Variability amongst Pattern neck shapes?

Goodsal

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I have two PRS guitars with Pattern necks, a 2018 Hollowbody II Piezo and a 2020 Special Semi-Hollow. The necks on these guitars couldn’t feel more different to me despite both being Pattern necks and measuring the same on my calipers. The 2020 SSH feels very comfortable and I wouldn’t describe it as feeling fat, rather it feels more like a medium C in my hand. The 2018 HBII however feels really fat, very much a baseball bat, and it actually hurts my hand a bit to play it. There’s something very different about the shape and the shoulders. I can’t understand how two necks, both labeled as Pattern and measuring the same thickness and width could feel so different. I assumed that a Pattern neck was a Pattern neck and there wasn’t much variability. Any ideas what could be going on?
 

McMahon67

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Sadly, I do not. Others here will chime in :)
This is why I go pattern regular or pattern thin though.
Good luck with your query friend!
 

Rod Welles

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a very good question.. I’ve been trying to find a pattern vintage neck carve that’s exactly like the one on my Wood Library 2021 DGT. No binding…….Not having much luck… I don’t get it…. Closest I can come to is a Pattern regular that’s on a 2021 Standard 22 Satin.. go figure…
 

show_a_little_faith

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I have two PRS guitars with Pattern necks, a 2018 Hollowbody II Piezo and a 2020 Special Semi-Hollow. The necks on these guitars couldn’t feel more different to me despite both being Pattern necks and measuring the same on my calipers.
When you say they measure the same, are you comparing multiple spots all along the neck? I imagine there must be a measurable difference at some point, otherwise how could they possibly feel different if they're truly exactly the same dimensions?
 

Goodsal

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When you say they measure the same, are you comparing multiple spots all along the neck? I imagine there must be a measurable difference at some point, otherwise how could they possibly feel different if they're truly exactly the same dimensions?
Measurements are of width and depth, they don’t account for shape. Two necks could have the same width and depth but be very different.
 

bodia

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I mean, they are sanded by hand, so there is always the opportunity for some variance. Although, the tolerances should be pretty tight.

This video is from 11 years ago. I know there is a newer, but I'm not having any luck finding it.

 

RC Mike

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If they measure the same, could it be that the relative weight distribution difference between the two guitars changes how they feel to you? A great portion of the HB’s weight should be on the neck.
 

TravisT

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Does one have binding? Could it be fret dressing and the edge of the fretboard that are different? From what I've seen in the videos, it's called pattern because it's following the pattern so the carves should be identical. Though, as someone else mentioned, there could be a minor difference based on sanding. I wouldn't expect that to be so different that it causes pain though. Could it be possible you are mistaken with what neck carves you got?

I played an SE Custom24 with the SE Wide Thin neck that feels about as perfect as a neck could be for my hands. Then I played a pattern thin on a CE24 and it was completely different. Not horribly different, but I definitely did not like it compared to the SE. This is one of the reasons why I returned the CE24 and bought an SE. Apparently the difference is 1/64" thinner in some places on the SE Wide Thin neck. I'm not that fussy, but my left hand can definitely tell the difference.
 

Goodsal

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Another theory I have is the difference in action. The action on the neck that feels fatter to me is a little higher than the neck that feels thinner.
 

Going Modal

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If they measure the same, could it be that the relative weight distribution difference between the two guitars changes how they feel to you? A great portion of the HB’s weight should be on the neck.

Another theory I have is the difference in action. The action on the neck that feels fatter to me is a little higher than the neck that feels thinner.

The Pattern neck on my 2012 Stripped 58 feels oh so slightly different than my other Pattern-neck guitars (McCarty 58, 408, & CU22). Almost feels just a shade towards a beefier, Santana-like neck (which I do like, too).

But, as others have stated above, I usually write it off as an "illusion" since my Stripped 58's singlecut body is thicker & heavier than the other guitars, and is maybe throwing off how I perceive the handling of the guitar. Or it could be the action. Or it could be a real thing(?).
 
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