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Thread: Kimble neck - forearm pain

  1. #1
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    Default Kimble neck - forearm pain

    Hey all,
    I bought a new Kimble a couple of weeks ago and love the tone and responsiveness. However, I have been having some forearm and thumb (fretting hand) pain during playing. If I play me MT-2, don't have any pain. The Kimble is a full C-shaped neck and has a 1 and 3/16 nut width whereas the Collings is a thinner V-shaped neck with a 1 and 1/8 nut width.

    Also, the Kimble is quite a bit heavier in what feels like the area where the neck joins the body. This makes it feel a bit "neck heavy" and it tends to tilt in that direction when it sits on my lap. So I may be unconsciously using my left hand to support it.

    Has anyone else had any problems with a wider or fuller neck? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    Dan

  2. #2
    Registered User urobouros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I would have it the neck profiled to more closely match your Collings. I had problems with my fretting hand until I switched to a V shape profile. I'm going to have Bruce fix the profile on my last two Webers eventually.
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  3. #3
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I always wear a strap, even when playing seated, mostly to support and position the neck where I need it. I highly recommend it as it made many of my wrist issues disappear.

    I find visiting my [in person] mandolin instructor every few years for a few lessons helps my posture and hand positioning. Without someone there to call me on it, it's all to easy to slip into bad habits, even after a decade playing mando.
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  5. #4
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    Quote Originally Posted by urobouros View Post
    I would have it the neck profiled to more closely match your Collings. I had problems with my fretting hand until I switched to a V shape profile. I'm going to have Bruce fix the profile on my last two Webers eventually.
    Just to offer a differing opinion, I’d move it along to someone whose hand it fits. There was a time when there were so few quality mandolins that if you found a good one you had to make it work. Nowadays, there are just too many good alternatives available.

    P.S. I too had a Mr. Jenkins for a music teacher!
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    If the mandolin does not fit your playing style pheffernan is right. Move it along.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I recently bought a 2 Point Kimble. The neck and fingerboard was very different than what I was playing. I immediately loved the tone and playability but my hands were uncomfortable with the new configuration. Almost sent it back, but the seller was nice enough to give me a week trial period. I took it to a 3 hour gig and have not looked back. I am sure I have made a few conscious or subconscious adjustments with my left hand. I honestly think my playing has improved because of this mandolin. Anytime you change instruments (or spouses, dogs, jobs, etc.) it can take a while to get used to. You just have to decide if it is worth it to you in the long run.

  8. #7
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    It seems to me that mandolin necks keep getting thicker, more poorly tapered and just damn harder to play! Kentucky, Eastman, The Loar and yes, even Northfield have, over the last several years, undergone the transformation towards neck "chunkification". Even some of the top luthiers, Kimble included, have moved towards a beefier neck profile. But why? Both Eastman and Kentucky used to make mandolins with nicely tapered, ergonomically comfortable, Loar-style necks. And then about 7-10 years ago things started going south. More mass and bulkier shoulders may be good for body builders, but they are bad news for those of us with small to normal hands and those who feel that mandolins are difficult enough to play without chunky necks, poor setups and bad fret jobs. There is nothing more wonderful than the feel of a genuine Lloyd Loar F5 neck with its lovely, rounded V profile and gentle tapering towards the nut. Not too much V and no bulkiness to the shoulders. There are certainly some of them that didn't follow that neck profile, but most certainly did. A nut width of 1-1/16th - 1-1/8th seemed to satisfy everyone up until the last 20 years or so. Then the "wide-nut" craze began... along with toneguards, armrests, string grommets below the bridge, super heavy flat picks and whatever else the mandolin community seems to eat up. Oh well... I guess, in the end, more choices are better than fewer...

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  10. #8
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I would guess in many cases use of the double trussrods or large nuts at the headstock end dictate somewhat chunkier necks for builders. And many pickers coming from guitar world who are used to wide c profile necks want that on mandolin as well. Violin players who double on mandolin generally prefer thinner necks. I even got asked for neck under 1" wide at nut by a pro violin player.
    Adrian

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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    Hey all,
    The Kimble that I have has a 1 and 3/32 inch nut, not a 1 and 3/16 nut as I had first wrote. And Will has offered to do a bit of neck reshaping for me so that is the route I am going to take! Thanks for all of your advice.
    Dan

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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I simply play whatever neck a mandolin/mandola/OM comes with. ....and much the same with guitars.

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  14. #11

    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    Congrats on a Kimble - they are fantastic mandos. One thought to consider with the new Mandolin - have you been playing more than usual? I ask because I just acquired a new dreadnaught which I am really getting used to and cant seem to put it down. I am playing significantly more hours a week to the point that I am also getting some fretting hand & wrist tenderness. If I back off a bit and switch to mandolin for a while, the pain subsides. My conclusion is that until I adapt to the increased playing time on a new neck profile - I need to moderate the hours on that instrument. I hate to think the neck alteration doesn't solve the problem if the root cause is something else. Either way - Will is great and will get that neck carve to your liking for sure.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    ..So it's not like Shermer's Neck ? ..
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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    In the guitar world and on the popular guitar fora, there are new multi-page threads popping up weekly on nut width and neck profile. There are guitar players who insist that a 1-3/4" nut width is the perfect, one and only size for them while a 1-11/16" nut width is completely unplayable.

