Standard Thin vs. Boatneck

Ric Moore

Active member
Messages
70
Hi,

I'm trying to decide on my first build and want a Roasted Swamp Ash neck with same fretboard.  Trying to decide if I should go to a boatneck size or standard thin.  Never really thought about thickness before now, usually only looking at the width more since I'm relatively new to playing (4+ years).

Currently, I have a 2018 MIM Fender Strat with what appears to be the closest to the standard thin.  I also have a 2019 Epi LP Standard with the wider neck and have no issues switching back and forth between the two.  Sometimes, I prefer the wider LP neck because I can chord better on that while also throwing in some intermediate fills or licks, but don't know how thickness comes into play with these.  I have wider hands rather than longer fingers.

I'm interested in hearing what things has anyone else considered when deciding between the two?

Thanks
 

bagman67

Senior member
Messages
8,140
Before buying a boatneck, you would do well to play a vintage style Fender instrument with an old school baseball bat neck.  I happen to love the boatneck profile, but it is VERY far from the standard thin, which has a lot in common with the modern Fender American Standard profile.  Here is a boatneck Tele neck pictured alongside a standard thin Strat neck.  As you can see, almost no light comes through under the Tele neck, but you have nearly a quarter inch of clearance between the Strat neck backside and the table.  So it's considerable.  If you have access to a well-equipped Fender dealer like Guitar Center or Sam Ash, you might find a Richie Kotzen or Brad Paisley signature model in stock. I know for certain the Kotzen has a very fat profile, and I'm pretty sure the Paisley is chunkier than your average bear.


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guitarstv

Active member
Messages
69
Like you, I'm comfortable with a variety of neck sizes.  My oldest guitar is an Epiphone dot with a very thick neck, and my current number one is a Charvel So Cal with a very thin neck.  Basically I split the difference and went for something in between - the Wolfgang profile is much beefier than my Chavel and a fair bit thinner than my Epi, but the asymmetric profile seems to give some of the benefits of both.

When in doubt, I'd get a tiny bit bigger than you think you want.  You can always take it down with some sandpaper if it's too much.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,150
Everyone is different.  I learned first on a classical guitar with a wide thin neck.  I have broad hands and normal sized fingers.  As such I find a thin narrow neck too cramped unless I'm doing chords a la bo diddly.  I think the next stop on your neck journey should be a 1 3/4 neck with a wolf gang profile.  Live with it awhile and see if you should go bigger.  Life is long, and there are lots of necks to forget ... to paraphrase Pablo neruda
 

Ric Moore

Active member
Messages
70
Bagman67 said:
Before buying a boatneck, you would do well to play a vintage style Fender instrument with an old school baseball bat neck.  I happen to love the boatneck profile, but it is VERY far from the standard thin, which has a lot in common with the modern Fender American Standard profile.  Here is a boatneck Tele neck pictured alongside a standard thin Strat neck.  As you can see, almost no light comes through under the Tele neck, but you have nearly a quarter inch of clearance between the Strat neck backside and the table.  So it's considerable.  If you have access to a well-equipped Fender dealer like Guitar Center or Sam Ash, you might find a Richie Kotzen or Brad Paisley signature model in stock. I know for certain the Kotzen has a very fat profile, and I'm pretty sure the Paisley is chunkier than your average bear.


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Good idea, I’ll try and see if I can do that
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
765
Ric Moore said:
Thanks, I’ll look into the Wolfgang neck too

If it helps....

I made my first Warmoth build (Tele) last summer, and went back and forth on so many aspects of the build, including the neck profile.  I went with the Wolfgang and find it.....perfect.  Adds a little mass over the standard thin and makes the thumb side a little chunkier, making it easier to keep the thumb dead center in the back of the neck, and the "finger" side of the neck allows fast movement.  In comparing specs to the '59 or Boatneck, it's still slim enough to be "slim".
 

musicispeace

Senior member
Messages
995
Ric Moore said:
Thank you rauchman, that really does help

If a brick and mortar place near you has Nash guitars they do some with boatnecks. Could be a hands on opportunity.
 

WindsurfMaui

Senior member
Messages
329
There are many shapes and no good way to predict which neck shape will feel the best to you until you try them. Do some research on  which companies produce which necks on different models . make the list and go into a store and hold them in your hands. There is no other way to tell unless you are going to buy every variation of neck Warmoth makes and then sell the ones you don't like. I hated the Fender C shape  and read about the Clapton soft V. Stupidly I bought a Clapton and was totally crushed when I hated that neck almost as much as the C shape. I went into a guitar store and started feeling every guitar shape. From Wizard necks to the SRV Fender model. There was one acoustic guitar, I don't remember which brand, that had a big round hand filling neck that also had a V shape in it. Then I read about Warmoth and it's custom necks. I like that the Boatneck is a big hand filling neck but has reduced the shoulders so the V (on the Vintage/Modern builds) is a hard V that fits right into the crook of my hand. (The modern build Boatneck because of the double truss rod has a less hard V to it almost more like a large D with a little feel of a V at the bottom, which disappointed me because I didn't take how the double truss rod would change the shape. But the Modern does also have the trimmed back shoulders which is an important feature for me. So get into a store and hold the guitar like you are going to play it and see how that neck feels to you. Then after you decide and order which ever neck you decide on play the heck out of that neck for months before you make a final decision if that is the right shape for you. Good luck.
 
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