The neck on the right (Fig. They certainly offer a lot of room to bend notes without buzzing or fretting out and have a very comfortable feel in open position for chords. There is no right radius or wrong radius. 14” inch radius is on the flatter side, still in the ballpark of Gibson and approaching the feel of an Ibanez. And they are actually putting out more and more 12 inch radius options present-day. Fretboards for electric guitars usually have a radius between 7.25″ and 14″. 50s Rounded 1st fret ——-  .818” 12th fret – .963”. ( Log Out /  but the general mantra contained in many of my posts is that if you start from a place where you are in awe of how great something feels or sounds at the get-go. Guitars are like tools in … They feature a unique steel mounting plate on the back of the pickup that differs from ALL other Gibson pickups, and has 2 height adjustment screws on one side and one on the other side. * Asymmetrical ————–  N/A (see below) The Bricks were designed by Bill Lawrence, working for Gibson. The following table lists common fretboard radii used by major manufacturer. The radius is usually expressed in inches. So there are the basic options, what’s your initial reaction to what you think suits you best? And if you do fall in love right away with it, chances are good it will just get better the more you sit with it. R8 —————————– .925″ The concept is really great and the general consensus is that a lot of people love them. When I started playing we did not have many compound radius necks, or none that I was aware of unless it was an exclusive option. 50s Rounded  —————-  .870″ (from a 2008 SG) For whatever reason it seems I have some kind of subconscious hiccup having to change the way I posture and hold the guitar going between two types of radius on one neck. They are also black and cream coils, although some were made with the neck pickup in a single color. * The asymmetrical neck’s center line is moved .005″  toward the bass side. Warmoth were offering Gibson bodies until they were asked to stop. Because of its strength and longer "heel", the Wide Fat neck produces warm tones with lots of sustain. Check Warmoth Guitar Products Here, They are a great resource for neck specs and much more. Neck Profiles: Gibson 50’s & 60’s | Guitars, Paramedics, Linux, and Me […], Pingback by FS: 2009 Les Paul Jr. P-90 Tobacco Rock Machine! I think most guitar players look for a particular "feel" about the neck when trying to choose a guitar. Other common sizes for fretboard radius are 9.5″, 10″, and 12″. What do they all... Steve Harris of Iron Maiden Create a free website or blog at I truly like a 12 or 14 inch radius for overall playability as well. I’ll post another article on Fender Neck profiles later. Actually, the correct terminology would be either fretboard or fingerboard radius and the actual neck shape and size should be called the "neck profile." I was vaguely aware, but fairly ignorant of the whole fret board radius issue until I realised what a challenge it had become moving between a 335 (12"), a modern Strat spec (9.5") and the vintage Strat spec (7.25"). 12” radius is in the ballpark of Gibson style guitars which had been celebrated over the years for their overall playability for chording and soloing by countless players including greats like Jimmy page, Slash and Gary Moore. But more and more companies are introducing a very slight radius as an option to capture more of an audience that otherwise would not be interested in a completely flat neck. Contrast of a 50’s & 60’s Gibson Neck Profile. This is why I urge everyone at any skill level to go ahead and experiment with other radius sizes even if you feel you already found the best option for you. […] 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 […], Pingback by Neck Profiles: Fender Guitars | Guitars, Paramedics, Linux, and Me — May 1, 2014 @ 2:22 pm The average weight of the neck is .96 lbs. Maybe you are strictly a rhythm player and it doesn’t matter as you just need something that will be great for chords and rhythmic work. It’s a personal choice and depends on how and what you play. Meaning you might try a flat radius neck and absolutely hate it on a fatback super thick neck, while that same radius may be the secret recipe for you on a ultra-thin wizard style neck. Gibson’s specifications during that time period were notorious for being inconsistent. A rounder radius of 9.5 to 10 inches is popular for open position chords. ( Log Out /  Two radius gauges should be all you ever need. I also was a product of my environment at the time falling into the 9.5 to 10 inch radius as they were the common dimensions for Strats when I grew up playing. And you have lost some fret height. Whether you are new to understanding neck fretboard radius or are seasoned and have a pretty good idea of what you prefer, you should experiment with different playing styles on all types of radius to truly understand whether you like a traditional uniform radius across the entire neck or a compound radius. ( Log Out /  This term is generically thrown around to describe a very fat neck and is often associated with the 50’s style neck. It pays tribute to Gibson's Golden Era of innovation and brings authenticity back to life. Since the circle is larger, the resulting arc across the fingerboard is flatter — because the width of the fingerboard is the same. After 35 years of playing I have now fully realized that I enjoy a straight 16 inch radius neck above any radius I have ever used. 20 inch radius guitars are few and far between and are basically like playing a completely flat fretboard. Gibson Necks Break More Than Any Other Company: J. FROG: Brand: Model: Wood: Fretbrd: Frets: Replaces: Hdstk ... uncomplicated headstock, any radius, All fret tangs are trimmed on the sides. 