#1
While looking at several Fender Strat's I noticed that there seems to be two neck profiles V and C and then within those several different radius. Just for example the V neck is either 7.25, 9.5, or 12 inches. All other things being equal is there going to be a major difference in the ease of playing these guitars. What I have read leads me to believe that the larger the radius, the easier that particular guitar is going to be to play. True or ???
One other thing I noticed that I find kind of odd, Fender refers to the C neck as the "modern" c profile neck. However looking at the signature Fender's it seems most of the top blues players prefer the V profile neck. I would think the more modern a profile was, the better, but I guess that isn't totally true in all cases. I have a pretty crappy guitar store near me and they have a very poor selection. I played a C neck Strat (9.5 radius) and I liked it a lot, more than the Gibson Les Paul neck, but they didn't have any Fenders with the V neck I could try, I wish they did. So I thought I'd ask here to try and get at least a little idea of which might be better.
#2
What I have read leads me to believe that the larger the radius, the easier that particular guitar is going to be to play

Larger radius, in general, will allow lower string action without "fretting out" while bending. On the flip side people claim playing chords on a smaller radius neck is more comfortable. It comes down to preference, however I find the fretting out on 7.25 necks a greater drawback than the comfort they might offer. A 9.5 radius or larger would eliminate this issue.
Fender refers to the C neck as the "modern" c profile neck. However looking at the signature Fender's it seems most of the top blues players prefer the V profile neck.

This is preference as well. The only advantage I can think to a V neck is it may be a little more comfortable for "thumb over" playing you often see with blues players.
#3
Quote by Sunfist
While looking at several Fender Strat's I noticed that there seems to be two neck profiles V and C and then within those several different radius. Just for example the V neck is either 7.25, 9.5, or 12 inches. All other things being equal is there going to be a major difference in the ease of playing these guitars. What I have read leads me to believe that the larger the radius, the easier that particular guitar is going to be to play. True or ???
One other thing I noticed that I find kind of odd, Fender refers to the C neck as the "modern" c profile neck. However looking at the signature Fender's it seems most of the top blues players prefer the V profile neck. I would think the more modern a profile was, the better, but I guess that isn't totally true in all cases. I have a pretty crappy guitar store near me and they have a very poor selection. I played a C neck Strat (9.5 radius) and I liked it a lot, more than the Gibson Les Paul neck, but they didn't have any Fenders with the V neck I could try, I wish they did. So I thought I'd ask here to try and get at least a little idea of which might be better.


All subjective. The Radius is the curve, side to side, of the fretboard, and the Profile is the shape of the *back* of the neck, so two completely different things. I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but we may have someone reading who isn't yet up to speed.

You need to absolutely ignore two things: One is the name of the profiles that Fender applies ("modern," "vintage") and ignore whose name is on the endorsement contract. One radius or profile is not "better for blues" than another.
Fender may be one of the few who produce V profile necks any more, and I think they exist largely to satisfy vintage enthusiasts. It's a matter of preference, of course, and I absolutely prefer to stay away from them.

C and D shape necks are going to show up on most guitars these days, and my personal preference is for a C shaped neck, though that goes out the window when you move past 6 strings. There's also the depth of the neck to consider (you can often find specs that will give you this information at two places along the neck, such as ".800" at the first fret, .915" at the 12th fret." Those measurements cover the depth of the neck from the face of the fretboard to the back of the neck where your thumb should rest. "Baseball bat" necks or '50's necks will often be pretty hefty there, while a thin Ibanez Wizard neck might be much thinner (17mm at the first fret, 20mm at the 12th fret) and have a different taper.

Unless you're a vintage wonk, you'll probably want to stay away from a 7.5" (very rounded) fretboard radius. Again, this is a vintage thing and works well for folks who do almost all of their playing within the first five frets and who almost never venture above the 12th fret to do any bending. A 9.5" radius is a reasonable compromise, a 12" radius is what you find on most American-built guitars (Gibson, etc.), a 13.7" radius is what shows up on most Asian-sourced guitars, and 16-20" radii are common for "shredder" guitars and those with more than 6 strings. My personal preference runs toward the 16" radius, but almost anything 12" and up works for me.
Last edited by dspellman at Jun 24, 2015,
#4
Quote by dspellman
All subjective. The Radius is the curve, side to side, of the fretboard, and the Profile is the shape of the *back* of the neck, so two completely different things. I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but we may have someone reading who isn't yet up to speed.

