11 Best Wide Neck Electric Guitars – All At Least 1.68” 2023
Music Industry How To is supported by readers. When you buy via a link on our site, we’ll possibly earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.
Some people just have a hard time playing the guitar simply because the strings are too close together. Fortunately, not all guitars are the same, and you can find a guitar with a wide neck to remedy this.
Not too sure which guitars might be considered to have a wide neck? The following are some of the best wide neck electric guitars you can currently find on the market.
Fender American Performer Telecaster – Best Overall
For decades, the Telecaster has been considered one of the most versatile electric guitars. The Fender American Performer Telecaster (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is an excellent modern rendition of the classic.
This guitar has a nut width of 1.685”, making it just slightly larger than your standard neck width. As such, it’s perfect for those that need a wider neck than normal, without being excessively large.
In traditional fashion, the American Performer Telecaster has an Alder body with a gloss polyurethane finish. You can get this modern classic in the colors of:
- Vintage white
- Satin sonic blue
The neck is crafted from Maple to have a 25.5” scale length. This has a modern C-shape contour, designed for comfort yet accommodates even the most demanding techniques.
Rosewood is used for the fretboard, which has a 9.5” radius. This Telecaster has 22 frets, proving it to be a modern guitar, rather than completely vintage-inspired.
For pickups, the American Performer Telecaster features a pair of Yosemite Tele single-coils. Like the guitar, these take inspiration from vintage Telecasters but are crafted to suit modern players.
Compared to other vintage-style guitars, this Telecaster certainly leans into being more modern. As such, you’ll find these pickups to be quite capable of today’s styles of music.
For tone control, you have a standard 3-way switch, with a volume and tone knob. This tone knob does have a Greasebucket pot, which allows for gentler treble control without sacrificing other EQ ranges.
Having this Greasebucket will definitely help tame the twang on the bridge pickup.
Other hardware on the American Performer Telecaster includes:
- Synthetic bone nut
- 3-saddle bridge
- ClassicGear tuners
Fender has also included a gig bag with the purchase of the American Performer Telecaster.
Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘60s – Best Premium
The Les Paul is undoubtedly one of the most iconic guitar models of modern musical history. The Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘60s (see price on Sweetwater, Guitar Center) is a faithful take on this timeless classic.
For those needing a wide neck guitar, this has a nut width of 1.695”.
This guitar features a body made of Mahogany, with a top made of AA figured Maple. You can get the Les Paul Standard ‘60s in a number of classic color choices, including:
- Heritage cherry sunburst
- Iced tea
- Bourbon burst
In true vintage fashion, Gibson has finished this guitar with a gloss Nitrocellulose lacquer. You can be sure this guitar will age like your vintage favorites.
The neck is crafted from Mahogany to have a 24.75” scale length and a Slim Taper design. Rosewood is used for the fretboard, which has a 12” radius, with 22 frets adorned by signature Acrylic trapezoid inlays.
For pickups, the Les Paul Standard ‘60s features:
- Burstbucker 61R humbucker (neck position)
- Burstbucker 61T humbucker (bridge position)
These pickups are wired to mimic and emulate the tone of vintage Les Paul guitars from the 1960s. Each is handwired to match the schematics of the original pickups from that time period.
For tone control, the Les Paul Standard ‘60s has a 3-way switch. There is also a pair of volume and tone knobs, each corresponding to each pickup.
Other hardware found on the Les Paul Standard ‘60s includes:
- GraphTech nut
- ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge
- Stopbar tailpiece
- Grover Rotomatic tuners
In nearly every aspect of the guitar, this Les Paul stays extremely faithful to producing a guitar of vintage specs.
Plus, you’ll get a very protective hardshell case with the purchase of the Les Paul Standard ‘60s.
Ibanez Gio GRG121DX – Best Budget
On a budget but looking for a shredder with a wide neck? Don’t pass up the Ibanez Gio GRG121DX (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).
For years, the Gio series has been a go-to choice for budget-conscious guitarists who employ a demanding technical edge. The GRG121DX is definitely suited toward more aggressive and technical styles of music.
If you need something with a slightly wider neck width (compared to normal), the GRG121DX is a great option. The nut width has a measurement of 1.692”.
Its body features a satin polyurethane finish and comes in the colors and wood combinations of:
- Walnut (Mahogany body)
- Metallic gray sunburst (Poplar body)
Maple is used for the neck, which has a 25.5” scale length and a slim C-shape contour. The fretboard is made of Purpleheart to have a 15.75” radius, and supports 24 frets for 2-octave playability.
