Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by giddyap, Jul 10, 2020.

1. ### giddyapTDPRI Member

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The thing is, the amount of opinions here is vast, indeed...but overwhelming. So I must layout my own exact question. As, yes, of course, "the neck I like will be mine." I'm just using this to thin the herd.

Anyway...

It seems to me that:
1) a U-shaped neck is "chunkiest"
2) a v-shape is not as chunky, but "vintage feely"
3) most Baja's feel chunky
4) do 60s Vintera's (although not u-shaped) THIN necks?

So, finally, my questions:

- Will C-shaped necks usually feel THIN/NARROW to people with neck preferences?
- What model, exactly, or neck shape should one clearly stay away from if trying to avoid thin/narrow necks?

More questions to follow, I'm sure.

Thanks, everyone!

2. ### etypeTele-Afflicted

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You first have to distinguish between chunky and narrow (they are two different dimensions of the profile equation). The first key measurement is the nut width. It's a pretty arbitrary measurement though because a nut can be cut to be 1-11/16", 1.68", 1.65" or whatever, but what really matters to you is the neck width measurement at the 3rd, 5th, 12th fret, not at the nut. But the nut width is a rough guide to how narrow/wide a neck will feel.

Once you get past that, there is the thickness. Usually measured at the first and 12th fret. This also matters a lot with thin necks at about 0.80" thick at the first fret and thick necks more like 0.88".

Then there is shape. Think of a 2x4. A D-shape neck will be like a 2x4 with the least taken off the corners. Then a U shape will have a little more taken off the corners, then a C shape neck has even more taken off, looking more like 1/2 a cylinder. A V-shape will have even more taken off.

If you don't want narrow, look for a neck with a nut width more like 1.68"-1.70" wide. Most places won't tell you the neck thickness, but wildwoodguitars does list that with each guitar. It is worthwhile looking around the site to see how Fenders compare to Gibsons, etc.

If you don't knwo whether you favor a D, U, C, V shape, then you need to try some out to determine what you like.

This Musikraft diagram of the profiles they offer should explain a lot.

3. ### giddyapTDPRI Member

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Thanks!
Would you mind telling me all of the measurements for what YOU believe would be a typical "nice chunky neck?"

4. ### schmeeDoctor of TeleocitySilver Supporter

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I think one key thing people often miss is "shoulder". The amount of shoulder can make a neck feel thin or thick or comfortable or not. Regardless of overall thickness. I made this sketch a while back comparing a JV Strat with a Clapton: The Clapton has more "shoulder".

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5. ### giddyapTDPRI Member

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So you would believe that the JV might likely feel "thin" compared to Clapton model, and both would feel "thin" compared to a U-shaped neck?

6. ### schmeeDoctor of TeleocitySilver Supporter

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-The JV makes my hand ache. The EC is amazing. I'm not entirely sure why. But on the JV, the fretboard edge feels sharp, or at least I always feel the edge. Maybe the slope angle up to the edge makes it feel that way.
-OTOH, I had a 1938 Martin acoustic that was a hard V neck, but comfortable as heck. I think it had fuller shoulder/less slope up to the fretboard edge.
-I had some U shape but small necks that seemed very comfortable. Kinda like the MusiKraft Fat C 99 1.00 shown above. (Gibson L6S)
-Thin C that have a flat back are very uncomfortable to me. (some es335 types)
-The medium C used on MIM Strats is very comfortable to me.

7. ### PJ55Poster ExtraordinaireSilver Supporter

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All of your assumptions are correct, except the Vintera Series (at least the Teles) have more of a Full-C profile. Not quite a U, but close. They are chunkier than what Fender calls a “Modern C.” This one is probably their lowest profile back-shape. That’s my perception and have some old and new Teles and that’s what I’ve found.

8. ### SteerforthFriend of Leo's

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I own the perfect Telecaster neck, as far as “feel” goes. It’s attached to my 50s Road Worn Telecaster.

I harbor an intense dislike of relic guitars, but I bought it anyway because of the neck.

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9. ### TelenatorDoctor of TeleocityVendor Member

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This isn't going to work.

You have to go out and play a bunch of guitars and decide for yourself.
What you're asking is the equivalent of someone saying, "describe the taste of sugar." And you say, well, it's sweet. OK, what is sweet? and on and on it goes.

I have very large hands, so playing a deep V neck is no issue for me. It is a very big issue for someone with smaller hands though.
The answers to your questions will be meaningless unless you discover them for yourself.

10. ### giddyapTDPRI Member

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I have zero intentions of buying any part of a guitar based on an internet message board. Don't worry.
But getting pointed in the right direction, ie, "if you like chunky, probably stay away from ABC, and lean towards XYZ," is a huge help.

