Neck Shapes

Filed Under Acoustics / Electrics

Hi everyone. When I started working on the Rules of Tone, the goal was to build “magic” instruments, and the neck is definitely paramount to that. From the moment you pick up a guitar, the neck should feel very comfortable and strong. This has to do with many factors, including wood choice, wood drying, dimensions, ratios, and our attention to detail. Today, I’d like to focus specifically on neck shapes. We currently offer Pattern, Pattern Thin, and Pattern Regular neck shapes on our Core electric models. These came about through a new method we have to design, program, and cut our necks.

When I started building guitars, I carved all necks by hand. Then, when we started production, we went to a duplicarver and finally to CNC machines. With each progression, PRS neck shapes became more and more consistent, but we were still starting with a hand-carved neck which we then programmed to be duplicated. Now, our R&D department has software that we use to digitally create a neck to the exact specifications we want at every point, and from this digital rendering (the starting “pattern”), we are able to program our CNC machines to create great neck shapes. It’s a new tool that helps us to get to the same end: a strong, precise, and very comfortable neck. By achieving that, we hope that when you pick up a PRS it feels like home to you.

Comments (7)

W Hughes January 16, 2017 - 4:07pm
Which of your electric guitars have a neck radius of 12" or more? Santana only? Love your PRS American craftsmanship but the fretboards are too round for me. Thanks
Rachell Teller February 15, 2016 - 8:46am
Wow. This is some awsome innovation. I bought one of these a while back and i thought something felt different, and I just realized that the neck shape is the reason. I can't believe no one has thought of this before. Don't get me wrong, i'm not eddie van halen or anything, but this has made it a lot more comfortable to play when I do get the time. As a single mom with a demanding I dont get to play much....
Billy September 20, 2015 - 11:06am
Where can I see cross-sectional drawings with dimensions for your guitar neck options?
Tom Montesano May 19, 2015 - 11:54pm
I have 3 SE's. A Santana, a single cut Soapbar, and a Soapbar II doublecut. I think your guitars are great ( I love the sound of the P-90's), but I can't enjoy them for more than about 20 minutes at a time. Why don't you give me a break and introduce something with a neck more like a Gibson Std? It kills me to have to put them down so I can play a more comfortable neck.
Da May 19, 2012 - 6:53pm
After looking for information for a week, this is the best clue I have as to what the neck shapes actually look and might feel like. Seeing how easy it is to show the digital models, PLEASE take screenshots of the neck at the two points you show -- near the nut and near the heel -- and post those screens to your website's support page for all the different shapes of necks you make. It's so very difficult to determine this stuff as a consumer without playing all your necks, which is often impossible. So this video is fascinating and very helpful, but just a few screenshots from the CAD program would be even more educational. Thank you!
Justin May 17, 2012 - 6:34pm
Amazing craftsmanship on my DGT, nice to see "behind the magic curtain."
C. Rogers May 17, 2012 - 12:28am
This is my neew web address; I absolutely love your guitars.

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