One aesthetically cool aspect of the GRG121DX is the fact that it has Sharktooth inlays. These give the guitar a timeless look with an aggressive edge.
For pickups, the GRG121DX is stocked with a pair of IBZ-6 humbuckers. These ceramic pickups are especially great for heavier styles of music, though they do clean up well without distortion.
To control the tone, the GRG121DX has single knobs for volume and tone, as well as a 5-way switch.
Other hardware you’ll find on the GRG121DX includes:
- Plastic nut
- Fixed bridge
- Closed-gear tuners
This budget shredder has what you need to go the distance. You’ll definitely want to consider this if you don’t want to compromise playability for having an affordable guitar.
Godin Summit Classic
Not concerned about a budget and looking for an exquisite semi-hollow guitar with a wider neck? The Godin Summit Classic is a guitar that could forever change your life, in a good way.
This chambered guitar has a body made of Spanish Cedar, with a curved top made of Swamp Ash. An f-shaped soundhole provides excellent resonation with the perfect aesthetic touch to the woodgrain of the guitar’s Havana brown color.
The neck is crafted from Mahogany to have a 25.5” scale length and a D-shape contour. Richlite is used for the fretboard, which has a 12” radius, with 22 frets outlined by dot inlays.
This guitar has a nut width of 1.72”, making it suitable for just about anyone looking for a wider neck.
For pickups, the Summit Classic is stocked with Seymour Duncan humbuckers, more specifically:
- Jazz SH-2N (neck position)
- Custom SH-11P (bridge position)
If that wasn’t enough, the guitar also comes with an LR Baggs piezo pickup under the guitar’s saddle.
When combined with the 3-way switch, and volume and tone knobs, the sky is the limit. Plus, you’ll have an additional 3-way switch to specifically control the piezo pickup.
Other hardware featured on the Summit Classic include:
- Tusq nut
- GraphTech Resomax tailpiece
- High-ratio tuners
Sweetening the deal even further is the fact that the Summit Classic comes with a hardshell case.
Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90
Tired of the same old Telecaster designs? You might want to check out the Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).
This guitar has the traditional shape of your average Telecaster, with features far beyond the guitar’s tradition. Reverend has done an excellent job in creating an updated version of the standard classic.
For starters, the Gristle 90 features a chambered body crafted from Korina. There was a time when Korina was considered to be extremely exotic.
Even the neck is crafted from 3 pieces of Korina, which has a 24.75” scale length and an oval contour. The fretboard is made of Ebony to have a 12” radius, with 22 frets outlined by white dot inlays.
This guitar’s neck is fairly wide, with a nut width measuring 1.692”.
For pickups, this guitar is stocked with a pair of Gristle-Tone single-coils designed by Fishman for Greg Koch. These are, effectively, P-90 pickups with a noise-canceling active circuitry, and provide plenty of grit and growl.
Reverend gives you plenty of options for tone control, featuring knobs for both volume and tone, and a 3-way switch. The tone knob allows the phase of the pickups to be changed, with an additional switch to boost the mids.
Even the hardware on this guitar makes this a unique standout, featuring:
- Bigsby B-50 vibrato system
- Pin-lock tuners
- Boneite nut
With its large pickguard, this guitar ticks all of the aesthetic boxes. Plus, it comes in the colors of:
- Midnight black
- Tosa turquoise
- Venetian gold
Gibson SG Standard
The Gibson SG Standard (see price on Sweetwater, Guitar Center) will always hold a place of relevance in music. Many deem this a worthy alternative to the Les Paul.
This guitar has remained relatively unchanged in its construction over the years. It features a Mahogany body with a gloss Nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
You’ll find this guitar to be fairly accommodating if you’re looking for a wider neck. The nut width has a measurement of 1.695”.
Mahogany is used to craft the SG Standard’s neck, which has a rounded D-shape contour and a 24.75” scale length. The fretboard is Rosewood, with a 12” radius, and 22 frets outlined by signature Acrylic trapezoid inlays.
Sonically, you’ll find that all of the tones you know the SG for can be found here. It’s stocked with a pair of humbuckers, featuring a 490R (neck) and a 490T (bridge).
As is traditional with SG’s, this has a pair of volume and tone knobs, in addition to a 3-way switch.
Other hardware on the SG Standard include:
- Grover Rotomatic tuners
- GraphTech nut
- Tune-O-Matic bridge
- Stopbar tailpiece
As you might expect with an SG, you can get the SG Standard in the colors of:
- Heritage Cherry
A softshell case does come included with the purchase of this guitar.
SGs are definitely guitars that provide a unique playing experience. The neck does feel as if it’s longer due to the location where the neck meets the body.