You need to absolutely ignore two things: One is the name of the profiles that Fender applies ("modern," "vintage") and ignore whose name is on the endorsement contract. One radius or profile is not "better for blues" than another.
Fender may be one of the few who produce V profile necks any more, and I think they exist largely to satisfy vintage enthusiasts. It's a matter of preference, of course, and I absolutely prefer to stay away from them.

C and D shape necks are going to show up on most guitars these days, and my personal preference is for a C shaped neck, though that goes out the window when you move past 6 strings. There's also the depth of the neck to consider (you can often find specs that will give you this information at two places along the neck, such as ".800" at the first fret, .915" at the 12th fret." Those measurements cover the depth of the neck from the face of the fretboard to the back of the neck where your thumb should rest. "Baseball bat" necks or '50's necks will often be pretty hefty there, while a thin Ibanez Wizard neck might be much thinner (17mm at the first fret, 20mm at the 12th fret) and have a different taper.

Unless you're a vintage wonk, you'll probably want to stay away from a 7.5" (very rounded) fretboard radius. Again, this is a vintage thing and works well for folks who do almost all of their playing within the first five frets and who almost never venture above the 12th fret to do any bending. A 9.5" radius is a reasonable compromise, a 12" radius is what you find on most American-built guitars (Gibson, etc.), a 13.7" radius is what shows up on most Asian-sourced guitars, and 16-20" radii are common for "shredder" guitars and those with more than 6 strings. My personal preference runs toward the 16" radius, but almost anything 12" and up works for me.


i'll add a little to this for Fender most of their current production guitars are 9.5" radius. a few of their vintage reissues are 7.5 (but you have to tocheck the specs on indvidual models as some are 9.5 despite being a vintage reissue). 12" only comes on a couple of signature guitars (eric johnson) and some older strats made in the early 80s. the current Deluxe models of the strat and tele have a coumpound radius fingerborad. this means that the number changes as you go up the board (9.5 where you play cowboy cords and flatter further down where leads are often played).
#5
+1 on the compound radius. And you don't have to get a deluxe to get it. If you like big frets, the Jim Root Fenders have those, plus the compound radius, plus the contoured heel. And they have ebony. I'd heard they're MIM, but at least some of the work is done in USA--I've seen them on benches and racks in the Corona plant. Great necks, but you have to deal with a part nitro paint and whacky electronics--but that can be modded. Maybe some of the other artist models have the compound radius too.

Haven't played the V necks. I like my flat Ibanez Wizard necks, and my standard Fender necks so didn't even bother testing the V necks at the factory when I put in my order for my Strat with a neck similar to the Root necks, but quartersawn and with a painted headstock. The big frets and compound radius remind me of an Ibanez RG, but not quite as flat or thin. The modern C has always been great for me--I'm of average build, for what that's worth.

Happy hunting!
#6
Quote by Sunfist
While looking at several Fender Strat's I noticed that there seems to be two neck profiles V and C and then within those several different radius. Just for example the V neck is either 7.25, 9.5, or 12 inches. All other things being equal is there going to be a major difference in the ease of playing these guitars.


Yeah, probably. It's pretty noticeable, at least if you do a lot of bending.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#7
I prefer 12 and up , 12 and 14 are my favorite , 9 (and I have a few) is ok but I like them better flatter like 12 and up ...... G&L has two options for V neck shape and several radius options , I like the C shape best just my preference , I just don't feel a advantage with the 7.5 and 9 , if anything it's a disadvantage to me , for me it's easier hitting individual notes and bar chords with the flatter radius
#8
Thanks for all the replies. I had almost made up my mind to get the Fender Deluxe Strat before I read this, and this closes the deal, it has a 12" C profile neck, not to mention noiseless pickups, which I also like. Again thanks for the help.