Fender Neck Profiles Explained (Every Shape Available)


Fender offer a wide variety of neck profiles to suit different hand sizes and positions. In this article I’ll take you through all the different Fender neck shapes and their thicknesses so you can figure out which is the best option for you.

Fender C vs D vs U vs V

Most Fender electric guitars have C-shape necks, but some also have D-shape, U-shape and V-shape necks.

The shape or profile of a guitar neck is independent of the thickness (aka depth). So you can get a thick C or a thin C for example, however if you were to cut a cross-section of the neck, it will still closely match the shape of the letter “C”.

C-Shape

The reason why a lot of Fenders have a C-shape neck is because it is typically the most universally comfortable and suits most hand positions. It is also often referred to as an oval shape.

There are quite a few variants of the Fender C-shape neck which have different thicknesses. For example, the Modern C neck is thinner than the ’60s C neck.

However, most C-shape necks offered by Fender are either fairly slim or moderate in thickness, there aren’t any that I would consider particularly beefy, hence they tend to suit most players.

D-Shape

In comparison to the C-shape, the D-shape has broader shoulders. The D-shape can feel a bit fuller in the hand for this reason and typically suits players who like to have their thumb resting on the back of the neck. D-shape necks are particularly popular with lead players and shredders who adopt a more classical hand position.

U-Shape

Fender also offer some U-shape necks. Whilst it is possible to get thinner U-shape necks, the ones that Fender offers are very thick and often referred to as “baseball bat” necks. These are typically only suitable for players with larger hands

V-Shape

There are also some V-shape necks on offer which like the U-shape necks, are pretty thick and typically only suit players with larger hands. Unlike the U-shape neck which suits players who like to rest their thumb on the back/side of the neck, the V-shape suits players who prefer to have their thumb over the top of the neck.

ProfileDescriptionSuitable for
COval-shaped with curved shouldersMost hand positions
UCharacterised by its very high shouldersPlayers who rest their thumb on the back/side of the neck
DSquare shouldersPlayers who rest their thumb on the back of the neck
VPointed shape with shallow shouldersPlayers who have their thumb over the top of the neck

Comparing Popular Fender Neck Shapes

There are a lot of different Fender neck profiles available which vary in terms of their thickness and shape, and in the next section I’ll take you through each variant in more depth. However, in this section I wanted to take a look at some of the most popular profiles and how they differ.

Here’s a table comparing the 1st and 12th fret thickness of several of the most popular Fender neck profiles.

Fender Neck ProfileExample Guitar1st Fret12th Fret
Modern CAmerican Performer Series0.83”0.91”
’60s CAmerican Original ‘60s Telecaster0.83”0.97”
Deep CAmerican Professional II Series0.84”0.92”
Modern DAmerican Ultra Series0.83”0.87”
’50s UAmerican Original ‘50s Telecaster0.94”1.00”
Soft VAmerican Original ‘50s Stratocaster0.91”1.00”

As you can see from the table, the thinnest neck is the “Modern D” which is found on every American Ultra guitar. The “Modern C” is the next thinnest but can actually feel slightly thinner than the “Modern D” as it has shallower shoulders.

Interestingly, the “Modern C” and “Deep C” Fender necks are actually quite similar in terms of thickness. The “Deep C” neck is approximately 0.01″ thicker at the 1st fret and 0.01″ thicker at the 12th fret. In comparison to the Fender Modern C, the ’60s C is roughly the same thickness at the 1st fret, but approximately 0.06″ thicker at the 12th fret.

The thickest necks that Fender offer are the ’50s U and Soft V which are approximately 1.00″ thick at the 12th fret. Unlike the Modern C which most players will find comfortable, the U and V profiles are definitely more of a love or hate.

Check out my comparison between thick and thin guitar necks.

The measurements stated above (and in the rest of the article) are an average taken from at least 5 guitars with each neck profile. Keep in mind that it’s normal for the exact thickness to vary by 0.01-0.03″ when comparing guitars with the same neck profile due to differences in the manufacturing process.

C-Shape Fender Necks

Most Fender guitars have C-shape necks.

There are actually 15 different types of Fender C-shape necks on offer and that’s not even including the custom signature model neck shapes. However, most of them have a pretty similar 1st and 12th fret thickness specification.

On average, Fender C-shape necks measure 0.83″ at the 1st fret and 0.93″ at the 12th fret. There are some necks that are slightly thicker (e.g. ’60s C thick C) and some that are slightly thinner (e.g. Modern C and Thin C).

Here is a full list of guitars which have all the different Fender C-shape necks and the thickness at the 1st and 12th fret.

