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Special and Studio neck shape/size/profiles - help!

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Hi all,

I'm sorry if this is easily available information that has been posted  somewhere because if it has, I couldn't find it.

I'm interested in finding an earlier (1980's - 1990's) Special or Studio but my hands prefer a thinner, slimmer profile neck.  Can someone tell me or point me to where I can get a better idea of which models had the slimmer neck and what time frame these existed or when the profiles changed?

Here is a Studio which has been discussed here before - it measures .86″ at the first and .93″ at the 12th frets - to you experts, what "shape" or "profile" would you call this is Hamer world?

https://reverb.com/item/25806158-hamer-archtop-studio-1995#description-tab

Thanks everyone, for the non-Hamer experts, this is sometimes like chasing a ghost.

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Posted (edited)

It isn't that simple. 95 was Chicago era, but the neck shapes are beefier than early 90s.  They located in 97 I think.

Specifially, that .86 measurement is close to the "modern" profile that was common from the later 90s forward. They aren't too different.  To put it in perspective, the vintage profile from the Connecticut era will be closer to .890 or maybe a touch lager at the first fret (based on my scientific sample of One, since it's out and I could slap a caliper on it which reads .885)  I've owned several vintage carves and they are all similarly beefy though the vary a little.

I have owned a couple of 91s and a 92 and they were all noticeably slimmer feeling neck than my wraps. And I own a 96 studio now and have owned a few other wraps from 95 and 96, all have a "modern" or  slightly slimmer than modern thickness.  They definitely beefed up the neck profile before 95/96.

I think your dividing line for slender necks is going to be before the 95/96 wrap era. 93 or before are going to be better bets for the more slender necks.  The really small necks I've had are from early 80s, my checkerboard special and V were both rather dainty feeling.

Edit to add: As a side note, the closest profile I have to what my 91s felt like might be my Grosh. It's .830 at the first fret.

 

Edited by Moose
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Posted (edited)

Another thing to be aware of (and muddy the waters even more), is that IIRC Hamer Specials from the early '80s had a slightly narrower neck at the nut, at least the ones I used to own.  I can't remember the exact measurement but it was definitely noticeable to me at the time, at least 1 5/8" wide but it could have been less than that, kinda like the typical mid-late '60's Gibson neck size at the nut.  I think I disliked the narrower nut/neck even more than I did slim profile necks.  Perhaps somebody here on the board can do some checking and comparing on that if they haven't already?

Edited by crunchee
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Posted (edited)

In my experience with both of those guitars the Early 90’s Specials are going to have a thinner neck than the Studio’s. I’ve owned several of each and they where all great guitars! I love the sound of P90’s and for now my favorite it a Korina Artist with Lollar P90’s. I have a Special that I transplanted MiniBuckers in and it roars. I made that change due to shitty club wiring noise. Found out they scream with mini’s in them!! And no noise!!

You can’t go wrong with any USA Hamer!!! They’re all incredible guitars!!! 

Edited by Dutchman
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On 8/2/2019 at 8:57 AM, Dutchman said:

You can’t go wrong with any USA Hamer!!

The only bad one is the one you can't get your hands on.  ;)

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I also like thinner necks.  I think you would want to look for a 1991 or 1992 sunburst or special.  The sunburst from this era is just like an archtop studio.  Name changed around 1994 or so.  I think the neck widths started getting to a more medium size during 1993.

Here are some real measurements at the 1st 5th and 12th frets width and depth:

1991 Sunburst (studio) .785, .801, .822  width 1.736, 1.874, 2.057

1992 Sunburst (studio) .784, .801, .820 width 1.713, 1.862, 2.056

2008 Newport      .853, .875, .912 width 1.726, 1.863, 2.056

Interesting how consistent the widths are from 1991 to 2008

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