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Narrow Width Necks

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by alfaalex101, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. alfaalex101

    alfaalex101 New Member!

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    I love narrow width strat necks! Not the thickness of the necks - but the width beyond the high e and low E. I feel freer playing lead on them. The Squier Pro Tone Stratocasters from the late 90s come to mind and more recently - The Eric Johnson signature strat! Anyone have any 12th fret and/or 21st measurements of those guitars or one of your own really narrow necks?
     
  2. CigBurn

    CigBurn Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You would love the necks on Squier Affinitys me thinks.
     
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  3. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Not only do I use one, I also have a spare.
     
  4. sgarnett

    sgarnett Strat-O-Master

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    I love necks that are wide at the nut. 1-3/4” to 1-7/8” is ideal. Ok, maybe just 1-3/4” for electric. For a Strat, 43mm is about as wide as it gets. I also love the wide/vintage string spacing though (more room for fingerstyle), and there are few options for combining the 43mm nut and vintage bridge without going the partscaster route.

    Well, I found that I cared more about the bridge width than the nut. So, I’ve embraced 42mm to get the bridge I want.
     
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  5. jwj1701

    jwj1701 Strat-Talker

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    Your reply makes me want to try a vintage or vintera style now. I always associate string spacing with the nut width but apparently that’s not quite right. I like the USA made 43 mm width but now I’m going to have to check one out. I don’t know whether to thank you or not as it could lead to more gas. IE 60’s modified vintera model in burgundy mist.
     
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  6. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Welcome to the forum!

    The Squier Pro Tone and the Eric Johnson are NOT narrow width necks - they are vintage 1.65" (42mm)- which is normal on 90% of Strats.....

    Maybe it's the modern USA Fender 1.6875" like on a Gibson that you don't like?

    I wouldn't call either of those 2 necks you mentioned narrow....narrow to me is like 1.6" or 40mm

    What you are feeling might also be due to vintage spacing - wide 2 7/32" vintage bridge which is on the Pro Tone and the Eric Johnson.....most modern Strats are 2 1/16" which leaves more area beyond the high or low E to the edge of the fretboard.....
     
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  7. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    My '76 Strat measures 1.615 (41mm) at the nut. It was my first guitar, and I've found it's narrower than I prefer, now that I have other guitars. Luckily I was able to install a TUSQ nut with wider string spacing, and still not have them too close to the edge.
     
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  8. mshivy

    mshivy Most Honored Senior Member

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    I like 1-5/8” better than the slightly wider ones.
    But you have to take each guitar on it’s own
     
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  9. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    8 strings in a 1-1/8" nut is narrow, after that anything else is spacious.
     
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  10. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Counting headlice on the highway Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Wide is nice for fingerpicking, but it would have to be a really comfortable neck profile, otherwise it's a pain and I cramp up in the hand.

    1.500 = 1-1/2 = 38.1mm
    1.563 = 1-9/16 = 39.7mm
    1.625 = 1-5/8 = 41.3mm
    1.688 = 1-11/16 = 42.9mm
    1.750 = 1-3/4 = 44.5mm
     
  11. sgarnett

    sgarnett Strat-O-Master

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    Fwiw, the American Pro neck (though I like it) doesn’t really use the extra nut width anyway. They just left a little more space at the edges.

    The narrow nut bothers me most on something like a barred A form progression such as C->A#->A. It’s faster to keep using the barred form when I reach the 2nd fret, but that gets crowded with a 42mm nut. To keep it clean, I need to twist my wrist so the fingertip is angled across the strings instead of right behind the fret. That’s not really hard though, it just takes practice.

    OTOH, a narrow bridge limits the room for my fingertips. I can still play it of course, but there the technique adjustment has more impact on the tone. So, while I’d like more room at both ends, it matters more to me at the bridge.

    FWIW, when trying to learn something new, I use a Taylor Academy 12e-N (small nylon crossover) with 1-7/8 nut, 2-1/4 bridge, and “rope core” (steel stranded cable) classical strings. Once I get the movements down, I shift to practicing them on a vintage-style strat.

    Happy hunting!
     
  12. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    If narrow necks would be the only reason for liking them then you wouldn't like my Affinity. 43.75mm at the nut. That's 1.722 inches. Awfully wide for an Affinity neck. But then again it also has a full thickness body with a swimming pool route too.
     
  13. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Late 90s Affinity Strats are a completely different animal/guitar with completely different specs....
     
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  14. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    A couple of things:

    • Fender currently uses 1.650" as their "vintage nut width", but in the old days they were 1 5/8" (or 1.625" wide).
    • Don't forget about string spacing in relation to the width of the nut - a vintage-style Fender not only has the narrower neck but wider string spacing than a modern Fender. String spacing is the actual distance from E to E, so that will impact how much wood there is between the edge of the fingerboard and each E string.
    I believe the Eric Johnson Strat has the narrower vintage nut width and the wider vintage string spacing.

    Other brands use the 1.625" nut width - EBMM uses it on all their guitars except the various John Petrucci models, and that used to be G&L's "standard" nut width (in mid-2015 G&L added a neck that is basically a Fender Modern C as used on American Standards, American Specials and the current American Performers) but you can still get necks with the 1.625" nut width as an option.
     
  15. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    You called it. It's a 1997 MIC.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
     
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  16. sgarnett

    sgarnett Strat-O-Master

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    I’m convinced it’s not humanly possible to play a mandolin (all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding ...). :p

    I still have the one I bought for my wife years ago. Taking off half the strings and just using chorus would be a HUGE improvement. :D
     
  17. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Nope, not possible at all.

    Mando.png

    Did you see what I did there?
     
  18. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. sgarnett

    sgarnett Strat-O-Master

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    I did! ;)

    Actually, that’s how I feel when I see complaints about falling off the edge of the fretboard. Ya know where it is, right? Just don’t bend that direction!
     
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  20. sgarnett

    sgarnett Strat-O-Master

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    Personally though, it’s a fact of life that we can’t have everything we want. I for one find it useful to think about what I really care about and what is just nice to have.

    I earn my living in product development, so I’m paid to think that way. “If you build it, they will come, and damn well learn to like it!” does not work so well ....
     
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