Every so often, I get an e-mail from a fellow guitar player who wants my opinion on bolt-on and neck-through guitar designs.
Since I have played both versions of guitars, I am going to put down a couple of points that quickly come to mind. In the beginning, I only “heard” that neck-through guitars had supposedly more sustain.
Those type of guitars were usually out of reach for me price wise, so I stuck with my Ibanez RGs (which, I still like a lot) and then ESP models. A while back, you would not dream of owning a neck-through guitar unless you got the expensive models.
Guitar manufacturers offer a lot of bang for the buck these days in order to stay competitive. I am not saying that bold-on guitars are always more expensive; they are not. You just could not get one until you reached a certain price point years ago.
When I got my first USA made Randy Rhoads V, I ended up with a neck through guitar and yes; I definitely did notice that the guitar sustained longer and overall had a warmer, rounder tone to the notes.
One thing, I DID notice however, is that my old neck through guitars has much more immediate notes. It is hard to describe this, but the notes on my bolt-on guitars were quick to leave the guitar and were crisp.
In a way this makes sence why many shredders use bolt-on necks, be it Ibanez or Fender or similar guitars. So, in short – there is no better. It still goes back to preference.
I am happy to be playing my neck through guitars for the last 20 years or so and I have learned to play with their drawbacks and advantages. Guitarists should always choose what suits them best personally and what their budget allows. Good luck!