Nevertheless, SGs are more than capable of almost any style of music you could think to play. It even has plenty of twang for your hot country guitar licks.
Ibanez Prestige RG652AHM
In need of a high-quality shredding machine with a wider neck? The Ibanez Prestige RG652AHM (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is worth consideration.
This double-cutaway Ash guitar has a nut width of 1.692”, leaning more towards the average side of things.
The RG652AHM’s neck is made from 5 interlocking pieces of Maple and Walnut. This has Ibanez’s famed Super Wizard HP contour, providing smooth speed over its 25.5” scale length.
Birdseye Maple is used for the fretboard, which has a fairly flat radius of 16.9”. There are 24 frets, outlined by dot inlays, for a full 2-octave range for all of your musical needs.
Where this guitar shines is in the fact that it is stocked with DiMarzio humbuckers wired for higher output. These include an Air Norton (at the neck), and a Tone Zone (at the bridge).
A 5-way switch, as well as a volume and tone knob, provide all the tonal control you could need.
If you’ve ever wanted a tremolo system built for the most extreme situations, the RG652AHM serves it up. This features Ibanez’s signature Edge tremolo system, which is widely regarded as one of the best available.
Because of the locking feature of the tremolo system, the nut is a locking nut. High-quality Gotoh Magnum tuners provide ample stability for any musical situation, no matter how demanding.
You can opt to get the RG652AHM in the attractive colors of nebula green burst, or antique white blonde. An option for a fixed bridge (no tremolo) is available for a slightly lower cost.
The RG652AHM is certainly built with the frequent performer in mind. Ibanez includes a hardshell case with this model.
Godin A6 Ultra
Have you been looking for a guitar that is uniquely different in its own way? You need to take a look at the Godin A6 Ultra (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).
This is effectively a chambered semi-hollow body that is a hybrid between an acoustic and an electric guitar. It features Silver Leaf Maple for the back and sides, with a Solid Cedar top providing ample resonance.
Those looking for a wider neck experience will find this comfortably accommodating, having a nut width of 1.69”.
Mahogany is used for the neck, which has a 25.5” scale length and a D-shape contour. The Richlite fretboard has a 16” radius, with 22 frets outlined by dot inlays.
The most notable aspect of this guitar is the fact that it’s equipped with a single GHN1 humbucker pickup. However, you aren’t limited solely to electric tones, as it does have an undersaddle piezo pickup.
Godin has gone the extra mile, providing 2 different outputs for either:
- Acoustic tones
- Electric tones
- Mixture of both
All of the tonal control you need can be found conveniently placed at the shoulder of the guitar.
The A6 Ultra also features high-grade components in its hardware, including:
- Tusq nut
- Tusq saddle
- High-ratio tuners
- Richlite bridge
A gig bag comes included, ensuring that performers can take it on stage as soon as they get it home.
This guitar might not be for everybody, but it’s a great solution for the guitarist looking for something like this.
Guild Starfire I DC
The Guild Starfire I DC (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is truly a guitar full of class and character. This semi-hollowbody guitar has a nut width of 1.692”, providing a comfortable experience for just about everybody.
The Starfire I DC has a Maple body with an arched Maple top, and features a beautiful emerald green color. You might not have considered a green guitar before, but this will have you thinking twice.
Its Mahogany neck has a thin U-shape contour with a 24.75” scale length. The fretboard is made of Indian Rosewood to have a 12.5” radius, with 22 frets outlined by dot inlays.
For pickups, this beastly semi-hollow is stocked with a pair of nickel humbuckers designed by Guild. However, warm humbucker tones aren’t the only thing available here.
There are actually some coil-splitters in the guitar’s pair of tone knobs for expanded single-coil sounds. A 3-way switch and a pair of volume knobs round out the rest of the controls for tone.
For hardware, the Starfire I DC features:
- Composite nut
- Vintage-style Guild tuners
- Tune-O-Matic bridge
- Vibrato tailpiece
This guitar is tasteful in just about every aspect it has to offer. Plus, it’s actually quite affordable, making it a viable choice for almost any budget.
Been looking for an affordable 7-string guitar with a wider neck? Don’t pass up the Ibanez RGA7420FM (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon), which has a nut width of 1.889”.
This guitar has a Meranti body with a Flamed Maple top. Ibanez showcases this top with an attractive blue lagoon burst color.
The 3-piece Maple neck features Ibanez’s speedy Wizard II-7 contour, with a 25.5” scale length. There are 24 frets on this Jatoba fretboard, which has a fairly flat radius of 15.75”.
