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SoundMaster

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Haven't got into this subject in a while. But a few years or so back there were a lot of discussions on it. I pasted in some info below - hope it helps.

 

AFAIK the early fifties is like a "U" or "D" shape, and the 50's rounded or late-50s is a bit less thick with the arms of the "U" or "D" rounded. The "C" is more like a 60s profile.

 

Neckshapez.jpg

 

 

A comparison based on some measurements - . . . . . . . (Of course everything varies a bit with Gibbies)

Neck Thickness - (avg, meaurements taken at nut end of 1st fret)

R8 - - - - - - - - - - .925"

R7 - - - - - - - - - - .920"

R9 - - - - - - - - - - .910"

50s Early - - - - - .900" (from Gibson C/S)

50s Rounded - - .870" (from my 2008 SG)

50s Rounded - - .818" (from Gibson C/S)

Asymmetrical - - N/A

30/60 - - - - - - -- .800"

60s Slim taper - .765"

 

- 30/60 is .030 of an inch thicker from front to back then the 60s slim, all the way up the neck.

 

50s Early 1st fret - - -- .900” 12th fret – 1.00”

50s Rounded 1st fret - .818” 12th fret - .963”

 

Asymmetrical -

The asymmetrical neck's center line is moved .005" toward the bass side. The back is tapered toward the high strings, more closely matching the natural curve of your hand making it easier to reach the fretboard. The neck is thicker toward the bass strings resulting in the asymmetrical shape.

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Not much more to add to BK's post but one thing to bear in mind is this;

Depending on the hands and fretting style of each individual player the neck thickness itself doesn't necessarily matter as much as the profile.

 

Consider, by way of example, the profiles shown at the top-row-right and second-row-left positions.

They may be identical in thickness but because of the extra 'shoulder' on the former I can promise you that it will feel a LOT fatter in the hand than the latter. Furthermore the profile seen at third-row-left might be slimmer than either of these two but again, because of the extra wood on the shoulder, it will probably feel quite similar to the Rounded 'D' but not the Soft 'V'.

 

My personal 'geometry' and playing style have shown to me that a soft 'V' shape is the most comfortable (for me) and the rounded 'D' to be the least so.

Unfortunately (for me) my R9 has a beefy rounded 'D' and I've still never really got the hang of the thing. Too 'Fat' in the hand because of the hefty shoulder area.

My other LPs all have the '60s style Oval 'C' shape and these are very nice but, as I said earlier, the nicest-shape for me was found on two Gibsons from '57 and '58 which had a Soft 'V' profile.

 

Why this shape has dropped in popularity is a mystery to me. I've played a few of the Collector's Choice series and they seemed to have this shape so why not the regular R-I's?

I know it's also one of the areas addressed by the Historic Makeovers team so it isn't just my imagination working overtime again...

 

P.

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A classy post, P. =D> =D> =D>

 

Thank you for posting these detailed informations, Big K. [thumbup]

 

The lack of mass-produced V shape necks may have educational reasons. They want to keep players from fretting with the thumb. ;)

 

All kidding aside, next to all the time I keep my thumb on the back of the neck. This way I don't even feel the neck shoulders. The rare exceptions reveal to me that in these cases the profile in fact is of higher importance than the bare thickness.

 

Then there is the expectation which may bias perception. I still remember the first trying of my Fender American Deluxe Telecaster. The compound radiused fretboard shifts the playing feel significantly towards Gibson. Not a surprise on principal, but apart from the typical corporate style of Fenders.

 

Recently I tried two Ibanez AR 720s and finally went with one of them. The specs on the web said it was strung .009" - .042" stock. When playing the first one I thought for a moment: Damn, that thing feels stiff! Bending and estimating by view seemed to tell they were .010s, and by measurement they were. I play .010s on vibrato, .011s and .012s on hardtail guitars, so I'm rather accustomed to their tensions, but being biased by previous information plays its role.

 

In fact, I think trying out is the best. I love my 2013 Traditional. From viewing only I guess that her late 50's shape is a rather rounded one, but I'm not sure.

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I thought the 12, 13 and 14 Traditionals are; 50s Early 1st fret - - -- .900” 12th fret – 1.00” I haven't felt much difference in them. So to get to the question, doesn't that make the neck a U?