Modern C:

The Modern C neck shape is the most popular by far and can be found on all models in the American Performer, Player, and Player Plus series. The average width is 0.83″ at the 1st fret and 0.91″ at the 12th fret. It can be found on the following guitars.

  • American Performer (all models)
  • Player (all models)
  • Player Plus (all models)
  • Vintera ’50s Stratocaster Modified
  • Vintera ’60s Stratocaster Modified
  • Vintera ’60s Jaguar Modified
  • Vintera ’60s Jazzmaster Modified

Mid ’60s C and ’60s C:

I’ve grouped these two neck profiles because they are virtually identical in terms of shape and thickness. The ’60s C/ mid-’60s C profile is approximately 0.83″ thick at the 1st fret and 0.97″ thick at the 12th fret.

Mid ’60s C:

  • Vintera ’60s Stratocaster
  • Vintera ’60s Jaguar
  • Vintera ’60s Jazzmaster
  • American Original ’60s Jazzmaster

’60s C:

  • American Original ’60s Telecaster
  • Vintera ’60s Telecaster Modified
  • Vintera ’60s Mustang

Thin C:

The thin C neck profile is only found on two guitars in the Fender range. It is very similar to the modern C, except slightly thinner at the 12th fret on most models. It is roughly 0.83″ thick at the 1st fret and 0.90″ thick at the 12th fret.

  • Vintera ’70s Telecaster Deluxe
  • Vintera ’70s Telecaster Custom

Other C-Profiles:

The following C-shape profiles are only seen on one guitar model in the Fender range (excluding custom shop and signature guitars). Here is a table showing the different profiles and thicknesses.

Fender C-Shape NeckGuitar1st Fret Width12th Fret Width
Deep CAmerican Professional II Series0.84”0.92”
C-ShapeContemporary0.83”0.86”
1963 CAmerican Vintage 1963 Telecaster0.83”0.98”
1977 CAmerican Vintage 1977 Telecaster0.86”0.93”
1972 CAmerican Vintage 1972 Thinline Telecaster0.79”0.93”
1975 CAmerican Vintage 1975 Telecaster Deluxe0.80”0.95”
1961 CAmerican Vintage 1961 Stratocaster0.82”0.93”
1973 CAmerican Vintage 1973 Stratocaster0.85”0.91”
1966 CAmerican Vintage 1966 Jazzmaster0.83”0.95”
Thick CAmerican Original ‘60s Stratocaster0.84”0.97”
Early ‘60s CVintera ’60s Telecaster Bigsby0.83”0.91”

D-Shape Fender Necks

There are only two D-shape necks available from Fender at the time of writing:

  • Modern D (on all Fender American Ultra guitars)
  • Augmented D (on all Fender American Ultra Luxe guitars)

The “augmented D” profile on the American Ultra Luxe guitars is slightly fuller at the 12th fret compared to the “modern D” on the American Ultra guitars. At the 1st fret, the profiles are the same thickness on average.

Fender D-Shape1st Fret Thickness12th Fret Thickness
Modern D0.83″ 0.87″
Augmented D0.83″ 0.89″

U-Shape Fender Necks

There are only three U-shape Fender necks available on the standard (non-custom shop/ signature) guitars and they are each only found on one Telecaster version:

  • 1951 U (on the American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster)
  • 1952 U (on the American Original ’50s Telecaster)
  • Early ’50s U (on the Vintera ’50s Telecaster)

All these necks are quite thick and are representative of the “baseball” Telecaster neck of the ’50s.

They are all a very similar at the 12th fret, but the 1951 U is the thinnest at the 1st fret, followed by the Early ’50s U and finally the 1952 U neck is the thickest.

Fender U-Shape1st Fret Thickness12th Fret Thickness
1951 U
American Vintage II 1951 Tele 
0.89″ 1.00″
 1952 U
American Original ’50s Tele
0.94″ 1.00″
Early ’50s U
Vintera ’50s Tele
0.92″ 0.99″

V-Shape Fender Necks

There are only two V-shape Fender neck profiles:

  • 1951 V (on the American Vintage II 1957 Stratocaster)
  • Thick Soft V (on the American Original ’50s Stratocaster and Vintera ’50s Stratocaster)

Both of these V-shape necks are pretty thick, although the “thick soft V” on the American Original ’50s and Vintera ’50s Strat is a touch thicker compared to the 1951 V on the American Vintage II 1951 Stratocaster.

Fender V-Shape1st Fret Thickness12th Fret Thickness
1951 V0.89″ 0.99″
 Thick Soft V0.91″1.00″

Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

Recent Posts