PRS Neck Profiles Explained

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Are you a guitarist searching for the perfect neck profile to enhance your playing experience? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of PRS neck profiles. Whether you’re struggling with comfort, playability, or finding the right fit for your playing style, this comprehensive guide is here to help. We’ll dive deep into the unique characteristics of PRS neck profiles – get ready to discover the ideal neck profile that will take your playing to the next level.

prs neck profiles

Table of Contents

Types of PRS Neck Profiles

PRS guitars offer a range of neck profiles to cater to different playing styles and preferences. The Pattern series includes the slim Pattern Thin for fast playing, the medium Pattern Regular for a balanced feel, and the chunky Pattern Vintage for a traditional vibe. If you prefer wider necks, PRS has the Wide Thin and Wide Fat profiles. Each profile is meticulously crafted to ensure a high-quality, comfortable playing experience, allowing you to find the perfect neck shape for your needs. Whether you’re a fan of speedy, slim necks or substantial, chunky profiles, PRS has a neck that will feel just right in your hands.

Pattern Neck Profile

The Pattern neck profile is a popular choice among PRS enthusiasts, offering a comfortable and versatile playing experience. This profile strikes a balance between the slim and chunky extremes, making it suitable for a wide range of playing styles and genres.

PRS carefully crafted the Pattern profile to cater to the needs of modern guitarists. The company’s design philosophy revolves around creating necks that feel natural and ergonomic, allowing players to express themselves freely without any limitations imposed by the instrument.

The Pattern profile’s medium thickness and moderate shoulders make it a great fit for various musical styles. Whether you’re into rock, blues, jazz, or fusion, this neck profile provides the necessary comfort and support for executing complex chord progressions, intricate solos, and smooth bends.

One of the standout features of the Pattern profile is its adaptability to different playing techniques. Fingerstyle players will appreciate the neck’s substantial feel, which offers ample space for intricate picking patterns. At the same time, the Profile’s sleek contours facilitate fast lead work and sweeping arpeggios, making it equally suitable for shredders and technical players.

Pattern Regular Neck Profile

The Pattern Regular neck profile is a favorite among experienced PRS players who appreciate a more traditional feel. Slightly thicker than the standard Pattern profile, it provides a solid, substantial grip similar to classic guitar necks from the ’50s and ’60s. This added thickness gives the Pattern Regular a distinctly vintage vibe, making it a great choice for players who enjoy the feel of older instruments.

While the Pattern Regular’s fuller shape is well-suited for genres like blues and classic rock, its versatile design makes it suitable for a wide range of musical styles. The neck’s rounded shoulders allow for comfortable chord work and smooth bends, while the moderate thickness provides stability for fast, precise single-note lines. Whether you’re playing vintage-inspired riffs or navigating complex jazz progressions, the Pattern Regular neck profile accommodates various playing techniques.

Many seasoned PRS enthusiasts have praised the Pattern Regular profile for its exceptional comfort and playability. Players who have spent years developing their skills often find that this neck shape feels comfortable and familiar, offering a satisfying playing experience.

Pattern Thin Neck Profile

PRS’s Pattern Thin neck profile is a top choice for guitarists who prefer a slimmer, faster-playing neck. This profile provides maximum comfort and speed, making it ideal for lead guitarists and players who demand quick, effortless fretboard navigation.

The Pattern Thin neck’s sleek, low-profile design allows your hand to glide up and down the fretboard with minimal resistance, enabling you to execute rapid runs, trills, and hammer-ons with ease. Despite its slim profile, the neck’s smooth, rounded edges provide a secure, comfortable grip, ensuring that your hand remains relaxed even during extended playing sessions.

The Pattern Thin neck’s speed and comfort make it perfect for genres that prioritize lead playing and technical proficiency, such as shred, metal, and fusion. Many PRS models, including the Custom 24 and the Paul’s Guitar, are available with this profile, making it easy to find the perfect instrument for your needs.

Whether you’re a seasoned lead guitarist or a beginner looking to develop your speed and technique, the PRS Pattern Thin neck profile is an excellent choice for pushing your playing to new heights.

Pattern Vintage Neck Profile

The Pattern Vintage neck profile is a dream come true for guitarists who crave the classic feel of older PRS models. Inspired by the necks found on vintage PRS guitars from the ’80s and ’90s, this profile offers a nostalgic playing experience that transports you back in time.

PRS introduced the Pattern Vintage profile as a nod to their earlier designs, sought after by vintage PRS collectors and professional musicians. Compared to modern PRS profiles, the Pattern Vintage has a distinctly different feel with a chunky, substantial shape and pronounced shoulder, providing a solid and stable grip.

This profile is particularly well-suited for players who prefer a traditional feel, lending itself well to genres like blues, classic rock, and roots music. However, thanks to PRS’s meticulous craftsmanship, the Pattern Vintage neck remains comfortable for various playing styles and techniques, making it a versatile choice for any guitarist looking to add a vintage vibe to their playing.

Wide Thin Neck Profile

PRS’s Wide Thin neck profile is a favorite among guitarists who crave the benefits of a slim, fast-playing neck combined with the comfort and control of a wider fretboard. Featured on many models in the PRS SE series, this unique profile is ideal for shredders and technical players who require quick, effortless fretboard navigation.

