Gibson Neck Profiles Explained: Choose the Right Shape


There are 4 main Gibson and Epiphone neck profiles:

  • Rounded/ Rounded C/ ’50s Vintage
  • Slim Taper
  • Asymmetric Slim Taper
  • Advanced Response

These necks vary in terms of their shape and depth (aka thickness) and suit different hand sizes and playing styles. In this article I’ll compare these different neck profiles to help you figure out which is the most suitable for you.

Gibson NeckThickness
(1st-12th Fret)
ShapeFretboard
Radius
Rounded/ ’50s Vintage0.87”-0.98″C12”
Slim Taper0.82”-0.93″D12”
Asym Slim
Taper
0.82”-0.93″Asym
D
10-16”
Advanced Response0.82”-0.90″C16”

Rounded/ Rounded C/ ’50s Vintage

The Gibson “Rounded”, “Rounded C” and “Vintage ’50s” necks are identical in terms of shape and thickness and the names are usually used interchangeably. I have spoken to Gibson regarding this who confirmed that the necks are the same thickness and shape.

Most guitars with this neck profile typically refer to it as a “Rounded” neck, however several models including the LP Standard ’50s, Special and Junior refer to it as a “Vintage ’50s” profile.

As the name would suggest, this profile is based on a C-shape and is pretty thick. It is designed to closely mimic Gibson guitars of the ’50s so that’s why you’ll see it on many models such as the LP Standard ’50s, LP Tribute and ES-335 however there are some exceptions such as the SG Standard which also has a rounded neck.

On average Gibson rounded necks are 0.87″ thick at the 1st fret and 0.98″ thick at the 12th fret. Keep in mind that this is an average as the neck thickness on two guitars of the same model can vary by around 1-3/100th of an inch (the same goes for the other profiles too).

Slim Taper

The Gibson Slim Taper neck is the most common neck shape seen on both Gibson and Epiphone guitars. It is seen on models such as the LP Standard ’60s, LP Classic, SG Standard ’61, Explorer, and Flying V to name a few.

The Slim Taper neck has a D-profile and is relatively thin compared to the ’50s Vintage and Rounded profiles but compared to many other brands it’s a fairly moderate thickness. On average, Gibson and Epiphone Slim Taper necks are 0.82″ thick at the 1st fret and 0.93″ thick at the 12th fret.

The only exceptions to the D-profile are some Epiphone models which have a “Slim Taper C”.

Asymmetrical Slim Taper

The Asymmetrical Slim Taper neck is a variation of the Slim Taper. It has an asymmetric D-shape which means the neck is thinner on the higher pitched strings compared to the lower pitched strings to make it easier to play single-note runs more quickly hence it is popular with lead players.

At the thickest point in the centre of the neck, the Asymmetrical Slim Taper neck has the same thickness as the Slim Taper (0.82″ thick at the 1st fret and 0.93″ thick at the 12th fret).

The Asymmetrical Slim Taper also has a compound fretboard radius of 10-16″ unlike the Slim Taper profile which has a radius of 12″. The compound radius means the fretboard is more curved at the lower frets and becomes flatter at the upper frets. This gives the player the best of both worlds for chords and lead playing.

The Asymmetrical Slim Taper neck isn’t used on a lot of Gibson guitars but can be seen on the SG Modern and some Epiphone models.

Advanced Response

The Advanced Response neck is only used on acoustic guitar models, most notable those in the Generation Collection. The Advanced Response neck is a C-shape and it is much thinner than the Rounded/ Rounded C profile and similar and in some cases slightly thinner than the Slim Taper.

Typically the Advanced Response neck profile measures 0.82″ at the 1st fret and 0.90″ at the 12th fret.

Unlike the Rounded and Slim Taper necks which have a 12″ fingerboard radius, the Advanced Response has a 16″ fingerboard radius which is flatter and feels better for bending but not quite as comfortable for chording.

Common Questions

Which is the Thinnest Gibson Neck Profile?

The thinnest Gibson guitar neck profiles are the “slim taper”/ “asymmetrical slim taper” and the “advanced response”. These typically measure 0.82″ thick at the first fret.

