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davidl

Really fast neck

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I've heard the term "fast neck" so many times but am not really sure what that means.

As far as I can tell, the necks on my guitars don't move at all.

Really though, what makes for a fast neck/fretboard? Is it the finish, fret height, fret width, neck profile?

I know this may sound like a newby question but I don't care. I'm ignorant on this.

Thanks

 

Dave

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AFAIK it is all about neck thickness and profile. The frets probably play a big part too but mine are all similar so I couldn't comment on that aspect.

I can only speak for myself but I can definitely 'finger' faster when I use my '91 '1960 Classic' than when I use my '93 R9.

(fortunately for me I seldom feel the need to 'finger' terribly fast.....)

 

The necks are very different in feel.

 

The Classic has a very shallow 'C' profile whilst that of the R9 is noticeably thicker and has more 'meat' in the shoulders giving it almost a 'D' profile.

 

The actual thicknesses at the first- and twelfth frets are;

 

1991 '1960 Classic' - 0.748" and 0.862"

1993 R9 - 0.876" and 1.042"

 

Although the differences are in reality very small the difference in feel is immense.

It can also be noted that the Classic is slimmer at the 12th fret than the R9 is at the first.

 

P.

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There's no such thing as a "fast neck". There are fast hands and different hands like different necks. My hands like wider necks but I wouldn't call my hands all that fast.

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As far as I can tell, the necks on my guitars don't move at all.

[lol]

 

 

When I describe a neck as fast, I refer to how easily my thumb can move up and down the back of the neck...ie how much friction I feel. I am not very good with wide fat 50s style necks nor do I like high gloss necks. Satin finish is fastest for me. My Truckster has what I would consider a fast neck.

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[lol]

 

 

When I describe a neck as fast, I refer to how easily my thumb can move up and down the back of the neck...ie how much friction I feel. I am not very good with wide fat 50s style necks nor do I like high gloss necks. Satin finish is fastest for me. My Truckster has what I would consider a fast neck.

I agree, like fore example I find painted necks slower than sanded necks

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I find a fast neck is more commonly associated with a thin neck, though that's not how I feel. It varies per the person, if your hand fits beautifully with the neck, and you can move and play with a lot of ease on it, then it is a fast neck in my eyes. I define the necks on my Les Paul and Strat, as "fast", though the Strat's is "faster"

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I myself find the 60's slim taper profile better over a 50's rounded.

the "fastest" neck I have played was on an old ASI Sustainac I had for a hot minute in the 90's.

Slim neck and low action is what constitutes a "fast" neck to me.

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Neck profiles is a science all to itself.

 

To me my Explorer allows me to play faster (consider my moniker though). It has a 50's style shape at the first 4 or 5 frets and then the rest of the neck is more like a 60's shape. Really cool neck but as any shallow neck if you bend a lot or use bending vibrato your hands will get tired quickly since theer is no support in the middle of your hand.

 

I want the neck on my R8 reshaped but I have waited almost a year to determine exactly what I want.

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Ok. I think I get it.

On my R0 which has a slim tapered neck and my ES-339 which also has a 60's profile neck, my movement on the neck is more fluid and comfortable than say, my Robot LP.

The action is setup similarly on the Robot and R0 at a pretty low setting of about 1 1/2 64'ths at the high E and 2 1/2 at the low E on the 12th fret. The ES-339 is a little higher but very comfortable.

 

Dave

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I'm with those who view a fast neck as one which allows your fretting hand to move about the fingerboard at speed. I'm also with those who think that every fretting hand is different, and that no single neck type is guaranteed to draw the fastest playing from all of them. Now I always assumed that a 60s profile Gibson neck would be faster than a 50s one. Whenever I tried a standard 335 dot I found that the neck did indeed allow me to play fast - certainly faster than the neck on my Casino. But then I had (and still have) no real sense of what the neck profile on a 1990s Korean Epi is supposed to be, and I have long found the nut so annoyingly narrow that I don't really notice the heft of the neck. On the basis that the 335s I tried had a proper 1 11/16 nut, I should have reckoned that less in neck proportions is not necessarily more in terms of speed. Some hands need more width to play fast, and some hands need more heft. But I went along assuming that the only dimension where bigger might mean faster for me was nut width. So I was truly taken aback when I first played my Howard Roberts with its 59 LP profile neck. It was noticeably heftier than any other neck I'd ever spent time with, but I also found that my hand could move around it noticeably faster than any other neck I'd ever played (including the 60s profile necks on those 335s...). It's an astonishing thing when you find the neck that suits you.