The Wide Thin neck’s slim profile allows for fast, fluid movement, enabling you to execute lightning-fast runs and intricate passages with ease. Despite its thinness, the wider fretboard provides a comfortable, stable grip, reducing cramping and fatigue during extended playing sessions.

While the Wide Thin neck is a top choice for metal guitarists, its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of genres, including fusion, progressive rock, and jazz. Many PRS enthusiasts praise the Wide Thin profile for striking the perfect balance between speed and comfort, offering a high-performance package that caters to diverse playing styles.

Wide Fat Neck Profile

PRS’s Wide Fat neck profile, featured on several Singlecut models, is a top choice for guitarists who prefer a fuller, more substantial feel. This chunky, rounded shape provides excellent support and stability, making it ideal for rhythm guitarists.

The Wide Fat profile’s substantial mass allows for better energy transfer from the strings to the body, resulting in enhanced sustain and a richer, more resonant tone. This characteristic makes it well-suited for genres that require a thick, powerful sound, such as hard rock and heavy metal.

Rhythm guitarists often find the Wide Fat profile comfortable and secure, allowing for precise chord work and easy barre chords. The added width helps reduce hand fatigue during extended playing sessions, maintaining a consistent sound throughout a performance.

When selecting a PRS guitar with a Wide Fat neck profile, consider your playing style and personal preferences to ensure it aligns with your musical goals and comfort needs.

Comparing PRS Neck Profiles

When it comes to choosing the perfect PRS guitar, the neck profile is a crucial factor to consider. With a variety of options available, it’s essential to understand the differences between each profile to find the one that best suits your playing style and preferences.

Side-by-Side Analysis

Let’s take a closer look at how the various PRS neck profiles stack up against each other:

  • Pattern vs. Pattern Regular: The Pattern profile is slightly thinner than the Pattern Regular, offering a more modern feel. The Pattern Regular, on the other hand, has a fuller shape reminiscent of vintage guitars.
  • Pattern Thin vs. Wide Thin: Both profiles are designed for speed and comfort, but the Wide Thin features a wider fretboard, providing more space for intricate playing styles.
  • Pattern Vintage vs. Wide Fat: The Pattern Vintage offers a chunky, substantial feel inspired by classic PRS designs, while the Wide Fat is an even fuller profile, perfect for players who crave a beefy neck.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Each PRS neck profile has its own set of strengths and weaknesses:

  • Pattern: Versatile and well-balanced, suitable for most playing styles, but may not satisfy players who prefer extreme neck shapes.
  • Pattern Regular: Comfortable for chord work and vintage-inspired playing, but may feel too thick for some lead guitarists.
  • Pattern Thin: Ideal for fast playing and technical work, but may not provide enough support for extended rhythm playing sessions.
  • Wide Thin: Combines the benefits of a slim profile with a wider fretboard, but may require an adjustment period for players used to narrower necks.
  • Pattern Vintage: Offers a nostalgic, chunky feel loved by vintage enthusiasts, but may prove challenging for players with smaller hands.
  • Wide Fat: Provides excellent sustain and a powerful tone, but its substantial size may not be suitable for all playing styles.

Player Preferences

Ultimately, the best PRS neck profile for you will depend on your individual preferences and playing style. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  • Hand size and comfort
  • Preferred playing techniques (rhythm vs. lead)
  • Musical genres and tonal requirements
  • Vintage vs. modern feel

Wrap Up

PRS offers several neck profiles to suit different playing styles and preferences, including Pattern, Pattern Regular, Pattern Thin, Pattern Vintage, Wide Thin, and Wide Fat. Each profile has unique characteristics, ranging from slim and fast-playing to thick and substantial. When comparing the profiles, players should consider factors such as hand size, comfort, playing techniques, musical genres, and personal preferences. Trying out different profiles can help guitarists choose the most suitable PRS instrument for their individual needs and playing style.


PRS Neck Profiles: FAQs

What neck shape does PRS use?

PRS guitars typically feature a “Wide Fat” or “Wide Thin” neck profile. The Wide Fat profile is thicker and more rounded, providing a comfortable feel for players with larger hands. The Wide Thin profile is slimmer and more suited for players who prefer a faster, easier-playing neck. PRS also offers a “Pattern” neck profile, which falls between the Wide Fat and Wide Thin shapes.

What is the most comfortable guitar neck profile?

The most comfortable guitar neck profile is subjective and depends on the player’s preferences and hand size. Some players prefer thicker, more rounded profiles like the PRS Wide Fat or Gibson’s ’59 profile for a comfortable grip. Others prefer slimmer, flatter profiles like the PRS Wide Thin or Ibanez Wizard for faster playing. Ultimately, the most comfortable profile is the one that feels best to the individual player.

What is a C profile neck?

A C profile neck is a common neck shape found on many electric and acoustic guitars. It is characterized by a rounded back that resembles the letter “C” when viewed from the side. The C profile is considered a middle ground between thicker, vintage-style necks and thinner, modern necks. It provides a comfortable fit for most hand sizes and playing styles.

What is the difference between PRS wide fat and thin?

The main difference between the PRS Wide Fat and Wide Thin neck profiles is the thickness and shape. The Wide Fat profile is thicker, with a more rounded back, providing a fuller feel in the player’s hand. The Wide Thin profile is slimmer and flatter, allowing for faster playing and easier bending. The Wide Fat is often preferred by players with larger hands, while the Wide Thin is favored by those who prefer a more modern, low-profile neck.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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