Tell me about Fat necks

Intune

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 14, 2021
6,194
Edmonton, Alberta
I have 2 parts builds, both Guitar Mill bodies, both are ash, both have all fender pure vintage parts, both have identical spec fat Allparts necks. The only difference is one’s maple and the other has a rosewood board. Both set up identical, extremely low and perfectly level frets.

Unplugged the maple one has a almost bass like thump, wicked bottom end, no rattle or sizzle at all. Almost sounds and feels like the strings are rubber bands.

The other rosewood is jingle jangle like. Doesn’t have that thud or compression. Feels looser and brighter. Has a more snappy tone and feel.
 

jvin248

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014
5,827
Michigan
.

I get cramps in my hand playing skinny necks, so I seek out chunky carves, the chunkier the better.

Interesting twist: Squier Strats, while having very close width and depth of reported carve measurements as MIM/MIA ... they have a lot more wood carved off the rear shoulders and feel skinny. Meanwhile, all Squier's competitors carve their necks matching MIM/MIA carve shapes.

I get the reason Squier carves them skinny, 'starter guitars for kids' and to separate the feel of the guitar brands so Squier owners have something to upgrade to ... but competitors figured out what most players want and it's a chunkier neck. At least Squier should make two neck carves and clearly mark the headstock which is which so shoppers can identify them at new dealer sites and used market (that supports generating cash for buyers to buy new or upgrade to Fender).

.
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,067
Maine
I think I’ve got the overall idea about fat necks vs thin when it comes to tone so no need to go “deep” into it but as one last try to describe what I hear on these necks I have now.

Would it make more sense to describe my fat necks having natural compression in their unplugged sound which I also hear when plugged into an amp. On this new roasted Modern D neck by Harley Benton I don’t get that, and instead would describe it as immediate fast attack snap sound, both plugged and unplugged.
Well roasted maple is known to be very hard and brittle compared to regular maple. Many hobby assemblers crack their roasted maple necks when installing tuners because the roasting makes the wood so brittle.

I certainly hear a very sharp snappy bright sound from my roasted maple warmoth neck, but I cant recall what heck was on that guitar before, to compare.
Also that warmoth is both roasted AND a fat full 1" but the boatneck profile.

Many players hear maple as brighter and snappier than RW boards because maple is harder, just as many players hear SS frets as brighter and snappier due to being harder.
 

Papa Che

Strat-O-Master
Mar 25, 2017
616
Denmark
Thanks for the replies folks! Much appreciated!

Im really trying to figure out what the best next step is.
I could try and make this roasted maple neck tele for a more high gain sound. Get it something like SD Hot or Quarter Pound (actually Pounder bridge and Hot neck seems like my kind of thing just hotter). This way it’s mostly pickup tone.

If I get lower output pups then off clean must sound full and round and absolutely dynamic. Can’t stand those quiet notes not really been heard. On my Vintera 50’s Modified all nuances can be heard. Just lovely.

I hear some of you saying “then why dont you get hotter pups and have different sounding guitars?” Yes that would be good however I would love to have this partcaster as a Tele to test different pickups in, hence it’s important it sounds good even with lower output pups. I need that “thump” on the low strings and I think that comes from the fatter maple neck. I will know only if I buy one and test.

I’m tempted to swap these SD Broadcasters for SD Pounder bridge and Hot for Tele neck but my gut tells me “get a good fat neck first then later test with any pups!” So … you know the annoying thing called patience? :D
 

revtime

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 17, 2014
1,934
kansas
I picked up an MJT partcaster tele today.
The neck is all parts. Baseball bat does not describe this neck. Sewer pipe would be close. Gonna take some getting used to.
I like how it feels doing chords though.
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,414
NW LA
I wonder what your experience is with fat necks, as in vs thin necks.

I seem to be getting that lovely “thump” on low strings, on a fat neck. On thinner necks I seem to get more of a “zing”.

Btw, talking about unplugged which seems to translate into a plugged sound too.

The “thump” is very much dull and quiet tone (unplugged) without much sustain but when plugged it is sounding very round and sweet. Also has “bloom” to it. I find this in fat necks.

