So I'm out in the shop and working on 8 builds, which I'm sure will put me over 100, and wondering "why all the conversation about neck angle"?  I see folks post about a 2 or 3 degree neck angle and ask myself, "Why bother?".  We're not talking about an Eddie Van Halen "shredder" here.  I start with a rift-sawn piece of hard maple and check that it is completely flat on my saw table, plane it down to 7/8 inch, shape it, and when I'm done its a completely flat neck.  I set the action at 2/64 at the first fret and 6/64 at the 17th fret.  I think this is a good compromise for both finger and slide style of play, but some of my customers even set the action a little higher to suit their preference/style.  Fret buzz or action has never been a problem.  So why on earth would I care anything about neck angle on a neck that doesn't even have a truss rod and is attached to a cigar box?  Am I missing something?

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Angling the neck eliminates the need for string trees, which is almost universal on flat-neck builds. It is, of course, a lot more time-consuming and tricky to do them, but the professionalism and beauty of them takes your CBG to a whole new level! Just an opinion ... :)

No it doesn't, you gotta angle the HEAD to do that.

However angling the neck directs more of the tension from the strings downward onto the soundboard, and enables you to make a taller bridge while maintaining nice low fingering action. I consider where I started angling the necks to have been a major turning point in the quality of my guitars, my own experiments indicate that the volume gains are substantial.

Other guys don't care.

But I personally don't think it's wise to dismiss it as myth without trying it. Almost all lute type instruments have a pitched neck. The fender type guitar is an exception, not the rule.

The Amati guys were pitching their necks in the 17th century. So were redneck and slave banjo builders. Yes, with hand tools. If you have a brain and opposable thumbs you can actually achieve a great deal with hand tools :)

On 6+ strings it is done mostly because the neck will bow from string tension. Whether or not 3 strings will bow a quartersawn neck over time, I don't know. If the action of your gits is staying the same over a long period of time then I wouldn't worry about it. The Kid's explanation of string pressure on the bridge makes sense though.

Thanks for the input guys.  "Kid" your answer makes a lot of sense and I can see where in an acoustic instrument this would be a factor.

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