The chart below compares guitar neck widths at the nut for various types of acoustic guitars. This article discusses what might be called “standard neck” and “wide neck” acoustic guitar, including specific measures, and provides links to useful resources for additional information on the widths of acoustic guitar necks.
- Guitar neck width is measured at the nut and at the 12th fret, but guitarists usually focus on the width at the nut. As a result, you will see the terms guitar neck width, guitar nut width, and fretboard width used interchangeably.
- In guitar specifications, different manufacturers show neck widths in different units:
- inches as fractions (such as 1 3/4″)
- inches as decimal numbers ( such as 1.725″ )
- millimeters as decimal numbers ( such as 44.5 mm)
- millimeters rounded to integer numbers (such as 45 mm)
- When widths are converted from inches to millimeters, different manufacturers convert and round the results differently. For example, I have seen specs showing the guitar nut width of a classical guitar – 2 inches – as both 51 and 52 mm.
- There is no such thing as a standard neck width for the steel string acoustic guitars. The best guess for the most common guitar neck widths would be 1 11/16″ (43mm), and 1 3/4″ (44mm).
- The term wide neck acoustic guitar usually refers to a guitar with a neck wider than 1 3/4″ (44mm). For example, American guitar maker Taylor shows the width of its “crossover” wide neck guitars (see below) at 1 7/8″ (1.875″) or 47.6mm.
- Some of the guitar manufacturers make guitars with 45mm-wide necks (per spec). It’s just 0.5mm wider than 44.5mm of a 1 3/4″ nut. I didn’t count such guitars as wide nut guitars. Practically, it means that wide neck guitars in this article are the ones with 1 13/16″ nut width or greater.
- Nylon-string, long-scale guitars with necks that connect to the body at the 14th fret generally have 1 7/8″ necks and are often called Crossover guitars. These days, a lot of classical guitar manufacturers (Cordoba, Alvares, et. al) offer crossover models, as do many companies known for steel string acoustics, including Taylor, Martin, Yamaha, Takamine.
- As one might expect, custom, limited edition and “build to order” (BTO) guitars often have necks that are slightly wider or narrower than factory-produced guitars of the same type.
How To Convert Guitar Nut Width from Millimeters to Inches and Back
1 inch equals to 2.54 centimeters, or 25.4 millimeters. The table below shows unit conversion for the typical nut width from fractional inches to decimal inches and to millimeters.
Narrow vs. Wide Nut Acoustic Guitars: Video Comparison
Here is an informative video from the GaragebandAndBeyond channel comparing a wide neck (1 13/16″) guitar and a couple of guitars with narrow (1 3/4″ and 1 11/16″) necks.
Which Guitar Manufacturers Do Make Wide Nut Acoustic Guitars
Wide necks are a rarity among acoustic guitar manufactures. I went through the web sites, catalogs and price lists of about 20 guitar makers and found that only some of them offer wide necks in standard configurations. Here are some of them who make such guitars.
- Martin offers about a dozen of wide neck guitars, but all of them are high-end guitars either from the Authentic & Vintage, Limited Edition, or Custom Signature series with estimated street prices beginning at $3,800 and going all the way up to $12,000.
- Seagull Guitars offers the largest number of budget-friendly neck guitars with 1.8″ (close to 1 13/16″) nut width, and one model with 1.9″ (in between 1 7/8″ and 1 15/16″) nut width, priced from $300 to $1,500
- Ovation produces 8 guitar models with 1 7/8″ (47.6mm) nut width, in $800 – $2,700 price range
- The following guitar manufacturers offer a few guitar models with wide necks:
- Recording King
Manufacturers Who Don’t Make Wide Neck Guitars
In my research, I checked but didn’t find any wide neck guitars in the catalogs of the following guitar makers.
The specs above are from Taylor’s Suggested Price List. As you can see, Taylor doesn’t offer a wide neck among its standard 6-string, steel string acoustic guitars. In fact, Taylor specifically markets its steel-string acoustic guitars to those who prefer a narrower neck. However, 1 7/8″ neck is available as an option for $200 extra for many guitars except 12 fret and nylon string guitars. Some time ago, I came upon and played a beautiful GS-series non-cutaway Taylor steel string guitar with a 1 7/8″ neck at my local Guitar Center shop. It was a used guitar and my best guess is that guitar was ordered with a wide neck as an option.
Almost entire “luxury” series of Yamaha guitars – LL/LS/LJ – has a 1 3/4″ (44mm) nut width. The only exception in this series is 12 string LL16-12, which has a 1 3/16″ (46mm) neck. Other less expensive series have narrow-than-usual necks, at 1 11/16″ (43mm), although once again several of the 12-string models in these series have 1 13/16″ (46mm) necks.
Two of the Yamaha silent guitars have nonstandard necks: the SLG200S (steel-string) has a 1 11/16″ (43mm) neck, Yamaha’s usual size for its less expensive steel string guitars. The nut width of the nylon-string (crossover) SLG200N 1 15/16″ (50mm) – almost as wide as a standard classical guitar.
With the exception just noted, Yamaha nylon string guitars have two different necks: 2 1/16″ (52mm) on standard classical guitars (NCX series), and 1 7/8″ (48mm) on crossover (NTX) guitars.
Other Guitar Makers Which Don’t Make Wide Nut Guitars
- Gibson mostly offers guitars with 1.725″ (between 1 11/16″ and 1 3/4″) or 43.8mm wide necks.
- Epiphone acoustic guitars have neck widths either 1.68″ or 1.69″
- Stonebridge Guitars have 1.77″ (45mm) nut width, but 1 7/8″ necks are offered as a free option
- Fender makes guitars with neck widths from 1.625″ (41.3mm) to 1.69″ (43mm) and very few Parlor-shaped models with 1.75″ (1 3/4″) 44.5mm necks.
- Ibanez guitars have neck widths from 42mm (1.65″ or less than 1 11/16″) to 45mm (1.75″ or 1 3/4″)
- Luna Guitars offers instruments with mostly 1 11/16″ necks
- Gretsch makes about 20 different guitar models, mostly with 1 11/16″ and 1 3/4″ wide necks
- All Jasmin guitars (Takamine’s low-cost sister company) have 1 3/4″ (44mm)- wide necks
- Australian Maton company makes 44.1mm (1.736″ – 1 47/64″)-wide necks
- Guitars from another Australian company – Cole Clark – have 1.73″ (44mm)-wide necks
- Dean Guitars makes instruments with 1 11/16″, 1 5/8″ and 1 3/4″ wide necks
- D’Angelico acoustic guitars all have 1 11/16″ wide nut
Measurement Tools to Use
In many cases, a good ruler/gauge with 1/16″ / 1mm resolution is good enough for non-pro usage. If you’d like to measure it better, there are a few helpful tools out there.
- Precision Setup and Evaluation Gauge. This tool can be used for measuring many guitar dimensions, including neck width, string action, fret height / fret wear gauge and a few others.
- A general purpose pocket caliper is useful in many guitar-related and other scenarios where you need a compact but precise enough tool for measuring small objects
- A general purpose full-size caliper, can not only accurately measuring both small and mid-size objects, but also can convert dimensions between millimeters, decimal and fractional inches.
Other Resources & Further Reading
- Additional Information:
- An long-running thread (2010-2016) on Acoustic Guitar Forum with a bunch of wide-neck guitars mentioned.
- frets.com, A closer look at nuts