha!
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by JimiJames » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:54 am

WOW Dave ! A '93 yet.
So Suhr has an all BE neck? (BTW BE sells its self and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye that any luthier would want to offer in their line up as an option.)
I was only under the impression that he used it along with a cap...

Sorry Dave, As beautiful as yours is, I would never do an ALL BE beck. Too many have filtered through my hands over the years to warrant BE even as a consideration... even with a cap. At least here in the Midwest...
(...but I'll take a Flamed Maple any day of the week ! :wink: )

fhn_lopes wrote:Do you mean that the BE maple is a sort of 'low grade" maple? I didn't realize that... I love the look of a heavy figured all BE neck and actually I"m planning to build a guitar with an all be neck... :scratch:
rgorke wrote:No, i think he is saying that the Birdseye could potentially cause some weak spots or an over all week-er neck.
Yes, rgorke is correct.
Those "knots" are a BE Achilles heel. Dead spots in certain areas of the neck, but in defense happens with reg Maple...
ALL BE necks are susceptible to warping in odd ways due to the many knots. These are "weak points" and "deadeners".
Knots only good for eye candy.
Necks roller-coaster and twist oddly and have that infamous "one sided" ski-slope where it's straight on one side of the fretboard and twisted on the other...
Yes... I too, love the look of BE, but WADR to Dave's, I would never purchase an ALL BE neck.
Maybe it's a Chicago thing because of the extremes in temp where the problem is compounded,
but mostly all BE necks; unless brand spankin' new, have issues.

Ever wonder why Ed's was short lived ???? :scratch: see... :what:

Soo the dilemma would be what "figured" to get. Small/tiny BE or the large knots. Thick Maple cap; flat sawn or preferably quarter sawn.


Funny how I've seen quite the amount of complaints this year on peoples guitar necks with this intense winter. People complaining even about their Custom Shop-whatever with frets protruding out the sides (I hate that !) almost all around the States.

If I were to eventually order one, it would be a low density of BE knots and of the bigger knots. For the Maple cap; would have to be more of a Slab board or very thick plank.
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by fhn_lopes » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:42 am

JimiJames wrote:
Funny how I've seen quite the amount of complaints this year on peoples guitar necks with this intense winter. People complaining even about their Custom Shop-whatever with frets protruding out the sides (I hate that !) almost all around the States.

If I were to eventually order one, it would be a low density of BE knots and of the bigger knots. For the Maple cap; would have to be more of a Slab board or very thick plank.
That's the beauty about living in brazil :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Seriously now, The weather here is stable if comparing to US... no severe winters at all and the highest temperatures are about 35-40°C. DO you think that can help with toavoid this issue ? humidity may be a problem though.
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by yngwie308 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:49 am

WADR my Washburn is NOS 1993 no warping of neck, plays perfectly and the maple cap is superb so I am cool!!
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by JimiJames » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:01 pm

fhn_lopes wrote:"...DO you think that can help with toavoid this issue ? ..."
Actually, yes.
Luthiers will cut and recess the Tang back to compensate for this occurrence. It is commonly done with bound necks.
Gibson is excellent with this.

yngwie308 wrote:"...I am cool!!yngwie308
Yes you are Mr. Dave !
I am here trying to sort out a few issues I have with BE and wanting to know what the most stable construction would be.
To be fair, I suspect that your museum piece has been in the "Dave Vault" thus NOS, and hasn't seen too many play hours.
I'm trying to understand what figured pattern is best and how&why it is picked.
For instance your fretboard pic Image shows " light colored eyes" (knots) oppose to darker predominant ones. Secondly, your spacing is more inconsistent than it is uniformed and shows wavey veins (mineral trails) deep & shallow. Actually looks quarter sawn in the higher register.
Trying to "spot the pattern" could mean the difference between a neck like yours, or the not so good ones that I've filtered through. :?
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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by wrea398 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:53 pm

I somewhat disagree with the whole BE Maple thing. I make and sell more Birdseye necks (hundreds over the years) than any other wood and never had one warp or twist. I think guys like Warmoth, Musikraft , USAGC etc wouldn't offer BE Maple if was an inherant issue. All maple ...as well as any other woods..will have a bad apple in the lot on some occassion. Necks generally warp when the blank that was used didn't have time to dry to 6-9% moisture. I've seen fully quartersawn maple twist like a pretzel and its suppose to be the most stable maple. Yes temperature, humidity, finishes etc will all be factors. Some guys when building from figured maple will add carbon fiber reinforcment rods down either side of the truss rod. Also helps with twist and bow. I would NOT be afraid of it. If it was going to develope a twist, for the most part, it would do it well within any warranty timeframe. Get on Ebay and see how may are for sale. A gazzillion...its all I personally play. Just my two cents.

