Much of the character of a guitar comes from the neck. It’s the part you have the most important contact with and getting the right profile for your hands and playing style is the difference between a great guitar and one that you just don’t want to put down.
There are four neck profiles to choose form on standard builds, ‘D’, ‘C’, ‘V’ and ‘A’. Whilst the actual change in profile is subtle, in the hand they feel hugely different. These 4 profiles are the result of years of playing, collecting and trading guitars and making notes on the good and bad neck shapes, taking profiles when possible. Obviously, these are hand finished, so the profiles below are a guide and not exact, and they’re also easily tweakable if, for example, you wanted a thinner ‘D’, or a narrower nut width.
There’s a good reason that the majority of modern guitars have a ‘C’ profile – it just works. This ‘C’ profile has a bit more depth than some which offers more comfort over long playing sessions and gives it much more character than a generic shallow ‘C’.
Slightly fuller in the shoulders and flatter on the back than a ‘C’, the ‘D’ generally suits players who keep their thumb behind the neck, although many ‘thumb-over-the-top’ players really enjoy the extra meat around the edges too. The ‘D’ is the slimmest of the 3 profiles and is inspired by a ’59 Les Paul profile, albeit slightly wider at the nut to suit acoustic styles.
This is a relatively soft ‘V’ which dresses away the shoulders a little. It’s hugely comfortable for long playing sessions when standing and for playing chords in the first position. The profile flattens out to closer to a ‘C’ higher up the neck to better suit single note playing and extended chord work.
The ‘A’ or Asymmetrical profile is a hybrid of my favourite aspects of the other 3 profiles. At the lower end for first position chords, the treble side is slightly dressed away like a ‘V’, whilst the bass side has a fuller feel to support the thumb, somewhere between a ‘C’ and ‘D’. Towards the body, the neck fills out more towards the treble side to help facilitate single note playing with a flatter back. Though this might sound like something you’d be likely to find on a more radical electric, in reality it’s a subtle carve which just feels comfortable and players who’ve tried it didn’t notice the asymmetry until I pointed it out, they just enjoyed playing it.