Measuring Fender neck dimensions

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Shadow Puppets, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Shadow Puppets

    Shadow Puppets Member

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    So I'm going to measure a few of my Fender necks tonight to examine exactly what neck profile/size each guitar allegedly features.

    When measuring the neck, I'll be using a vernier, with the strings slackened off so I can measure the wood exactly.

    Question is, where exactly should I be taking the measurements from? Just before the 1st fret? Just after the 1st fret? Just before the 12th fret? Just after the 12th fret?

    Sounds like a simple question, but I've never done it before.
     
  2. Flash6969

    Flash6969 Member

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    Interested to know this also
     
  3. M40A1

    M40A1 Member

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    I typically measure mine behind the fret (nut side). But to be honest, a fret's width worth of difference probably would be minimal.
     
  4. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    Measure just behind first fret, center of fingerboard to center of neck back. Also at 12th. Measure the nut width right at nut. Make sure a nut overhang does not give false reading. Shape is simply by feel.
     
  5. NewLeaf09

    NewLeaf09 Supporting Member

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    One thing I've never understood: why measure the wood when fret height can affect the actual distance between finger tips and the back of the neck? What do you do with a scalloped fretboard? I'm not sensitive to neck thickness as much as I am to shoulder size and contour so this micrometer fetish seems silly to me but I've seen people claim their playing is affected by a mere ten or twenty thou variance, in one case a buyer here rejected a $10k guitar because of a tiny difference, or that was his rationale. How many people grip the neck so tightly the strings contact the wood immediately behind a fret and how do they not strangle the notes out of tune? And what is the thickness of an average low E string? Another Fifty thou? How many angels on the head of this pin?
     
  6. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    So are you proposing a new measurement convention where the string is depressed to "normal" fretting tension and the measurement is taken from the top of the string to the back of the neck. Sounds easy to do. Much better than just measuring the neck and noting the size of the frets. Great idea. :idea


    Is this a common problem for you? :confused:


    OK. Good for you. :mmm Spend your money how you like. Worrying about others seems like a dead end street. :mob I don't like Strats, but I don't jump into every Strat thread and proclaim that Strats are silly. :idea I don't like big shoulders either. That's why I ask about the shape of the neck in addition to being interested in depth and width.


    OK. Why do you care? :bonk


    If I was buying a $10k guitar, I'd be more likely to be picky about the neck, not less. :dunno


    What does this have to do with the discussion? :huh


    Thanks for your contribution to the thread!! :bow
     
  7. NewLeaf09

    NewLeaf09 Supporting Member

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    Let me make it easier for you. There is precision and there is pretend precision. If precision matters as much as some claim, I would think having a meaningful measurement would matter.
     
  8. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks! Let me make it easier for you. I generally agree with you that 10 or 20 thousands isn't likely to be felt by anyone, but people can spend their money the way they like.
     
  9. NewLeaf09

    NewLeaf09 Supporting Member

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    You seem to be spoiling for a fight and I'm not interested, thanks. Nowhere did I suggest that people should spend their money in any particular fashion. I merely questioned a convention doesn't make sense to me and you took umbrage. I hope your day improves.
     
  10. kenneth

    kenneth Member

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    Personally, i don't find this measurement so useful. I actually found, when measuring this, that necks that i though were "thicker" where actually thinner than other necks, I thought were thinner.

    What I do find I care about, is the neck profile, and the amount of "shoulder" in the profile.

    Does anyone measure this shoulder and profile somehow, or we all use subjective words like "modern C", etc?
     
  11. Judas68fr

    Judas68fr Member

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    and then because at some point all necks are shaved by hand, all necks have a different feel by definition (they are all slightly different). I still think this is an interesting exercise, just to realize that it is a total nonsense to say general things like "all modern C Fender necks are slim".
     
  12. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately, there's descriptions like C, D, U, and V, and slightly better, there are diagrams that show the profile. PITA, eh? I like hard V necks and you couldn't pay me to take a Gibson R7 neck with all of that shoulder. Sue me. :)
     
  13. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    the only measurements most aftermarket makers require are the width at the nut, at the heel, and the thickness from the back of the neck to the top surface of the fingerboard... at the first fret and again, at the 12th... do NOT measure the fret as part of the neck dimensions...

    also for the OCD crowd... precision is not a feature of a custom neck... few if any neck makers will guarantee anything inside of a .010 margin of error... why? Cause wood will expand and contract as temperature and humidity change and as paint solvents soak into it..

    and unless you finish it with a real finish (no, oils do not qualify)... all bets are off... no warranty at all from most makers..

    So if you're pedantic about such... fugidditabout it.... and don't forget paint adds dimension too...

    rk
     
  14. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I too have found that the measurement doesnt tell much on whether I will like the neck profile. But it is just one tool in your arsenal I suppose.
    Shoulder is very important to me if the thickness is in the ballpark. One example is comparing the Clapton Neck soft V and the Jimmie Vaughn V. The Clapton is very comfortable to me, but the JV is one of the least comfortable. The JV seems to carry the V from back right to the fretboard creating a shoulderless shape... for some reason that is very uncomfortable for my hands.
     

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