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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    While talking about pre-CBS Jazzmasters an interesting (to me) question came to mind. I have, in examining and being around thousands of old Fender guitars, only seen three "A "width necks... all on early Jazzmasters...one "C" width neck, on a 65 Strat, and every other has been "B" stamp width. Does anyone know of, (BESIDES student model or 3/4 size Musicmaster, Duo-Sonic, or Mustangs) or have photos of any "A" width or "C" width PRE-CBS necks and neck stamps?? Just wondering because it seems 99.99% of all pre-CBS Fenders are "B" width and since other sizes are virtually non-existent, wonder why they bothered employ the stamp n each neck?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    You might find the answer in Jim Werner's book, if you have that one.
    My copy is far away at the moment.
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  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member jerns's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    I found a little blurb from fretboard.com on this... Have you ever encountered a "D" neck???

    As to the letter designations, "A", "B", "C" and "D". These were stamped on the end of the necks from the early 1960s to about 1973 and refer to the neck width at the nut - not the shape. So when people refer to a "C" neck, referring to its shape, they're wrong. Here's what they represented:

    • A = 1½"
    • B = 1⅝"
    • C = 1¾"
    • D = 1⅞"
    Obviously they're all a gang of idiots. But, you know, live and let live... - David Gilmour

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Then there's the brief period in '59 with no neck stamp.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    I have a 65 strat with an 'A' neck stamp. Sorry, no picture to show.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by sonar View Post
    Then there's the brief period in '59 with no neck stamp.
    No pencil date rather....stamp after '61...

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    I have a 65 strat with an 'A' neck stamp. Sorry, no picture to show.
    Wow that is pretty amazing...at least for me. I've seen a lot of pre CBS Strats but that would be a first for me. A pic one day would be really appreciated. also nut width measurement... The C neck I once saw was almost 2 full inches...huge width at the nut.. the A must be tiny. At least from experience with Jazzmaster "A" necks.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by jerns View Post
    I found a little blurb from fretboard.com on this... Have you ever encountered a "D" neck???

    As to the letter designations, "A", "B", "C" and "D". These were stamped on the end of the necks from the early 1960s to about 1973 and refer to the neck width at the nut - not the shape. So when people refer to a "C" neck, referring to its shape, they're wrong. Here's what they represented:

    • A = 1½"
    • B = 1⅝"
    • C = 1¾"
    • D = 1⅞"
    The C stamped neck I personally saw was a little under 2"... more like what they describe as a D. have yet to see an "A" Strat neck from the 60's and I've been looking at old Strats for 35 years.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Kerry, I moderate offsetguitars.com and we've had the odd Jaguar and Jazzmaster with an A neck through the years.

    They definitely are rare...almost all are B widths...the most A necks I have seen were Mustangs.

    The latest Jaguar I saw a pic on our forum that had an A stamp I think was a '65-66...Lake Placid Blue...I am pretty certain the member still owns it. It is in Ireland.

    Legend has it there are C widths, but I have never seen such a rare neck stamp.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
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  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member mingus's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by jerns View Post
    I found a little blurb from fretboard.com on this... Have you ever encountered a "D" neck???

    As to the letter designations, "A", "B", "C" and "D". These were stamped on the end of the necks from the early 1960s to about 1973 and refer to the neck width at the nut - not the shape. So when people refer to a "C" neck, referring to its shape, they're wrong. Here's what they represented:

    • A = 1½"
    • B = 1⅝"
    • C = 1¾"
    • D = 1⅞"
    Interesting.

    As mentioned in another thread, I've seen an "A" neck on an early '60s Strat and recall seeing a '64 or '65 on eBay about 10 years ago. The one I saw in person had a very small nut -- possibly a bit narrower than the dimension given above.

    I can't recall ever seeing a "C" or "D" neck.

    Does anyone know the story with neck sizes on Fender basses? My '65 Jazz (L series) has an "A" neck, but I think most Jazz basses came that way.
    .

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us."

    - Bill Watterson, creator of the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes".

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by zhivago View Post
    Kerry, I moderate offsetguitars.com and we've had the odd Jaguar and Jazzmaster with an A neck through the years.

    They definitely are rare...almost all are B widths...the most A necks I have seen were Mustangs.

    The latest Jaguar I saw a pic on our forum that had an A stamp I think was a '65-66...Lake Placid Blue...I am pretty certain the member still owns it. It is in Ireland.

    Legend has it there are C widths, but I have never seen such a rare neck stamp.
    Thanks for the info...I'd love to see pics f you ever come across....I'm aware of many A neck student guitars...Mustang/Duo Sonic, etc.. most of the small scale or 3/4 models have them...made for children.... There are in fact C widths on pre CBS Strats. I've seen one myself on a Strat and I recall Gil Southworth had a Strat with a classical width nut C neck about 15 - 20 years ago that stayed in his ads for a while before it finally sold.

    As John (Mingus) just mentioned, he has seen a couple of Strats with A necks...I've never even heard of one....this is a first for me... I also agree that the nut on the "A" neck was more narrow than the specs listed in the site quoted above. painfully tiny... IMO

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Nobody else has the [Jim] Werner book?

    Kerry, please email me so I remember to get it out when I return home.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Finally got to my Werner book.
    Unfortunately, it seems neck width letters were not included.

    I will try to peruse my old notes from the 70s-90s.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member mingus's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    I found this '64 Strat "A" neck for sale on eBay today.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1964-Fender-...06852527&rt=nc
    .

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us."

    - Bill Watterson, creator of the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes".

  15. #15

    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    A dealer friend had a B neck '63 Strat which he bought without realising, but I can't say I've seen any others..

