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How noticeable a difference does .015" make in neck?

creakyknee

Member
Messages
80
I am looking at a couple strat style guitars that have caught my eye. Both are some distance from me so I can't play them before buying. One has an .860-.960 neck carve and the other .875-.975, both have 1 5/8 nuts. The 860 is a little more attractive in some respects, but I generally like bigger necks.

So my questions are:

1. Assuming approximately the same even c shape, is that .015 likely to make a noticeable difference in feel?

2. Is that is enough neck mass to make a noticeable improvement in tone?

Appreciate anyone's thoughts.

Peace

Creaky
 
Last edited:

Mickey Shane

apolitical
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,485
.015" is about 1/64". You'd have a 50/50 chance of picking the right one when they were side-by-side.

It's too small of a difference to be noticeable.
 

Drew816

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,465
To me that difference would be HUGE, I like my 1 5/8 nut width necks to be 0.79 to 0.83 or 84 (1st to 12th). I can feel every bit of 0.10-0.15 but my left arm is screwed up and I have to cater to what my hand and arm to stand in order to get by. And I'm not saying I've got some 'magical talent', setup the same I think most folks can feel these differences doing a back to back comparison but they'd likely not care as it's so slight. Years ago that was me, nowadays that's no longer the case I'm sorry to say...

So, do you normally play 1 5/8 or 1 11/16th nut width guitars? For me if I'm playing a 1 11/16 then I go for an even more thin neck profile, 1 5/8ths I can stand a slightly larger profile since it's more narrow at the nut so the overall feel is about the same. If you're used to BIG necks profiles and 1 11/16ths then if you want to be on the safe side you might want to get the bigger of the two you've got listed. Then again this little difference could mean nothing to you and you're playing comfort.
 

tdarian

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,048
I don't know if I could really feel the difference at all or at least feel it in a meaningful way unless I played one for a bit and then immediately grabbed the other. Any even slight variations in the neck shape between the two might be more apparent and maybe even make the thinner one feel thicker. Same with necks which measure identically in thickness with a caliper. Another factor to consider and that you did not mention is the board radius. A flatter radius (9.5 and up) may feel slightly thicker than a more curved radius like a 7.5 in the same thickness because some wood has been "shaved off" to create the more curved 7.5 radius.

As mentioned, the nut width is another significant consideration, but you did say they were both 1 5/8.

Frets are another consideration, and since strings ride above the top of the frets a taller fret might make a neck feel apparently thicker to the hand.

Neck thickness in general may have an effect on tone, but given the values you mentioned other uncontrollable factors in the wood (density, grain, etc.) would render the slight difference in thickness likely irrelevant.

Both specs represent fairly substantial necks. I believe .860 - .960 is pretty close to a PRS Wide/Fat.

Again, any subtle variation in the neck carve (full C, D, or slight soft V) will have fairly dramatic impact on the feel.

Good luck Creaky, and Peace to you as well!
 

creakyknee

Member
Messages
80
Thanks for all the feedback. Both of the guitars I'm considering have 6105s and the .860 had a 9.5 radius and the .875 has a 10, so they are pretty close. I was in Chicago today and had a chance top head over to Maken Music for a bit. I played a Suhr tele with the 50s roudback shape, which is, I believe, .860-.980. That felt pretty good to me even in the first position, so I think I'm more comfortable going with the .860. Pretty nice guitar too!

Also had a chance to play a Collings CL and I-35. Both great guitars, but I really, really dug the CL. Wow - what a fiddle.
 

creakyknee

Member
Messages
80
Bump for interest. I know I said that I was comfortable with the .860 neck in the last post, but still interested in what others might have to say.

peace
 
Messages
23,951
Any difference at all in the precise shape of that "C" you describe could balance out or even wipe out every bit of the .015 difference.

.015 was the thickness of my 'B' string the last time I checked. Pick the guitar that sounds right on all other counts and hope for the best.
 




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