Perhaps the real meat of this guitar is the fact that it comes with a pair of Quantum-7 humbuckers. These provide quite a bit of output, but the 5-way switch and volume/tone knobs provide further tone control.
Due to the unique switching of this guitar, you’ll be able to utilize the sound of a single-coil whenever needed.
The RGA7420FM is stocked with an Edge Zero II-7 locking tremolo system. This is suited for even the most demanding tremolo users, and will always stay in tune.
Overall, this is an affordable shredder that could easily be used in professional settings.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
The Ibanez Artcore AS73 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is a prime example of an outstanding affordable semi-hollow guitar. This guitar has a nut width of 1.692”.
You’ll find that the AS73 is a great value compared to other guitars in its price range. It has a Linden body and comes in the classic colors of:
- Tobacco brown
- Olive metallic
- Prussian blue metallic
- Transparent cherry red
The AS73 features a Nyatoh neck with a scale length of 24.7”, and a Walnut fretboard with a 12” radius. 22 frets are featured here, which are tastefully accompanied by acrylic block inlays.
For pickups, the AS73 is stocked with a pair of Classic Elite humbuckers, providing a tone full of presence. A 3-way switch, as well as a pair of volume and tone knobs, are provided for tone control.
Other hardware featured on the AS73 include:
- Plastic nut
- Gibraltar Performer bridge
- Quik Change III tailpiece
- Closed-gear tuners
What Are The Benefits of A Wide Neck Guitar?
Guitars come in all sorts of different dimensions, which is great, as no 2 people share the same physical attributes. Just as short-scale guitars help to aid those with small hands, wide neck guitars accommodate larger hands.
With a wider neck, larger fingers are able to fret the strings in a much cleaner manner. Often, what tends to happen is that some chord fingerings become difficult to play because the shapes are too tight.
This causes fingers to be stacked on top of one another, sometimes making it impossible to play a clean note.
As you might have guessed, the wider neck allows for the strings to be spaced further apart. However, the large-handed folks are not the only ones who can benefit from this type of guitar.
In fact, if you’re a fingerpicker, you might find that you enjoy wide neck guitars much more than average sizes. This increased string spacing allows the fingers to pluck the strings cleanly without the worry of accidentally hitting the adjacent string.
Similarly, those who have a classical background might find a wide neck guitar to be an easy transition. This style of music typically requires fairly large string spacing to be able to play certain techniques and musical passages.
Believe it or not, wide neck guitars are also very suitable for those dealing with arthritis in their fretting hand. Getting old is a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to stop you from playing the guitar.
Because of the wider neck, the fingers don’t have to collapse and contort in an extreme manner to fret chords. This allows the hand to be much more open during play, which can reduce fatigue and arthritic pain.
What To Look For When Buying A Wide Neck Electric Guitar
Not sure what you should be paying attention to when buying a wide neck electric guitar? By the end of this section, you’ll understand what parameters determine a guitar to be one with a wide neck.
For the most part, the process of buying a guitar like this is much the same as buying any guitar. You will need to do some research to really figure out and find exactly what you are looking for.
If you’ve never bought a guitar before, have no worries. The following information will help you, no matter how many guitars you’ve previously bought.
When it comes to looking for guitars with a wide neck, you’ll want to pay attention to the nut width. This is usually listed along with the rest of the guitar’s attributes on the specs sheet.
What does the nut width pertain to, exactly? Well, it’s exactly how it sounds, in that it is essentially how wide the playable neck is.
Generally, a nut width above 1.68” is going to be considered a wide neck guitar by most standards. Some widths do reach as high as 2”, though that might be to accommodate an extra string or two.
You’ll want to come up with a list of different guitars and their different nut widths. After you try them out in a shop, make note specifically of how the width felt in your hands.
Once you do this, you’ll have a great idea of what nut width suits your hand in the best way.
Another thing to consider with this point is the overall contour of the neck itself. Contours come in many different shapes, including C, D, U, and V.
Each of these contours provides a uniquely different feel during play. As such, it could make the difference between a comfortable experience or something undesirable.
If you have large fingers, but small hands, you might seek a wide nut width with a short scale length. This particular instance is fairly rare with regard to the number of guitars available to accommodate this need.
Let’s be honest, the way a guitar looks is often what draws us to want a particular model of guitar. Whether it’s because our heroes played them, or we just like the design, it’s worth respecting.
You should always be inspired by your guitar, and being at least visually attracted to it is a great start. Not only will you be more likely to play it, but you’ll also feel better playing it out in public.
That’s not to say, by any means, that the style is the most important thing about a guitar. However, you should purchase to at least please yourself on an aesthetic level.
