Do you prefer the feel of a Fender or a Gibson?

Do you prefer the feel of a Fender or a Gibson?

  • Fender

  • Gibson


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Cyberi4n

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Posts
1,226
Age
49
Location
Chester, Uk
Can do either and chop and change with ease. I prefer a 12” radius, but happy with 9.5”, and can work with either scale length. I find the balance of a Les Paul a bit weird on the knee compared to a Tele or a Strat, but that’s about it really.
 

sax4blues

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Posts
6,200
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
I have three guitars, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Les Paul 50's. I play them equally time wise, I don't believe I have a preference. But if I had to choose one it would be the Les Paul. I'm not sure what that means.
 

G Stone496

Tele-Meister
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Posts
182
Location
NYC
Do you prefer the feel of a Fender or a Gibson guitar?
I should narrow this down by saying, when I say Fender I generically mean a Stratocaster/Telecaster guitar with a scale length of 25.5“, a nut width of 1.650“ and a rounder fretboard: 7.25“ or 9.5“.

When I say Gibson I generically mean a Gibson Les Paul/SG/ES -***, Flying V guitar with a scale length of 24.75“, a nut width of
1-11/16“ and a fretboard radius of 12“.

Yes, different models have varying neck sizes which add to the feel of playability. Fret sizes make a difference and of course body shape and weight add to the feel. But to keep this concise lets stick with the general specs that set these brands apart which are nut width, scale length and fretboard radius. To my feeling this makes a huge difference when fretting chords and especially bending strings.

What do you prefer to play according to these criteria?
I can’t choose between them. I like them both equally and play them both equally.

That said they’re definitely different as far as playing feel. Gibsons are maybe easier to play and have a thicker sound in general. Some Gibsons almost seem to “play themselves.” Gibsons make me sound better than I am as a player and maybe mask some imprecision.

Fenders on the other hand make me work a little harder and concentrate on precision. I don’t mind though. It results in a sweet ringing sound, maybe a little more focused and tighter than the Gibson sound.

These are just my observations and generalities as there is a lot of variation between different Gibsons and Fenders too. YMMV
 

jrblue

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 14, 2010
Posts
3,409
Location
Santa Barbara
Considering the whole guitar, and not just the neck, I consider Strats, and to a (much) lesser extent Teles, to be ergonomic guitars while LPs definitely are not (but SGs can be, and Es's "sort of," though opinions vary on those). The whole Gibson style derives from whopping mega-box jazz guitars, and with a few later exceptions, that defines the shape of the overall guitar... for the worse. I think Fender necks are also far superior, with a focus on playability rather than inlays and binding (& nibs, which I actually like), but obviously that's personal and LP necks are great for many. Anything w/ a 9" radius or greater, and frets bigger than Fender vintage works well for me. The only fretboard/fret jobs that I find deficient, though I can still play them fine, are the 7.25/thin fret Fenders. Those a fine for the chording and twanging popular at that time, but make no sense today.
 

Tommy Biggs

Friend of Leo's
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Jun 17, 2010
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Location
Northern NJ
Fan of both, no real preference at any given time, I’ve owned and played both since the 70s.
I didn’t vote in the poll.
 

black_doug

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
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Jun 14, 2004
Posts
4,262
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65
Location
North of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I agree with @jrblue

It could be because I only played acoustic guitar for the first ten years but I could never bond with an “archtop” derivative body.

I vote Fender, for this and other reasons. I like satin on the back of the neck, too.
 

edvard

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 15, 2016
Posts
2,552
Location
Bremerton, WA
If given either/or, I'd have to give it to Fender because of the 25.5" scale, which is an absolute must. I can play a 24.75" neck without much problem below the 12th fret, but beyond that, my tree-limb fingertips start making things difficult. Accordingly, that is also why I much prefer a wider neck, 1-11/16" to 1.75" or even a smidge wider. For thickness, I like somewhere smack dab between "baseball bat" and "1987 wizard". As for radius, I'm not big on any specifics; I'm OK with 9.5" or 12" or anything in-between. Not a fan of 15" or flatter radius, and I've never tried a 7.5", but I suspect I'd prefer something flatter.
 

Call Me Al

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Posts
583
Age
42
Location
Ithaca, NY
My 2 favorites are an Ibanez Artcore (339 style) and a Squier Tele. If I had to pick it’d be the Ibanez. But I’m always happy to pick up the Squier, it’s really close.
 

zanerd

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 7, 2014
Posts
11
Location
Midwest
Generally I prefer the thicker neck, flatter radius, and smaller scale of Gibson. But I recently got a soft v neck on a tele and it’s wonderful!
 

ahiddentableau

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 8, 2018
Posts
1,120
Location
Middle of Nowhere
I'm leaning Gibson nowadays. I like the shorter scale, and I like the frets. Big width but low height is a combination I've come to love. But I also think that part of the comfort is coming from the pickups. More output, more compression, so it's generally more forgiving, and I think those sonic characteristics inform how my brain processes the overall playability.

Fenders still rule the roost for clean tones, though. That longer scale and the single coils are magic for clean tones.
 

sloppychops

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Posts
2,024
Location
wisconsin
I build guitars so I can have almost anything I want. A long time ago I copied the neck profile of a vintage Les Paul, fairly chunky neck that just seemed to feel right

View attachment 1033007

View attachment 1033008

I have used these templates on all of my electric guitars and several for friends - people seem to like them a lot. Here is a neck that will end up on a tele style guitar

View attachment 1033009

When I build a guitar for someone else I ask them to bring me a neck that they really like and I'll duplicate it.

ps - for acoustics I have a couple of similar profile templates that I took off old guitars that played well.
Wow, that neck profile for the LP looks fantastic!
 




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