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  #16  
Old 03-08-2014, 04:39 PM
nellie nellie is offline
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Great points, all. Thank you! As Jim mentioned, I'm probably too new to even know what I want or need. At the moment I'm mostly strumming, but hope to learn finger style before long and want something that will be versatile enough to handle both.
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  #17  
Old 03-08-2014, 04:39 PM
Gcunplugged Gcunplugged is offline
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If you play fingerstyle, you may find the string spacing at the saddle to be more critical than at the nut. I find that my fretting hand easily adjusts to various nut widths. But my picking hand is another story.

The wider spacing at the saddle causes me to have to "reach" for the outer strings and miss notes that just seem natural on narrower spacing. If I go down to reach notes on the high E string, then I miss notes on the low E, and vice versa. So chord shapes that use 4 or 5 strings (C or D, in 1st position for example) are no problem. But picking 1 and 6 simultaneously (such as a 1st position G) cause me problems when on wider saddle spacing units.

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  #18  
Old 03-08-2014, 05:08 PM
colly420 colly420 is offline
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Recently changed from a 1 3/4 guitar down to a 1 11/16 and find both my hands seem to be tripping over each other, it has disappointed me as I was planning on buying a Martin omjm but now I think the bit will be too small
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:05 PM
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Doxy Doxy is offline
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I have a Breedlove that I use for finger style that has a 1 3/4 inch nut and it is the only neck that size with which I feel comfortable. This guitar's neck profile is very slim so I think that makes a big difference. Every other guitar I have played I have been much more comfortable playing a 1 11/16 nut. On a larger nut I feel too much strain in the back of my hand (that doesn't have to do with thumb position) when switching between some larger chord shapes. Not realizing the guitar size and nut width I needed has caused me to make some costly mistakes, but I always had to have them at home and play them for awhile before I could figure out what was right or wrong. But it's kinda all about the journey! Spend as much time as possible with a guitar. You could even order from an online dealer that allows a 30 day return policy...GC does that also...pretty soon you'll find your comfort zone and may find out you are comfortable with both sizes.
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  #20  
Old 03-09-2014, 10:25 AM
creamburmese creamburmese is offline
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How big is your hand? Although all the information posted here is good and relevant - it is on a relative scale depending on your "reach" and the thickness of your finger ends. If you have large hands with relatively thick finger ends (e.g. a 9" spread from tip of thumb to tip of little finger when hand is spread) then the narrower nuts will feel cramped or even impossible to fret without muting adjacent strings. If you have small hands, (e.g. a 7.5" spread) then a wider nut e.g. 1 7/8 will be a constant challenge to reach. Not to mention barre chords… If you have long fingers with tapered finger ends then I imagine there would be fewer limitations, but sadly I wouldn't know…

Actually it might be useful if people posted their hand spread and whether they have skinny or plump finger ends when they indicate what nut width/ neck shape they prefer…

I have 7 3/4" spread on my left hand and averagely thick finger ends - definitely not delicately tapered… so my challenge is with reach. I currently prefer the Gibson "vintage" neck (it's shallow like a classical) with the 1.725" nut. The Gibson is also short scale 24.75" which helps with reach too.
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  #21  
Old 03-09-2014, 10:34 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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I agree with an above post in that neck thickness is just as big a factor in feel. A big difference between a guitar with a 1 3/4" nut and a neck thickness at the first fret of .840 and one with thickness of .925.
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  #22  
Old 03-09-2014, 02:30 PM
Rick Homan Rick Homan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTC Bernie View Post
The nut width is rarely the only difference. That 1/16" by itself is so slight it's hard to feel, but when added to other attributes, neck thickness, profile, set up, etc, it's the whole package that makes the difference.

Just my less than humble opinion.
I agree: "the whole package." In particular, I recently got a VAMD-04 with narrow (1-11/16") nut and short (24-3/4") scale. I am used to a wide (1-3/4" nut) and a long (25.5") scale. The difference is dramatic when you change both at once. The MD almost feel miniature. I do have to be a little more careful about muting strings, but some stretches are much easier.

I also have a Tacoma with narrow nut and long scale. For me that's a very natural-feeling combination. Both barre's and stretches are doable. I suppose I should also have something with wide nut and short scale. Maybe a Clapton? You know, just to make sure I am considering all the options
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2014, 02:55 PM
Dakedi Dakedi is offline
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In my experience the difference between a 1-11/16" neck and 1-11/16" neck from another guitar can be just as big as between 1-11/16" and 1-3/4". It's not just the neck width that matters. The same neck width may have different string spacing or different profile ... even fretboard radius plays a role ... not to mention scale length.

So, for me at least, it is quite hard to say I generally prefer 1-11/16" ... the most I can say is I prefer 1-11/16" on a particular make and model. Change the make and model of the guitar and I'd have to try it out to know if I like it.
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  #24  
Old 03-09-2014, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nellie View Post
Great points, all. Thank you! As Jim mentioned, I'm probably too new to even know what I want or need. At the moment I'm mostly strumming, but hope to learn finger style before long and want something that will be versatile enough to handle both.
Hi Nellie,
There's nothing wrong with playing for a while and letting your hands and style figuring the whole profile/nut width/spacing/scale continuum out. Play your friends' guitars. Find what works. It's a journey.
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