Guitars, Paramedics, Linux, and Me

May 1, 2014

Neck Profiles: Fender Guitars

Filed under: Guitars,Music — S. Kindley @ 2:24 am
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As I stated in my article on Gibson neck profiles I think most guitar players look for a particular “feel” about the neck when trying to choose a guitar. Obviously that doesn’t just apply to Gibsons. In this article we’ll discuss Fender neck profiles, shapes, and variations.

Gibson guitar necks are generally categorized into two types, or profiles, with slight variations while Fender has had a long tradition of either three or five basic neck shapes depending on who you ask. I’ll try to address the discrepancy and let you decide for yourself.

The Basic 3

First: The “3” basic shapes as explained by Fender today and published on the Fender website. Fender defines “neck shape” and a “neck profile” as the “back shape” of the neck when cut into cross section as illustrated below. Neck width, neck depth, and fingerboard radius are not to be used to compound or complicate the basic neck shape/profile of Fender guitars.

 

Fender Neck Profiles

Fender Neck Profiles

Fender uses variations of the “C“, “V“, and “U” designation for their necks. The illustration above shows from top to bottom “C“, “V“, and “U“.

C-shaped neck profile: The most common modern neck profile. C-shaped necks have an oval profile that works well for most playing styles.

V-shaped neck profile: Two versions are popular. A more rounded “soft” V and a more pointed “hard” V.

U-shaped neck profile: Chunky and rounded, with high shoulders. Some consider to be “baseball bat” necks.

There are also further subdivisions of each type, usually denoted by a design year or era (i.e., ’50s V shape, ’61 C shape, ’70s C shape), in which subtle period-specific variations in one of the basic neck profiles is recreated precisely.

There is occasional confusion about C, U and V neck profile designations and A, B, C and D neck width designations. From the early ’60s to the early ’70s, Fender referred specifically to the nut width of its instrument necks using the letters A (1 ½”), B (1 5/8″), C (1 ¾”) and D (1 7/8″). These letters were stamped on the butt-end of the necks and had nothing to do with neck profile.

— Source: Jeff Owens, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. Nov 20, 2009.

http://www.fender.com/news/fender-neck-profiles/

Read on for more …

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April 8, 2014

Ares Management Takes Control of Guitar Center

Filed under: Guitars,News — S. Kindley @ 5:57 pm
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Bain Capital is still in the picture but Ares Management is reported to have taken control of Guitar Center.

Read the announcement here

(Note: a subscription to read the third party article may be required. I’ll try to locate and publish a link that is freely accessible. This link does have a free summary preview.)

 

Guitar Center

Guitar Center

November 24, 2013

Gibson 2014 Model Year Lineup Announced

Filed under: Guitars,Music,News — S. Kindley @ 8:20 am
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The new 2014 model year lineup from Gibson is now available. There are a few changes that are sure to create controversy for the traditionalists out there.

Perhaps this is best illustrated by Gibson’s decision to forgo the “nibs” on the neck binding in favor of “undercut fret over binding”. This is one of the easiest ways to determine is a Les Paul was a fake. Most fakes do not have “Nibs” since there are so difficult to recreate. Chinese Les Paul counterfeiters everywhere rejoice.

Some are also questioning why Gibson is using a 120th Anniversary fret board inlay on every 2014 guitar. While some like it most don’t. Who celebrates a 120th anniversary anyway?

2014 Gibson 120th Anniversary Inlay

2014 Gibson 120th Anniversary Inlay

Read on for more changes …
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August 1, 2013

Neck Profiles: Gibson 50’s & 60’s

Filed under: Guitars,Music — S. Kindley @ 10:13 am
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I think most guitar players look for a particular “feel” about the neck when trying to choose a guitar. Gibson guitar necks are generally categorized into two types. The 50’s style and the 60’s style necks. I will focus on Gibson electric guitars in this article because I have limited experience with playing Gibson acoustic guitars.

Contrast 50's & 60's Gibson Neck Profile

Contrast of a 50’s & 60’s Gibson Neck Profile

Each have a strong following and some players won’t use one or the other. I personally like both.

