Stimulus and Neck Profiles

DRC68

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
43
I went to my local GC to pick up some odds & ends. I currently have an Epi SG Special P90 which did not come with a case or bag, so I inquired whether they had a case to fit an SG. They didn't have anything specific, but had some nice oblong molded cases and we decided to test them for fit. I expected the sales guy to grab one of the Epi's, but instead he went for the Gibson SG Standard in Heritage Cherry and handed it to me.

It didn't fit the case, of course, but I started chatting him up about the guitar and comparing it to my Epi Special. After handling the Gibson I'm almost convinced that if I receive a next stimulus payment, I might have to pick one up. Plus, it would be nice to have a humbucker-equipped version to go with the P90, and a backup in case any mishaps occur with either of them.

My Epi has a slim taper neck which feels slimmer than the "rounded" profile (whatever that means) on the Standard. The difference in feel is distinct, due to the shape; the slim taper is comfy for my stubby fingers, but the rounded profile on the Standard was not too large either.

I had an Epi LP 50's Gold Top with a neck that was too chunky for me, especially in higher registers, made worse by the lack of body relief. The SG is far more playable. From what I can find, LP's have a wider variation. '58's were round and chunky, 59's less so and a different shape, 60's were slimmer. Since the SG came out in the early 60's, when they refer to a "rounded" profile, what exactly does that mean in comparison to the LP necks? Or is this a "modern" rounded or C-profile with little in common with any earlier model?

In any case, I was smitten by that Heritage Cherry. Mmmm...
 

kongssund

Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
38
Reaction score
56
Location
Norway
I play everything from ibanez shredder necks to gibson baseball bats, i never think about it. Do people grab hard on to the neck ? As long as the fret height is normal, its a go :D
 

DRC68

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
43
I play everything from ibanez shredder necks to gibson baseball bats, i never think about it. Do people grab hard on to the neck ? As long as the fret height is normal, its a go :D

Good point, even 7-year olds can play a mean guitar. I should stop blaming my shortcomings on the instrument's static dimensions, just make sure it has a good setup, and get practicing. ;)
 

Col Mustard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
8,196
Reaction score
8,354
Location
Tucson AZ
that's right... keep your thumb behind the neck and you'll find that you
can play any shape. With your thumb on the back of the neck, the size of your
hand and the shape of the neck becomes unimportant because you have so much
reach and freedom to move. Playing with a relaxed hand is the key to progressing.

This is not a popular view... on many fora, including this one, neck shape seems to
be a hot topic of discussion, and a deal breaker for guys who buy and return guitars
routinely. Players who obsess over neck shapes will probably never change their minds.
And that's fine, there's a place on this forum for all of us. We have a lot more in common
on this forum than we differ. Peace... y'all...

But lots of us play multiple guitars, and multiple instruments. I play acoustic, and electric
and bass. I never think about neck shapes... I just play them. Many of my musician friends
play guitar and violin, and mandolin, and bass, and keyboard, maybe a banjo or uke.
The human hand is capable of playing any instrument from a ukulele to a double bass
with no problems. *shrugs

So fussing over neck shapes is a choice you get to make. You read what people say
and you think, and then you pick up your guitar and play... and you make up your own mind.

Oh and I got one thing to say about SG necks...
SG necks are fast and comfortable. That's why many of us love this model.

Epiphones SGs are fast and comfortable (maybe they need a kitchen scrubby applied
to the back of the neck, and then they are fast and comfortable)...

Gibson SGs are always fast and comfortable...
that's why they have been in constant production since 1961...
there are several SG neck types. obsessed
over by certain players, but IMHO they are all fast and comfortable.
 
Last edited:

DrBGood

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
8,144
Reaction score
7,763
Location
Sutton Québec
Rounded means a constant round curve. The Slim Taper D on your Epiphone has a flatter profile in the back.
 

PauloQS

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
61
Reaction score
62
The rounded neck is a very comfortable. It’s a bit chunkier than a slim taper neck, but it’s slimmer than a ‘50s (‘59) neck. They are very conventional C shaped. Depth-wise they are in the same ballpark as ‘62/‘63 neck, meaning at the 1st fret they should measure around 0.85” on average. That’s also the ballpark of those Fender American Original ‘60s Strats and Teles. Like @DrBGood mentioned, your Epi should have more of a D shape, thus more pronounced shoulders relative to the rounded you tried on the Gibson SG.
 

cerebral gasket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
4,183
Reaction score
5,103
Tony-Iommi_2009-06-11_Chicago_photoby_Adam-Bielawski.jpg
 

DRC68

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
43
that's right... keep your thumb behind the neck and you'll find that you
can play any shape. With your thumb on the back of the neck, the size of your
hand and the shape of the neck becomes unimportant because you have so much
reach and freedom to move. Playing with a relaxed hand is the key to progressing.

