That neck on your guitar - you've never found a better neck since

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joetelejoetele Frets: 63
OK folks, a few of you might have heard me harp on about my MIM Fender Standard Telecaster. 

It was bought in January 2004 so it's likely to be a 2003 model - in black, with white scratchplate and all standard parts etc. 
The neck has a fairly thin gloss. 

I upgraded the pickups to Samarium Cobalt Noiseless in probably 2007-2008 (I didn't know much about pickups at the time so it was a case of price and limited research, but apparently that's what the American Standards were fitted with at the time). 

I can remember trying a few guitars just before buying it, including a similar MIM Standard Tele in the local music shop, but the neck felt almost chunkier at the time. 

The neck on my MIM Tele is the best I've ever played/felt on a guitar (subjective, of course) - and every MIM Tele I've tried since just doesn't have the same feel on the neck - they either feel chunkier or less smooth. There's no fighting, no compromise required, it just feels like I can glide anywhere on the fingerboard and, even with my short, stubby fingers, I can shape most chords and scales easily. It's like butter, as the cliche goes. 

When I had those pickups changed around 07/08/whenever it was, the guys in the shop couldn't stop playing the guitar, and said it felt amazing. They couldn't believe it was a 'standard' Tele because it felt better than so many other guitars in the shop (which varied between your Squiers and your top-end Fenders).

Now, I appreciate that I've had this guitar for over 14 years, I'm a bit biased, and it's aged wonderfully - the once pale maple has become a warmer colour, and the frets are a bit more 'played in' - but is it likely that Fender would have changed the neck profiles at all? Even within the same run of Teles (hence me finding the ones in shops at the same time felt different)? Was I lucky and did I get a 'good one' of the batch? 

I know there's the adage that every guitar is different, even in the same run, but would the difference really be that tangible? 

Let me know your thoughts - there are wiser folk than I on here who can probably answer, but also interested in hearing about your 'perfect neck' guitar experiences. 
Pedals. 
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  • DiscoStuDiscoStu Frets: 2868
    Godin. I've had three and the necks have been the best I've had. The right curve, the right width, the best glide.
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 63
    DiscoStu said:
    Godin. I've had three and the necks have been the best I've had. The right curve, the right width, the best glide.

    Oh, I'd agree there, too - I had an LG P90 from the 90s and an old Artisan TC and both of them had fantastic necks despite being very different guitars. The Artisan came alive when I tried it out in the shop before buying. I just didn't love the pickups in the Artisan and never got round to switching them for something else. The LG P90 had lovely SD pickups but I just found I wasn't playing it that often, so sadly it went as part of the big guitar sell off. 
    Pedals. 
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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 3917
    edited July 12
    Years ago I had a Squier Affinity Tele that I should never have got rid of. I played several and the neck on mine was just so much better than all the others I tried. Also, the (maple) fretboard had lovely figuring and was and that golden honey colour rather than the usual anaemic hues found on low end Squiers - I’m surprised that they hadn’t put the wood aside for something pricier.

    Anyway, it got moved on when I bought an American Std Tele (I foolishly thought at the time that the Affinity wasn’t a real Tele since it lacked the skunk stripe and through-body stringing). Certainly the US Std is a better guitar in almost every way, but it is no more ‘Telecaster’ than the Affinity. In fact the Affinity’s basic simplicity probably makes it truer to Leo’s plank than Fender’s higher-end offerings.

    The Affinity is the only guitar I’ve ever regretted selling but I suspect there’s a bit of the rose-tinteds going on here since the hardware was generally on the cheap and cheerful side. Nonetheless, the neck was way better than you’d expect from a budget instrument.
    It might look like I'm listening to you, but in my head I'm playing my guitar.
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  • My first thought was a Squier Joe Trohman Telecaster. The neck was WONDERFUL.
    Thankfully the one on my current Partscaster is just as good- nice profile, 14” radius, medium jumbo frets and satin finish. It’s lovely. 
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1406
    The one from my 2009 MIM Fender Robert Cray and it's described as an early 60's "C" shape, but with a 9.5" radius and medium jumbo frets.

    I believe they used to be fatter, like the Jeff Beck necks on his first round of signature Strats (Lace Sensors etc) and more of a baseball but over the years, they've made them slightly thinner. It's full and much fuller than a regular MIM neck, but not really that "fat" or like a "baseball bat"

    I'd love to replicate this one and it's perfect and comfortable for rhythm and great on lead.





     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6968
    The neck on the MM Stingray bass is the most comfy neck shape to me right now.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4481
    joetele said:
    is it likely that Fender would have changed the neck profiles at all? Even within the same run of Teles (hence me finding the ones in shops at the same time felt different)? Was I lucky and did I get a 'good one' of the batch? 