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member 59Cherrytop's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Fender nut width sizing was not formalised until the early sixties with the A through D designations. The earliest wide width Stratocaster I've documented was one Thumbs Carlisle ordered in 1955. It was done in an early version of a reddish orange later known as Fiesta red. The nut width was just over 2"! Since he played on his lap like Jeff Healey did, the wider neck was better. His D width early Jaguar seen on the Roger Miller albums was unique too.

    Freddie Tavares (co-designer of the Strat and 4-10 Bassman) had both his cream '54 Strat and Sahara beige, maple neck Feb '58 Jazzmaster made up with the 1 3/4" nut width necks. The gold hardware option Stratocaster would often use the 1 11/16th nut Gibson width too. They clearly had wide neck templates for these specials. Freddie and George Fullerton both discussed these custom neck options during our 70's interviews.

    I've enjoyed playing a rare factory C width 1963 neck for the last 15 years. They are very articulate for chording in the first position. These were made up in small batches (with A and D widths) and stored for custom orders. The Stratocaster and Jazzmaster C necks were all stamped with a 4 month/year C before being sealed then finished with the appropriate decal when put on the customers guitar. They naturally used the medium width headstock lending itself to a wider nut. The more common A width 1 1/2" versions use the smaller head and 2 designation. Alvino Rey's Jazzmaster I played had the 1 7/8" D width to facilitate his classical preference.

    This C neck was stamped in May of 1963 and originally put on a 1957 Stratocaster in late '64 or early '65 by Freddie Tavares. It has been complimented with a '63 candy apple red body since 1999. Another just like it was found and sold recently without a decal or final finish in Orange County. These C necks play beautifully!
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    Last edited by 59Cherrytop; 11-23-15 at 05:10 PM.
    Les says, Keep Pickin'! I say, Play every note with SOULFUL ELOQUENCE!

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Great information Robb!

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Kalamazookeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Wow, Robb!
    That neck is as flamey as it is roomy!
    I wish that that had been their standard width - multi-string bend to your heart's content.

  19. #19

    Sg Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by mingus View Post
    Interesting.

    As mentioned in another thread, I've seen an "A" neck on an early '60s Strat and recall seeing a '64 or '65 on eBay about 10 years ago. The one I saw in person had a very small nut -- possibly a bit narrower than the dimension given above.

    I can't recall ever seeing a "C" or "D" neck.

    Does anyone know the story with neck sizes on Fender basses? My '65 Jazz (L series) has an "A" neck, but I think most Jazz basses came that way.
    Re. The basses from experience Jazz basses always had an 'A' 1 1/2" width, 'B' 1 5/8" became the standard precision width approx. early 70s
    'C' 1 3/4" was standard width for the precision in the early 60s I still have 1 'C' And over the years I have seen 2 'D' 1 7/8" width necks on early 60s precisions (unfortunately I don't have a photo) it would be interesting to find out how many of those were manufactured and how long the option was available. Also about 72-73 an 'A' width neck was available on the precision I seem to remember that they were actually labelled on the headstock as 'Narrow Necked' Thanks my adventures started when you could pick up a 60s strat in London for about £100.00 (if only I had the Tardus !)

    Relwood

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member cjp54's Avatar
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    I think I remember reading that Bonnie Raits (sp) brown Strat has an A width neck.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    How about a B stamped neck on a 1969 Fender Custom Telecaster ? I was told it was a good sized neck ?

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    While we are talking about 1969 Fender maple necks , would this be a maple cap neck ? or a 1 piece neck ?

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Update time , I got the Custom Telecaster (3 color Sunburst with a flame maple neck, 1 piece with skunk stripe ) in last night and it is mind blowing great . The neck is the biggest of my 6 Fender instruments (including 3 CS ) and such a nice feeling neck and has some heft to it as well . The tone is to die for and after playing around a bit with the pickup selector switch and trying out the front, middle , and back selections I was able to dial in some human riffmaster Keff Keith Richards tones of which I just love so much .I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of Alder body with Maple neck Fender's as I feel they are a tad to bright for my ears and am partial to ash body Fenders with Maple necks , this guitar is not the case . I can clearly say that there is something to a 50 year old aged piece of Alder , because this 1969 Fender Custom Telecaster has tone/vibe to die for . The price tag was not cheap for a 50 year old guitar but it is worth every penny I paid for , from the feel of the neck , to the pickups, to the sound and tone , this guitar is a winner !!!!!!!!!!!! I have always wanted a double bound Custom Telecaster because I feel they are a great looking Telecaster all dressed up in there deluxe appointments and I figured I would have a Fender Custom Shop Custom Telecaster until this one fell into my lap literally courtesy of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville . I asked about it's provenance being that it resided in Music Row in Nashville and what I found out was that it was part of George Gruhn display of Vintage instruments at Belmont University in Nashville until this past Spring and now it resides in my home . This guitar is all original and dead mint and I will maintain it's originality as it works for me and who am I to mess with Leo (CBS) perfection ! Thank You to Gruhn Guitars !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. #24
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass
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    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.WillieVK View Post
    Great information Robb!
    Yes, I think that was pretty much the authoritative answer!

  25. #25

    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    Remember, Fender also used these same codes for bass necks. The Jazz Bass is always an A code (1-1/2”). The A code was available as an option on the Precision Bass, but the vast majority of Precision necks from the early to mid 60s are C code (1-3/4”). By the 70s, the B code necks became more common on Precisions while the Jazz kept the A neck.
    "My daddy was a Gibson, my mother was a Fender, that's why they call me Mind Bender...."

    --- Stillwater, "Mind Bender" 1977

  26. #26

    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    I had a beautiful 62 burgundy mist jaguar that was an Aneck.

  27. #27

    Re: Pre CBS Fender Neck Size Stamps

    My 58 has a 1 11/16th nut width and is factory gold, interesting.

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