neck angle and fit to the player

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,775
Those who complain about neck angle of a strat vs LP because of some sort of personal preference...
Do you realize that the strings are always, on any guitar, in the same plane and neck angle has zero effect on that?
What shifts is that plane relative to the REAR plane of the guitar.
That means that when you hold the guitar, IF it hangs against you perfectly squarely, a Strat's playing plane will parallel the plane in which it hangs and an LP's will shift slightly, so you must advance your right arm forward and your left rearward to accommodate the location of the playing surface.
OR you simply allow the rear of the body to rotate to bring everything into parallel again.
This is SO NOT a big deal unless your personal body shape or shoulder alignment cannot accommodate a slight shift.

I have seen guitars made with angled tops on the bodies too, but they do exactly the same thing.
However, those preserve the non-neck angled design string-to-body spacing which does increase when a conventional angled neck is installed on a parallel cut body.

This is hard to explain without pictures.
 

Larry Mal

Member
Messages
1,692
Is it, though? It's not a complicated thing. I have never heard anyone complain about that, though, in all my years on music and guitar forums.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,775
Is it, though? It's not a complicated thing. I have never heard anyone complain about that, though, in all my years on music and guitar forums.
Today:
I'll take "Les Pauls" for $1000 please, Alex. I've played literally hundreds of them over the past 25 years. Can't find a single one that I'd even remotely consider buying. Can't get along with the shape or the neck angle.
Sadly I've never been comfortable with an LP. The bridge, the weight, the body/neck angle, the lack of upper fret access, all interfere with my enjoying and playing freely.
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/1382970
 

Schroedinger

Member
Messages
2,125
On Fenders, the strings are on a (more or less) parallel plane to the body. On a LP, the string plane is rotated 12 degrees off of the body plane. Since the strap is attached to the guitar body, that means that if the body hangs on the player in the same place, the string plane will be 12 degrees different between a Fender and a Les Paul. The obvious solution is to rotate the guitar around your body so that the string plane is in the same place relative to the player, but then the plane of the guitar body will be different (and feel different) to the player. Adding to all of this, the scale is shorter on a LP... so you don't have to reach as far to get to the 1st position.

IMO there is definitely a difference in how the guitar fits the player's body; for me, it's a small difference that's easily adjusted to. I play both styles... I prefer the feel of the Gibsons, but the Fenders sound different enough that it's worth adjusting to.
 

Larry Mal

Member
Messages
1,692
I've never even noticed it. I just put the guitar where I need it to be. I do notice things like neck dive, and lower bout dive, but the neck angle isn't any kind of issue. I usually add neck angle on Fenders, by putting a shim in there in most cases.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,775
This guy does not agree-

http://www.cpthorntonguitars.com/solidbody-guitars/innovations/

"Traditionally, there is no neck angle built into a single coil guitar, placing the strings close to the top of the guitar. Whenever I play one, my little finger rubs against the volume knob and turns it down. Also, many LP style players find these guitars hard to play, because they are used to the angled neck. Cp Thornton guitars use a neck angled back 4.5°, which is the same angle as a classic LP. Not only does the guitar hug your body like a LP, but the pickguard curves down away from you, giving you more room and freedom to play. Players who are used to traditional Single Coil style guitars will appreciate the difference!"

This isn't an ad for his guitars, but it's definitely something that caught my eye when I was looking at his site. I guess it's sort of the opposite of what the complaint was, e.g. this is for players who prefer the neck angle of an LP and would like it on a Strat-style.
Although the difference is real it has little to do with control placement and the 'hug your body' reference is strictly an illusion as it would only be true if the back was contoured i.e. dished (that has been done by some makers).
A flat back plane can only be rotated to move the tangent relative to the player's body. That is then not parallel to the playing plane. It cannot be with an angled neck.
The most significant feel characteristic of an angled neck, imo, is the possibility of raising the strings further from the body.

Ergonomically the neck angle is best suited to players who sit with the guitar on the right leg, which rotates the guitar body plane clockwise. The neck angle then recovers some of that angle to place the string plane closer to the player's normal shoulder plane.
This is evident on LP's non-recessed FR equipped guitars etc.

We can make a big deal of it but most adapt, unaware.
 




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