Poll: What's your preferred nut width?
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View poll results: What's your preferred nut width?
1 5/8" - i like a nice slender neck
2 18%
1 11/16" - what's good enough for martin dreads is good for me
4 36%
1 3/4" - i like a little more space for fingerstyle or just to have some room
1 9%
1 13/16" - a little wider without getting crazy
0 0%
1 7/8" - a nice wide nut without crossing over to classical widths
4 36%
other - i have other preferences - or none
0 0%
Voters: 11.
#1
for years, i didn't know that acoustic guitar necks weren't all the same, but some guitars were a lot less comfortable to play than others. now i know that i don't care for the most common nut width, which is 1 11/16". i am more comfortable, and play a little better, on a wider nut width - at least 1 3/4" or a bit more. for me, this is very important - i find myself not playing as much if the guitar on the stand has a 1 5/8" or 1 11/16" nut. and i like a nice wide nut as long as we don't cross over into classical width - that's a bit too much for me.

so what's your favorite nut width?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Oct 7, 2011,
#2
As long as the neck is at the very least 1 3/4" then I tend to be happy holding the guitar. But, ever since getting ahold of my Seagull, I find myself enjoying the even wider neck on it. I don't really do much in the way of finger style playing, but a wider neck does still make it a bit easier when trying to pull off some of the more oddly shaped jazz chords out there.
"Here I sit, beneath a lonely line."

~iband48's signature
#3
I must say that in my years of playing I never paid much attention. Oh, I knew that classics had wider necks than steel-strings, but other than that I just played what I had.

Now, I play such a wide variety of instruments that still it doesn't seem to matter much to me. I have two regular steel-string guitars, half-a-dozen cigar-box guitars which vary from two strings to four, a mandolin, a mandola, and a fiddle (which I am just learning...) .

I just pick 'em up and play 'em.

I know that many folks get all carried away with nut width and fingerstyle players in particular. For me...Not so much.
#4
don't know if we get carried away exactly. more playing comfort and ability to play a hint smoother and better is important to me. if nut width made a difference to you, it might seem more important to you, also.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#5
Actually, the 3 guitars I voted on are all from Ibanez, and all share the same nut width, 43 mm. Which, if my math is correct is about 1.7 inches. That would be more than 1 11/16" and a tad less than 1 3/4". Their neck thicknesses do vary, by a couple of millimeters.

I have a 12 string also, but trust me, it does not have my best interests concerning nut width in mind.

The only 6 string guitar I've ever had that didn't fall @ 1 3/4" (or slightly less), was an ancient Guild "Starfire 3". (Single cutaway, thin body semi acoustic. They look a bit like an ES-335, that someone forgot to do the top cutaway. It was full semi-acoustic, though it didn't have the wood block running through it like an ES). The neck was really narrow, probably a shade less than 1 5/8". I should add that once I was exposed to wider necks such as on Gibsons, I didn't play this guitar very often.

I find that scale length has some effect of a guitar's playability. The longer scale being a bit harder to finger chord forms. While my 3 guitars all have the same nut width, their scale length varies by almost an inch.

To move the conversation forward, how would you feel about having an extra 1/16" or so of fret board above the E-6th string.

Your fingers already are a quite an acute angle when they make contact there, and a little bit more wood to land on might not be a bad idea......

Quote by Bikewer
I know that many folks get all carried away with nut width and fingerstyle players in particular. For me...Not so much.
Fair enough but, haven't you had guitars that you enjoyed playing more than others? And if that is the case, did the neck have anything to do with it? It could be nut width, scale length, neck thickness, or even the type of frets.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 7, 2011,
#6
It's really hard to say. First, I haven't had all that many guitars. For someone of my (advanced) age... Let's see... Maybe 6-7 acoustics. And until recently, all dreadnaughts. I currently have a Taylor GS Mini, which has a slightly-short scale but the nut width of 1 11/16"

Seems very comfortable to me for both fingerstyle and flatpicking.

Playing a lot of odd-sized instruments, I do try to keep the string-spacing constant. For instance, on my four-string cigar-box resonator, the string width is just a hair over 1/4", almost identical to the Taylor and also to the "real" resonator guitar I just bought.

A variable that seems to be seldom discussed in this regard is the physiology of the player.
People vary a lot more than do guitars... A player with long, slender, flexible fingers will likely feel more comfortable with one neck style than would someone with short, fat, inflexible fingers.
I'm a police officer, and I do a fair bit of fingerprinting. The differences in people's hands can be really striking.
Some folks have fingers that are almost all the same length, others have really marked differences in finger length. Same with width and flexibility. Quite a large number have very stiff fingers that are difficult to get prints from... They don't move separately from the other fingers very well.
Then there's another factor, which we might describe as "playing what you're used to". When I started playing locally, everyone had a dread. That was what you played. If you could afford it, a Martin or Guild. Didn't see too many Gibsons for some reason. If you didn't have that much scratch, then some sort of Japanese copy.
(the big makers were not producing "bargain" models then)
I never really understood that there were different sizes of body and nut width and scale length and so forth till after I'd been playing for a couple of years and started to actually study the guitar and it's history and construction.
Anyway, fingerstyle or flatpicker... We all played dreads..

And this is the case today. Many fine fingerstylists prefer the wider-nut-smaller-body instruments like the Martin OMs. But many still play big 'ol skinny-neck dreads....
#7
1 11/16th all the way.

If not for 1 3/4 I would own a Taylor 314 or 414 for example.
Esp Eclipse II
Fender Strat LoneStar
Martin D35 Custom Shop
Vox Night Train
Vox Heritage cab 1x12
#8
can you get a taylor 314 or 414 bto (built to order) with a 1 11/16" nut?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#9
I fall into the "fat/inflexible" finger group. I suppose that's why I drifted into the 12 string so long ago? A 1 7/8" nut width is about minimum for my comfort. I feel OK about the slightly slimmer nut on the Fender acoustic 6 that I have.
I am probably going to have to do some mods/repairs to my 12. I *might* even have it converted to a 6-string; then buy a new 12 of a different make.
#10
Quote by patticake
can you get a taylor 314 or 414 bto (built to order) with a 1 11/16" nut?


yeah probably
Esp Eclipse II
Fender Strat LoneStar
Martin D35 Custom Shop
Vox Night Train
Vox Heritage cab 1x12