School me on Gretsch Neck Sizes...

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by yeatzee, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. yeatzee

    yeatzee Electromatic

    Sep 16, 2019
    As the title says, I'm looking to learn about Gretsch neck sizes and shapes over the classic catalog of guitars and I'd love to learn the iconic shapes that are defined by certain year designations.

    It really annoys me that manufactures don't list the specs a certain neck shape is on a model (with a little caveat that they might be +/- a little bit) but instead just call it a "standard C" or "standard U" shape which is totally unhelpful unless you've tried the neck before.

    As a Gibson guy i'm used to it being pretty straight forward so I'm hoping this will be similar. With Gibson you've got the 52-57 reissue necks being the biggest and they get progressively smaller and less round as the years go on. 58, 59 and 60 neck shapes are iconic and well known and it's easy to gauge which neck size is probably right for you.

    On the other hand with Gretsch, I bought my Falcon without a clue on the size of the neck (there's zero info online about the size) and it's very skinny and wide feeling vs what I'm used to. Certainly nothing I can't get acclimated to but as a guitar made to be like a late 50's model I would have guessed it would have had a thicker neck. At first glance it's closest to my 64ri Gibson's neck but the Falcon feels noticeably wider. The 345 is about .84 at the first fret but it goes up to about 1" at the 12th while the Falcon feels like it barely gets bigger. Is that typical with Gretsch? Which models / years have the biggest necks? Skinniest necks? Are there any general statements that can be made about Gretsch neck sizes on specific models/years like with Gibson?

    Appreciate the help!
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  2. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    I cannot give you specs....but I will say that I never "loved" any of my Proline Gretsch necks...all of them felt a bit thin. My 59 Clipper and my 2420 Streamliner both had wonderful, fuller-more substantial necks.
    TSims1 likes this.
  3. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013

    My ONLY complaint about Prolines too. Just wish the necks had a little more.
    larryb likes this.
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    From what I played and have seen online, MIJ and MIK Gretsch is on average too skinny for me, but it's the price I pay for the guitars I love. No biggie. I like vintage accuracy, but when it comes to neck size, I would rather it be a big C or U and very little taper, at like 0.95" to 1", 1st fret to 12th, on any guitar. I can get along with anything though, except that very skinny and narrow necks are uncomfortable for anything over 10 minutes of playing.

    This question comes up often, and I usually tell people to look at sites like Wildwood for stats. Finally, I just hashed out my own personal 'data' for folks here, as an FYI. Best thing really is to just find one and play it, since shape can vary depending on who sanded it and for how long. Just don't expect to find a log of a neck without going full CS.

    neck profiles.JPG
    db62, yeatzee and Merc like this.
  5. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Wildwood link:

    Everything, even the 2 vintage Jets, suggest Gretsch wasn't really about the big clubby neck. Even the CS items listed don't show anything beyond 0.9" at the first fret. I really don't care about Gibson guitars beyond a Firebird or DC LP Special, but those 50s profiles are super comfy to my hands. Only my VS 53 Duo Jet and Streamliner feel comfy like that, with enough shoulder and width. Hope that helps.
    yeatzee likes this.
  6. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Vintage Gretsch necks do actually differ in shape.
    I had the opportunity to own quite a lot of Corvettes during the years. 1961 to 1966 models and there were baseball bats and slim tapered ones. I blame it on the fact that they where actually all custom made by different artisians during that period.
    new6659 likes this.
  7. Joey L

    Joey L Synchromatic

    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    My 2016 5420 has a thicker/chunkier neck than Prolines I’ve played.
    larryb and emitex like this.
  8. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    All of my prolines have skinny necks, I like them just fine but if I had larger hands they might be an issue
  9. latetotheparty

    latetotheparty Electromatic

    Mar 18, 2018
    the 6120-59 has a slightly more pronounced V. Its the best proline neck I've ever played
    db62 likes this.
  10. peterjh85

    peterjh85 Electromatic

    Dec 16, 2017
    Pacific Northwest
    All the duo jets (not power jets, no experience with those) have had a slight V shape carve, more noticeable towards the headstock. I didn't care for it. Falcons and penguins I've owned have had more of a rounded C - not sure why they call them "U" shaped.
  11. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    My duo jet doesn't have a slight V, unless it is so slight I didn't notice.
  12. yeatzee

    yeatzee Electromatic

    Sep 16, 2019
    Thanks for the info guys, good to know! Bummer they don't offer a proline with a fatter neck, seems like the player series would have been a good candidate for that since they stray from vintage correct.
  13. MichaelHargis

    MichaelHargis Gretschie

    Apr 2, 2017
    Tucson, Az
    My 1976 Super Chet has a 1.75 nut
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