As far as I know, they are late 50's profiles. At least my 2013 Trad is specified that way.

 

I think you meant that increased thickness at same width should result in going towards a U shape. In fact it would in case you left the radiuses of the back the same, too.

 

When making neck backs smaller radiused all over, you will get the shapes called rounded. Larger radiuses at the shoulders and a small radius in the center will create a V neck while the opposite makes a D neck shape. For a U shape, you will have to make a huge or infinite radius on the shoulders and a smaller one in the center.

 

And yes, you will have to leave enough wood after routing for the truss rod in any case... [rolleyes]

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Not much more to add to BK's post but one thing to bear in mind is this;

Depending on the hands and fretting style of each individual player the neck thickness itself doesn't necessarily matter as much as the profile.

 

 

 

P.

Very good explanations, Pip.

 

I would also say that from my experience, ever so slight differences in shoulder and/or profile equate to big differences in feel. Sometimes, what one calls a "c", or a "d", or a "u", or whatever, might be a matter of opinion or a guess based on the FEEL of a guitar based on playing it.

 

But, I am glad that they are making an effort to identify and offer different neck shapes.

 

For me personally, I find that the ones that feel really good to me have more to do with the individual guitar, maybe due to ever-so-slight differences. For example, 2 guitars that are supposed to have the same profile, one might just have that "feel" while the other just feels like an average guitar. I tend to lean that way rather than prefering one type of profile over another.

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...

For me personally, I find that the ones that feel really good to me have more to do with the individual guitar, maybe due to ever-so-slight differences. For example, 2 guitars that are supposed to have the same profile, one might just have that "feel" while the other just feels like an average guitar. I tend to lean that way rather than prefering one type of profile over another.

Fretboard radius will play its role, too. To my feel, a wider radiused fretboard makes the neck back feel both fatter and rounder.

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Fretboard radius will play its role, too. To my feel, a wider radiused fretboard makes the neck back feel both fatter and rounder.

Truth there too.

 

I have also been fooled at times, or felt guitars that I wasn't able to be sure of the fretbaord radius, due to neck shape.

 

That is to say, it can work the other way as well. But more accurately, works both ways.

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Truth there too.

 

I have also been fooled at times, or felt guitars that I wasn't able to be sure of the fretbaord radius, due to neck shape.

 

That is to say, it can work the other way as well. But more accurately, works both ways.

Agree completely. [thumbup]

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... Unfortunately (for me) my R9 has a beefy rounded 'D' and I've still never really got the hang of the thing. Too 'Fat' in the hand because of the hefty shoulder area. ...

 

I know with a Reissue this will sound a bit crazy, but I can't help my curiosity - have you ever thought about having a luthier shave the shoulders a bit? Kind of like - damn the value and make it mine. . . B)

 

 

.

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I know with a Reissue this will sound a bit crazy, but I can't help my curiosity - have you ever thought about having a luthier shave the shoulders a bit? Kind of like - damn the value and make it mine...

No; not crazy at all and the answer is 'Yes'.

It's a really great-sounding guitar and it's beautifully crafted but the neck isn't right for me. So.....

 

If I lived in the States and had a bit of spare-cash (does any grown-up ever have 'spare-cash'?) there are a few things I'd like done to the R9 by the Historic Makeover guys.

Their 'Standard' package would sort things out to my exact requirements and I could order the re-fin in any shade and pattern of a 'Tasteful Burst' that I desire...

 

P.

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Wow! Thanks once again to all of you. The reason I ask is:

 

The neck on my LPJ is more comfortable to me than any neck I've played, so now that I want to get a Trad,

 

which will be my 'special occasions' axe, I am hoping the neck's .900 vs .818 is a nice fit also.

 

I would only offer my experience, which is that when you sit down with a guitar and try it out, it only takes about two minutes to decide if the neck is cut for you or not. If you think not in those first two minutes, and you think not strongly, it probably isn't. If yer on the fence, don't give it much longer.

 

If you sit down with it and it is good, stand up and play it. I always grap a strap and get it to my length and walk around with it, because most of the time most of us are at least standing, if not making a tool of ourselves running around when we play it.