50s Early ———————  .900″ (from Gibson Custom Shop) The only difference is that on a rounder the neck you will obviously have to follow the curvature of the neck and angle the slide a bit when approaching the high strings or the low strings. Change ). Custom Guitar and Bass Necks and Bodies, Pickups, Bridges, Tuners, and Pickguards at Warmoth - The Original Custom Guitar Shop! We can all learn to cope with things, and learn to fall in love with things. Side note: Classical and flamenco guitars are super flat, if you find you enjoy the way that feels, a 14 inch or 16 inch radius will definitely work for you on an Electric Guitar. I will focus on Gibson electric guitars in this article because I have limited experience with playing Gibson acoustic guitars.… If you do not find your specific … It has a very rounded top arch on the fingerboard. I personally don’t care for it for open position chords, and certainly not for soloing. Not only do body shapes affect the aesthetic but they also affect tone. Gibson guitar necks are generally categorized into two types. Probably the most easily recognisable difference between Fender and Gibson is the variation in body shapes. Nothing I’ve written here is intended to be authorative on the subject because someone, somewhere out there has an example that will totally contradict what is meant to be a general guide. 1) above uses a 16″ radius. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. link to What In Ear Monitors Do Famous Singers Use. While I mentioned a couple of radius sizes, there are a few more that vary to model these include: 7.25”- Typical of … The 12″ radius of a Gibson Les Paul Traditional. Necks from this era were typically fat with smaller frets. I do generally subscribe to going with that initial gut reaction. Taylor Swift Some players will find the full second octave of a 24 fret neck is essential and I completely get that. Many iconic guitar players played this neck radius including David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix Ritchie Blackmore etc. Such a fingerboard, for example, may have a 9.5” radius at the headstock end and a 14” radius at the body end; other compound-radius designs used by Fender include 7.25”-12” and 12”-16”. Dan Laz has been playing Musical instruments since the age of 7 years old and with over 35 Years’ experience has developed a deep understanding of musicianship, gear and the less than obvious details that make the big differences in your Sound & Enjoyment of the instrument you select. Our necks have an extra support where the Gibson necks all break. Fender commonly uses a radius of 9.5in for its Strats and Telecasters, while Gibson Les Pauls have a fretboard radius of 12in. I believe many of these greats and more may have opted for a flatter radius across-the-board had they been available at the time. This will take a little experience for you to determine whether it is neck profile or the radius itself. If the imaginary circle had a 12″ radius, your fretboard would follow that same arc. A compound radius offers both, starting rounder in open position and flattening out as you move higher up the neck. Warmoth Custom Guitar Parts - Guitar Necks … | Reply. | Reply, RSS feed for comments on this post. Typically these ranges will be superfast necks for soloing where you will be able to literally push the strings for days without fretting out or buzzing out. ** 30/60 is .030 of an inch thicker from front to back then the 60s slim, all the way up the neck. You cannot really determine that until you have sat with all the popular sizes for a period of at least a week or so. I find that for most players, it is finding that balance without making too big a trade-off in either direction to where they are happy with rhythm and lead work identically with one particular size for a compound radius neck of a certain dimension range. then I picked up a Carvin with a 20, then a couple of compound radius and I started to really like the flatter radius but with big fat necks like my gibson and fenders. At the end of the day, this is all about feel. Most Les Paul fingerboards range between a 10″ and a 12″ radius. What In Ear Monitors Do Famous Singers Use? 50s Rounded  —————-  .818″ (from Gibson Custom Shop) A Les Paul is thicker than a Fender Strat so there is more of a mass to resonate. Comment by S. Kindley — July 28, 2020 @ 2:52 pm Because it affects playability. If I’m playing a 14 inch neck, I want it to be 14 inch all the way across the neck. The 50's style and the 60's style necks. Introduced as an affordable option for students and beginners in 1954, the Les Paul Junior has been embraced by musicians for over 60 years. In my opinion the 1959 model necks are somewhat transitional as they are neither “Baseball Bat” in thickness or as slim as the profiles shipped with 1960 and newer models. Manufacturers