Let's talk about neck shapes

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Gretev1, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Gretev1

    Gretev1 TDPRI Member

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    What type of necks do you prefer? Do you love fat necks? Do you love thin necks? Can you transition from one neck shape to another without taking much notice of the differences?
    What neck shape is perfect for you?
    What necks shapes do you hate?
    Share your story.

    I would say that I gear more toward fat necks. I am 6ft3 with larger than average hands and I would say my favorite neck shape is in the 59 Les Paul ball park. Most of the guitars I own have a fat necks.
    The thinnest neck I own is on a 1960 Les Paul reissue which is probably my favorite guitar, even though I usually prefer fatter necks.
    The slimmest neck I own on a Fender is a Strat with a "Large C" neck shape, which I tend to feel is on the slimmer side, even though it is marketed as "large".
    I own a 1954 reissue Strat with a "54 Strat U shape neck" which is the biggest Strat neck I have played and very comfortable. I love it.
    I also have a Tele with a big Nocaster neck which I grew to love. At first it was almost a tad too fat. Mostly the huge shoulders took some time getting used to but now I really love it.
     
  2. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

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    Fat(ish) necks are my preference, well what I'm used to really. Shape is not such an issue although I do like a 'V' shape.
     
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  3. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    I like a fat neck. My '58 LP Junior RI has the fattest neck I've ever played and I love it. It's like putting your other arm in the palm of your hand.
     
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  4. Twang Tone

    Twang Tone Friend of Leo's

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    I like a modern C shape, or a 50s MIM C shape best.

    I can still get along with BIG necks (gots me a Nocaster!) but my small hands prefer a C shape.
     
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  5. Violeiro

    Violeiro TDPRI Member

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    I used to really dislike the U fat shapes....totally in love with it now. C shapes are totally fine as well, only shape I dislike is V - feel uncomfortable on my hands or thumb on the back.

    C or U for me!
     
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  6. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    My preference is on the fat side, and probably a "C" shape. I do have a Warmoth Boatneck on a Tele (1"-1"), and I like it very much. But something about a "C" just works for me, whatever kinds of chords I'm playing, and wherever I'm playing on the neck.

    As for "C" shapes: I have a Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro that has a '58-style neck. As @Jackroadkill said above, it is indeed like putting your other arm in your fretting hand. My Epiphone '56 Les Paul Pro also has a big neck -- though not as big as the Traditional Pro -- but it feels more natural to me. And I also have a Warmoth Boatneck on a Tele. That one and the '56 Les Paul Pro feel the biggest to me. I think they have the most shoulder.

    But what I think may be my favorite neck of all is a Fender 50's Road Worn Telecaster neck. It's something like .88"(1st) -.93"(12th), and it feels wonderful. Part of that is the very, very thin finish in the middle of the neck that makes it feel like you're just playing a piece of wood. Very much like roasted maple in that respect.

    I suppose I'm finding that everything comes into play: fretboard radius (I like 7.25"), rear contour, finish, nut width (the Les Pauls I have are 1-11/16"; I like 1-5/8" or 1.65" on Teles), and fret size.
     
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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Chunky necks.

    I listened to all the banter about "skinny fast necks!" when I bought my first guitar and it wasn't until I got my first Tele with a chunky neck that I realized how much easier it was to play chunkier necks. My playing got instantly better.

    It's the circumference of a neck that can matter. The guitar specs spout off width and depth but if they leave flats on the side of the fretboard before carving or start carving from the fretboard leading edge so there are acute angles on the sides, the amount of wood left on the rear shoulders of the neck can be drastically different. Easiest to see and feel a difference is get a Squier Strat and a MIM/MIA Strat and see that the MIM/MIA Strat necks start carving behind the fretboard glue line and the Squier starts from that leading edge. Their specs are within 0.5mm to 1.0mm width and depth of each other.

    It's interesting to see how the starter guitar Strat-clones carve their necks like MIM/MIA and not like Squier. The other brands do a better copy of MIM/MIA than Fender's in-house entry market brand.

