In the early years, RainSong necks were built using composite molds. These molds were relatively inexpensive to build and allowed us to carry several different types of necks – Flatpicker 6-string, Fingerpicker 6-string, 12-string, 6-string Jazz, 12-string Jazz, Acoustic Bass,Fretless Bass etc.. Unfortunately,composite molds rapidly broke-down and required extensive maintenance. In late 1999, we decided to build aluminum molds. Aluminum molds are very expensive to design and fabricate, but last a long time and produce much higher quality parts.
The first Performance Shape Casting ™ 6-string neck was introduced. Built using Aluminum molds, these necks had a 1-3/4” nut width and 25.4” scale length. Over the next couple of years, based on customer feedback, the molds were re-machined to create a unique low-profile design, one that is at once comfortable and different, thin and easy to play. This neck later took on the name “N1”.
The N1 is not adjustable. It is pre-engineered for optimal relief. Moreover, since carbon-fiber necks do not warp with humidity/temperature changes, heavy truss rods are not required for the action to be set for fast,buzz-free playing.
After briefly building a few 12-string guitars using the N1, RainSong decided to design a new mold dedicated to a 12-string neck. This neck, which continues to be used today,has a 1-7/8” nut width and 25.4” scale length.
The Advanced Series guitars were designed with the idea of using technologies that made guitar building more efficient resulting in lower price points. The Advanced Series necks were extremely low-profile and incorporated a double-action truss-rod accessible through the soundhole. Although carbon-fiber necks are extremely stable and do not warp, RainSong decided to add a truss-rod to allow customization of the neck relief to individual player preferences. The Advanced Series was discontinued in 2009.
The N2 is a result of an extensive long-term collaboration with the renowned artist Steve Miller and Master Luthier John Bolin. The neck design is based on a modified “U” profile that has been popular in guitars since the 1950s. While the N2 has a more substantial feel than the N1, it is ergonomically sound and actually results in better transfer of string vibration energy to the soundboard. The N2 features a truss rod that isaccessible from the head stock. Althoughthe N2 is built using aluminum molds like the N1, the molding technique and supporting equipment is vastly different.
The NS is a 12-fret, 24.875” scale length version of the N2. The two necks share the same 1-3/4”nut width and profile.
Between 2009 and 2014, RainSong supported the original necks(N1 and 12-string) as well as the newer necks (N2 and NS). The newer necks were gaining in popularity and it was becoming increasingly hard to justify supporting the two different molding techniques. In late 2014, we decided to discontinue producing the original necks (N1 and 12-string).
In spite of having not produced the original necks for over 5 years, RainSong kept getting requests for 12-strings (and a few requests for N1). In response to this demand, we decided to start building the N1 and the 12-string using the original molds. Since the molds were never re-designed, these necks are identical to the original necks.