refer to this arch as the radius. So it’s not uncommon to see a radius’ somewhere between 16 inches and totally flat being offered. Having the strings set a bit higher allows you greater flexibility to slide up and down without clicking and clanking along any of the frets. The back is tapered toward the high strings, more  closely matching the natural curve of your hand making it easier to  reach the fretboard. I’m a little confused as to why you would link “long neck tenon” to this page on my site considering my content is about the profiles of necks. And like some of the earlier greats used, had their only been 7.25 radius available, I am sure I would ultimately been able to get comfortable playing those. Yes you generally had to compromise a bit in one way or another, but you got used to it. 14” inch radius is on the flatter side, still in the ballpark of Gibson and approaching the feel of an Ibanez. The Wide Fat neck has the same nut width as the Wide Thin neck, but it has a deeper profile. In my opinion one of the great misconceptions about the neck profiles of 50’s era Gibson electric guitars begins with the 1959 Les Pauls. « Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 05:41:54 PM » surely you can measure this one yourself by drawing a part of a circe of 12" radius with a pencil and some string and making a rudimentary template. From Taylor Swift to Ariana Grande,  Lady gaga to Post Malone,  Justin Bieber and Drake to Sting, Axel Rose to James Hetfield. The Regular (sometimes called Standard) neck is a round neck shape that is 1/32 narrower and not quite as thick front to back as our Wide Fat neck.. That should pretty much cover all your bases to give you a spot on assessment or a really close assessment if you have some kind of oddball size. (1&11/32 inches Strat versus 1& 5/8 inches Gibson). I would say keep experimenting with different radius sizes until you can find an option where you are really happy doing both tasks. Some measurements taken from Gibson forums. Greats like Mark Knopfler or Bonnie Raitt did just fine on the rounder radius of the Stratocaster while Duane Allman and Warren Haynes found their sweet spots on Gibson style flatter radius. | Reply, […] like my Norlin "60's slim" necks at all….it has more "shoulder" to the neck. Compound radius necks go from a rounder curvature in open position between frets one in three and they flatten out the higher you go up the neck generally getting as flat as they will be around the 12th to 15th fret. The Les Paul Junior returns to the classic design that made it relevant, played and loved -- shaping sound across generations and genres of music. I think most guitar players look for a particular “feel” about the neck when trying to choose a guitar. As one can clearly see the newer 50’s style would more accurately be described as a 60’s neck profile. I personally like both. R7 —————————– .920″ Bridge Saddle Radius. Neck Thickness – (measurements taken at nut end of 1st fret) This will be a great neck for soloing and open position chords for players that prefer an across-the-board flat neck. Actually 9.5 has been there go-to radius for production model guitars for probably the last 30 years, with a 10 inch becoming more standardized within the last 10 years or so. They are square metal pieces of rigid sheet metal with notches for the strings that come with a different radius size on each side. I will focus on Gibson electric guitars in this article because I have limited experience with playing Gibson acoustic guitars. Obviously one can get a Les Paul today with either neck profile however the modern 50’s are not “Baseball Bat” thick. Gibson guitar necks are generally categorized into two types. I always liked Strats, and always liked Gibsons but wound up gravitating toward Strats because the string spacing is a bit wider than Gibson necks. TrackBack URI. 9.5 and 10 inch radius has been the new standard radius for Fender Stratocaster’s. Naturally, this makes the bigger radius popular among those playing lead guitar – a good example is the classic Gibson Les Paul, which comes with a 12” fretboard as standard and is played by the likes of Jimmy Page, Slash, and early Eric Clapton, among others. Well its not by luck, different necks have different radius. A guitar like the Stratocaster was such an incredible innovation that they grew up playing them that way and that’s ultimately the way they developed the muscle memory in their hands to be comfortable on that radius. Waymore Sound strives to be the ultimate resource for learning about Equipment & Musical endeavors for people at all Skill Levels. - Neck Profiles: Fender Guitars | Guitars, Paramedics, Linux, and Me, FS: 2009 Les Paul Jr. P-90 Tobacco Rock Machine! The fretboard radius is how much or how lirrle curve is on the top of the fretboard. Vintage Fenders are 7.25 radius modern Fenders are 9.5 Most Gibsons are … Side note: I never played 24 fret necks simply because the more frets you include within a scale length the less space is available between each and every fret. it will generally just get better from there instead of trying to force yourself into an option where you reason a way that you can learn to live with it. Ideally you will stumble upon a dimension where chords is a dream and soloing just gets better. I’ll try to illustrate the difference between the “Baseball Bat”, 1959, and modern Gibson neck profiles with the graphic below. So if you experience that you’re not quite satisfied with a particular radius, take a step back and think if it may have just been the neck profile that you didn’t like but the radius was really awesome. A rounded profile mahogany neck, bound rosewood fingerboard, long tenon 19th fret neck joint, and a solid mahogany body provide the backbone for singing sustain. Arguably, more important than body shape is the wood that the body is made out of and here lies another difference between Fender and Gi… Each have a strong following and some players won’t use one or the other. Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: You are commenting using your account. I think this pretty accurately illustrates the size and shape difference between a 50’s “Baseball Bat” neck (the R8), a transitional 1959 50’s neck profile (the R9), and a modern style neck profile from a 2011 Les Paul Traditional which represents what Gibson now calls a 50’s style “D” profile neck. The 50’s style and the 60’s style necks. My feeling is that they simply did not have many other options. So you basically had to pick a neck radius size that could handle both comfortably and go with it. Side note: A uniform 12 or 14 inch neck that feels good in open position playing chords between the first and third frets will also be easier to play barre chords and power chords on a bit further down the fret board anywhere between the fifth fret and the 12th fret. 50s Early 1st fret ———— .900” 12th fret – 1.00” Then your task should be somewhat easier to find a size that works. Joint Gibson uses what is known as the Mortis & Tenon joint to bind neck to body so that the two pieces form one solid unit. The truth is another neck with a 10-16″ compound radius or even flatter should be considered to play solos. The other option is a compound radius fretboard, as found on the 2012 Les Paul Standard. 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. If you are not sure what neck radius you have on a guitar that you currently own because you cannot find any information on the new make or model, you can get something called Radius Gauge. That is an acceptable action but higher than a flatter radius neck. You might find you can deal with a 7.25 very rounded radius neck on a thinner neck while that same radius on a thicker neck is just way too big and feels something like a baseball bat in the hand. Another term used to describe Gibson necks is “Baseball Bat”. The same can be true for any dimension radius. This is a neck where the radius is nice and flat at the higher frets, but becomes progressively curved as you make your way towards the nut. There are Custom Shop models, VOS, Artist, Gibson USA, Historics, Reissues, and I’m sure some that I’m forgetting. Les Paul necks from 1952-1958 are the true “Baseball Bat” necks. As I mentioned earlier in the post it was way too long for me before I found the ultimate radius for myself, you will be well ahead of the game if you can figure this out early on in your playing career. A flatter radius of 12 to 16 inches is popular for guitar soloing and bending notes. Interesting how it took me so long to stumble upon this but I simply never had a straight 16 inch neck before. I really enjoy soloing on Gibson necks that had a 12 or 14 inch radius neck as it felt effortless compared to a Strat which always seemed to need a little more dig and bite in the solo department due to the rounder radius. So one radius gauge can have 7.25, 9.5, 10 and 12”. Re: Gibson fretboard radius? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. On the Gibson USA SG Standard, this includes the larger tenon employed in earlier SGs, which helps to maximize sustain. Why the difference? R9 —————————–  .910″ Beginning with the 1959 models Gibson began improving specification consistency and started shipping neck profiles with a smaller “profile”. While I appreciate the information you published I can’t help but think the conflation of neck tenons with neck profiles does a disservice to both topics as they are irrelevant and only loosely associated at best. Not tenons or VOS. I have found that they have been times I pickup a guitar and say there’s something definitely there but there’s something definitely missing or wrong as well. I personally do not because over the years I have found that there is something psychological that interacts with my playing where I feel I am more at peace playing on one set radius that is uniform all along the fret board from fret 1 to 21 or 22. I think it is most important to note that Gibson’s tend to vary widely with respect to model and era manufactured. 