Neck Specifications for the Gibson Les Paul

Written by matthew anderson
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Neck Specifications for the Gibson Les Paul
A Gibson Les Paul neck with rectangle inlays (Camel Creative/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The basic design of the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar has not changed significantly since it was introduced in 1954. The neck specifications for a 1954 Les Paul are nearly identical to a modern model. The only neck specification that differs between Les Paul models is the thickness. Each Gibson Les Paul neck is handmade, which results in the thickness varying slightly between each one manufactured.

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Neck Construction

The neck of the Gibson Les Paul is glued to the body of the guitar. This construction style is referred to as a set-neck. Les Paul necks have a 24.75 inch scale length. The scale length of a neck is the distance from the nut on the neck to the bridge on the guitar body. The angle between the neck and body is approximately 5 degrees, with a potential variance of 15 seconds. The headstock is angled at 17 degrees from the neck. This angle holds the strings in place in the nut. The neck is made of mahogany.

Fingerboard Construction

The fingerboard of a Les Paul is either rosewood or ebony. The fingerboard has 22 frets. The fret inlays are either rectangles or trapezoids, which varies between different Les Paul models. The nut at the top of the fingerboard is a 1.695 inch piece of Corian.

Neck Profile

The thickness and neck profile of each Gibson Les Paul varies slightly, even between the same model of guitar. Unlike neck scale or nut width, the thickness of the neck has less impact on the function of the guitar itself. The shape also varies based on the neck profile. The 50s neck profile is slightly thicker and rounder than the 60s neck profile. Both are still used by different Gibson Les Paul models. The 50s neck profile usually varies between 0.92 inches to 1.02 inches thick. The 60s neck profile usually varies between 0.88 inches to 0.98 inches. The small difference in size does have a more noticeable impact on comfort than the size difference suggests.

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