The “zing” has lots more sustain and is louder unplugged and also has higher frequency than the lower “thump”.
This to me sounds plugged brighter and more attack, right into your face, not much bloom. This I find in thinner necks.

Not sure if this is the case for all fat or thin necks but let’s pop this champagne and see what comes out of it! :)

All views welcome!
How does unplugged translate to plugged in sound when electric guitar pickups don't use any part of the acoustic sound to produce the electric sound? They literally produce sound by moving a metal string through a magnetic field. That movement causes a disturbance in the field, which induces voltage into the coil(s).

So, how exactly does acoustic sound have anything to do with that?it doesn't use the acoustic vibrations to make the electric sound or anything else related to acoustic sound. So where's the connection?

IMO, unplugged sound has ZERO correlation to amplified sound. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. Nothing crosses over between the 2 things. Electric pickups don't use the vibrations in the guitar to produce amplified sound so where's the connection? You can vibrate a magnetic field til you're blue in the face and it'll never produce a sound. It takes a disturbance in the magnetic field caused by something metallic exciting that field to induce voltage into the coils. That, voltage is your sound.

And acoustic vibrations and sound have no relation to that.

If we only used piezo, acoustic-stylr pickups that use the vibrations in the guitar to produce sound then this would be so. But we don't. So it isn't.
 
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MaartenX

Strat-Talker
Aug 2, 2022
285
The Netherlands
There is an interesting video from Jack Pearson where he points out that an electric guitar with a headstock that vibrates well sounds better amplified. I’d like to think the man knows his stuff.

For me an electric guitar needs to sound good acoustically.
 

somebodyelseuk

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 29, 2022
1,359
Birmingham UK
How does unplugged translate to plugged in sound when electric guitar pickups don't use any part of the acoustic sound to produce the electric sound? They literally produce sound by moving a metal string through a magnetic field. That movement causes a disturbance in the field, which induces voltage into the coil(s).

So, how exactly does acoustic sound have anything to do with that?it doesn't use the acoustic vibrations to make the electric sound or anything else related to acoustic sound. So where's the connection?

IMO, unplugged sound has ZERO correlation to amplified sound. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. Nothing crosses over between the 2 things. Electric pickups don't use the vibrations in the guitar to produce amplified sound so where's the connection? You can vibrate a magnetic field til you're blue in the face and it'll never produce a sound. It takes a disturbance in the magnetic field caused by something metallic exciting that field to induce voltage into the coils. That, voltage is your sound.

And acoustic vibrations and sound have no relation to that.

If we only used piezo, acoustic-stylr pickups that use the vibrations in the guitar to produce sound then this would be so. But we don't. So it isn't.
I'm with this.
I've played some that vibrate like a... battery operated thing... and when plugged in were spectacular. I've also played some that sounded like crap. Then again, I own a guitar that is acoustically dead, but sustains and sounds great.
At the end of the day, guitars are made of wood and each piece is unique. It's a lottery.
 

Papa Che

Strat-O-Master
Mar 25, 2017
616
Denmark
Then again, I own a guitar that is acoustically dead, but sustains and sounds great.
This!!! :) This would be my kind of a guitar! Such “dead” guitar has its own “compression” to it. Something in the overall build and materials makes these strings vibrate in such a “dead/compressed” way but through pickups give such a nice balanced tone. Also through such guitar strings buzz is hardly noticeable and even can sound percussive when slapping the strings harder!

Yes! This what this roasted neck doesn’t have. It’s zingy and too lively for my taste. Like a manic teen driving a Ferrari.
 

Cerb

Anti conformist reformist
Jan 22, 2016
15,513
Sweden
Thanks all for sharing.

Yes I too use knobs on all equipment, guitar included. Still, unplugged and plugged this particular tele with a modern D Harley Benton roasted neck sounds rather thin on high strings and zingy on low strings. Both with 51 Nocaster and SD Broadaster pups.

Used .022, .047 and .1 caps and no help really. Changed the tone pot and got a bit better but the zingy character is still there.

