Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Mandolin Neck Length

I am a beginner/intermediate, but getting to the place where I might invest a bit more in an instrument. In all other areas of my life I tend to favor using something old versus buying something new, so the idea of a vintage Gibson appeals a lot to me. It is possible to find a vintage A style or F2/F4 from reputable sellers at a “reasonable” price. They all have the neck attached at the 12th fret. I am currently playing on a Loar LM 520. It is well set up plays easily and has nice sound. It is an F style with the neck attached at the 14/15th. I am wondering if it will bother me to have a neck fitted at the 12th fret versus one at the 15th fret? I don’t play up the neck much, but it is partly because I am not good enough:-)

I guess the more important question is for those of you who are advanced players who play shorter necks, do you find yourself actually limited? I can put one in my hands and determine how I feel about it now, but as I grow in my capability will I wish I had the neck attached at the 15th fret?


The main two reasons for the longer neck are the sound, and the ability to play up the neck, specifically chop chords. If you play bluegrass, you probably at least want a 5 style (f-holes and lonh neck) mandolin. If you dabble in grass, but also play other styles (blues, rock, irish, etc) oval hole short necks will be fine.

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That’s a great answer. @massingill, congrats on the mando search, and I personally like the more accessible neck.

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