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Hanika Neck-to-Body Joint

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Do Hanika guitars have truss rods? Or are they built like Spanish guitars? Or something else…?

PM, USA, 6th April 2021

They don’t have truss rods – although the necks are reinforced for stability; the neck is not joined to the body in a “Spanish Heel” so the answer is “something else”.

The body is fitted with a neck block which is rebated in 3 dimensions to take the heel extension and the block attached to the underside of the fingerboard. Here are a couple of pictures –

hanika-guitar-neck-joint
hanika-guitar-neck-joint
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hanika-guitar-neck-joint-2

Incidently, you can see the neck reinforcement – in this model a rectangular cross section piece of ebony – running down the back of the neck and into the heel extension.

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Q&A: African Blackwood vs. Ebony Fingerboards

African blackwood is no longer regarded as ebony, a name now reserved for a limited number of timbers yielded by the genus Diospyros; African Blackwood is formally known as Dalbergia melanoxylon and so related to other famous timbers such as Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra), Dalbergia cearensis and cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa) (see the Wikipedia entry).

Hanika uses African Blackwood for the fingerboards of several of his guitars. Comparing the two,

  • African Blackwood is harder than Ebony
  • African Blackwood is less sensitive to humidity variations than is Ebony
  • African Blackwood is less “anisotropic” than Ebony – it responds to changes in humidity more evenly in all three dimensions than does Ebony
  • (It is more expensive!)