...

So fussing over neck shapes is a choice you get to make. You read what people say
and you think, and then you pick up your guitar and play... and you make up your own mind.

I haven't really paid attention to this since I began playing in high school. I played violin too, and in higher positions the thumb just goes wherever it must in order to facilitate the fingers landing in the right spot. I naturally tend to keep my thumb behind the neck. There is a lot of space to fill, I can't see any neck profile actually being too thick. The only issue for me is thumb-muting the E, which I find difficult on any guitar due to my short thumbs. And this is affected more by fretboard width than neck thickness.

I really like my Epiphone, but playing the Gibson just felt slightly better, maybe because the finish was less sticky. And it was aesthetically stunning.
 

PauloQS

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
61
Reaction score
62
Just to clarify the technique thing. I wasn’t classically trained. However, I was around classical guitarist during my childhood and I do think some of that impacted my playing later on in life. Personally, I find that depending on what I’m playing, the classical fretting hand position is way more efficient. Furthermore, I agree, that the classical fretting hand position is more forgiving regarding neck depth.

However, there are things that the classical fretting hand position is just not ideal. For instance, you have to work much harder on bends, which classical players do not in general incorporate on their playing. Thus I personally vary my fretting hand from a semi-classical to a “modern”/post-jazz hand position depending what I’m playing even within one solo or song. My thumb can come up for a bend and to mute, and in some rare instances to fret lower string.

In summary, I think how you like the neck of the guitar matters a lot. It is the main point of contact between you and the instrument. Yes you have to account for the fact that sometimes you just need to give the guitar some time for you to adjust to a different profile. However, when you prefer the neck profile of a guitar you tried to the one you’re already used to, it is a good sign that you’ll like it better in the long run as well, unless you’re just having GAS goggles bias.
 

Go Nigel Go

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
681
Reaction score
572
Spot on PauloQ. I am not a "full on classical guitarist" having not learned any significant amount of the classical repertoire or preformed guitar in a classical setting, but I wanted to learn the techniques so I have taken some serious classes and learned from professionals less formally over the years. It is good to know, but not always used all the time for all styles of playing. I can't imagine playing a high energy 4 hour show in a mixed rock/blues setting using only proper classical technique, but I also can't imagine not using it either. I always recommend learning everything you can, and using all of it when it makes sense or is most comfortable. Everything you do should have a purpose and a reason, be comfortable (not causing unnecessary fatigue), and help you play better rather than hold you to some rigid "standard" when it isn't appropriate. I find now that I can switch seamlessly between thumb placements many times in the course of a single song of any genre.

I also agree that having a comfortable neck is very important for best results, but that doesn't mean they should all be the same, or there "can be only one" shape, even for one individual. I have some preferences, but my necks run quite the gambit from my classicals to my SG. They run from 1.50 to over 2.0 inches wide, mostly "C" and "D" shaped, but with a lot of variability. I choose what I like for the music I am getting ready to play, but none of them "do it all" equally well. Use what you like and don't let someone tell you you are doing it wrong if you have something that works for you.
 

DRC68

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
24
Reaction score
43
I went back to the store, I couldn't help myself. Had to check out that new Standard again.

Everything about it is better than my Epi SG Special P90. Not tons better, but enough to make me not want to put it down. My Epi is a very good playing and sounding guitar, but it doesn't motivate me quite as much as the Gibson. On my last visit they had 3 Gibson SG Standards in stock, and this one was my favorite. Today only this one was left in stock; it must have been waiting for me. I wasn't prepared to shell out the coin just yet, so I put it on layaway.

The only question I have, to which I haven't yet found the answer, is what type of pots/controls do they put in their new modern Standards? It specifies the pickups (490T/490R) but not the pots. I figured if they were CTS 500k pots it would have been mentioned in the literature.
 

PauloQS

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
61
Reaction score
62
To the best of my knowledge they are 500k pots. They’ve been using 500k for a while so they probably think everyone will correctly assume 500k.
 


Latest posts

Top