    I've owned a lot of guitars with theoretically identical neck profiles and no matter the manufacturer, no matter their reputation for quality control (or lack thereof), the necks always, always feel different.

    I think it's inevitable when the material is something as variable as wood and there's some degree of human intervention, no matter how little, in the manufacturing process.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18240
    Tom Anderson Even Taper with 'heavy' frets is all I need.
    Afterwards everything else feels weird.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 63
    HAL9000 said:
    Years ago I had a Squier Affinity Tele that I should never have got rid of. I played several and the neck on mine was just so much better than all the others I tried. Also, the (maple) fretboard had lovely figuring and was and that golden honey colour rather than the usual anaemic hues found on low end Squiers - I’m surprised that they hadn’t put the wood aside for something pricier.

    Anyway, it got moved on when I bought an American Std Tele (I foolishly thought at the time that the Affinity wasn’t a real Tele since it lacked the skunk stripe and through-body stringing). Certainly the US Std is better guitar in almost every way, but it is no more ‘Telecaster’ than the Affinity. In fact the Affinity’s basic simplicity probably makes it truer to Leo’s plank than Fender’s higher-end offerings.

    The Affinity is the only guitar I’ve ever regretted selling but I suspect there’s a bit of the rose-tinteds going on here since the hardware was generally on the cheap and cheerful side. Nonetheless, the neck was way better than you’d expect from a budget instrument.
    I've often considered getting an Affinity and putting in the MIM Tele's original pickups - a lot of the Squier stuff has felt lovely in terms of body and quality. 

    Philly_Q said:
    joetele said:
    is it likely that Fender would have changed the neck profiles at all? Even within the same run of Teles (hence me finding the ones in shops at the same time felt different)? Was I lucky and did I get a 'good one' of the batch? 

    I've owned a lot of guitars with theoretically identical neck profiles and no matter the manufacturer, no matter their reputation for quality control (or lack thereof), the necks always, always feel different.

    I think it's inevitable when the material is something as variable as wood and there's some degree of human intervention, no matter how little, in the manufacturing process.
    Glad to know it's not just me and that I'm not insane for thinking it...I honestly feel like I was lucky with this one - it was ordered online after trying them in shops because the online store had them for £299 - and I guess I got a good one! It's a very thin neck but very comfortable and sublimely easy to play. I've only ever used 9s on it for strings, as the bends are immense. 
    Pedals. 
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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 5292
    joetele said:
    OK folks, a few of you might have heard me harp on about my MIM Fender Standard Telecaster. 

    It was bought in January 2004 so it's likely to be a 2003 model - in black, with white scratchplate and all standard parts etc. 
    The neck has a fairly thin gloss. 

    I upgraded the pickups to Samarium Cobalt Noiseless in probably 2007-2008 (I didn't know much about pickups at the time so it was a case of price and limited research, but apparently that's what the American Standards were fitted with at the time). 

    I can remember trying a few guitars just before buying it, including a similar MIM Standard Tele in the local music shop, but the neck felt almost chunkier at the time. 

    The neck on my MIM Tele is the best I've ever played/felt on a guitar (subjective, of course) - and every MIM Tele I've tried since just doesn't have the same feel on the neck - they either feel chunkier or less smooth. There's no fighting, no compromise required, it just feels like I can glide anywhere on the fingerboard and, even with my short, stubby fingers, I can shape most chords and scales easily. It's like butter, as the cliche goes. 

    When I had those pickups changed around 07/08/whenever it was, the guys in the shop couldn't stop playing the guitar, and said it felt amazing. They couldn't believe it was a 'standard' Tele because it felt better than so many other guitars in the shop (which varied between your Squiers and your top-end Fenders).

    Now, I appreciate that I've had this guitar for over 14 years, I'm a bit biased, and it's aged wonderfully - the once pale maple has become a warmer colour, and the frets are a bit more 'played in' - but is it likely that Fender would have changed the neck profiles at all? Even within the same run of Teles (hence me finding the ones in shops at the same time felt different)? Was I lucky and did I get a 'good one' of the batch? 

    I know there's the adage that every guitar is different, even in the same run, but would the difference really be that tangible? 

    Let me know your thoughts - there are wiser folk than I on here who can probably answer, but also interested in hearing about your 'perfect neck' guitar experiences. 
    If you have a guitar that feels that great , no matter what the brand - hang on to it!
    I have seen people with a similar "perfect for them" guitar trade it away in a quest for a more "desirable" (?) brand on the headstock and later realise their mistake.

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 63
    joetele said:
    OK folks, a few of you might have heard me harp on about my MIM Fender Standard Telecaster. 

    It was bought in January 2004 so it's likely to be a 2003 model - in black, with white scratchplate and all standard parts etc. 
    The neck has a fairly thin gloss. 