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Re: Birdseye necks

Post by straycat113 » Thu May 07, 2015 5:20 am

I own about 16 guitars with BE maple necks and the only issue I have ever had was with two Peavey Wolfgang Standards I bought off of Ebay about 8 years ago 3 months apart from Arizona and Nevada (I live in NYC). Both guitars came with a mild case of 'fret sprout'. I called my tech who is also a close friend and owns the guitar shop I hang out in the last 25 years. When the first one came he told me to just let it sit and see how it adjust to the change in climate and a little over a month there was zero sprout. I did the same exact thing with the second guitar with the same results and still own both and never had an issue with either since. I mainly played nothing but Fenders the first 20 years of playing until I had to go and buy a true humbucker guitar in 92 for the band I was in and figured I would be coming home with a Les Paul. Instead I was blown away by an EBMM EVH sig (which reminded me of a Tele on roids) and started my love for EBMM guitars.

I have heard the stories of how birds-eye is caused by a sickness in the tree like 'Spalted or 'Burly' but that myth has been dispelled. The best looking and playing necks to me are made by EBMM who has been using non finished Birds-eye and Flame necks for nearly 30 years, my T-Pink EVH sig is a 92, heavily figured and I have never had an issue with it or the 9 other Balls I own. If anything I think they would of started clear coating them or went out of business by now for selling a ton of necks that twisted or were unstable by now.

This reminds me of a thread on The Gear Page some years back, when someone posted if they could roast a maple neck in their oven lol. I am sure a few guys have used Roasted necks back before they have become the rage, but the biggest authority I know on the subject is John Suhr. To me John is as brilliant as they come and has always taken time out to return a PM or answer a question.Well anyway John came on this thread and gave a big post on how the wood is treated at the yard and how all the sap and moisture is drawn out which makes it -Stronger- 1/3 lighter-and the effect it has on tone- besides looking wicked! I am certain a lot of guys remember Suhr used to offer a "Vulcanized" neck which I believe came with either a very short or no warranty at all. The "Vulcanized" necks weren't much to look at and had a very lengthy roasting process which I guess through trial and error they realized wasn't as stable as wood treated in half the time which also makes it much more attractive to boot, which is why Suhr discontinued them. In 2010 EBMM did their first Roasted Maple neck run that came with an Ebony board and a finish called 'Black Sugar", which looked like a solid black finish until the lights hit it and then it glitters with all gold and silver sparkles. Well I have always wanted an EB Gold Roller and the AL HH had just came out so I wound up buying both models and they are two of the best guitars I own with the Roller arguably being the best sounding guitar I own.


Anyway on this thread some guy gets nasty and starts accusing John of pitching "Snake Oil" to jack up prices and John starts saying how he really makes nothing on a Roasted neck as a non figured one was only a $150 up-charge. Yes I know they can go all the way up to museum grade (which then becomes pricey). Anyway no matter what John said this guy didn't want to hear it and he got some others riled up and I remember John just sighing off rather pissed. The funny thing was that on a really long running thread at the time the guy who started the whole 'boothel' never even played a RM neck before and John and I were the only two guys who owned guitars with a RM neck on the thread lol.I now have three guitars with them and I can honestly feel the difference in my hands and it does have an impact on the tone of your axe.


Someone stated that Eddie stopped playing that guitar but I am sure it had nothing to do with the neck being figured with Birds-Eye! Look at all of Ed's sig guitars starting with his 1990-95 EBMM EVH sig- oil and wax treated no finish on the neck and heavily figured/ Peavey Wolfgang-96-05 same as above/ EVH/Fender Wolfgang 96- present and same as above!

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