ESP Eclipse 2 Headstock
ESP Eclipse 2 Headstock

Re-stringing my Gibson Les Paul Classic and ESP Eclipse 1 this afternoon gave me the perfect opportunity to measure and compare the neck dimensions of these guitars.

Gibson Les Paul Classic 1997

Neck measurements just behind (ie headstock side) of the 1st and 12th frets:

  • 1st fret: 20.4 mm (0.803″)
  • 12th fret: 22.7 mm (0.894″)
  • Width at nut: 42.8 mm (1.687″, ie standard 1 11/16 Gibson width)

ESP Eclipse 1 CTM 2008

Neck measurements just behind (ie headstock side) of the 1st and 12th frets:

  • 1st fret: 20.2 mm (0.795″)
  • 12th fret: 22 mm (0.866″)
  • Width at nut: 42 mm (1.654″)

Two surprises here…

Firstly, despite the virtually non-existent size difference between the two at the 1st fret, my LP’s neck feels significantly chunkier than the ESP Eclipse. I think this is because the neck shoulders are more prominent, ie the profile is slightly more rounded on the LP than on the ESP. Of course, the LP’s nut width is marginally wider too, which adds to the feeling of a fatter neck.

Secondly, the LP’s 12th fret thickness is less than 3 millimetres thicker than the 1st fret. Of course, the neck is slightly wider at the 12th fret, which gives the impression of a larger piece of wood up around the 12th fret, even though the actual taper from 1st to 12th fret is quite small indeed.

Dimensions are one thing, but what about actual playability? Well, frankly, there’s not much in it. Overall, for my playing style and personal preferences, the Eclipse has the edge as the faster and more comfortable neck. However, the LP Classic’s neck is no slouch either and, in practical terms, the differences between the two necks don’t have a huge impact on my playing.

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  1. Dmonch

    Wao great analysis, I am also more of an Eclipse person. What about the new LP stnd 2013 with asymmetrical. Have you tried those?

    Reply

  2. Ade

    Glad you found it useful!

    No, I haven’t tried a a 2013 LP, so can’t comment on the neck. However, I would say that my LP Classic’s neck is probably the thinnest LP neck I’ve played. Of course, we’re not talking massive size differences, but my old 2008 LP’s “Slim Taper” neck was noticeably chunkier than my Classic’s. Similarly, my old Slash Appetite LP (with a custom assymetrical “slim” taper profile) was a tad chunkier too. However, I found the assymetrical profile quite nice to play.

    Hope this helps!

    Reply

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