1-5/8" Nut Width vs. 1-11/16" Nut Width

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by t3oi, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. t3oi

    t3oi Silver Supporting Member

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    Other than 1/16" in measurement, is there a common noted difference in tonal, intonation, or playability in a 1-5/8" Nut Width vs. 1-11/16" Nut Width?
     
  2. ixsaves13

    ixsaves13 Supporting Member

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    I believe intonation / setup is all the same. But if you're familiar with bass guitars, it is similar to the string spacing difference between a 4 string bass to a 5 string. Although it would be more exaggerated on a bass, it sometimes takes some time to get use to the difference in feel / playability. 5/8ths although small in size, makes a difference in how it feels a great deal. I have small hands, so I prefer 5/8ths. It's best to get your hands on both and decide from there.
     
  3. levelfrets

    levelfrets Member

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    Its just in the feel and playability. It does'nt affect intonation or setup. Some people that have fat fingers like the wider spacing.
     
  4. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I think open G chords are easier to play on a 1 5/8 nut width than a 1 11/16. And in some respects the 1 11/16 spacing seem easier to play everything else. But that may be just me.
     
  5. Tweeker

    Tweeker Supporting Member

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    It's all about feel feel feel.
    I've got small hands, thin fingers and I can only use 1 11/16" and larger sized necks. Anything smaller just doesn't work for my playing style.
    The neck width is not the only dimension to consider. When comparing instruments with the same neck width, the DEPTH/PROFILE, RADIUS and nut spacing will all contribute to how it feels and plays in YOUR hands!
     
  6. Brewmaster

    Brewmaster Member

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    I go back and forth all of the time. A bigger consideration for me is the neck thickness and roundness. I can't stand a neck that is to thin or isn't round enough.
     
  7. raz

    raz Member

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    What fascinates me is the difference a sixteenth of an inch makes. Recently acquired an upgraded Mexi tele with the 1 11/16th neck and it's really annoying me. Been playing 5/8s so long that the 11/16 feels like torture. I've got small hands too.

    First project after I finish my strat build is to replace the neck on the Tele.
     
  8. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    Will a replacement neck with nut width 1 11/16" ,

    work on a guitar body whose stock neck original nut width was 1.650 " ??

    As far as string spacing, edge of the fretboard string hazards, etc...

    Thanks
     
  9. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Just bear in mind that the string spacing at the nut and the spacing of the bridge are designed together to keep the E strings from falling off the edge and to keep that spacing even all the way down the fingerboard. So if you mix and match the vintage and modern specs, there's a chance that the distances between the E strings and the fingerboard edges won't be consistent.
     
  10. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    OK thanks

    The original guitar in question is a Fender Cray body (specs say 1.650 nut width), and,
    the fact that all the replacement necks I see out there
    are all 1 5/8 or 1 11/16.
    The bridge is a spread of 2 3/16"
     
  11. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    That's gonna depend on the string array at the nut. If you try and widen the string array at the nut a full 1/16th of an inch, your edges had best not be rolled too much. If you keep your string array at the nut constant, you may eliminate string offs and may give yourself more room for bending, etc.

    Better to be en garde for compatibility of board radiuses chosen, the amount of fall away a neck builder does or does not employ, depending on which general type, vintage width or modern, bridge is used. the nut is by far the easiest part of the neck to manipulate. Some might use the truss rod, but it really isn't for that.

    Also bear in mind a nominal "1 + 5/8ths" nut width aftermarket neck is gonna be around 1.634, not 1.625 and that a nominal "1 + 11/16ths" neck will be around 1.693 or thereabouts, plus or minus. You may have to slim down a "1 + 1/16ths" neck in order to use a prefab "1 + 11/16ths" nut.

    Bubbanov
     
  12. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    Ok thanks. I"ve been searching for 12" radius necks and they all the ones I've seen so far have the 1 11/16.. But I think thats the reverse of what I'd want in terms of the edges. I would want a 1 5/8 I think, due to the edges. (yes?)

    I got a 'yes' from an aftermarket parts shop on a special request, I may have to do that. ( that is, 1 5/8" 12" radius, rosewood)
     
  13. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Try a MusicMan Luke ...it has 1 5/8", 12" radius ...
    One of the best playing guitars ever ...
     
  14. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    OK thanks (but I'm trying to match a new body I've just bought, to a neck out there somewhere)



    I think I've found an answer, even though the frets aren't old and flat (I can have a tech do that after I try it for awhile), here may be the answer, for finding a parted out neck.

    =======================================
    Fender Classic Player '60s Stratocaster Features:

    * Body: Alder
    * Sonic Blue (Polyester Finish)
    * Neck: 1-Piece Maple, Soft "C" Shape, (Gloss Polyurethane Finish)
    * Fingerboard: Rosewood, 12" Radius
    * No. of Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Frets
    * 3 Custom '69 Single-Coil Strat Pickups
    * Master Volume, 2 Tone Controls
    * Bridge: Vintage Style 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Stamped Solid Steel Saddles and Milled Solid Steel Block
    * Machine Heads: Fender/Ping Vintage Style Tuning Machines
    * Hardware: Chrome
    * Pickguard: 3-Ply Mint Green
    * Scale Length: 25.5"
    * Width at Nut: 1.650"
    * Case: Deluxe Gig Bag
     
  15. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    Fender has the perfect nut width IMO, 1.65". Right between 1 5/8" and 1 11/16". Have your cake and eat it too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  16. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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  17. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    I'm bidding on one of these right now.
    12" Radius, 1.650 nut width. I'll deal with themedium jumbo frets later. Maybe they'll be OK.

    Tech question: Someday I could just throw on a 1 5/8 on there couldn't I?
    Looks-wise I don't care if it'll be off.
    I'm just curious. I love the luxurious wide space between high and low E's from the edge of the fretboard on my LesPaul
     
  18. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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  19. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    My Prairiewood has a 1.75" wide neck with a 1" deep boat contour neck. 10" radius. Great feel for me.
     
  20. wizard333

    wizard333 Member

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    Its just playability, and its personal taste.

    I much prefer 1&5/8", in fact I have a few old G&Ls that are slightly thinner and those are just fantastic for my hands.
     

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