 

As for other factors, I much prefer the feel of gloss to that of satin, but I'm getting used to the satin neck on my old acoustic, and with wear I certainly don't find the finish slows me down. I also quite like the feel of satin necks on Fender Teles from about five years ago, and when trying them out always found them fast to play too. But I don't find that gloss slows me down either (though I can see how it might be a sticking point for some).

 

I love rosewood fretboards for their looks and feel, but I found the (unlacquered) maple boards on Teles that I tried to be very nice to the touch too, and quite possibly faster than their rosewood counterparts. But since getting my Howard, I am completely sold on ebony. I don't know why, but it just seems to promote speedy movement more than any rosewood board I've ever played. That said, it's the only ebony board I've ever played, so it might not be the ebony at all, but the frets, or something unique to my guitar...

 

One thing I am increasingly convinced of, though, is that the neck is the primary key to a guitar's playability. And if you find that a guitar is playable, you can almost forgive it anything else. If a guitar promotes your playing, then you will most likely sound good whatever its tonal characteristics.

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Really fast neck - what determines this?

 

I dunno.

 

Stopwatch?

Radar gun?

 

[rolleyes]

 

I'm NOT a fast player, therefore I'm not an authority.

But I always likened such hype as an exhaltation in build quality.

I figured the action would need to be very low, and a crappy neck will not allow this.

So, the neck would likely be very well made and adjusted with proper relief to keep the strings way down there.

 

I assumed "fast" players would tend toward thin necks with a flatter radius.

Also, large fret wire would not be highly desired.

I mean - you don't need to do any bends when you're playing a million notes a minute, eh?

 

So - a well-made neck with a thin/flat profile and small frets.

 

$.02 from some guy on the Internet.

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Really though, what makes for a fast neck/fretboard? Is it the finish, fret height, fret width, neck profile?

 

Yes, and string gauge, string height, truss rod adjustment and everything else that goes in to a "set-up", then you add personal taste.

 

What is a fast neck to me might not necessarily be to another. To me, the definition would be "ease of playing" or "effortless playing". I once described a guitar as "it practically played itself", now that one had a FAST NECK.

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Everything said above is true - Thin, flat necks low frets and low strings and a sanded or oiled neck is what most woulds call a fast neck. Like everything though comfort and the players preference is what really is important at 6'4" and 260 pounds i don't like skinny little necks and they actually slow me down.

 

Neck stiffness and flex is probably in the mix also, even in the same shape and size necks some builders just have a different feel. When I think of fast necks Hamer and Parker are what really come to mind and Rickenbacker is a slow neck don't know if it's shape or the marine grade varnish they use on Rickenbackers but to me they just don't have a fast geometry for some reason.

 

the Parker Fly's have the fastest neck of any of my guitars and I really can't tell you what makes them fast.

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I'm NOT a fast player, therefore I'm not an authority.

But I always likened such hype as an exhaltation in build quality.

I figured the action would need to be very low, and a crappy neck will not allow this.

So, the neck would likely be very well made and adjusted with proper relief to keep the strings way down there.

 

I assumed "fast" players would tend toward thin necks with a flatter radius.

Also, large fret wire would not be highly desired.

I mean - you don't need to do any bends when you're playing a million notes a minute, eh?

 

So - a well-made neck with a thin/flat profile and small frets.

 

$.02 from some guy on the Internet.

Hmmmmm.....

I got a minus for that post.

Am I wrong about something in there?

 

[unsure][blink]

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Hmmmmm.....

I got a minus for that post.

Am I wrong about something in there?

 

[unsure][blink]

I was asking the same question. Maybe someone hit the wrong button?

 

 

I played and EHV wolfgang once (one of the high end ones). That thing has a ret@rded fast neck. Same with the Ibanez Jem and I assume the Paul Gilbert 100RE will be the same. I'll let you know next week when it arrives [biggrin]

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Hmmmmm.....

I got a minus for that post.

Am I wrong about something in there?

 

[unsure][blink]

 

 

I was asking the same question. Maybe someone hit the wrong button?

:-k

 

I also wondered why you had a minus. Seemed to make perfect sense to me...

 

Anyhow, it's fixed now.

 

P.

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Paul Gilbert 100RE eh? :rolleyes:

Don't know why you got a minus but I gave you a plus for your usual no nonsense, honest opinion. [thumbup]

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Hmmmmm.....

I got a minus for that post.

Am I wrong about something in there?

 

[unsure][blink]

 

+1 I didn't think you were wrong and provided good logic. I tend to agree with the philosophy that is a matter of personal opinion and probably a comment made by someone years ago that took on a meaning of its own that turned into a "Buzz Word"

 

 

Andy

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