1.625 vs 1.650 nut question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by FiestaRed869, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. FiestaRed869

    FiestaRed869 Member

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    I have a few MJT guitars with 1.625 nut width and like it. Most other strats I play are 1.650. I am thinking of buying a replacement neck and was thinking about nut width. My question is if all fender heels are the same essentially all nut widths eventually converge at a certain point in the neck. So lets say a 1.625 vs a 1.650, it's realistically only narrower from the 1st to 7th fret? Does it converge further down you think around the 12 to 14th? I have calipers and multiple Musikrsft 1.625 necks if some people wanna most measurements of width at lets say 5, 7, 9, and 12.
    I do like a narrower spacing but from the 7th fret up, not necessarily for open chords, it can get tight. I just found out about vintage narrow spaced bridges and thinking maybe I've been attacking it from the wrong end. I think a 1.650 with narrow bridge is what I want, maybe not a narrowerr nut
     
  2. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Will there be a difference? Yes, technically speaking the 1.625" nut will be narrower all the way up until the end of the neck. Can you feel that difference is the question. I personally like a 1.650" nut as I can space the strings at the nut a hair wider than standard and then use a 2 1/8" spaced bridge. This will keep the strings away from the edges nicely. Wilkinson makes a vintage type bridge like this and the Gotoh 510 series is as well.
     
  3. rickc007

    rickc007 Gold Supporting Member

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    I totally hear ya, and have some necks that are thinner width at the 12th than others. And all
    are Fender Custom shop. Not sure how, when the heel size is the same, but they are different.
    I have one that is very thin at the 12, easy to get your hand around, with very little taper.
    If you grab it at the 3rd, and 12th, feels very close, very little taper.
    Can be done...

     
  4. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    I design the neck as one continuous taper right to the heel, but by my calculations the difference between 1.650 and 1.625 by the time it gets to the start of the neck pocket is about 4 thousandths. I will often cut several neck pockets with the same tool following the same toolpath on the same day and some will end up a little more snug than others. I put that down to how the wood grain is responding to having some internal stress relieved in the area where material is removed, and that definitely adds up to more than 4/1000ths! So I don't sweat it and use the same pocket for 1-5/8" and 1-11/16" nut width, even though the necks converge linearly right the way down to the butt end. I hope that answers your question!
     
    Boris Bubbanov likes this.
  5. FiestaRed869

    FiestaRed869 Member

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    Musikraft responded to me saying the 1.625 measured 2.024 at the 12th and the 1.650 measured 2.033. I measured both my 1.625 from them and it was dead on 2.024. Currently have the 1.625 with vintage spaced bridge, maybe I'll see what a 1.650 with modern narrow spacing feels like.

    Before getting into all these minute details I ordered a 1.625 and just used whatever bridge MJT gave me. I noticed my e strings were falling off the edges when I played so just went to my luthier and he just cut a nut with the strings further in. Now I learn about different bridge spacing etc
     
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    the shape of the carve makes a huge difference on the neck feel, even with the same width and depth quoted numbers.

    Grab a Squier Strat neck and a MIM/MIA Fender neck and the widths/depths will be within 'a mm' of each other. The difference though is the MIM/MIA will have a flat on the side of the fretboard and the carve starts behind the glue line. The Squier will have nearly a knife edge from the carve starting close to the front edge of the fretboard and cutting back at an acute angle. A lot of wood is removed so the resulting circumference of the two necks are entirely different.

    .
     
  7. FiestaRed869

    FiestaRed869 Member

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    After some research I see a MIM standard is 1.650 and narrow, and a classic series 50s or 60s is 1.650 with vintage wide so I'll go check it out.
     
  8. FiestaRed869

    FiestaRed869 Member

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    Here is my analysis. Like I stated I started this all without knowing anything about string spacing. I bought an MJT 1.625 neck with whatever bridge MJT gave me with no thought. It was a vintage wide. It was set up great but I noticed the high E and low E would slip off sometimes. I have another MJT with exact same specs that don't have this problem so just thought the luthier spaced my nut to wide but after some research I found out that its a common prob, I guess the last person who did my nut made narrower spacing. Heres what I learned.

    1.625 nut with narrow spacing is to narrow for me.
    1.625 with "normal spacing" feels good but the e string slips off sometimes. I ordered vintage narrow bridge and will report back if it solves the problem.

    I went and played a few vintage reissues with 1.650 nut and wide bridge and a few MIM with narrow, couldn't really tell any difference in the short time I played. I guess when the neck starts getting narrowing you really feel those little nuances. Im gonna order a 1.650 nut neck and compare it to the 1.625 and well see what I end up with. Thanks again for your help.
     
  9. Bossanova

    Bossanova Silver Supporting Member

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    If you like the wide bridge spacing, I’d go with the wider 1 11/16” nut myself. I built a strat like that for my bass player and he loves it.
     
  10. FiestaRed869

    FiestaRed869 Member

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    I bought a vintage narrow bridge so going to see how that feels and if it brings on the E string from the edge. I measures the string spacing on the one that I thought was a tad to close to the edge on my 1.625 and it measured 1.375 so going to get a nut with slightly tighter spacing.
     
  11. wox

    wox Supporting Member

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    I have large hands and generally prefer 1.6875 over the smaller necks, but it's really all about a well-cut nut with good string spacing, and a bridge with the same.
     

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