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Neck dimensions on Customs, pre- and post-'97


Dr. Bear
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Of the dozens of guitars I played on stage and off during decades on tour and in clubs, my ain’t-no-competition favorites are two I procured this year from HFC-ers: a 2008 Newport Pro Custom and a 2004 Artist Ultimate. I generally prefer the necks on these two Hamers to the necks and fingerboards on my older Hamers which range from 1986 to 2001.

I would really like to purchase both a Studio Custom and an Artist Custom. Should the pandemic recede, these would likely be my primary companions on stage.

However, the Customs I’ve come across, both here at HFC and in the wilds of the interweb, all seem to date from 1996 or thereabouts. The problem is that I think I have read that Hamer necks from ’96 and earlier are often somewhat thinner than later ones.

Does your collective wisdom agree that I would be wise to wait for a 2004 or later Artist Custom and similar Studio Custom or am I just plain wrong —or superstitious—and that earlier necks might be comparable? (I can afford at least one more Custom, be it Artist or Studio, but cannot afford to make a costly mistake.)

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Your thoughts are kinda correct, the early Hamers had skinny neck's, how ever I have a Natural 92 Special with a fat neck!  And my 93 Special had a fat neck too, both my Artist's are in the .95 zone also. I think just asking the seller for 1st fret dimensions will tell you a lot!!

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^^^^^^ yup.   and latter Hamers may not always be a thick carve.  i have 3 (Standards, Newport) I'd say are medium.. albeit these are not a Studio or Artist.   So if that's very important, you can only ask the seller.  

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Dutchman and foodermon, thank you so much!

The variations —and subtle deviations—can be perplexing. I too have a Newport Pro with what I would describe as a “medium” carve but the NP Custom I acquired here at HFC is just a tad thicker and feels just perfect to me. 
 

Perhaps the degree of hands-on workmanship accounts for the subtle difference between my ‘98 and ‘99 25th Anniversaries. (All my guitars are set up by the same tech so setup is not likely as the source of variance.) One feels a tad like a late ‘50s Les Paul, the other far less so.

Based on your counsel I will compose a WTB posting specifying a medium-to-thick shape.

Y’all are the best!

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IIRC, after Hamer moved to Conn., they offered two carves, Vintage and Modern. I think the Modern is the thinner neck and Vintage is the thicker neck. If this helps.

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