Tried different strings, pure nickel but nope. Changed the body from poplar to alder, nope.

Thinking what’s still there is this roasted modern D neck. I will get a fat Fender neck when cash comes in but wanted to check with you folks and see if anyone noticed this on any of your guitars.

Thanks for sharing and hope to hear more of you!
What I have noticed is that you can't really take the character out of a guitar. Changing pickups and electronics is a bit like using the tone knobs and EQ, but the character of the guitar is still there.
 

Papa Che

Strat-O-Master
Mar 25, 2017
616
Denmark
@Cerb yes I’ve noticed that too. Hence me swapping the poplar body of this Harley Benton tele to alder thick body by Fame. Still not much has changed. So what else is left that is keeping this “character”? I’m staring at the HB roasted neck :)
Basically I will be ditching the Harley Benton TE-62CC entirely and keeping this Fame body and buying a fat Fender neck for it.

Of course I’m yet to do this and then test and see/hear. It’s suddenly turning into an expensive project! Was not my initial plan. But now I’m so interested to see which part of the guitar is most important of determining the overall “character” of a guitar (my personal guitar).

Need to sell some stuff to finance this new Fender neck and tuners it needs, backplate and screws, new TUSQ nut …

I honestly hope this axe turns into a keeper. Otherwise I will have three Tele bodies to make bar chairs with!!! Lake Placid Blue, Candy Apple Red and Daphne Blue.
 

tinkertoy

Strat-O-Master
Feb 10, 2020
982
In a state of sunshine
I picked up an MJT partcaster tele today.
The neck is all parts. Baseball bat does not describe this neck. Sewer pipe would be close. Gonna take some getting used to.
I like how it feels doing chords though.
"Baseball bat" is a stupid way to describe a neck, IMO. Why? Where do you grab a bat? At the thin end, right? Your hand wraps easily around it, no?
Well, isn't that the exact opposite of a "baseball bat neck"?


I have wizard thin to warmoth fatback fat.

Out of my 10 guitars:

3 wizards - super, wizard 3, and premium. The wizard 3 is the fattest thin neck I own.

The rest are fat in varying shapes.
Some notable ones:
Carvin holdsworth - 59 les paul thickness with heavy shoulders

Warmoth 59 and fatback (and a soon to be in my possession, boatneck)

Yamaha revstar. This one is .84 to just over an inch. It's amazing.

Ibanez artcore they say 21 to 24 at the 9th fret, but it is well over an inch at the 15th. This one is so nice, and the reason I bought my as73.

All my thicker necks play and sound better than my thin necked ones.
I even play better and longer on them too

Oh and here is the best example of a thick neck
download.jpeg-9.jpg
 

Intune

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 14, 2021
6,194
Edmonton, Alberta
"Baseball bat" is a stupid way to describe a neck, IMO. Why? Where do you grab a bat? At the thin end, right? Your hand wraps easily around it, no?
Well, isn't that the exact opposite of a "baseball bat neck"?


I have wizard thin to warmoth fatback fat.

Out of my 10 guitars:

3 wizards - super, wizard 3, and premium. The wizard 3 is the fattest thin neck I own.

The rest are fat in varying shapes.
Some notable ones:
Carvin holdsworth - 59 les paul thickness with heavy shoulders

Warmoth 59 and fatback (and a soon to be in my possession, boatneck)

Yamaha revstar. This one is .84 to just over an inch. It's amazing.

Ibanez artcore they say 21 to 24 at the 9th fret, but it is well over an inch at the 15th. This one is so nice, and the reason I bought my as73.

All my thicker necks play and sound better than my thin necked ones.
I even play better and longer on them too

Oh and here is the best example of a thick neck
View attachment 585199

A bit harsh aren’t you? If you take that baseball bat reference literal yeah it’s opposite but it’s a reference used world wide to describe a fat neck. Weird that you missed it.

What I find odd or stupid is a fast neck? Does it automatically make you shred? Can you slow down? Do you need a volute or a strap attachment for your wrist so you don’t go off track?

