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Neck profiles...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by theFixer, May 31, 2017.

  1. theFixer


    May 30, 2017
    IMHO, one of the larger shortcomings of bass and guitar manufacturers, is their failure to include sufficient data regarding the neck profiles of the instruments they are trying to sell. For instance... the lions share of basses you see online or in catalog, claim that their necks have a "C" shape. I PROMISE you... if you grab an Ibanez "C" shaped neck & compare it to a Music Man "C" shaped neck, you'll quickly learn the difference. I'm a big guy with big hands. I like a tree trunk for a neck. Standard Jazz bass necks (as well as Ibanez and many others) are just hand cramps waiting to happen. What do YOU like, and why? Who's got big necks out there?
  2. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Well a C shaped neck that's huge and a C shaped neck that's tiny is still gonna be C shaped. The nut width and radius and such will give you more details.

    Me, I like modern P necks. I'm not picky.
    Catbuster, MonetBass, DavC and 5 others like this.
  3. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I tend to agree, there should be more than what is usually given as far as neck measurements go. Some do have more comprehensive measurements but it’s not wide-spread by any means. I have 3 Fenders that each have different neck specs:

    Geddy Lee Jazz – shallow C shape, 1.5” nut width, 9.5” radius board. Thin, but very playable.
    Precision Deluxe Special Ed. – Modern C shape, 1.5” nut width, 9.5” radius board. Not as thin as the GL but just as playable.
    Nate Mendel Precision – Deeper C shape, 1.615” nut width (IIRC), 7.25” radius board. A beefer neck back to front but very playable.

    I have no problems playing any of these basses. Smaller or bigger and I'll have issues.
  4. theFixer


    May 30, 2017
    Well... granted... a "C" is always a "C" regardless of size... but that kinda goes back to my point, that not enough information is provided. I would like to see a manufacturer cut a neck into 2 pieces at the 12th, and show me a photo of the cut ends (preferably with thickness and width measurements noted).
  5. mdogs

    mdogs Suspended Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    If you are getting cramps in your fretting hand, it has nothing to do with the neck...your technique is bad...
    gebass6 and lz4005 like this.
  6. theFixer


    May 30, 2017
    I'm working on lightening my touch for sure, but I had the same issues when playing guitar. Thin neck bad... fat neck goooooood!
  7. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    There is no bigger 4 string baseball bat than this 55 neck.

    Like you, I have large hands and prefer something to hold on to. I once owned a mid 50's P bass w/ a V contour and loved it. Decided to add the V contour to a couple Warmoth refurbs. Lots to grab and fits like a glove.
    friend33, bassdude51, bdplaid and 4 others like this.
  8. theFixer


