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Author Topic: 1 3/4 nut vs 1 11/16  (Read 1387 times)
jasbart
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« on: August 07, 2009, 09:46:25 PM »

This is my first post, so if it belongs in another forum please feel free to move it.

I've owned a Martin D-35 since 1973.  I stopped playing regularly around 2000.  For a number of reasons I started up again in 2008, and bought a new L-05 in June 2009.  The old Martin had a multitude of problems that I won't go into here, but that led to my Larrivee purchase.

As you all know, the D-35 has a neck measuring 1 11/16" at the nut.  The L-05 measures 1 3/4".  That's only 1/16" across, but it really affects my ability to play certain chords, ie an F with my thumb holding down the E string.  (I have fairly average male hands.)

Is this something I should just learn to live with?  Or should I consider moving to a Larrivee with a narrower neck?  Or has anyone actually replaced the neck on an L-05 with a narrower neck?

Thanks to all,

Jim
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gitnoob
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2009, 09:52:35 PM »

I've only been playing for a few months, but nut width, fretboard radius, and neck geometry all have a huge effect on comfort and playability for me.

Sell the git, and find one that works better for you.
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bluesman67
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2009, 09:54:46 PM »

Welcome to the forum, you have this thread in the right area.  We all love the L model for that reason, the wider nut width.  It's advantages are in finger picking, many find it much easier to play.  Perhaps it's something you notice feels different and you will get used to it and even like it.  Otherwise, a D model will have the 1 11/16 nut that you are accustomed to.  Don't change out the neck though!  Not only will you spend a lot of money to do so, you will significantly devalue your guitar.  You also have wider spacing at the bridge as well.
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tadol
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2009, 10:22:55 PM »

If you aren't happy with the L after 2 years, then you should probably let it go and find something that suits you better. You may try and play a Larri D model if someone local has one, otherwise you'll have to try some other makers to see how it feels. You can also keep your eyes open for an older L or OM, some of which came with 1-11/16" necks.

Good luck -

Tad
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jimmyp
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2009, 10:42:47 PM »

You'll get used to it. I play a D, an OM, a Tele, a Godin, classical, P- bass, and pedal steel! All are different widths, and I really don't think about the size any more at all, except the classical, which takes a little more warm up time. JP
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kinnez
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2009, 10:55:45 PM »

Hey Jim,

I had a D 05 for a couple of years and an L 03R for about 6 months, the D 05 was a dream and easy on the hands.  My hand just wasn't as comfortable on the L as it was on the D.  Well I sold the D 05 for a Forum 3, also a 1 3/4 nut and played through the hurt of having to spread my fingers more.  Well I can say I do enjoy the extra spacing now, and my hands have adjusted after about 6 months. I'm not a big guy, my hands are small to medium.   I do miss my D 05 though.  I concur with Bluesman67, and Tadol give it some more time unless you prefer the sound of a D.

Ray
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2009, 11:12:12 PM »

Since you've only had it a month or two, I suggest giving it some time unless it is just a huge problem for you.
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bluesmike
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2009, 12:47:27 AM »

I used to have that same opinion -- narrower is better -- since I, too, have medium sized hands.  But that was years ago (I've been playing for 30 years) -- and now I wouldn't buy anything with less than 1-3/4" neck. I've found that neck profile has much more to do with my playing style than neck width. I own a National Delphi with a really beefy profile -- now that can give me problems, but I've found that -- within reason -- I adapt to just about anything given enough time playing. I also use the thumb over technique as I primarily play old blues and ragtime (Rev Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Big Bill, etc). Now my few guitars which have a narrower neck just don't get played that much.

Just my 2 cents.
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jasbart
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2009, 02:45:33 AM »

I appreciate the input everyone.  I've been eying Larrivees for years and I'm very happy that I had the opportunity to buy myself one.  The L-05 is a beautiful, great sounding guitar...a pleasure to play (mostly now) and I'm ecstatic to not have that big honking Martin D on my lap all the time (although even with it's problems it had turned into a wonderful sounding instrument).  I'll start doing some stretching exercises, and keep an eye out for one of those lengthening pills they advertise on TV.  For your fingers, that is...

Jim
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markyboy
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2009, 03:24:19 AM »

I went from playing a dread with 1-11/16 for 30+ years to an L-05 two years ago. It took me a very very very very very very very very very very very long time to get used to it. But also, I am able to do so much more. I think I'll alway have to mute the high E on an open C chord though unless I'm really making an effort.
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dbirchett
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2009, 12:10:24 AM »

If you absolutely must have a 1 11/16" neck, the -03 series prior to approximately 2003 had the narrower nut width across the board (pun intended). Basically, if it has maple body bindings then it has the wider neck. If it has the synthetic white or black bindings then it usually is the narrower one. It would be a way for you to retain the L or OM style with the narrower neck. There were also OM -50s or -60s with the narrower necks.

On the other hand, I am another that took a while to get used to the wider neck. Now it doesn't matter whether it is a 1 11/16 or 1 3/4.
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2009, 07:01:37 AM »

Gday mate,

Go and buy yourself a cheap Bass guitar, when you pick up your guitar again it'll feel small and easy to play no matter how wide the neck is !


Cheers, Scott.
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