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Why are so many guitar necks thin?


For whatever reason, this ergonomic nightmare continues.

A big reason I bought the SX Furrian guitar from Rondo (Telecaster copy) is because of its neck shape, as it happens to be one of the few electric guitars that has a neck with some thickness to it.

The proper term for guitar neck thickness is depth, although that's one of three things that contributes to how "fat" a neck feels. I'll talk about the other two in a moment.

Neck depth is typically measured at the 1st and 12th fret. On the Furrian (or at least on mine), the depth at the first fret is 22mm (0.866") and 25mm (0.98") at the 12th.

If you know neck depths at all, that is significantly more chunky than most guitar necks. The Furrian's neck depth at the 1st is where most necks measure at the 12th.

Some of you might recognize those measurements as being close to the neck measurements of a 1959 Gibson Les Paul. It's obviously not exact because the scale length is different as is the fretboard radius. But where measurements are concerned, yes it's close.

The second thing that contributes to how thick a neck feels is its shoulder. This is where the letter shapes of C, D, U and V come in. I'm honestly not sure if the Furrian is a C or D. Feels like a little of both but mostly like C. Definitely not a U or a V.

A neck that has one of the fattest feeling shapes is a "Deep U". The first fret neck depth measures 1" as does the 12th fret, the shape is U and has very pronounced shoulder. The one with slightly less pronounced shoulder is also a U, and Warmoth calls it a "Boatneck", a.k.a. a 1952 Fender Telecaster style neck shape.

The third thing is neck width. I interpret the "feels like a baseball bat" thing to be a skinny width with a fat back and pronounced shoulders. Wide width as far as I'm concerned doesn't make a neck feel thick, but rather the depth and shoulder. In fact, the skinnier nut widths with fat backs feel bigger to my fret hand.

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