AO 50s Neck - nice but fat.

russ Stauffer

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Hello tele experts. I have a beloved AO 50s tele I bought just last year. It’s the most resonant, versatile and excellent tele I’ve owned (and there have been so many!)

I love the 9.5” radius and “tall vintage” frets on the neck. And I usually prefer feel of a “U” or a “D” shaped necks. I’d note that this tele seems to have a particularly thick U profile.

Here’s the rub: I find as I get older that the largest necks are harder to navigate. Not uncomfortable, just harder to play up to the level of my abilities.

The obvious solutions seem to be to either get a different neck (I have had poor luck trying this in past), or reduce the size of existing neck (seems like a real bad idea) ….. else take human growth hormone (joking).

So my question to you good folks is: are there any ideas or experience you can share on fixing similar issues that you’d recommend? Thanks.
 

57joonya

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Jul 23, 2021
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I love fat necks ,
But I ordered an allparts neck a few years ago. .u shaped , full 1” it was just a little too much , so I took off a tiny bit off the back and a little bit off the shoulders . Not much at all ,
But it really helped .
Way more comfortable. I’m going to seal it with some lacquer . I have to get around to that this weekend .this is a very resonant , and loud acoustically , guitar . The big neck may have something to do with that
 

willietheweirdo

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The simple solution is buy a different neck, bolt it on, set it up and see how you like it. If you fall in love, you will likely come out ahead if you decide to sell the AO50 neck—it's hard to find a fatty and one of those would sell in a heartbeat (right here, even). That is the advantage of bolt-ons!
 

boris bubbanov

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Yeah, the Allparts necks (unfinished) are great because you can sand them down to size, then finish 'em - do it again if you left it a little too big.

I find, these fat necks are great "therapy". I can't use the smaller necks for very long/very often because my hand starts to tie up. For me the solution is, more than one guitar.
 

dreamingtele

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Jun 16, 2010
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Melbourne, Australia
Play a R8 for a while, when you go back to the AO the neck will be smaller.

I did play 59 Reissue ES-335.

Boy. Tree trunk for a neck.

But then again, I have this solid rosewood 1” all the way through without taper!

Untitled by D Y, on Flickr

Best neck ever.

_DSC0025 by D Y, on Flickr
 

russ Stauffer

TDPRI Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Posts
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Age
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Location
Austin, Texas
Yeah, the Allparts necks (unfinished) are great because you can sand them down to size, then finish 'em - do it again if you left it a little too big.

I find, these fat necks are great "therapy". I can't use the smaller necks for very long/very often because my hand starts to tie up. For me the solution is, more than one guitar.
Thanks for the idea.
 

russ Stauffer

TDPRI Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Posts
34
Age
67
Location
Austin, Texas
I love fat necks ,
But I ordered an allparts neck a few years ago. .u shaped , full 1” it was just a little too much , so I took off a tiny bit off the back and a little bit off the shoulders . Not much at all ,
But it really helped .
Way more comfortable. I’m going to seal it with some lacquer . I have to get around to that this weekend .this is a very resonant , and loud acoustically , guitar . The big neck may have something to do with that
I agree and suspect the big neck has good tone mojo. Which is why I am reluctant to replace it.
 

Mxrk

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Posts
155
Location
Tampa
One benefit of replacing a thicker neck with a thinner one is that thicker necks have a lot of passionate fans on the used market. I ended up making a little money on what was ultimately a better fit for my hand.
 

Mike Eskimo

Telefied
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This is a serious thing

I played a R7 forever and heard about certain fender necks that are “chunky” no they are not “chunky” at least compared to a Gibson

There is no chunky or fat.

Simply width and depth.

All modern/vintage RI Gibson necks are WIDER than most Fender necks.

Standard Gibby width is 1 11/16. Just like a lot of Martins, even though Martin has been phasing over to 1 3/4 wide

Most Fenders are 1 5/8 wide.

A lot of people like a Fender neck that is super deep because it moves their hand around so they can better deal with the narrow 1 5/8 width.

I finally realized that the average Tele player is an average sized man - sub 6’ - with little man’s hands. That’s why you never hear much griping about the skinny width of Fender necks.
 

TheMicster

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Posts
112
Age
56
Location
Mt. BawBaw Victoria Australia
Hello tele experts. I have a beloved AO 50s tele I bought just last year. It’s the most resonant, versatile and excellent tele I’ve owned (and there have been so many!)

I love the 9.5” radius and “tall vintage” frets on the neck. And I usually prefer feel of a “U” or a “D” shaped necks. I’d note that this tele seems to have a particularly thick U profile.

Here’s the rub: I find as I get older that the largest necks are harder to navigate. Not uncomfortable, just harder to play up to the level of my abilities.

The obvious solutions seem to be to either get a different neck (I have had poor luck trying this in past), or reduce the size of existing neck (seems like a real bad idea) ….. else take human growth hormone (joking).

So my question to you good folks is: are there any ideas or experience you can share on fixing similar issues that you’d recommend? Thanks.
Look this may not be what you want to hear, and it may not be your sound but an AO 60's Jaguar has a 24" scale length and C shape neck, it is very easy and comfortable to play and looks as cool as hell, as you get older it's just less effort.
Just a suggestion. Cheers Mic.
Oh and hold on to the Tele.
 




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