What do the terms ”Gibson 50’s neck” and ”Gibson 60’s neck” mean?

When Gibson overhauled their very successful Les Paul Standard -guitar about ten years ago, it was decided to offer the model with two different neck profiles.

Most Gibson-fans agree that the best Les Paul necks were the ones on the original Sunbursts, produced from 1958 to 1960:

• In 1959 the neck profile was a well-rounded, but not too big D-shape

• In 1960 the profile was changed to a flatter and thinner shape, resulting in a C-profile

These two neck profiles are today represented in Gibson’s 50’s- and 60’s-necks. Their cross-sections look something like this:

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As most things in life, Gibson’s neck profiles aren’t as simple a matter as the company’s terminology will have us believe:

• The ”50’s neck” should really be called a ”1959”-profile, because earlier in the Fifties Gibson-necks were much fatter.

• The ”60’s neck”, on the other hand, is really an ”early 60’s”-profile, as the company moved on to an even flatter – as well as narrower – profile in the latter part of the Sixties.

But still, Gibson’s current 50s/60s-terminology works well with most players when talking about neck shapes.

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Gibson’s newest feature on some models is an asymmetrical neck profile, which has a fuller bass side and a thinner treble side.

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