#1
This has probably been asked millions of times so please forgive my ignorance. My favorite guitars to play on are my Epiphone firebird studio and my Goth explorer. These never leave my line up. The problem is that they are no where near as fast as my Jackson, Ibanez or esp. I want to slim down the necks on them so they are a little easier to play on. Both my firebird and explorer are set in necks so it's not as simple as replacing. What's the best way of doing this?
#2
Thick necks I like for certain things, i wouldn't thin any of mine down for figuratively all the money in the world. My opinion keep them as is because thick necks in my personal opinion provide better sustain and tone. this is one reason I don't like Ibanez RG guitars with wizard necks. Having thick and thin necks creations contrast in the studio or on the stage as not everything was built to shred... damn those 50s reissues and traditions!

I'm no luthier (guitar builder) but I can imagine sanding and re-shaping the neck to a U , C or V shape , V being like dean razorbacks even with the right tools would be a bad idea I see it as set neck guitars because if there is any problems associated to doing so the guitars screwed up for life or is a very expensive repair; then again it's a forum ,so the great thing is we can discuss if it legitimately is with other guys.

these are quick tricks if the shape of the neck doesn't bother you, they are reversable for the most part too as applying polyurethane is very simple but remember to use lots of painters tape to make sure only the back of the neck gets it. Do it outside or have an area you can apply it where fumes aren't an issue.

anyways two tricks
if the neck is satin , not gloss (gloss is thick and shiny) there is two things I recommend.
#1 - polish to 2000 grit sand paper . 2000 will make satin extremely slippery and glass like
#2 - sand the finish off completely like zakk wylde or zoltan bathroy (five finger death punch)

the down side to raw necks with no finish is they get dirty fast and you touch the necks up every now and then with 2000 grit to keep them smooth. so if you sweat a lot this can be bad i can imagine.

gloss can be removed and satin polyurethane or varnish or gunstock oil , gunstock oil is used on john petrucci musicmans and you legitimately buy it at a gun store. Cool right! 2000 grit if you want a super slippery finish , it's removing literally microns (nowhere near milometers) do it to only the back of the neck only, it can scratch a body still. removing finish use 220 or so, you'll know you removed finish when it stops shining.

but that is my 2 cents, lets see what others say, seymour duncan forum or the gibson les paul forum I'm sure you can get some quick answers too
#3
I want more of a 60s slim D profile on them. I don't want anything like the wizard neck on my ibanez. The biggy is my explorer. My Jackson is my main guitar for really fast shredding I just prefer my explorer and firebird tone and feel. It's more for comfort than anything else.
#4
Re-profiling a neck is not for the faint of heart. Getting the right tools for the job is expensive and making a mistake can quite easily lead to irreparable damage. It can be done, but I can't recommend it to someone who doesn't have much woodworking experience.

I think tallwood has made a good suggestion of satinising the neck to make it feel faster because it's very easy to do and there's no risk of doing any real damage. If you don't like how satin necks feel, you can buff the scratches out, making the modification reversible. It does make a big difference to the guitar's playability. It's worth a try.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Nov 12, 2015,
#5
+1
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
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MXR Smart Gate
#6
Quote by jacrane74
This has probably been asked millions of times so please forgive my ignorance. My favorite guitars to play on are my Epiphone firebird studio and my Goth explorer. These never leave my line up. The problem is that they are no where near as fast as my Jackson, Ibanez or esp. I want to slim down the necks on them so they are a little easier to play on. Both my firebird and explorer are set in necks so it's not as simple as replacing. What's the best way of doing this?


tools:
-spoke shave.
-make a sanding board.
-a bunch of sand paper
-card scraper (several).
-contour gauge.
-re-finishing stuff (or not).
-calipers

stuff:
-if you go to far you risk truss rod blowout or weakening the neck badly.
-not easy if you've never done wood work before.
-jackson's "speed neck" isn't as thin as you think. the ibanez "wizard" necks are thinner. what it does have however, is a compound radius and rolled edges. this makes them very easy to play.
-get your guitar set up as best as it can be first. see if that helps. if not, then i'd suggest either you adapt or buy a guitar that is faster for you to play.
-strip the finish off the back of the neck if you must -we all did this in the 80's because we couldn't afford charvel necks or try Tallwood's plan and see if that works.
Last edited by ad_works at Nov 12, 2015,
#7
yeah I unfinished a neck on a BC Rich warlock which is my favorite guitar and scalloped it for more string control and I never looked back, only bad part is if you sweat or every now and then you have to lightly polish the neck with 2000 ....all in all would I do it again? absolutely. I did like 12-24 at first to see if I liked the raw wood neck and it was like nothing holding me back.

2000 grit sand paper or micro mesh does wonders, sand paper you need a tiny bit and sand dry on unfinished wood. Never wet. Sand paper that fine is in automotive stores. 3M is usually my go to for it.