21 responses

  1. Sara
    December 1, 2008

    neck size definitely makes a difference. thanks for making it all make sense.

  2. Ovidiu – GuitarFlame
    December 3, 2008

    Interesting post. Also to consider the width of the neck in case of small hands. Or the radius. Have posts on this topics, I guess they should be interesting, I like this kind of posts ;-)

  3. Guitar Rock
    December 24, 2008

    The neck is so important. My acoustic has a wide neck and better for finger picking. My electric, G&L, has a narrow neck like a fender and is great for solos.

  4. Mitch
    January 4, 2009

    i have a question…
    i have a guitar that i pieced together, and its neck is the wrong scale…
    i never had the original neck, and i have no idea how to figure out what scale it needs.
    i cant set the intonation, and im positive its the neck.
    i cant seem to find any sort of formula to figure out what neck i need…
    can you help me? ha.

    thank you!

  5. wp
    December 10, 2010

    PRS necks are 25″ scale…and you’re right it makes a very big difference on which neck you get…also if you replace a neck it makes all the difference in terms of intonation…..

  6. Mark Main
    January 5, 2011

    An interesting study by luthier and scientist R.M. Mottola (Mottola, R.M. “Sustain and Electric Guitar Neck Joint Type” American Lutherie #91, 2007, p. 52.) where he documents that there was very little difference in sustain between the 3 basic neck types and that they findings were completely the opposite to commonly held beliefs. Here are the rankings with BEST sustain listed first:

    1. Bolt-Ons (e.g. most Fender guitars) — BEST SUSTAIN
    2. Set Necks (neck is glued to the body with a tenon joint; e.g. most Gibson guitars)
    3. Through Neck (necks & body made from the same piece of wood) — WORST SUSTAIN

  7. Marc
    January 6, 2011

    Mitch I hope you got the answer by now, but since I’m here: if you cut the length of any string in half, the tone jumps 1 octave. This means the neck length & fret configuration on any guitar must be set so the 12th (octave) fret is exactly half the length from the 2 ends of the string (i.e. from the bridge to the nut). For a given body the neck size is not 100% predetermined, but a longer neck must have wider-spaced & fewer frets; and a shorter neck must have closer-together & more frets.

  8. Dean Adkins
    May 26, 2011

    Nobody has been able to answer this. I have a Westone with a 25.5″ scale over 24 frets. I cannot change the trem system to a Floyd because that sets the intonation back too far (1/2″ too far leaves it 1/2 step flat on notes above the 12th fret).
    My question to you; can I change the neck to a 22 fret job and bring the 12th fret in to compensate for the 1/2″ I need to lose on the tremolo?

  9. James
    June 29, 2011

    Thank you for the information on the reasoning for the 2 scale lengths. Does the distance from the nut to the bridge make a difference in the pitch or tuning of the guitar?

    • Daniel R. Lehrman
      June 29, 2011

      Pitch only. A short length is better for smaller hands. I like the longer Strat scale.

      Let me know,
      Danny

  10. aaron
    September 7, 2011

    a great post. but i really wanna know bout a guitar’s neck width. my fingers are kind of short and i want to know if a regular les paul or prs would suit me. i’m really fascinated by prs tremonti se which has a wide neck. can i play it?

    • Daniel R. Lehrman
      September 9, 2011

      They make hi quality 3/4 sized guitars. Go to Guitar Center and play a bunch of guitar until you find one you like.

  11. Michel
    August 24, 2012

    Glad to follow this blog. I love these gtiraus too. I have had a few from the late 60s and the 1970s. My 1967 ES-335 is a pleasure to play. I have never played one from ’64 or earlier .they must be amazing. Love your ES-345 the split fretboard inlays are my favorite, and the Varitone makes for some cool vintage vibes.

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