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  • DarrenKingUK 8:25PM

What neck profile does your guitar have?

bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MO✭✭✭✭ Jordan Wencek No.16, Altamira M01
What neck profile does your guitar have?

Having a comfortable neck is one factor that I think is often overlooked when choosing a guitar. Sometimes we might be looking for a guitar without having the ability to physically test it out before buying. It might help to know what a guitar’s neck profile is before taking that blind plunge. So I’m asking you, for those of you who don’t mind doing this sort of thing, to submit your guitar’s neck profile.

To do this, I suggest following these directions:

1. For a baseline, measure your guitar’s neck in millimeters at the 5th fret: its width from edge to edge.
2. Measure its depth from the very top of the fretboard to the deepest point in millimeters at the 5th fret.
3. Using standard printer paper, draw those points and connect the width points by drawing a horizontal line on the paper. This is your exact fretboard width.
4. Using a compass (or freehand) connect the ends of the horizontal line (fretboard width) to its depth point.
5. You should now have your guitar’s neck profile drawn exactly as it is at its 5th fret.
6. Open the attachment showing diagrams of different neck profiles and place it on your computer screen.
7. Place your paper on top of the computer screen and superimposed your drawing of your guitar’s neck shape on top of the different illustrations. Adjust the zoom size until you can get a traced-like image of the profile.
8. Determine which profile fits your guitar's profile.

Note: Depending on your computer's platform, you might have to drag the attached jpg file to your computer's desktop in order to get the illustrations to zoom large enough so that you can match your illustration you made of your guitar's neck to the illustrations in the profiles chart in jpg format shown below.

My Altamira M01 measures 50 mm. across (width) and 23 mm. deep at the 5th fret. It fit the “Big C” profile perfectly. I like this profile because it’s comfortable for me. Neither the palm of my hand nor my thumb is aching after playing long periods or playing day-after-day. According to Michael’s description of the Altamiras, he considers this neck profile to be a “more ergonomic” shape (C shape). The chart illustrates seven different profiles (ignore the specs). Find yours!



  • Gene RaweGene Rawe ✭✭ Olivier Marin
    My Olivier Marin has a flat C-never thought I'd like this profile, but for this style of music it's great; fast and very smooth. I also have one of Craig's Corazon guitars with a fat C and really like that as well. Both necks I believe are 1 3/4. What doesn't work for me in this style a V-shaped neck.
  • bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MO✭✭✭✭ Jordan Wencek No.16, Altamira M01
    edited March 2017
    Hi Gene, Did you mean the Corazon has a "fast C" profile (there is no "fat C" in the seven examples shown)?

    I've had the flat C profile before, and agree that it's a fast neck and feels smooth when playing. However, because of the way I place my thumb, being higher up on the back of the neck, my thumb and palm would tire after playing for longer periods. But your neck at only 1 3/4'' at the 5th fret, means that your neck would be 1/8" narrower than the one I had. That's a pretty big difference, and perhaps that would have compensated, resulting in more comfortable playing.

    I completely agree about the V-shaped profile. I couldn't even play the only one I ever tried playing!

    Thanks for your submission!
  • DuPont is a C My Dunn was made to my specs so its a flat D wider than standard selmac. What one is used to and one is most comfortable with is usually the "fastest"
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MO✭✭✭✭ Jordan Wencek No.16, Altamira M01
    Hi Jazzaferri, If you don't mind, is your Dupont neck flat, fast, or big C, based on the diagrams sent with my first post?

    Also, can you tell me its width at the 5th fret? The Altamira necks are supposed to be very similar to the Duponts.
  • Jim GallaherJim Gallaher Staunton, VA 2012 ALD La Brune
    My ALD La Brune measures 49mm wide and 22mm deep. Seems closest to the "fast C".
  • Hi @bohemewarbler Dupont neck at the 5th fret is 50mm depth -top of fret to back is 21 mm 45mm at zero fret. Shape is somewhere in the flat to fast C shapes in your categories

    My Dunn neck built to my specs is a little wider with a more noticeably flattish back of neck.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Gene RaweGene Rawe ✭✭ Olivier Marin
    I guess I ment Big C. V shaped necks like on the old Gibson's are great for gripping chords with thumb over, but if you play regular bar chords without the thumb, it's a no go for me at least.
  • edited March 2017
    I'm always up for geek stuff. I'll put in my entry when I get a chance.
    Although I'm a little confused about your instructions @bohemewarbler are you saying just come up with a width/depth triangular profile and compare with width/depth of profiles from the picture?
    So they are all different dimensions and/or ratios according to the type?
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MO✭✭✭✭ Jordan Wencek No.16, Altamira M01
    @Buco - I did the calculations for Flat C, Fast C, Big C, and Narrow D.

    I took the illustrations and resized them so that each profile measured 50 mm. wide. This appears to be the common width at the 5th fret for the vast majority of selmer-style guitars, so this was the baseline of all illustrations.

    Assuming that your guitar is 50mm wide at the 5th fret, measuring the depth at the 5th fret, from the top of the fretboard at the outer edge from either side, the results are as follows ...

    19 mm depth, then your guitar's neck profile is a Flat C
    21 mm. depth, then your guitar's neck profile is a Fast C
    23 mm. depth, then your guitar's neck profile is a Big C
    25 mm. depth, then your guitar's neck profile is a *Narrow D (except it would not be "narrow" as I resized it to fit a 50 mm. width)

    Ari-Jukka Luomaranta - Master luthier for AJL Guitars said of his guitars:

    "from 5th fret it’s 50 mm. wide and 22mm depth, but Selmer profile was originally flat and angular, not very comfortable - so I have changed the profile to be more comfortable & round, so It’s closest to the Big C of your picture. It’s been said to be the most comfortable of all gypsy guitars."
  • edited March 2017
    Yup pretty much 50mm at 5th fret. And a touch over 22mm deep is the best I can tell so closest to big C profile.
    My buddy John in Chicago who owns Jorgenson Gitane, Park, Favino keeps saying that my guitar has the most comfortable neck of all. So he picked up Ivanovski for himself off eBay.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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