Standard 50s or 60s... what to do?

rjwilson37

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Totally agree! I have a few guitars and the necks are all over the place, but I enjoy them all. In my 55+ years of gigging necks have never been an issue with me, I play what ever is in my hands at the time!
Once I played a 60's Standard, I found my calling to that neck profile. All my guitars now are in and around a Slim Taper C neck profile. I had to try the Classic at GC a couple times before I purchased the Gibson Exclusive Olive Drab from the online Gibson store. The largest neck profile I play now is my Joe B. Lazarus 59 Standard, which is a Medium C towards the slimmer side. I like the workout I get on Lazarus, which is just a great guitar overall for playing and tone with the SD Slash Pickups. Wow!

Everyone should make their guitar their own. I did not have to change the Classic much, except the tuners, since I just don't like kidney tuners and love locking tuners.

I adjusted the pickup height on the Classic that has the BB 61's and I really like the tone I am getting from it. All my LP's are different in one way or another from each other with all kinds of different pickup configurations. So much fun, this hobby we all enjoy so much.

The only guitar I left alone, was the 2017 Les Paul Studio HP, even with the E-Tune. I figure it might be worth something someday along with the Boat Ancor Heavy as Hell Aluminum Case.
 
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Roberteaux

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I own a Rickenbacker 330/12... with the neck width at the nut being a mere 1.63" (or 41.4mm, if you will), this is the most slender neck of any of the guitars in my current lineup.

I only bought this beast because I enjoy covering Roger McGuinn's earlier work with The Byrds, and you've pretty much GOT to have a Ricky 12 if you want to close in on the sound of The Byrds as they were in the middle-to-late Sixties.

That fretboard has given me fits-- and so has attempting to duplicate the work of Mr. McGuinn.

In fact, I had so much trouble that at one point I actually purchased a video made by McGuinn, in which he taught viewers how to play a lot of his more memorable material from the classic era of The Byrds.

The very first thing he talked about was how he dealt with and overcame the problem of this very slender fretboard, which is also to be found in the same dimensions on the Ricky 360/12 that he so famously used as his main instrument.

McGuinn informed the viewers that his fingers and hands are by no means what anyone would refer to as small, or slender, and that the Rickenbacker type he chose for his work with The Byrds was not at all to his liking. But he carried on to add that the only guitar that sounds quite like a Ricky 12 IS a Ricky 12.

So, he was just as stuck with the type as I was for trying to follow him. :p

His solutions were simple. He merely came up with alternate finger positions for most of the first-position chords-- such as using one finger to cover two sets of strings on chords that are ordinarily played using one finger per string on the fretboard.

I tried to do things his way, and found that it worked well enough. But ultimately, my hands are smaller, possibly with longer fingers than R. McGuinn, and sometimes I could form a chord normally and get away without clamming it.

But man! You've got your fingers scrunched together *really tight* much of the time, and it's not exactly the most comfortable guitar to play for longer periods of time.

I just put up with it. I do what McGuinn did, which is simply to put up with the uncomfortable fretboard to get "that" sound, and I sort of consider it to be a form of dues-paying.

No idea why Rickenbacker went with that particular profile and fretboard width, 'cause it really is kind of a bitch to play sometimes.

But as I said: nothing else sounds like a Rickenbacker electric 12-string. So, I just kind of shrug and figure that this is what you get for wanting to cover Roger McGuinn-- lots of dues!

--R :thumb:
 
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Leee

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Rob, I had a beautiful Rickenbacker 381-V69.
6-string.
Same slim and skinny neck you describe.

As big as my hands are, it worked for me.

None of the other guitar players I know could understand it.
They would just shake their head.

I think it’s because I started out 40-something years ago with imported electrics with skinny little necks.
 

mjross

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I own a Rickenbacker 330/12... with the neck width at the nut being a mere 1.63" (or 41.4mm, if you will), this is the most slender neck of any of the guitars in my current lineup.

I only bought this beast because I enjoy covering Roger McGuinn's earlier work with The Byrds, and you've pretty much GOT to have a Ricky 12 if you want to close in on the sound of The Byrds as they were in the middle-to-late Sixties.

That fretboard has given me fits-- and so has attempting to duplicate the work of Mr. McGuinn.

In fact, I had so much trouble that at one point I actually purchased a video made by McGuinn, in which he taught viewers how to play a lot of his more memorable material from the classic era of The Byrds.

The very first thing he talked about was how he dealt with and overcame the problem of this very slender fretboard, which is also to be found in the same dimensions on the Ricky 360/12 that he so famously used as his main instrument.

McGuinn informed the viewers that his fingers and hands are by no mean what anyone would small, or slender, and that the Rickenbacker type he chose for his work with The Byrds was not at all to his liking. But he carried on to add that the only guitar that sounds quite like a Ricky 12 IS a Ricky 12.

So, he was just as stuck with the type as I was for trying to follow him. :p

His solutions were simple. He merely came up with alternate finger positions for most of the first-position chords-- such as using one finger to cover two sets of strings on chords that are ordinarily played using one finger per string on the fretboard.