    May 30, 2017
    WOW man!!! That's a cupple o' handsome bastards ya got there! I love the shot of that "V" neck! That looks like somethin' I could get behind! Do any of the vintage re-issue necks come close to that?
    bdplaid and 2saddleslab like this.
  9. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    Don't know for sure, but the 57 AVRI, 58 AVRI and Road Worn P necks may be in that ballpark. Warmoth P necks (not the slim profile) are/were pretty fat too. I've got an 80's Warmoth P neck on my 64 Jazz and it's a big boy.
    theFixer likes this.
  10. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    I am surprised when companies don't even know what the neck dimensions and/or fretboard radius is for their basses.
    Schecter and ESP can't tell you when you ask them.
    It seems that fretboard radius is important to me, and having a soft edged fretboard (rolled edges?) more than nut width.
    Different brands just feel different, I tend to like Peavey USA necks at 8" radius and 1.5" nut width.
    I like Fender 9.5" fretboard necks in a Jazz size and the more moderate Precision width as well.
    Had a Tribute G&L JB-2 that had a 1.5" nut and a 12" radius fretboard in maple with edges that were too sharp feeling, I could never get comfortable with it.
    While I have a Guild Pilot that has a 12" radius maple fretboard and 1.5" nut width neck that feels great.
    Not sure size is the big thing, I think it's shape that either work or not for me.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    theFixer and ThePresident777 like this.
  11. I got my hands from my mother - relatively narrow compared to my 6'2" build with long fingers. For this reason (and since I like reaching into the higher range for fills and verse-end solos) I prefer a 5 or 6 string, since the lower strings sit better under my fingers than a 4-string. I tune my 5-string up to drop C with a high Bb, and even though there's only 3-4 passages in my bands' repertoire where I actually need the high Bb string, playing the same low rhythm licks on a 4 cramps my hand up faster than the same riffs on a tuned-up 5
    ThePresident777 likes this.
  12. I grew up ( 40years ) on a real 57' P and the neck was fat but not near as fat as early 50's necks.
    The thing I've recently realized is that for me, the more strings/wider the neck is, the thinner, front to back I like the neck to be. No problem with cramps but it's just easier to play on long gigs and less fatiguing. As are Asymetrical necks.
    So the piece of the puzzle that I think is often missing for people is the front to back dimension. It would be cool if builders would post 1st, 7th, 12th fret neck depth measurements, in additition to the other neck specs.
    Even after playing for 50 yrs and being able to pick up most any bass and play it, I'm refining my exact vision of what a perfect neck profile for me would be. And I've figured out that its different for different basses. For several reasons like, fretted or fretless. 4 string, five string six string etc.
    MarkA, Rezdog and theFixer like this.
  13. I prefer 'flatter' (like an oval sliced in half) than 'rounder' (like a Louisville Slugger sliced in half). I'm also one of those 'thumb along the centerline' than a 'reach over the top edge' players. I've always wanted to try one of those assymetric profiles (ala Tobias and others) where it's like an aircraft wing cross-section, with the fatter side under the big strings.
  14. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    Ever since picking up 4 different instruments with the same exact specs with different pickup / color combinations, I felt 4 different necks.

    Numbers are just a reference. Go with what feels good.
    ZedLepp, theFixer and J-Bassomatic like this.
  15. I feel that it is often difficult to quantify a bass neck by the numbers, (with the exception of nut with and string spacing at the bridge). The shape of a neck gives a certain feel to it. Trying to put a number to a feeling is difficult at best.

    Before we shopped on the internet this was not an issue. You went to a music store and felt the bass.
    theFixer likes this.
  16. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I've not found a neck shape on either a 4 string or 5 string that put me off yet. Tone, weight and bridge string spacing are the only red lines for me.
    theFixer likes this.
  17. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Neck size (front to back depth) definitely has a lot to do with hand cramping in my opinion. If you want to test this, grab hold of the fat end of a baseball bat in one hand, and the skinniest part of the same bat in the other hand, and squeeze hard with both hands. Now, keep squeezing. And some more. A little more. More. Don't stop... just keep squeezing. More. And some more. And more. Don't let up, now. Just.... keep.... squeezing. Now, some more. And more. Hard as you can... Squeeze! More. More. More. OK, now how do your hands feel?
    theFixer likes this.
  18. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I read your other discussion too and for what your ready to invest in a bass maybe buying warmouth parts and having one assembled for you is the way to go. You would have control over the weight (to some degree) and the neck width and profile. It sounds like you have specific needs and that would be a way to tailor the bass to you.
    theFixer likes this.
  19. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Started a rant thread about this months ago. For me precise specs are the way to go (for this or anything).

    Frustrated with manufacturers not publishing vital playability affecting specs

    BTW, 5 string Musicman basses (non Classic) and Sterlings have Ibanez (SDGR) like neck profiles, in fact mine are all 20mm front to back at fret 1 (21mm at fret 12), a real sharp C. It's the 4 string Stingray's (and Classic 5's) neck that's chunkier.
  20. ale29


    May 25, 2008
    I've got big hands too and neck profile has never been a priority to me, got used to a Warwick 5 string's neck (which was a behemot) and to thin Jazz bass necks just fine.
    On the other hand, string spacing and neck finish can be really important to me. I prefer wide spacing and satin or oil finishes.
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