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Fretboard Radius


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the minimum or flattest radius would be no radius at all - a completely flat board.. and some people around here have stated that the prefer that.

the maximum or tightest radius commoly used would be around 7 1/4"

thanks for that made a schoolboy error have made my neck 12" diameter instead of radius. i will use it and see how it plays as its a bolt on neck ,so can just make another one if it plays like a mule .

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the minimum or flattest radius would be no radius at all - a completely flat board.. and some people around here have stated that the prefer that.

the maximum or tightest radius commoly used would be around 7 1/4"

Interestingly, flat fingerboards have been more common lately than ever. I've had more people order flat in the last 6 months than the last 3 or 4 years combined. They've always been requested here and there, but lately there's almost always one in the queue.

Yeah, okay I'm just thinking out loud... :D

-Doug

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I think it has a lot to do with the perception that you can get a lower action. Which is not the case if the guitar is set up well. But when a local hack does the setup, it is easier to get a lower action on a flatter board. It also seems that it is most of the speed players that prefer it since you will fret out less on bends. But when you look at how flat a 16" radius is, I think it just comes down to hype.

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A good compound radius board is a beautiful thing.But since most bridges(if not all) that you buy premade are radiused,then to get optimum action on every string your board must be radiused too,ihocky...but like you say,it is more about what is "percieved" by the general public than about reality.

I do like a flatter radius...but if it is more than 16" at the bridge,I miss strings alot with my pick.I prefer a 10"- 12" radius though...

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I got a Fender on the bench right now with a "multi-radius" fret-board. I don't mean conical/compound. It's 7" for the most part, until you get to the A and B strings, then from there to the edge, it's something like a 5-6" radius.

Wow...I had actually heard from someone (can't remember who) who sweared he had an older Tele neck with a 6" radius.

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i dont like the look of flat boards - it almost looks concave.. mind you, i have a cheap hondo acoustic here at the moment that is concave

LOL!!! :D Exactly what I think too! It's so odd looking at it I almost think there's something wrong....

-Doug

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I got a Fender on the bench right now with a "multi-radius" fret-board. I don't mean conical/compound. It's 7" for the most part, until you get to the A and B strings, then from there to the edge, it's something like a 5-6" radius.

I've seen this on a rickenbacker too - it almost seemed like the radius was put in by hand on a belt sander or something - it was more like an elliptical radius than a circular one.

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"It’s a matter of string-bending ability and fretting-hand fingering comfort. The lower the radius number, the easier it is to wrap your hand around the neck. A very old Fender Telecaster would have a 9" radius, which is very curved, and comfortable for playing closed chords up and down the neck. But you can’t bend strings worth a damn without fretting out unless the action is set very high. On the other hand, it can be difficult to grab a clean barre chord on a nylon-string guitar, and that is partly because classical fretboards can be so flat that they appear concave."

As stated before, you can use any radius you feel comfortable with. If you want a 'bona fide' Tele radius, then it looks like 9" might be it. I like to play some classical and mildly complex (for me?) fingerstyle stuff, and having a board with a heavy radius would make it hard for me to grab some fret-hand positions with my pinky without hitting/muting other strings.

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  • 3 months later...

The specs on vintage teles (and classic reissues) say they're 7.25" radius. Though I've seen aftermarket necks at 9" too.

I'm bringing this topic back up because I'm just recently discovering that I have a true preference for the 7.25" neck shape --started with a 50s Classic Esquire I've been borrowing. And I'm in the process of completing a guitar using a really great 7.25" aftermarket (Goldo) neck.

I haven't really noticed issues fretting out, although I tend to stick with rhythm anyway, so we'll see.

But this radius actually helps me play better. Easier on the hands too --they don't tend to cramp up as much as with my other guitars.

It's funny. I always thought I preferred the Gibson scale (and radius). But lately I've really been sticking to my Fenders. It's almost as if (gasp) I don't need anymore guitars....

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