    I guess eventually this would find its way here. I'm blessed to be an oblivious multi-instrumentalist. I play 2 different violins, 3 different violas, 5 different mandolins, a tenor ukulele, a (10 string) mandola, 2 octave mandolins, a 10 string mandocello and 7 different guitars. I couldn't enjoy all of these if I was sensitive to (or even conscious of) different nut widths, neck profiles, string spacing, etc.

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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I suppose it’s a bit like cars; they’re all different but most of us just get on and drive ‘em.

    I couldn’t tell you what the nut width etc is on any of my instruments but I think there were 25 of them at the last count - all different.

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  20. #15
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    For some of us neck shape and width unfortunately do matter. Was getting a lot of forearm pain with a sharp V neck from a 1930's Gibson.

    And will admit to being that picky on guitar too. No longer can I handle a 1 7/8" up to 2 1/8" width necks of some of the vintage instruments. Too bad, because I miss out on a lot of great things.

    Glad the OP is getting it taken care of by the builder.
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    Registered User Kirk Higgins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    Years ago I sold my 84 Kentucky DAWG because of hand cramping. I kept my 85 Kentucky KM 650 because the neck was much larger and i didn’t experience the hand cramping with the 650.

    I was somewhat concerned when I recently purchased a 2007 Kimble F5 without playing it prior to purchase. I am happy to say that I have been playing the Kimble several hours a day for two months, pain free! I find the neck very comfortable and fits my hand perfectly.
    Kirk

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  22. #17
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    Hey all,
    I just wanted to send an update. I am loving the new Kimble and I have no more pain. It really just took me a couple of weeks to adjust to the new neck shape and now I am really enjoying it. Even though Will offered to reshape the neck, I am going to keep it as is. Will makes magic out of spruce and maple!
    Dan

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  24. #18
    bird and mando geek Rob Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I played a Collings MT for many years and just recently got a Northfield A5 special and had the same exact thing happen to me. The Northfield neck is certainly thicker, but not uncomfortable. But with me trying to get comfortable with it I played so much I did hurt first my thumb and first 2 fingers so had to rest up a bit. Iced my fingers for 20 minutes at a time, twice a day, and was taking too much ibuprofen. But now, 3 months later my hand feels a lot better and I am now used to the neck on the Northfield and am really happy with it. My 2 cents.

  25. #19

    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I had a Collings MT wide nut that didn't feel good in my hands so I sold it and purchased a Kimble F5. My Kimble neck has more of a v-neck feel and it's perfect for me. I did not notice any difference in neck weight between my Collings and Kimble.

  26. #20
    Registered User JimRichter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    Hi everyone, as someone who has owned several of every kind of Kimble (2 points, F5, A's, mandola, octave) and currently own 3 (2018 2 point, 2008 A, 2008 mandola), I've not encountered any of what has been discussed. I would never clarify any of Will's mandolins as being "beefy" especially when he went to Loar spec several years back. Keep in mind--if you're buying second hand you are at great odds of buying someone's special order. It is not unusual for someone to order "a beefy neck," get it, and then decide they don't like it. Will's stock mandolins, I would suggest, are not beefy. My hands are very finicky and easily get pained. I never have that problem on his mandolins--including the mandola I own and the octave I owned. So I would just offer that if you're buying second-hand mandolins, dissatisfaction with particular aspects of the mandolin (that differ from others) may not be a reflection of the builder but more a reflection of what someone who commissioned the instrument thought they wanted. As stated, I've played some that were ball bats and they were never Will's.

  27. #21
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    The only necks Iíve ever found uncomfortable were on a very early Hodson and a Godin. The Hodson was little better than firewood and the Godin neck too ďsquareĒ. Why anyone should complain about a Kimble neck (I have two of them), Iíve no idea.

  28. #22
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    One of my guitars is an old Harmony Monterey archtop. Talk about beefy necks, it's a Big Mac. You don't play it, you lay down the bunt.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
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  29. #23
    Registered User 108 Mile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    Switch to a classical guitar for a few weeks, then go back to your “chunky” profiled neck….

  30. #24
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I experienced what seemed to be unresolved hand cramping with an otherwise stellar Weber Fern years ago. I was playing a lot back then, practicing up to two hours per day and gigging a few times a week. The hope was my hand would adapt by developing new muscles. It never did happen, even after getting the neck reshaped to a Ď95 Flatiron Artist spec., which I had played a few of and longed for. Over time, it seems it bay have had to do with the Weber scale length back then which resulted in more tension.

    On the other hand, it took me weeks to adjust to my Hamlettís neck profile. I still am to some degree. However, itís because it is very responsive and only requires a light touch. How interesting. Iíve come to realize Iíve been gripping the heck out of my mandolin necks. Maybe all that time on the Weber is why. Who knows? What I can say is the Hamlett now has the distinction of being one of the most comfortable and responsive instruments Iíve played, yay!

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    Default Re: Kimble neck - forearm pain

    I've come to find over the years wether im playing guitar or mandolin, that the biggest factor for comfort me is fret size and prefer larger frets on any instrument im playing, and radius, nut, neck shape has little effect for me, but larger banjo frets vs tiny vintage frets its night and day for me.

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