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willows

Les Paul Necks

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I will be purchasing my first Les Paul within the next 6 months. Unfortunately, I'm not blessed with overly large hands. From what I've read, it appears that the 60's style necks are more suited for people like myself. Am I correct?

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It really depends on your personal taste and feel. Gibson USA Les Pauls come in two basic neck profiles, 50's and 60's shape. The 50's shape is supposed to be closer to the Les Paul neck during the early runs from 1953 through 1958, which were fat, thick feeling to the hand. The 60's shape are thinner and are supposed to be closer to the slimmed down profile of the 60's through early 70's profile. In a word, yes, the 60's shape may feel easier to use if you say you feel you have small hands, but you really need to try both to be sure.

 

Les Paul Custom Shop (Historic) reissues are much more varied. The 1954 through 1958 reissues have really fat necks, the 1959 gets thinner and is considered by most to be "the holy grail" of guitar feel, majic, perfect neck shape, and the 1960 reissue gets even thinner. Much more choices, but a bit more money. Gibson USA Les Paul Standards are sometimes half the cost of Gibson Custom Shop historic reissues. Both are great guitars as I have owned and sold many of both.

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I have two Les Paul standards from 2004 one has a 50's neck and the other has a 60's neck. To be honest unless I really think about it I don't notice any major difference when I'm playing them even though they are different. I play a lot of different guitars so that may be part of the reason. Maybe if you play the same guitar all the time you would notice quite a difference between the two? My hands are not that big. If you have a chance see if you can find a shop that has both neck profiles in stock for you to try. If you are having to buy by mail order untried (not the ideal option) I would suggest going for the 60's profile. If you are making a major purchase like a Les Paul it is worth making a road trip to a town with a decent sized shop where you can experiment with different guitars and find what works best for you.

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Welcome to the forums, willows.

 

If you would prefer the slim '60s profile without the hefty cost of an R0 try to find a "1960 Classic" - the earlier the model year (they were available from 1989 to 2008) the better.

 

The necks are very slim (front-to-back) - especially pre-'95.

 

(Don't be put off with scary stories of the ceramic p-ups, BTW.....)

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Really just depends on your preferences. I mean I know some guys with small hands that love the feel of a 50's neck and some guys with big hands that love the feel of a 60's neck. If I were you, I would go to a Guitar Shop and try both out to see which you like better. Everyone is different. And regarding which model to buy I second the recommendation of the Les Paul Classic's and Classic Antique's. Great guitars for the money. Hope you enjoy your new guitar. [thumbup] Play her till her electronic's are dead, Headstock is broken, and frets are falling off. Only a Gibson's good enough. [biggrin]

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