I tried to do things his way, and found that it worked well enough. But ultimately, my hands are smaller, possibly with longer fingers that R. McGuinn, and sometimes I could form a chord normally and get away without clamming it.

But man! You've got your fingers scrunched together *really tight* much of the time, and it's not exactly the most comfortable guitar to play for longer periods of time.

I just put up with it. I do what McGuinn did, which is simply to put up with the uncomfortable fretboard to get "that" sound, and I sort of consider it to be a form of dues-paying.

No idea why Rickenbacker went with that particular profile and fretboard width, 'cause it really is kind of a bitch to play sometimes.

But as I said: nothing else sounds like a Rickenbacker electric 12-string. So, I just kind of shrug and figure that this is what you get for wanting to cover Roger McGuinn-- lots of dues!

--R :thumb:
Try an Ernie Ball Music Man Axis! I find them a little cramped but I really dig the guitars!
 

rjwilson37

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The Slimmest Neck I have right now, is my 2011 Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute. This bad boy is pretty darn slim, but it just works, such a great feeling/playing guitar.
 

John Vasco

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The drill sergeant shakes his head slightly and says to the character, whose name is Francis, "Lighten up, Francis!"

--R
Never seen it, so it was always strange to me. Like the cockney expression 'Orright John, gorra new motor?' Who's John?

And my second name isn't Francis, it's James. John James, eh. Very classy! :dude:
 
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John Vasco

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Yes, the OP and myself were joking with you. The reference like stated above is from the movie Stripes.

I know, but the phrase doesn't resonate with a Brit. In Liverpool, the expression was 'Our kid', as in, 'Look 'ere, our kid, yer bang out of order!' Even a stranger would be addressed as such. :dude:
 

filtersweep

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I bought a Custom Lite with a 50s neck that people describe as ‘massive’- and discovered that big necks are superior. Sold all my Fenders and bought a Baja. Bought a batwing SG with a massive neck. Went all in on a huge R8.

Not finished yet….. so I started buying 7 strings.

My Jackson feels tiny these days.
 

tolm

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I was trying to decide between a Standard 50s and 60s at the tail end of last year. Always preferred the 50s necks in the past but the finishes and tops on the 60s models just looked more appealing, to me: a nice Bourbon Burst or Iced Tea was my thinking.

So I pinged a few places that had several in stock (like 10+ for two of the stores …) to see if they’d do a decent deal. One ignored me, one said maybe (and then ignored me) and the other just flat out said no right off the bat.

That annoyed me. So I bought the considerably more expensive second hand R9 from my local shop (who DID do me a deal) that had got me wanting a Les Paul again in the first place. Couldn’t be happier - killer guitar.

Anyway, whichever you decide I would make sure you’ve seen the _actual_ guitar as some of the tops on the 60s bursts (and the 50s Tobacco) are gorgeous and others are very plain - and either could be what you want! But the ones I hate are where one half is flamed and the other is plain and I saw quite a few like that.
 

kysrsoze

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I was trying to decide between a Standard 50s and 60s at the tail end of last year. Always preferred the 50s necks in the past but the finishes and tops on the 60s models just looked more appealing, to me: a nice Bourbon Burst or Iced Tea was my thinking.

So I pinged a few places that had several in stock (like 10+ for two of the stores …) to see if they’d do a decent deal. One ignored me, one said maybe (and then ignored me) and the other just flat out said no right off the bat.

That annoyed me. So I bought the considerably more expensive second hand R9 from my local shop (who DID do me a deal) that had got me wanting a Les Paul again in the first place. Couldn’t be happier - killer guitar.

Anyway, whichever you decide I would make sure you’ve seen the _actual_ guitar as some of the tops on the 60s bursts (and the 50s Tobacco) are gorgeous and others are very plain - and either could be what you want! But the ones I hate are where one half is flamed and the other is plain and I saw quite a few like that.
Yeah, I know what you mean about the tops being all over the place - some are great and others are awful. The tobacco is killer, but I’m starting to lean toward the 60’s Bourbon Burst. Tough decision.
 

kysrsoze

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The neck on the 50s adds to the overall tone of the instrument because there is more wood. I have both and even when I put the same pickups in each guitar I can hear a more woody tone on the 50s. The attack on the 60s is different and sounds great for its use case.
That’s exactly my quandary. I’ll play them again and see what I want to do.
 

