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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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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