Make sure to try out each guitar, even the ones that have a style you love. You might find that the guitar style you have a fondness for just doesn’t feel like the right guitar for you.
Yes, it’s true, and maybe a little dream-shattering, but not every guitar will feel comfortable to you. Fortunately, with variations available, you’re likely to find a version of a model that suits you best.
There are some things about the guitar’s body that you’ll want to pay attention to. The first has to do with weight, and how heavy the guitar feels when strapped up.
Heavy guitars might sound great, but they can become burdensome to play if you’re performing regular gigs. You might not look forward to playing the guitar if your body is sore just purely from playing the guitar.
Also, pay attention to the weight distribution of the guitar. Does the guitar feel centered, or does the neck dive due to unbalanced weight?
This might not be the biggest deal for some people, as each model has its own quirks. However, you might not enjoy feeling like you’re constantly lifting the neck up.
One of the biggest things to really pay attention to is the pickups that are in the guitar. Wide neck guitars generally have the same pickups found in other guitars, which are typically:
Single-coil pickups are much brighter and have a fat and rounded tone. However, these pickups can produce a thin sound and are prone to sound interference from electromagnetic fields.
Humbuckers were designed to eliminate the possibility of noise interference (hence the name). These pickups are generally more present in the mid-range, usually with a warmer and thicker tone.
Of course, you’ll find many variations of pickups, but for the most part, each will come from either family.
Pickups play an important role (perhaps the most important) in determining how a guitar sounds. Certain guitars are easily recognizable simply because of the tones that they produce (looking at you, Fender Stratocaster).
For this reason, it’s vitally important that you try each guitar out to hear exactly how it sounds. Make note of its tonal range and imagine how it would fit within the type of music that you play.
It goes without saying that certain pickups are more appropriate for certain styles of music.
More often than not, guitarists are usually in bands, so it’s worth thinking with the band in mind. The right guitar will help you establish yourself in your own area in the mix, cutting through when necessary.
Furthermore, if you frequently play with guitar pedals, it’s worth trying the guitar out with your pedals. You’ll be able to see how the guitar’s tone handles the effects you plan on using in your rig.
With that, you’ll need to keep in mind that some pedal adjustment will be required from guitar to guitar.
It’s always wise to keep an eye out for whether or not a guitar has any sort of special features. What your guitar consists of is up to you, as some are basic and traditional, and others have extra features.
These extra features might not always be so obvious, so it’s worth paying attention to a guitar’s spec sheet.
One of the things you’ll typically find on guitars is the fact that it has a unique pickup configuration. Most guitars have their own standard pickup configuration, though variations of the models are produced with unique combinations.
Along with this, some humbucker guitars are equipped with a coil-splitter. This allows you to split the pickup into single-coil pickups for expanded tonal ranges.
You’ll also find guitars that have tremolo/vibrato systems at the bridge. These can add a level of extra expression during your performances, though not everyone has a use for one.
It’s also worth making note of whether a guitar comes with a case or gig bag. This used to be more common, but today, you’ll often be required to make this type of purchase separately.
You’ll need an idea of what kind of budget you can work with before you think about buying a guitar. It’s unfortunate, but respecting the budget is one of the most important aspects of buying a guitar.
Knowing your budget gives you an idea of what guitars are a possibility. It’s certainly nice to dream and play guitars beyond your budget, but ultimately, it wastes time in the purchasing decision.
Generally, guitars with higher prices are typically made with the working professional in mind. Don’t let that discourage you though, as many professionals have been known to play cheaper guitars.
There are always standout guitars to be found in every budget range. Do your due diligence, and you’ll be able to uncover these hidden gems.
Also, don’t forget about the used market, as you’ll be able to find guitars to be much more affordable.
Best Brands For Wide Neck Electric Guitars
Not sure where to begin your research regarding wide neck electric guitars? Consider starting with the following brands.
Each has a stellar reputation for producing quality guitars. Plus, many of their instruments have wide nut widths.
Godin is a Canadian guitar manufacturer that has been producing guitars of extreme quality since the early 70s. The company produces both traditional guitars, as well as works of modern innovation.
Ibanez is a Japanese company that originally imported guitars before making their own in the 1970s. These are the guitars of choice for many virtuosos, with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani amongst their official endorsees.
Top Wide Neck Electric Guitars, Final Thoughts
Finding the right guitar for you is a process that definitely takes a good amount of time. With a patient willingness to try different things, you’re sure to find a guitar that fits you on every level.
Be sure to try out a wide neck guitar if you’re having trouble with standard sizes. It could make all the difference in the world, especially if you have any physical ailments.
P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!