Best neck shape dimensions for shredding

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by coreypla, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. coreypla

    coreypla SS.org Regular

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    Hi all!

    I am looking into finding the perfect dimensions for a neck (all things considered) and it seems to be a bit of a rabbit hole scenario.

    I am going for the 20" fingerboard radius, and now want to start thinking about the best neck shape. Most of my playing is lead work and riffing -- I rarely do intense chord work and stuff like that. I certainly want to favor the shred aspect of a guitar when considering my options here. This will be for a 7-string as well.

    I am just curious if any of you can 'shred' some light on the idea of a super thin C, D, or U shape. Most of my guitars are Ibanez RG7420 and RG7620. I do have a Boden OS7 by Strandberg and that is my most played guitar right now. I do find it very comfortable--but it is very unique with its endur-neck profile ...I don't think another Strandy is in the cards for me tonight.

    I also own an ESP LTD BUZ-7 in snow white/ grey, which I thought was an Xtra thin U shape (the specs are done from ESP for the new model now--which doesn't specify, I think). I also have a Dean RC7X in white with graphics...I think has a slim D shape.

    I will have to sit down with all my guitars and do a tournament style neck-off. I also know that a lot of this will be heavily preference based---and that getting a super slim C, D, or U shape probably won't feel *too* different between the three.

    I was hoping that the lovely people on this forum could weigh in and help get me closer to the right decision. What are the real distinctions between the shapes? If I am making near paper thing varieties of each, will they start to converge to nearly the same feel?

    Help me in my quest for hot-rodding an axe. And if you have any stories, experiences, or guitar necks that you LOVE for the shred-stuff....let me hear about them!!!

    Happy Monday to all!
     
  2. coreypla

    coreypla SS.org Regular

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  3. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    skervesen's assymmetrical thin neck is super duper awesome.
    My favorite production neck is the ibanez ultra though. wish they had it on more guitars.
     
  4. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    The link you posted will explain the shapes, but beyond that, it's all a matter of personal preference. Play as many as you can and determine what works best for you.
     
  5. Matx

    Matx Ninja

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    My favorite necks are old japanese Ibanez Wizard necks. 6's and 7's both. original wizard and super wizard are awesome.. the newer ones are hit or miss for me. My S420 has a wizardIII that I love, I've played WizardIIs that I both love and hate. Not sure if it's a quality control thing or if there are different kids of WizardIIs that they all just put that name on but are actually different manufacturing specs. I'm 5"6, with pretty small hands (hold your jokes please), so thin necks are comfy for me personally. My RG7621 is perfect in my eyes.
     
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  6. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I've owned quite a few different necks over the years, including the old Ibanez Wizard toothpicks. At the moment my absolute best playing guitar is a Heatley Tradition with a thicker Gibson '59 style neck. The fretwork is so good you can have insanely low action on it but since that's awful for bends I have mine higher.

    Followed by that I really enjoy the neck on my 7-string multiscale Kiesel. It's their standard profile with a 20" radius but it's definitely thinner and obviously wider than what I have on my Heatley.

    My take is that really thin necks are not good because you tend to grip them harder, leading to less efficient movement and faster hand fatigue. Beyond that it is entirely preference.
     
  7. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    There isn't a "best." It's what's comfortable for the player. Lots of people like the Wizard neck. Eddie Van Halen brought us the AXIS, which is narrow and slightly chunky (and the most comfortable neck ever!). So, this is a preference, technique and skill thing.
     
  8. coreypla

    coreypla SS.org Regular

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    yeah, I know its tricky to get a good "feel" for, unless you can try them all side by side. Following up with what Matx, Iaxu, and electriceye said: the Wizard necks are pretty nice. I have an RG 550 DY '87 with the Wizard I and an RG 570 '91 in the Jewel Blue. For whatever reason, I swore that my 570 had a way thinner, paper/cracker thin neck....but revisiting them, it looks like they both have the same neck (on paper as well as in person). Very shocking to see that---like my own personal "Mandela effect".

    Guess the only solution is to start going to Guitar Center every day....gotta catch 'em all!

    Keep up the stories about what you all are into though. Its giving me some good ideas to consider and things to try out. I'm likely overthinking this whole process though!
     
  9. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    As for what I like, I used to play several late 80's and early 90's Ibanez guitars with the original Wizard neck. I loved those necks at first, but when I was playing live and doing more chording, I started getting cramps in the muscle at the base of my fretting hand thumb because that neck is so thin.

    Since then, I've moved on to Jackson soloists (SL1 and SL2H models) with a slightly thicker neck. It's not much thicker (though it is thicker), I think it's more the profile, which is more rounded than the flattened oval of the Wizard neck. Regardless, it's a much more comfortable neck for me, and I find the Jacksons even play and sound better than the old Ibanezes I used to play, so its a win for me all around.

    So don't overlook the Jacksons (or anything else you can get your hands on) in your search for what works for you.
     
  10. HighPotency

    HighPotency SS.org Regular

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    I would be inclined to attribute that to their compound radius fretboards.
     
  11. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    If you do find that you prefer one of your guitars necks and would like to make a copy of it here's a little trick from Dan Erliwine (stewmac).

    Make some profile templates by cutting/sanding a piece of timber to a rough shape of the neck profile, then use bondo to make a mold of the profile. Do this at the 2nd 7th and 12th frets. Here's a few pics to help make things clearer.

    *Dont wait until the bondo has fully set before removing the mold, depending on how much hardener you've used you should only have to wait 2-4 minutes (remove it while it still kinda soft) then you can trim the edges so the bondo is flush with the template. Be sure to use some sort of protection on the neck (dont apply the bondo straight to the neck) in the vid Dan uses cellophane but i just used some plastic lunch bags to protect it.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    I'm sure that's part of it, but I think the thicker, rounder neck contributes, too, as I've never had issues with cramping when playing my strat or les paul, or any of my acoustics (some of which have 16+" radius fingerboards) - only the original Wizard necks.
     
  13. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Actually, now that I think about it, I have a 1991 540S7 and a 1999 S7420, both of which have the same radius as the Wizard necks (430mm), but are a bit thicker, and they never caused cramping, either.

    My hands just seem to prefer a slightly thicker neck.
     

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