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  1. #1

    Help me understand neck thickness

    I am trying to understand Gibson neck shapes and thickness as compared to Fenders so I can determine what Les Paul models to consider as for me this is a critical thing.

    Here goes..

    I am looking at purchasing a Les Paul Classic or Studio.

    How doe these necks compare with a American Series/Standard Series necks.

    Are they thinner? Ok, here's the deal. I can manage the neck thickness on a Fender American Series/Standard.

    Too much thicker and its too much and hand (especially the thumb area hurts and becomes fatigued quickly.

    I have a Bluesbird which is a little thicker neck than the Fender Americans I have and doesn't bother me to much.

    I cant handle the boatnecks on some of the vintage Fenders. So in looking at a Paul purchase I am trying to determine if the 1960 neck or Studio other necks I should consider. Don't have any retail places here to make comparisons so I am looking for your expertise.

    Id love to buy a Studio but am not sure about the neck. It sounds thick.

    So if anyone can give me a few comparisons on Les Paul models and their necks Id appreciate it...

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    To me, the classic's neck thickness is very close to an American Series Strat. The studio is chunkier like a '59 LP. They used to make a studio Lite, which had the thinner profile like the classic. The classic is more like a tradional LP due to the body binding, and body thickness. I believe that the studios have a thinner body (1/8").

  3. #3
    Does anyone know the actual measurement of thickness at the nut and again at the 12th fret?

  4. #4
    The above post I should have asked for these dimensions on a Classic and a new Studio

    Does anyone know the actual measurement of thickness at the nut and again at the 12th fret?

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    bluesbird

    Buck,
    I had a Bluesbird for awhile and I sold it because of the neck profile although I thought it was a great looking and sounding guitar.
    I have a '97 LP Standard, which I think has the same neck profile as the studio. If you can handle the Bluesbird neck, I think the Standard/Studio neck profile is a little smaller.

    I also have a LP Special that has the '60s slim taper neck profile like the Classic. I switch between a tele and my special all night long and have no problem. I just string the Les Paul 1 string gauge heavier than the tele and they play about the same.:dude

    Actually, I think it sounds like you would like the Classic neck profile better than the Studio, but then you might not like the super-high output Classic pickups. That might not be an issue, because I didn't like the original pickups in the Standard much better so I changed them out for a Duncan Jazz neck and a Duncan '59 bridge pickup. As a Fender player, you probably would appreciate the crisper response, too.

    You should play them both and get the one that feels the best because you'll probably eventually change pickups anyway, most people do.
    "Obviously, you're not a golfer" -Dude

  6. #6
    Can Anyone confirm that the Studio has a thinner neck than the Bluesbird?

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Neck Thickness

    A Studio has the same thickness as a Les Paul Standard - pretty darn thick. Both are much thicker than a Bluesbird. The Studio I used to have was around 23-24mm thick at the twelth fret. Based on the Bluesbirds I've picked up, I would guess they're 22-23mm at the most. Those few millimaters make a big difference in feel.

    The advice you've received on the Les Paul Classic is good. It's neck is the one to go for amongst Les Paul models. Basically, look for any models on the Gibson website with a "60s Slim Taper Neck" and you'll be content.

    It's funny how people's preferences vary. I have just average sized hands, but I love big necks. All of my favorite guitars have big old, baseball bat type necks - '57 GT RI, '59 ES-335 Historic, PRS McCarty Soapbar, and a Fender '51 Nocaster Relic.

  8. #8
    All Access/Backstage Pass Buffaloe's Avatar
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    I have a Studio and a DC. The DC has the 60's slim taper. I don't know which neck the Studio has, but I notice only a little difference between the two. I too prefer smaller necks, but the Studio is very comfortable for me. Maybe there has been some variation through the years. Mine is a 2000 model.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Help me understand neck thickness

    buckhummer...neck thickness... take a zero - one inch micrometer(if you have one or can borrow one).measure the thickness of the neck directly behind first fret and directly behind the twelfth fret.you can measure other frets if you like.this can be done with any guitar .this can be done without removing any strings and no harm to the neck.visit the gibson website under products.unless they've changed their site recently,their typical measurements are listed in their product description.however,because the final dimensions rely on the handsanding done prior to painting,the dimensions actually vary quite a bit.gibson's current sizing for the 60 slim taper(including standards,classics and R0's) is truer to the original 1960 dimensions.the earlier 90's versions tend to be thinner.as i have both gibson and fenders... i would say that the neck on a fender strat is about the same size as a standard/slim taper l.p.what i find different between the two brands is the profile/roundness of the neck and of course the fret radius.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Tripower455's Avatar
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    Re: Help me understand neck thickness

    I miked my '04 Studio ('50's neck), and '03 Standard ('60s neck)

    1st fret, on top of strings (touching the fret, .010's on both)

    Studio: .91"
    Standard .88"

    12th fret

    Studio: 1.08"
    Standard: .97"

    Hope this helps......

    FWIW, I also measured the body thickness between the 2, and the Studio measures 1.8 and the Std 2.0. I measured at the edge of the body by the selector switch.
    "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever"

    http://www.thechaosband.com/

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member TT100's Avatar
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    Re: Help me understand neck thickness

    If it helps, I have an '83 Tele with quite a skinny neck. Easily as thin as a Les Paul Classic but the profile is different. I don't like the necks on Classics but have a ball with my Tele.

    To confuse things more, an '02 LP Standard '59 profile is the same as the discontinued Townsend SG's "rounded" profile in thickness at the nut and 12th fret comparing Gibson's specs, but they feel different from each other. Tripower will tell you how good the SG neck feels!

    ;)

    TT
    Life is short but it's wide.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member phil47uk's Avatar
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    Re: Help me understand neck thickness

    I use Strat's a lot and prefer the 1980's Made in Japan models. I have three here at the moment and all are slightly different although they all have the C profile as opposed to the later Crafted in Japan which seem to have a more D shape, which I'm not all that keen on. The natural progression for me was the Classic as going from Fender to Gibson halfway through a gig is no big deal and feels natural. I have tried the tree trunk necks on the 57 and 58 R0's but I'm sorry to say, I just think they feel old fashioned and out of context with the rest of the guitar....Before anyone writes in slamming me on that one, that is only my personal preference and I'm sure a lot of people love the fat necks..Great if you do.Whatever turns you on as they say.. I am toying with the idea of getting a custom shop Lester soon and the only one I think I would enjoy playing would be the 1960 RO. I'm not into skinny necks like Jacksons etc and I don't think Classics come anywhere near that type of neck dimension. I don't mind them slightly more chunky than the Classic, but some of those 57/58 RO's..Whoa! Micky Mantle would be proud to own one.
    Mind you, Mick Taylor was playing a Classic P.P on TV the other day...Can't be that bad.. spin
    Phil.
    'Long tenons......Short tenons. When the drummer comes in, what the fuck does it matter'.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Tripower455's Avatar
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    Re: Help me understand neck thickness

    Tripower will tell you how good the SG neck feels!
    Amen...... The nicest neck I've ever played...... I wish I could find an LP with the same profile. It's got a different taper than either the '50's or '60's. Kind of in between. It's a bit thicker around the 7-9th frets than the '60's, but still not as thick as the '50's..... FWIW, it's closer to MY '60's slim taper than the '50's on MY Studio.... YMMV as they are all a bit different...... I like it!

    Between the neck, stop bar tailpiec and the P-90s, it's definitely a keeper. It almost plays itself! ;)
    "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever"

    http://www.thechaosband.com/

  14. #14

    Re: Help me understand neck thickness

    Hi everybody!

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