    I upgraded the pickups to Samarium Cobalt Noiseless in probably 2007-2008 (I didn't know much about pickups at the time so it was a case of price and limited research, but apparently that's what the American Standards were fitted with at the time). 

    I can remember trying a few guitars just before buying it, including a similar MIM Standard Tele in the local music shop, but the neck felt almost chunkier at the time. 

    The neck on my MIM Tele is the best I've ever played/felt on a guitar (subjective, of course) - and every MIM Tele I've tried since just doesn't have the same feel on the neck - they either feel chunkier or less smooth. There's no fighting, no compromise required, it just feels like I can glide anywhere on the fingerboard and, even with my short, stubby fingers, I can shape most chords and scales easily. It's like butter, as the cliche goes. 

    When I had those pickups changed around 07/08/whenever it was, the guys in the shop couldn't stop playing the guitar, and said it felt amazing. They couldn't believe it was a 'standard' Tele because it felt better than so many other guitars in the shop (which varied between your Squiers and your top-end Fenders).

    Now, I appreciate that I've had this guitar for over 14 years, I'm a bit biased, and it's aged wonderfully - the once pale maple has become a warmer colour, and the frets are a bit more 'played in' - but is it likely that Fender would have changed the neck profiles at all? Even within the same run of Teles (hence me finding the ones in shops at the same time felt different)? Was I lucky and did I get a 'good one' of the batch? 

    I know there's the adage that every guitar is different, even in the same run, but would the difference really be that tangible? 

    Let me know your thoughts - there are wiser folk than I on here who can probably answer, but also interested in hearing about your 'perfect neck' guitar experiences. 
    If you have a guitar that feels that great , no matter what the brand - hang on to it!
    I have seen people with a similar "perfect for them" guitar trade it away in a quest for a more "desirable" (?) brand on the headstock and later realise their mistake.
    Oh, don't worry - in all the years I've bought and sold guitars that didn't click with me, or to fund a purchase - I never once considered selling this one! Even if I eventually get something much more expensive, I'll never sell it. It's been with me too long, and plays too nicely. 
    Pedals. 
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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 4847
    The best neck I've ever had is on a no-name bolt-on neck LP copy. I have my doubts as to how much of it is actually wood, but it feels wonderful.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9362
    It depends a little on the guitar. My 336 has basically a "slightly-bigger-than-slim-taper" which is lovely. But my Strat has a CP60's neck which is very similar, and I'm swapping that having recently played US Standard and slightly falling in love with that feel specifically for a strat. My JM already has a very similar neck; just a medium C with heavy rolled edges. But that wouldn't feel right on a Gibson 

    It's hard to describe why. 
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 18672
    edited July 11
    If think there’s a degree of familiarity breeding irreplaceability with necks. Generally whichever guitar I play most has my favourite neck - and unless a particular one is either ridiculously big or ridiculously small - I can usually adjust to it very easily.
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  • CHRISB50CHRISB50 Frets: 1845

    Silver Series Squier!


    Yes. Really.


    I still have the neck. It's just not attached to anything anymore. 7.25 radius and tiny frets but it's lovely.

    I can't help about the shape I'm in, I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

    But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to

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  • normula1normula1 Frets: 257
    My mid 80s ESP 400 Series Tele just has the best neck ever for me. It's a bit on the chunky side but not excessively so, 22 fret fairly flat radius. The frets could do with being replaced as they're very small, but I'm burying my head in the sand about that as don't want to risk altering the feel.
    I bought it used in the late 80s for the same price as a new Fender as it simply blew them away.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4481
    If think there’s a degree of familiarity breeding irreplaceability with necks. Generally whichever guitar I play most has my favourite neck - and unless a particular one is either ridiculously big or ridiculously small - I can usually adjust to it very easily.

    I was always a bit afraid of trying a Nocaster neck, because I thought if I liked it I'd find the necks on all my other guitars too skinny.

    And it turned out to be true, to an extent.  I can adjust, like you say, but I do wish things like PRS wide-fats, for example, were just a bit wide-fatter.  And I won't be buying anything with less than a "50s" neck profile in future.

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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    This thread made me think



    But the 64 P bass neck I have is, well... I’ll never put a better bit of bass neck on me P
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  • dogloaddogload Frets: 1276
    My Squier J Mascis JMs do it for me. Spot-on size-wise and very comfortable. 
    Second place probably goes to my DeArmond Starfire Special, despite it having a rather flat fretboard (not a big fan of flat boards).
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  • Ruokangas Mojo classic. I was warned when purchasing it (secondhand from TFB actually) that the neck was a bit bigger than your average. It has since become my favourite.
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  • AnderzAnderz Frets: 24
    Sorry to say that I don't have any preference when it comes to necks and even with my 2 long term electrics you got a 1990 EC signature Stratocaster and a kind of standard Jackson thin one on my Rhoads custom. 

