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Gibson ES Neck Profile

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Greetings. I posted this question to TheGearPage forum last night, but perhaps it's better asked here:

I've played Gibsons for 45 years - primarily 335s. My current #1 is a 2012 Gibson ES-335. Nothing special...just a garden variety dot neck. However, it is the most comfortable guitar I've ever played. I'm a jazz player and the most complicated chord melody standards just pour out of this guitar. The neck fits my hand perfectly and I never get fatigued. It has always been my understanding that it had a 60s Slim Taper neck. I bought it used and that's what the hang-tag in the shop said. 

I decided to take some measurements of my 335 neck with a caliper. It measured 1st fret .816”, 5th fret .853”, 12th fret .891. I recently came across the following Gibson forum post that contained a chart with all of the Gibson neck profiles and sizes: https://forum.gibson.com/topic/130096-slim-taper-neck-what-exactly-does-that-mean/

I'm beginning to wonder if my 335 doesn't really have what the chart calls a 60s-Style "Oval" "C" Shape rather than the presumed "Slim Taper." I modeled the shape of the neck at the first fret with a piece of wire to get a good look at the profile and taper of the shoulders. Sure enough, the shoulders are much more rounded (like the 60s-style Oval) than the drawing shows of a 60s Slim Taper.

So, it possible that my 2012 ES-335 has the Oval C shape and not the Slim Taper? Does anyone know if 335s were being produced with the Oval C in 2012? The reason I care so much is that I'm currently shopping for an ES-175, and I'd like to find one that has a similar neck profile. No two Gibson guitar necks are the same, I know, especially across models, but I'd like to get in the ballpark. For example, I recently played a 59 VOS Reissue that felt a little thicker than my 335, but not by much, and it was very comfortable.

Thanks much for the help.

 

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If the wire you bent around your neck to get the profile matches the Oval-C then I would say there is no doubt that's what your guitar has.  The profiles are distinctly different in the diagram and your caliper measurement bears that out as well.  So I would have to say that Oval-Cs were being used on at least some 2012 CS-335s.  

As to whether or not you might find a 175 with the same neck profile - I have no idea.  If all else fails, and the neck profile is absolutely critical, for the right price you could order a "Made to Measure" from the Custom Shop.  Maybe your next quest is to try to determine which profile 175s commonly have.  About the only one I could find on Gibson website was made in 2016, was a take-off on a 1959 ES-175 and it says it had "Soft-C" profile and was .855 at the first fret.

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4 hours ago, Twang Gang said:

If the wire you bent around your neck to get the profile matches the Oval-C then I would say there is no doubt that's what your guitar has.  The profiles are distinctly different in the diagram and your caliper measurement bears that out as well.  So I would have to say that Oval-Cs were being used on at least some 2012 CS-335s.  

As to whether or not you might find a 175 with the same neck profile - I have no idea.  If all else fails, and the neck profile is absolutely critical, for the right price you could order a "Made to Measure" from the Custom Shop.  Maybe your next quest is to try to determine which profile 175s commonly have.  About the only one I could find on Gibson website was made in 2016, was a take-off on a 1959 ES-175 and it says it had "Soft-C" profile and was .855 at the first fret.

Thanks for the response. Provided that those drawings are reasonably accurate, I have to conclude the same thing. As I said, the only reason I thought my 335 had a Slim Taper is because the hang tag said so. Who know where the shop got their info. It felt thin than a '50s 335 or my '67, but not as thin as, say, a Epiphone ES-175 Premium, which is too thin for me and make my hand cramp.  I wonder if that Epi 175 Premium is what they mean by a Slim Taper. Thanks again.

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I'm pretty sure the 2012's had a "rounded c" type neck.  I have a 2011 and it has a rounded c and my buddy's  2013/2014 has one also.  They're not really big but they're for sure fatter than a slim taper or "60's slim taper."  They aren't necessarily super thick but they have more rounded shoulders.  Definitely harder for me to get my fingers around than a 60's neck.

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That's helpful and my belief as well - that it's more of a rounded C than a slim taper (which I cannot play without getting hand cramps).  Thanks!

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My favorite neck shape on an electric is what Gibson advertised as the 30/60 profile awhile back.  I think the first year of it might have been 2007, with the release of the ES-339.  I have an '09 ES-339, '10 ES-330L, & '12 LP Special, all sharing a similar profile.  It's supposed to be a bit wider than the a '60s slim taper.  Just super comfy & easy to negotiate.

It might be that your '12 has this profile, or something very close to it.

Good luck in your hunt for the right ES-175!

 

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6 hours ago, bobouz said:

My favorite neck shape on an electric is what Gibson advertised as the 30/60 profile awhile back.  I think the first year of it might have been 2007, with the release of the ES-339.  I have an '09 ES-339, '10 ES-330L, & '12 LP Special, all sharing a similar profile.  It's supposed to be a bit wider than the a '60s slim taper.  Just super comfy & easy to negotiate.

It might be that your '12 has this profile, or something very close to it.

Good luck in your hunt for the right ES-175!

Very helpful! Thank you!

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If the '59 VOS Reissue you refer to is the 2016, I can tell you Gibson had it spec'd as a "Soft C" neck, .855 at the first fret.  Though I've seen them listed for sale with first fret measures from .850-.950.

If you don't already know this, the 2016 '59 Reissues are generally very highly regarded as being some of the best Gibson has ever produced.

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As the OP, I thought I would weigh back in. First, I agree with "Wmachine" that the '59 VOS Reissue is an incredible guitar. However, I just picked up a 1989 175 with mahogany sides (which as a jazz player, I love!). For some time, I've been intrigued by the late-80s/early-90s Gibsons.  I have a relative by marriage who has worked for Gibson since before Henry and is still there under J.C. It seems that morale really picked up after Henry and his partners bought the company in 1986. When you talk to folks working in the shop during that time, pride in their work, quality of materials, and the overall vibe of the place really buoyed back up in the late-80s. My new '89 175 with patent number pickups is darn near perfect (for me). And the price was a steal compared to the current price for newer 175s, especially the VOS model.  I had a new 2016 that lasted about month and I sold it for almost double what I just paid for my '89.

I know that's far afield from the OP, which was about neck dimensions. On my '89 175, the first fret is .822, which might be on the thin side for some, but is perfect for me.

 

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