kysrsoze

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Get both. Life is boring with just one.
Much as I’d like to, I just can’t justify dropping 6 G’s on two of them, and I can’t bring myself to sell any more of my others. With my playing skill, I should probably just buy 50s and 60s Epis (which are still very nice guitars) and be done with it, but I have always wanted one higher end Gibbo. Decisions…
 

rjwilson37

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Much as I’d like to, I just can’t justify dropping 6 G’s on two of them, and I can’t bring myself to sell any more of my others. With my playing skill, I should probably just buy 50s and 60s Epis (which are still very nice guitars) and be done with it, but I have always wanted one higher end Gibbo. Decisions…
Yep, I know exactly what you mean. I did pick up a Gibson Standard 60's from Sweetwater, the Sweetwater Exclusive Lemon Burst, with a very nice top, but it had a tuning/nut problem that even after a couple setups, they could not resolve. I ended up sending it back and got an Epiphone Standard 60's in Ebony. I got a full setup with fret leveling and it was a very sweet guitar, played and sounded good. The PB 2/3's sound more like a pair of Gibson 57 Classic/Classic Plus pickups than the BB 2/3's that they are supposed to sound like. At least to my ears that is how they sound. Anyway... I ended up getting the Epiphone Jerry Cantrel Signature 'Wino' Les Paul Custom, an excellent guitar with a JC Custom neck profile that is just perfect. I ended up selling the Epiphone Standard 60's and picked up the Gibson Exclusive Olive Drab Classic, which is the nicest Gibson Les Paul I have purchased. I go back and forth between the JC Wino and the Classic sometimes, so much fun and both fantastic guitars. I can feel a difference in quality between the two, it is not much, but it is there for sure. If someone who can't afford a Gibson Les Paul got an Epiphone Signature, a 59 or a Standard 50's/or 60's, they would never know the difference, that is how nice the Epiphone Signature and Inspired by Gibson models have gotten.

You could try and get one of the Epiphone Adam Jones Les Paul Customs with/or without the Artwork, they are supposed to be really sweet with the volute neck/custom neck profile and all. It also comes with some nice pickups, a SD Distortion in the bridge and a PB Custom in the neck. It very well might even be nicer than my Jerry Cantrel Les Paul Custom.
 
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ErictheRed

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I once had a 2004 Standard that I LOVED the sound of, and a 2009 Traditional Plus that had something ever so slightly strange going on with respect to tone but that I liked better in every other way: playability, appearance, feel, etc. I swapped pickups between the two guitars, sold the Standard, and never looked back.

Swapping pickups is easy, finding a guitar that feels great to you is not.
 

rjwilson37

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I'm thinking I'll get used to the 50s and be happier in the long run, but i'm not completely sure of that. Thoughts?
All guitars and necks even the same model/year can be a little different. If you can find a 50's neck that feels good, not too big for you, you may be just fine. I have the Lazarus 59 Standard and it is a little bit bigger than I usually like. But it really does feel good to play on, and it sounds so sweet with the SD Slash pickups. I can feel the difference right away in the neck, but that goes away for the most part after playing for a minute or two, except in certain areas where I need to stretch a bit. But... the One-Piece neck, no weight relief and the SD Slash pickups just sound so good, the guitar as a whole is just awesome.

I wanted a Gibson Slash AFD years ago, but the necks on those are just too big for me to like. When the Epiphone Slash guitars came out, I was hoping the necks would be smaller, but they are not. I then searched for an older used Gibson Les Paul Dirty Lemon Burst/or Honey Burst for a long time at a reasonable price and could not find one. Then, Epiphone came out with the Joe B. Lazarus 59 Standard, with a medium C profile neck on the slim side and I had to give it a try. The perfect top I was looking for and great specs on the guitar. It came and it was almost perfect. I took it in for a setup with fret leveling to make it as best as it could be and it came back even better than it left, just a perfect under 1k Les Paul. Then I was like, hey... I can put SD Slash Zebra Pickups in this, and some 60's reflector knobs and I have my Slash AFD with a neck profile I like. I have not played around with the BB 1/2's, but the SD Slash pickups sound a whole lot better than the BB 2/3's did in this guitar. The SD Slash pickups are smooth and have just the right amount of punch to them, very sweet tone and just the right amount of bite.
 
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gibsonofabitch

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What I find interesting is how much .01” makes a difference in whether or not I bond with a neck or not, especially at the nut and 12th

For example, I kid you not, I can feel the difference between a nut width of 1.68 and 1.69. Going from a 1.68 compared to 1.70” nut width feels like a world apart

Second most important is the 12th fret width. 2.05” is extremely slim and feels like I’m playing a twig. 2.08-2.10 feels like I’ve got so much board to play on

I know this seems like minutiae but when 100% of your left hands time is spent hugging a neck, you can quickly feel the differences when switching between guitars

Funny thing is, none of it really matters when playing, I just grab whatever and jam. You’ve gotta be able to adapt. It also opens you up to playing a lot more different styles of guitar as opposed to shopping for certain specs
 
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tolm

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Yeah, I know what you mean about the tops being all over the place - some are great and others are awful. The tobacco is killer, but I’m starting to lean toward the 60’s Bourbon Burst. Tough decision.
Yeh, the right Bourbon or Iced Tea can look killer.

The R9 I picked up is technically a Tobacco Burst, I think, but it’s not that dark and a little red tinged on the edges so looks almost Bourbon. Mmmmm …
 

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