See when you take something literal, I know what a “fast” neck is.
 

Papa Che

Strat-O-Master
Mar 25, 2017
616
Denmark
Now that I’m pondering fat necks and how they are affecting the string vibration, I’m also pondering if different fret wire can change the string vibration?

Or the truss rod material and the size of the truss rod groove? Truss rod at the heel or the headstock?

One piece neck vs glued on fretboard? Etc …

Just me discovering new stuff and staring at it all like a child staring at the vast night sky littered with stars …
 

revtime

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 17, 2014
1,934
kansas
"Baseball bat" is a stupid way to describe a neck, IMO. Why? Where do you grab a bat? At the thin end, right? Your hand wraps easily around it, no?
Well, isn't that the exact opposite of a "baseball bat neck"?


I have wizard thin to warmoth fatback fat.

Out of my 10 guitars:

3 wizards - super, wizard 3, and premium. The wizard 3 is the fattest thin neck I own.

The rest are fat in varying shapes.
Some notable ones:
Carvin holdsworth - 59 les paul thickness with heavy shoulders

Warmoth 59 and fatback (and a soon to be in my possession, boatneck)

Yamaha revstar. This one is .84 to just over an inch. It's amazing.

Ibanez artcore they say 21 to 24 at the 9th fret, but it is well over an inch at the 15th. This one is so nice, and the reason I bought my as73.

All my thicker necks play and sound better than my thin necked ones.
I even play better and longer on them too

Oh and here is the best example of a thick neck
View attachment 585199
I thought it was generally understood that baseball bat meant the fat end. Not the end you hold on to crack homers or idiots heads.
Broad generalizations escape you.
Its ok.
 

tinkertoy

Strat-O-Master
Feb 10, 2020
982
In a state of sunshine
I thought it was generally understood that baseball bat meant the fat end. Not the end you hold on to crack homers or idiots heads.
Broad generalizations escape you.
Its ok.
You don't wrap your hands around the fat end...........

Nor is any neck, even a warmoth fatback anywhere close to the fat end of a bat. So there's that too.

Rudeness doesn't escape you. It's ok.
 

tinkertoy

Strat-O-Master
Feb 10, 2020
982
In a state of sunshine
A bit harsh aren’t you? If you take that baseball bat reference literal yeah it’s opposite but it’s a reference used world wide to describe a fat neck. Weird that you missed it.

What I find odd or stupid is a fast neck? Does it automatically make you shred? Can you slow down? Do you need a volute or a strap attachment for your wrist so you don’t go off track?

See when you take something literal, I know what a “fast” neck is.
I wasn't calling revtime stupid, only the baseball bat comparison.

I didn't miss it. I always thought it made no sense.

Yes, a fast neck is also lame. Are there only select necks that qualify as fast? Do the neck police come and ticket you for playing coast on a slow neck? Or even worse, playing slow on a fast neck?

My idea of a fast neck is probably different than yours.

How about "distortion" pickups? They do not distort. The amp does.

We guitar players need better phrases, no?
 

Otisblove

Senior Stratmaster
May 20, 2016
1,842
Chicago
The neck on my TV yellow Epiphone Les Paul Special is pretty fat. I also bought an Allparts fat telecaster neck which I put on a Squier Paranormal Jazzmaster/Telecaster. I like them for a change of pace.
I can’t hear any difference between any different neck shapes.
 

6th Stringer

Strat-Talker
Jan 30, 2014
124
Rogers AR
I like a thicker neck because I have long fingers and it fills my palm better. Also, I think it adds to the tone and sustain generally because there is more substance to resonate. I actually would like to be able to get a Gibson 50s profile neck for a Strat or Tele. I have not been able to try a U-shaped Tele neck yet, but I look forward to it. I have heard the Ritchie Kotzen neck is pretty massive. The neck on my ES-Les Paul Special is definitely the thickest one I have at around .95"!! On the other hand, my Fender Celtic Esquire has probably the thinnest neck I have ever had on any Fender. And that is ironic because the Celtic Esquire is really more like a Les Paul Jr than a traditional Telecaster.
 


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