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I learned on a chunky nick, a '59 Gibson. Yearning for that I picked up a 50's Tribute Les Paul a few years back and it was close. Putting together a tele a few weeks ago I decided on the '57 V on the chart above, made by Allparts. This chubby V is .86 inches thick at the first fret, and that is perfect for me. Because the 7 1/4 inch radius effectively creates more space between strings my XL fingers (all my gloves are XL or XXL) actually have more room than my acoustics, which all have 1 3/4 inch nuts. I'm trying the same first fret thickness in a 9 1/2 inch radius next.

12. ### etypeTele-Afflicted

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Sorry it took so ling for me to notice this question. It is amazing to me how much difference 0.05" can make on a neck (in thickness or width!). My ideal neck would be between a C and U shape, 1.72" wide at the first fret and 0.85" thick at the first fret and 0.92" at the 12th. If you look at the chart, Musikraft doesn't make one of those. I considered the Les Paul and the CS2 or CS3, but went with the medium C (0.83-0.92). With a 1-11/16" nut. It came in a 1.72" wide at the first fret, 0.84" thick at the first fret and 0.93" at the 12th fret.

To go a little chunkier, I'd go with either the Les Paul or the CS2 neck profile.

The 60's Baja neck my son has is narrow (1.65" at the nut, 1.7" wide at the first fret) and 0.85" tick at the first and 0.91 at the 12th fret. It feels a little chunkier, but a little narrow for me.

If you could ever find one, the MIM Cabronita neck I have is 1.68" nut, 1.71" at first fret, 0.88" thick at the first fret and 0.92" at the 12th. It's really nice too.

I do like a slightly thicker neck for a narrower neck and a thinner one for a wider neck.

13. ### Mike EskimoTelefiedAd Free Member

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There is fingerboard/neck width.

And then there is neck depth.

Both of those are quantifiable/measurable.

And that’s it.

over and out.

Every other descriptor is subjective/meaningless .

proof ?

the Baja neck .

“It’s soooo big. It’s sooooo chunky !“

when I finally played one of those plastic coated things I laughed - and then picked my teeth with it !

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14. ### giddyapTDPRI Member

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The width being measured at the nut (such as 1 11/16"), the 1st fret, 5th, and 12th?
The depth being U-shape, C-shape, etc?

15. ### stxrusPoster Extraordinaire

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With so many definitions of “neck size” the only way I can be sure the neck feels comfortable is to hold it.
I’ve played 61 Reissue SGs that felt pencil thin and one that felt chunky like my 2001 SG.

My MIM C50s Strat and tele both are almost baseball bat like my ‘74 LP Special

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16. ### Mike EskimoTelefiedAd Free Member

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nope - width is a measurement and depth is also a measurement .

for instance 99% of necks that are +/- 1” deep all the way down are 1 5/8” wide at the nut.

17. ### TelenatorDoctor of TeleocityVendor Member

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^^^^^Neck size discussion is pointless because of this.^^^^^
I have had the same experience with the 100+ guitars I have owned and the dozens I have built. You just don't know if it suits you until it's in your hands.
I never liked big vintage necks, but I own a Suhr with a "Huge C" neck that I love. I never looked at the specs. I just picked it up and played it. If I were to consider the specs first, one of my very best guitars would have gotten away!

18. ### netgear69Tele-Afflicted

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Them Suhr guitars look really nice never played one or actually seen one in a music store here in the uk to have a hands on feel the reviews on them though i have yet to see a bad review other than they are expensive

19. ### TelenatorDoctor of TeleocityVendor Member

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Suhr Guitars are actually cheaper in the long run. My Pro Series 3 is perhaps 20 years old and I have played the daylights out of it. Years of gigging and hard use. I have simply not lusted after another s/s/h style guitar since I bought it, and last year finally did the first fret re-crowning on the stainless steel frets. It cost \$2300 USD and has saved me the process of buying new guitars and them selling them at a loss as the endless tone search goes on. No. This particular guitar never gets old and performs flawlessly every time. If I average it out, it has cost me \$115 per year to own it. That's a pretty sweet deal for such an awesome guitar.

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20. ### etypeTele-Afflicted

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If you look at the Musikraft chart above, you can see the centerline thickness measurements (at 1st and 12th fret) on each image. 87-93 means 0.87" at the first fret and 0.93" at the 12th. Nut width is set separately. Hopefully you can see from the images that there is more to the shape than width and centerline thickness. Those shapes matter a lot to how a neck feels. The possibilities are endless, and this is why it is so hard to determine what you like without playing them. Also, you can expect +/- 0.02" variance for any dimension as necks are handmade.

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