#1
A couple of months ago at a recording studio, I played a '62 double-cutaway LP Junior: as you can imagine, a fantastic guitar in both sound and playability. What struck me was the really slim neck, more like a Tele than a modern Gibson: all the new Gibson (and Epiphone) LP/SGs I've played, including the new single-cutaway LP Junior, have the characteristic Gibson fat neck.

Does anyone know of an SG/LP Junior type guitar with a thinner, dare I say more Fender-ish neck? A lightweight, slim body more like the vintage LP Juniors/SGs would be good too. Ideally with P90s/P100s but I could live with humbuckers or even other single coils (after all, pickups can be upgraded). I'm not particularly wedded to Gibson or any major brands, but I'm looking for a quality instrument, having played a number of budget instruments and got bored of tuning/tone problems.

Please let me know if you have any ideas!
Last edited by tommymack1981 at Apr 22, 2013,
#2
The Gibsons of the 60s had the smallest necks of the time, on average, but they were hand-finished so every neck is slightly different. Gibsons are still somewhat worked on by hand so they too can vary in neck profile a lot. I've played Gibsons that were meant to have '50s' necks that were slimmer than Fender necks and ones which were meant to have '60s' necks that were thicker than the 50s. I've playe actual 1960s gibsons with thick necks and actual 1950s Gibsons with thin necks. There's also the fact that over time, as the guitar is played, the thin nitro finishes that those early guitars have will have checked, thinned further and been worn down. The wood also tends to contract a little; overall, the neck will be thinner now than it was when the guitar was brand new.
Fender also aren't such a great barometer of neck thickness; the real "baseball bat necks" were Fender Telecasters, much thicker than any Gibson neck ever was, and Strats are all over the place with their many contours. Currently Fender uses eight different neck profiles, from inch-thick Us to paper-thin Ds.

Epiphone also use many different neck profiles. They have a D, which is like an ESP neck, their standard C-U which is halfway between the intended spec of Gibson 50s and 60s necks, their original very thick C which is used on some of the archtops and then they have 'SlimTaper' versions of each, which shave a bit more off the neck.

So, basically... forget everything you've tried before because unless you've been paying really close attention to what you were trying, you can't judge any brand. It may have been that you've only played the Fenders made with the very thinnest necks and the Epis and Gibsons with the very thickest. With Gibson especially, you can't judge anything based on intended spec; two units of the exact same model can have totally different necks and tone. All you can do is go to some shops and try lots of guitars out. When you find one with a neck and sound you like, buy that one, right there.

The only remotely similar things which will guarantee you a much thinner (but also much flatter) neck would be ESP's versions of the Gibson designs. ESP have made various copies of the LP Junior and Special look, with P-90s, and their necks are made within much stricter limits and are always, even at the thickest, thinner than an average Gibson or Fender neck.
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