    Still my hands are so used to both of them and I can't say what the favorite is. They both have their reasons for being cool.

    Computer Shop UK Your PC Needs In One Place: https://computershopuk.com/
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 63
    dogload said:
    My Squier J Mascis JMs do it for me. Spot-on size-wise and very comfortable. 
    Second place probably goes to my DeArmond Starfire Special, despite it having a rather flat fretboard (not a big fan of flat boards).
    Funnily enough I tried one of the new Vintage Modified Squier Jags in the local music shop a couple of weeks ago and was surprised just how nice the neck felt. I'm not used to shorter scales but this felt really comfy, smooth and easy to play. Really liked the sound of the pickups on it, too. If I had a bit of cash spare I'd have taken it home with me (and then got a bridge alteration done). 
    Pedals. 
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 79
    The nicest necks I've played have not been on any guitar I own. They've been various Fender types with chunky-ish (but not huge) well worn in nitro finished necks with fairly rolled fingerboard edges.

    But in terms of budget guitars, I really like the neck on the Squier VM Mustangs. Surprisingly chunky.

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  • noisepolluternoisepolluter Frets: 175
    It depends a little on the guitar. My 336 has basically a "slightly-bigger-than-slim-taper" which is lovely. But my Strat has a CP60's neck which is very similar, and I'm swapping that having recently played US Standard and slightly falling in love with that feel specifically for a strat. My JM already has a very similar neck; just a medium C with heavy rolled edges. But that wouldn't feel right on a Gibson 

    It's hard to describe why. 
    My dot 335 has something very similar to your CS336 - it just feels totally natural to play. The slight satin quality of a decade of wear on the nitro just adds to it. 
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  • EartrumpetEartrumpet Frets: 51
    edited July 11
    My PRS 25th Anniversary Mira had, what to me was an amazing neck. Realy comfy and easy for me to play. I regret selling that guitar and now i can't afford to get another.

    I understand that this neck carve was only available on this model too so a cheaper alternative looks out of the question
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4481
    My PRS 25th Anniversary Mira had, what to me was an amazing neck. Realy comfy and easy for me to play. I regret selling that guitar and now i can't afford to get another.

    I understand that this neck carve was only available on this model too so a cheaper alternative looks out of the question

    I believe it was the Regular (sometimes known as Standard) profile, which was also an option on the "normal" humbucker loaded, 24 fret Mira.

    The difference was the 25th had 22 frets and, I think, the slightly shorter 24.5" scale.

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  • JamesSGBrownJamesSGBrown Frets: 32
    My Johnny marr jag has the perfect neck. It’s actually kind of ruined other guitars for me :(
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  • EartrumpetEartrumpet Frets: 51
    Philly_Q said:
    My PRS 25th Anniversary Mira had, what to me was an amazing neck. Realy comfy and easy for me to play. I regret selling that guitar and now i can't afford to get another.

    I understand that this neck carve was only available on this model too so a cheaper alternative looks out of the question

    I believe it was the Regular (sometimes known as Standard) profile, which was also an option on the "normal" humbucker loaded, 24 fret Mira.

    The difference was the 25th had 22 frets and, I think, the slightly shorter 24.5" scale.

    I knew about the scale length but not the neck detail, so thanks for that info.
    Maybe worth going out and trying a few other PRS guitars then.
    I liked the rounded  almost fat feel to the neck, also liked the P90s but that is another thing....... as i said Regrets
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  • DarnWeightDarnWeight Frets: 873
    My mid-90s MIJ Fender 50s Tele has the best neck of any guitar I've ever owned or played.  It's a maple board, 7.25 radius, vintage frets, soft-V profile.  Chunky, but oh so comfy and familiar.  Might need to think about a refret in the near future, but am a bit worried it'll not feel quite the same afterwards.
    New fangled trading feedback link right here!
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  • markr76markr76 Frets: 29
    Well for me my custom shop 62 strat was always my perfect neck. It's fairly fat for a 60's style neck and has a 9.5" board on it. The frets are medium jumbo I think. Plays like a dream. It was as though fender personally made it for me!
    Although I picked up a new guitar that i ordered from Patrick James Eggle last weekend. One of his 96 models. It's always a worry when you spec a guitar that you won't bond with it once it's in your hands. But I didn't have to worry. The neck on it is stunning. Plays like butter. It has a soft v profile and a 12" board. All satin finish roasted birds eye maple. The frets are narrow tall ones and have been finished very well. I've bonded with the guitar already. The neck is a standout feature on the guitar.
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