 

In short, specs tell you absolutely nothing, and you have to suspend disbelief. If you know the specs are some digit three places to the right of the decimal point not right for you, you could pass up a great guitar without feeling it.

 

Conversely, I've had a lot of Strats in my life that I said "...I'll get used to this neck...". I didn't, no matter what the radius(I know I love 9.25) or shape(I only use C necks). If the whole adds up to a great neck, it is, no matter what the math of the parts. And if the whole doesn't add up it could still have the specs you think you wanted, but the whole just doesn't work.

 

Man, that was a lot of dumb typing trying to say something. Don't let the numbers decide for you I guess is what I'm saying. Necks are imperfect, that's what makes the perfect one perfect for you.

 

rct

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Firstly I'd just like to say cap has, as always, got it right in every post here.

 

...I would also say that from my experience, ever so slight differences in shoulder and/or profile equate to big differences in feel...

I find that the ones that feel really good to me have more to do with the individual guitar, maybe due to ever-so-slight differences. For example, 2 guitars that are supposed to have the same profile, one might just have that "feel" while the other just feels like an average guitar...

I would only offer my experience, which is that when you sit down with a guitar and try it out, it only takes about two minutes to decide if the neck is cut for you or not. If you think not in those first two minutes, and you think not strongly, it probably isn't. If yer on the fence, don't give it much longer...

In short, specs tell you absolutely nothing, and you have to suspend disbelief. If you know the specs are some digit three places to the right of the decimal point not right for you, you could pass up a great guitar without feeling it...

 

Conversely, I've had a lot of Strats in my life that I said "...I'll get used to this neck...". I didn't, no matter what the radius(I know I love 9.25) or shape(I only use C necks). If the whole adds up to a great neck, it is, no matter what the math of the parts. And if the whole doesn't add up it could still have the specs you think you wanted, but the whole just doesn't work...

These, taken together as a matched set, are perhaps the wisest words on this topic I've read.

Gentlemen; Take a Bow. You have earned it.

 

[thumbup] [thumbup] [thumbup] [thumbup] [thumbup]

 

P.

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Firstly I'd just like to say cap has, as always, got it right in every post here.

 

 

 

These, taken together as a matched set, are perhaps the wisest words on this topic I've read.

Gentlemen; Take a Bow. You have earned it.

 

[thumbup] [thumbup] [thumbup] [thumbup] [thumbup]

 

P.

Bowing, thank you sir.

 

And bowing to RTC. The deal about strapping it on IS serious guitar-testing wisdom.

 

But your stuff you were saying that prompted these responces was bow worthy as well.

 

And Cap. Take a bow. He says lots of good stuff here I notice sinse I "came back".

 

Hell, we should all take a bow. This a great forum.

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I know with a Reissue this will sound a bit crazy, but I can't help my curiosity - have you ever thought about having a luthier shave the shoulders a bit? Kind of like - damn the value and make it mine. . . B)

 

 

.

I have actually done that to a couple guitars. (Had done for me, I should say).

 

The key is in who does it for you. I wouldn't just pick any guy, but rather if there is a guy that you are impressed with his neck shapes, what you get has a better chance of feeling good to you.

 

I remember I asked a guy by the name of Saul Koll if he could make a Strat I had "feel" like an LP Custom he had around the shop. Even though the fretbaord raduis is different, I'll be damned if he didn't do it! Felt practically the same.

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stein,

 

Were you referring to me in your quote?

 

...and you are so correct - capmaster, pippy, BigKahune, and rct are all top shelf (you're not too shabby yourself!).

 

This is truly a great forum.

Yes, you bow too.

 

I like the stuff you post as well, read a lot of it.

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Take a bow? sheeyeah.

 

I'm surrounded all day by computer poking dorx that have no hobbies. I enjoy trying to help newer lesser experienced or just curious people get through the mine field of guitars, and especially, guitar history here in America. I got nobody else to talk to about guitars, so I appreciate the take a bow, believe me the pleasure is mine. As long as there are people to ask the tough questions I'll be happy to provide the first easy answer I can make up!

 

I'm kidding. If I tell you something(the imperial you, not you you), especially about history and the three major American guitar makers, same as it was long ago in usenet when I was thompsor, I am never wrong. I hate the myths and legends the internet has repeated for so long that are just. plain. wrong.

 

rct

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