    Fender should really sell Squiers with two different neck carves, skinny and chunky, and clearly mark the back of the headstock where the factory build information is with which neck pattern they used, and only have two styles to keep it simple. There are a lot of players who like chunky necks and would buy them.

    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  8. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I prefer the Gretsch thin "u"...I need to measure it to see what that corresponds to in Telespeak.
     
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  9. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have them all on various guitars, including a pretty hard V and a 50s Baja soft V, to modern Cs and chunky little U shapes.

    I play them all and 30 seconds in I don't notice the difference. Think less, play more.
     
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  10. Gene O.

    Gene O. Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I prefer fatter necks - soft Vs are a particular favorite - but as long as a neck isn't too thin I can play about anything, I suppose. I also have a smattering of several shapes, mostly of the chunky variety, and just as @hemingway said "...30 seconds in I don't notice the difference".
     
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  11. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I like Fat C or Soft V necks primarily...though I can play a Fat U, depending what I'm playing. My Fat C is my most comfortable though. I have a really hard time with modern C or skinny necks...which is weird because I started playing on shredder guitars. Go figure.
     
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  12. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Holic

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    Fat necks are fun, but I can’t play everything confidently on them. I also don’t prefer thin necks, but I’ve ended up with quite a few guitars with them over the years as it goes (haven’t really thought much of neck measurements until recently).

    I think the three best necks I’ve played were a 2000 Les Paul Special, PRS Wide Fat, and Fender Baja Tele, all of which I’d consider medium. Not too beefy, not too skinny.
     
  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    !.72 wide at the nut an one inch thick - but it need not have a lot of shoulder. Tommy called it a Super Soft V and it fell between the W Fatback and Boatneck.

    But guess what?

    So long as I can log most of my playing on these fat necks, I'm getting more able to cope with moderate thickness necks that used to give me issues (gave me issues when it was all you could find in stores, or thinner).
     
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  14. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    THERE’S NO “FAT” OR “SKINNY” OR “SLIM” OR “CHUNKY”.

    THERE’S DEPTH AND WIDTH AND NUMBERS THAT MEASURE THOSE TWO ! :mad:


    That’s all there is, except for the aforementioned wildly subjective terms that mean - NOTHING.


    Fer chrissakes, some of you are engineers or scientists or work in technical fields or in some career where measurements or numbers mean something.

    The worst thing about Telecasters ?

    The fact that the vast majority of the ones currently on the planet have fingerboard widths at the nut of 1 5/8ths - or less...:(:rolleyes:

    Try selling a Les Paul or Martin D-28 shopper that width...:lol::lol::lol:
     
  15. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I like the Modern C fine, MIM version. Not too fat but Medium+. Soft V or U shape is good too if the V has shoulder. The Clapton V is great. I've not found an aftermarket version that is as good from Warmoth, USACG, or MusiKraft.
     
  16. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Sorry but "shoulder" matters a ton. None of those measurements define that.
     
  17. Weaselcoon

    Weaselcoon Tele-Meister

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    There is good thin and bad thin necks. There is good fat and bad fat necks. I'm just not that particular I suppose.

    Modern to fat C is good. I like a pronounced V too.
     
  18. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I like skinny necks - like a typical Affinity Strat neck (my Affinity Strat is my #2). My 83’ MIA Tele has a thin neck as well and is a slightly flatter profile and that’s my #1 (but not Ibanez Jem flat - those are my least favorite). I have a thin neck soft-v Strat and another Tele with what is probably a med-C shape. Those are reasonably comfortable and easy to play, as well. I have played chunkier neck Teles and Strats and don’t seem to have any trouble quickly adjusting to them. Above all else, for me, is the resonance and response of a guitar and amp. If the tone inspires me, I can play almost anything.
     
  19. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    I have guitars with both thinner necks & some with more pronounced thickness. I really like the Baja soft V, but I wish it had the 7.25 radius. I also have a Fender Roadworn with vintage radius & big frets. Awesome. I can get by on most necks. The ones I despise are the too large, almost pregnant looking " vintage " necks that I've never seen on a true Fullerton model.
     
  20. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I like them all, unless they are too thin... But, I prefer chunky...
     
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