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Skinny-necked vintage J-50 / J-45 ?


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Playing things that are a little more complicated these days, I'm finding that my old 1974 J-50 neck is more comfortable than my 2008 J-50. My hands aren't all that large, so I can reach around the skinny 1974 neck more easily. For example, no problem playing the F# in a D Major chord with my thumb on the 1974, but it's a stretch on the 2008. I wrapped a little tape measure around the neck on the first fret and got a circumference of 4-7/16" on the 1974. The 2008 measured 4-9/16".

 

So my question is, can you generalize about neck sizes based on the model year? What other years would be similar to my 1974? Are the J-50 and J-45 pretty much the same in this regard? I have seen various threads where people dislike the skinny necks and even suggested that makes the prices lower on these models. You guys know a lot more about this stuff than me, so I'd appreciate any insight. And what are the standards for comparing necks? Radius and width? Or is it more complicated than that?

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When you compare necks you evaluate the carve (the profile - whether a shallow C, soft V or whatever), the radius of the fingerboard, and the nut width. Allwill impact the feel.

 

In a nutshell, Gibson goes to a thin profile neck in 1960. In 1965 they also abandon the 1 11/16" nut for a narrower 1 9/16" nut making the necks feel pencil thin. I believe the fingherboard radius has pretty much stayed at 12" but coud be dead wrong about that.

 

Less desireability or dro in value, of course, is relative to the age of the guitars with the thin neck models just not being all that old. Also has less to do with the necks than other factors such as ADJ bridges and their coresponding oversized laminate bridge plates and changes in the the top bracing which starts getting heavier in 1968 and gets ridiculously heavy in 1971. While these design changes were great for avoiding wrranty issues but not the best thing for sound.

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I have one of the skinny neck j45s from '68, and it took a good six months to get used to the narrow neck. Now I find it weird to play a standard size- like going from a Camry to a Cadillac!

 

Funny enough, before I found it, I had my eye on an 08 j50. Loved the sound of that one and the neck!

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Thanks! The nut measures 1-11/16" on my 1974 J-50. Will have to try one of the 1-9/16" versions some day.

 

 

Yeah, Gibson went back to the 1 11/16" prior to the mid-1970s but I am not sure when. I believe that Bozeman puts out the occasional model with the 1960s slim taper neck but probably with the 1 11/16" nut.

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I punted all the skinny neck Gibsons out of here.. not sure what Gibson was thinking back in those days.. the standard necked guitars are great as long as there set up well.

 

1 epiphone professional to go to get rid of..

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Thanks for all the comments guys.

 

Funny enough, before I found it, I had my eye on an 08 j50. Loved the sound of that one and the neck!

 

It really is a great guitar, I got it a year ago and have been playing it almost exclusively. I started switching between the 1974 and 2008 over the past couple weeks however and pondering the differences. :)

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9" is more like an electric guitar board radius than acoustic. Acoustics generally run 12" to 16". I am also guessing you did not measure it correctly.

 

I have a full set of radius gages. The 9.5" fits it perfect. The 12" rocks on it showing it's too large.

 

 

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