Another term used to describe Gibson necks is “Baseball Bat”. This term is generically thrown around to describe a very fat neck and is often associated with the 50’s style neck. As you can see from the graphic above the thickness of the neck from the fretboard to the bottom of the neck is pretty marginal. In my opinion what makes the neck “feel” thick is shoulder of the neck (the area directly below the fretboard, on the neck itself, measured from the ends of the frets). In other words the area where the greatest difference in thickness between the 50’s and 60’s neck profile.

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July 27, 2013

R.I.P. JJ Cale

Filed under: Guitars,Music,News — S. Kindley @ 8:57 am
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JJ Cale is reported to have died of a heart attack on July 26, 2013. Songwriter and performer extraordinaire, Cale has penned many tunes in his time for a roster of bona fide legends as noted in this excerpt from his Wikipedia page:

“JJ Cale (also J.J. Cale), born John Weldon Cale on December 5, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and musician. Cale is one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz influences. Cale’s personal style has often been described as “laid back”.

His songs have been performed by a number of other musicians including “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton, “Cajun Moon” by Randy Crawford, “Clyde” and “Louisiana Women” by Waylon Jennings, “Magnolia” by Jai, “Bringing It Back” by Kansas, “Call Me the Breeze” and “I Got the Same Old Blues” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “I’d Like to Love You, Baby” by Tom Petty, “Travelin’ Light” and “Ride Me High” by Widespread Panic, “Tijuana” by Harry Manx, “Sensitive Kind” by Carlos Santana, “Cajun Moon” again by Herbie Mann with Cissy Houston, and “Same Old Blues” by Captain Beefheart.”

 

JJ Cale

JJ Cale

1938-2013. Rest in Peace. (more…)

June 11, 2013

Gibson Guitar Corp. Changes Name

Filed under: Guitars,Music,News — S. Kindley @ 11:58 am
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GibsonThe Tennessean is reporting that the Gibson Guitar Corporation is changing it’s name to Gibson Brands. Personally I think they should have chosen a name that pays better respect to the rich tradition that this music instrument icon has enjoyed for over 120 years. I would have thought that they would have opted for a shorter more elegant name.

Gibson®” should have been the obvious choice as the logo to the left illustrates. Simple, elegant, and already well established in the music industry.

The companies bought up by Gibson could simply add something like “A Gibson® Company” somewhere around their logos to establish the connection between the various non-guitar related entities and the parent. Maybe I’m just an old fashioned traditionalist. That being said when tradition is part of your identity one shouldn’t go screwing with it now.

Curiously when I ran across this news article I quickly navigated over to the Gibson website and found no mention of the change as of the time of this posting.

I for one hope this is erroneous journalism by the Tennessean. If this proves to be accurate I sure hope we don’t start seeing “Gibson Brands” for the logo inlay on any headstock.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

April 26, 2013

R.I.P. George Jones

Filed under: Guitars,Music,News — S. Kindley @ 8:12 pm
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That makes three! George Jones, “The Possum”, has died. If anyone ever lived their songs it was “No Show Jones”. He is, and was, a country music icon.

One can read about it in the Washington Post article.

George Jones

George Jones

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April 22, 2013

R.I.P. Richie Havens

Filed under: Guitars,Music,News — S. Kindley @ 7:09 pm
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It’s been a rough couple of days for music. Richie Havens, the opening performer at Woodstock, has died of a heart attack.

One can read about it in the Daily News article published today.

Richie Havens

Richie Havens

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R.I.P. Chrissy Amphlett

Filed under: Guitars,Music,News — S. Kindley @ 12:27 pm
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Chrissy Amphlett, singer of the Divinyls, died at the age of 53 due to complications of breast cancer yesterday.

Read more from Rolling Stone magazine.

Rest in peace.

Chrissy Amphlett

Chrissy Amphlett

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April 21, 2013

Slash and John Mayer with ZZ Top

Filed under: Guitars,Music,Pathetic Ramblings — S. Kindley @ 12:29 am
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I found a YouTube video of ZZ Top with guests Slash and John Mayer. I admit I am biased toward Mayer but I think the video says it all. Mayer always seems to get overlooked in guitar circles while Slash is always praised. I know it’s not a competition and they are both good in their own right but damn, Slash was way out of his element here. I think Mayer did a much better job. What do you think?

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