Guitar necks: The Scale, the Radius and the Shape

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by szombat62, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Squier-Meister

    230
    Apr 6, 2014
    Wokingham England
    I've gone from not knowing what I was playing (you know; those days before the internet and I just bought my JV Squier Strat because I wanted 'A Strat').

    Then I found out about specs, such as radius, fret sizes and scale lengths and started trying to buy based on specs (or at least picking those models out to try in the shops). Kind of backed myself into a corner and ended up with a few very similar guitars, so I traded some in the end for more variety.

    Last year I pushed myself to buy a replacement Tele neck completely out of my usual range (slimmer neck, 7.25" radius and vintage frets) and put a 'Fat U 51' neck on a project, that has 9.5" radius and medium tall frets.

    I got used to it and it plays great.

    Then I found that what actually works for me is playing different guitars: I had started to get issues with my hands and in particular my little finger. I found that swapping between fat and thin necks, different radius (radii?) and even shorter scale such as a 24" Fender Jaguar seems to help. A change being as good as a rest (since sometimes I'd just have to not play for 3-4 days otherwise until my hand/finger recovered).

    On Monday I took 3 guitars to a jam night and since I don't know when we will be able to do it again I took 3 guitars:
    Fat neck Tele 25.5" 9.5" radius tall frets.
    60s slim taper Gibson Les Paul 24.75" scale, 12" radius medium jumbo frets that I had levelled and crowned.
    Medium C shaped Fender Jaguar 24" scale, 9.5" radius vintage tall frets.

    (Deduct points for not taking my Strat, but I hadn't got round to restringing it for a while). :)
     
    drewcp and szombat62 like this.
  2. jefffam

    jefffam Dr NC Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    62
    Jan 26, 2015
    Portland, TN
    It's very simple. Too me after being played a while, after the varnish/shellac wear off, I think maple fretboards are very ugly. That is simply aesthetics the smallest problem. Mostly, I have the sensation that the strings are 'digging in' to the wood on any fretted string. I don't have that sensation ever on rosewood boards. That extremely uncomfortable/unpleasant feeling is with every single maple fretboard I've played. A Squier standard, affinity, '51, and a couple other brands. This feeling is so disconcerting that I will not buy one today. I gave all my maple fretboard guitars to my son (traded away one here) who has no issue with maple; Including my '51, which I really liked other than the fretboard.

    I miss my '51, so one of my planned builds will be an NC body and neck (full size body, chunky rosewood fretboard neck) utilizing a pickguard in the '51 style layout; single coil neck with s HB in the bridge, , no middle p/u, headstock reshaped into Tele-ish profile (I bought it this way).

    I hope this answers your question.

    ETA: Correct spelling and grammar. Can't spell check on my phone unless I have my external KB. No ability to right click for spell check on the phone proper, LOL.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
    szombat62 and so1om like this.
  3. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    53
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago now Sarasota
    I don’t think that’s exactly true. You can have 73 frets on a 24” scale neck and it’s still 12” from the nut to the 12th the the bridge. The only concern is if the mounting is different, ie the end of the neck, thus pocket. Since it has an overhang, it *sounds* like the pocket location would be the same.
     
    kingmlg likes this.
  4. beagle

    beagle Squier-Nut

    907
    Nov 19, 2017
    Yorkshire
    The scale is measured beween the nut and the saddle, regardless of the number of frets. The octave stays at the twlfth fret too...
     
  5. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    73
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    I'm among those for whom neck shape hasn't meant much. But... If that is so why do I enjoy playing one guitar more than another?

    Weight. Balance. Fret finish. And more recently my growing appreciation for "liveness." These things matter t me very much. But neck shape? Nah.

    I find it interesting how some of us adjust to 'whatever,' while others have very specific preferences.

    I "buy" it. That is I believe that some do have that sensitivity. To me it is more of a wonder that I and some other players don't.

    -don
     
  6. beagle

    beagle Squier-Nut

    907
    Nov 19, 2017
    Yorkshire
    I play mandolin and bass and I'll have a crack at anything inbetween, if it has strings...
     
    duceditor likes this.
  7. guitalias

    guitalias Squier-Meister

    Age:
    56
    151
    Apr 21, 2020
    Australia
    so1om & beagle, I realise that. My SBM neck & the possible replacement measure different from 12 fret to heel. Custom body is to suit SBM neck type.
     
  8. guitalias

    guitalias Squier-Meister

    Age:
    56
    151
    Apr 21, 2020
    Australia
    Thx, I'd googled in the meantime & thought it may be about the fretboard finish.
     
  9. Steve1961

    Steve1961 Squier Talker

    Age:
    59
    8
    Jun 8, 2020
    England
    One of the best necks that I have ever played in my 40 odd years of playing is on my Squier Telecaster Custom II. Its a 42mm nut , chunky-ish C and even has rolled edges. Now it it was the same shape and 43mm nut I would be in heaven. On the other hand my Fender Prodigy is over 43mm at the nut and is more of a biggish D shape and I love that too.
     
    szombat62 likes this.
  10. Maguchi

    Maguchi Squier Talker

    Age:
    56
    62
    Aug 5, 2019
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Yes to all of the above.
     
    szombat62 likes this.