Which is the Thickest Gibson Neck Profile?

The thickest Gibson guitar neck shape is the “Rounded” profile which measures approximately 0.87″ thick at the first fret and 0.98″ thick at the 12th fret. This profile is also called the “Rounded C” and ’50s Vintage”.

Which Gibson Neck Profile is Best for Small Hands?

The most popular Gibson neck profile for small hands and fingers is the “Slim Taper”. This neck is found on several guitars such as the Les Paul Standard ’60s/ Modern/ Classic/ Studio, Explorer, Flying V, Firebird and SG Standard ’61/ Special and Junior.

Which Gibson Neck Profile is the Best for Shredding?

The most popular Gibson neck profile for shredding is the “Asymmetrical Slim Taper” as it is quite narrow and has a compound fingerboard radius. It can be found on the Gibson SG Modern and several Epiphone guitars including the Les Paul Modern and Prophecy.

Gibson Les Paul Neck Profiles

Here is a list of all the Gibson Les Paul models (excluding artist signature and exclusives) and their neck profiles. There are no Gibson Les Paul models with an asymmetrical slim taper neck.

Rounded:

  • Standard ’50s Faded
  • 70s Deluxe
  • Tribute
  • Special Tribute
  • Standard ’50s
  • Special
  • Junior

Slim Taper:

  • Standard ’60s
  • Modern
  • Classic
  • Studio

Gibson SG Neck Profiles

Here is a list of all the Gibson SG models (excluding artist signature and exclusives) and their neck profiles. There are no Gibson SG models with a ’50s Vintage neck profile.

Slim Taper:

  • Standard ’61
  • Special
  • Junior

Rounded/ Rounded C:

  • Standard
  • Tribute

Asymmetrical Slim Taper:

  • Modern

Gibson ES Neck Profiles

All the Gibson ES models (excluding artist signature and exclusives) have a rounded C neck profile.

Rounded C:

  • ES-335
  • ES-339
  • ES-345

Other Gibson Electric Guitar Neck Profiles

Here is a list of all the other Gibson electric guitars (excluding artist signature and exclusives) and their neck profiles.

Slim Taper:

  • Explorer
  • 70s Explorer
  • Flying V
  • 70s Flying V
  • Firebird

Gibson Acoustic Guitars

Rounded/ Rounded C:

  • J-35
  • J-35 30s
  • J-45 50s Original
  • J-45 60s Original
  • Hummingbird Original
  • Hummingbird Standard
  • Dove Original
  • SJ-200 Original
  • SJ-200 Standard
  • Songwriter Standard

Advanced Response:

  • G-00
  • G-45
  • G-Writer
  • G-200
  • G-Bird
  • J-45 Studio
  • Hummingbird Studio
  • L-00 Studio
  • SJ-200 Studio

Slim Taper:

  • Southern Jumbo Original
  • J-185 Original
  • L-00 Original
  • L-00 Standard
  • J-45 Standard

Epiphone Electric Guitars

Epiphone Les Paul

Slim Taper:

  • Custom
  • Standard 60s
  • Power Players
  • Studio
  • Classic
  • Melody Maker

Rounded:

  • Junior
  • Standard 50s

Asym Slim Taper:

  • Modern
  • Prophecy

’50s Vintage:

  • 1959 Standard
  • Special

Epiphone SG

Slim Taper:

  • Special
  • Standard
  • Standard 60s
  • Custom
  • Power Players
  • Classic

Asymmetrical Slim Taper:

  • Prophecy
  • Modern

Other Epiphone Electric Guitars

Slim Taper:

  • Explorer
  • Firebird
  • Flying V

Rounded:

  • ES-335
  • ES-339

Asym Slim Taper:

  • Flying V Prophecy
  • Extura Prophecy

Epiphone Acoustic Guitars

Slim Taper:

  • J-200
  • Hummingbird Studio
  • Dove Studio
  • Songmaker
  • L-00 Studio

Rounded/ Rounded C:

  • J-200 Studio Parlor
  • Hummingbird
  • J-45
  • J-45 Studio

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.

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