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). ( Log Out /  Using radius gauges, measure the fingerboard radius and the saddle radius and see if they match. Let’s take a look a bit closer at what the most popular radius options have to offer. Classical and Flamenco style necks are traditionally flat with no radius at all whatsoever. i cam from a gibson 10 to 11 radius and fender 7.25 to 10 radius background. The bridge saddle radius should match or be slightly flatter than the radius of the fretboard. I would say that the 14 simply feels great. The radius only pertains to the curve of the fretboard, which dictates how the guitar will play and feel just as much as the neck profile. whereas on a flatter radius you can just hold the bar more uniformly in one position and run the slide up and down catching all the strings relatively cleanly. Joint Angle 0.0° (+/- … This is why it’s hard sometimes to make that determination in the field when you’re at a music store looking to make a purchase. The 490R and 490T Alnico II pickups provide the power to drive. Using a pick is better for music with a fast tempo because it can be harder to pluck the strings as fast and accurately with your fingers.... We are passionate about Instruments & Audio Equipment and love sharing everything we learn about them. With only an hour or so to tinker with an instrument you are interested in, you really don’t get a chance to fully understand for yourself if it suits All of your needs. Anyway I hope you enjoyed this and if you have anything to add please feel free to do so by leaving your comments below. From left to right is the neck profile of a modern reissue 1958 Les Paul (R8), a modern reissue 1959 Les Paul (R9), and a 2011 Les Paul Traditional (Trad). Neck Profile Slim Taper Scale Length 24.75" Fingerboard Material Rosewood Fingerboard Radius 12" Number of Frets 22 Frets Medium - Cryogenically Treated Nut Material Tektoid Nut Width 1.695" End of Board Width 2.26" Inlays Acrylic Trapezoids ** 30/60 ———————- .800″ (see below) A Strat and a Tele both look drastically different to a Les Paul or a big-bodied ES-335 or the double cut SG. In other words the area where the greatest difference in thickness between the 50’s and 60’s neck profile. On the other hand, while Gibson varies slightly, their J-45 acoustic model has a 16” fretboard radius while most if not all of their electric guitar models sit in and a 10” to 12” radius. This is also a good bit of information; If you know you enjoy playing these types of guitars you are an excellent candidate for a flatter radius neck on your electric instrument. 60s Slim taper —————  .765″ It all boils down to what you ultimately feel comfortable with and what can ultimately suit your needs comprehensively. 7.25 is a vintage spec typical of what you will find on early model or vintage reissue Fender Stratocaster’s. To achieve a perfect fit, the Thalia Capo comes with multiple interchangable fretpads so that you can match the fretboard radius of your specific instrument. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. - — November 26, 2014 @ 9:49 pm I did just want to mention so you do realize you’ll get a little less space in between each fret to squeeze those extra two frets on the scale length of the neck. A quick note about radius and slide guitar is that you can make any radius work. 16” radius is about as flat as it gets for modern-day electric guitars with some rare exceptions, Ibanez will commonly have something like a 16.9 inch radius and Jackson guitars may commonly have a 12 to 16 inch compound radius (but more on compound radius in a minute). The neck is thicker toward the bass strings  resulting in the asymmetrical shape. They are out there so just understand if you come across one it will be literally as flat as it gets while maintaining some form of radius. I prefer to have a bit more space in between each fret for my finger then have that full second octave going all the way up to the 24th fret. Start with that, and then start looking in either direction after that to get a comprehensive idea of what is going to be the optimal selection for you. The Gibson SG Standard rocks the classic looks and features associated with the late 60's style SG models sought after by many. Measuring the neck fingerboard radius. 9.5 or 10 inch radius offer a good mix of curvature or arch on the top side of the fret board for playing chords and flatness for single note bending that does not buzz out or fret out. Have you ever wondered why some necks just feel and play great? The fretboard radius is a commonly misunderstood term, incorrectly referred to “neck radius”, which leads people to think about the wrong part of the neck. The key to note here is that the optimal guitar setup for slide guitar will always have the action set somewhat higher than an absolute perfect set up. Neck Profile Rounded "C", Rolled Binding Scale Length 24.75" Fingerboard Material Rosewood Fingerboard Radius 12" Number of Frets 22 Frets Medium Jumbo - 18% Nickel Silver Nut Material Bone Nut Width 1.687" End of Board Width 2.241" Inlays Pearloid Small Block Truss Rod Engraved F Hole We are talking a lot here about the top of the necks fret board, but keep in mind that the back of the neck (called the neck profile) may impact the way any given radius performs on that guitar. If I’m going to play a 12 inch neck, I want it to be 12 inch all the way across. I always thought it refered to the size of the circle where a smaller 7 1/2 is smaller and hence shows a more curved radius with larger size circles get progressively flatter due to the same sample size of under two inches across the larger circle has a larger arc. Re: Do all Gibson Les Pauls/SG's have a 12" neck radius? An excellent way to visualize this is to imagine that the arc of your fretboard is part of a large circle, as shown below.

gibson neck radius

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