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Fingerboard Taper


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When I designed my neck for my guitar I drew the bridge and nut and E - e string spacing and connected the dots to get the taper of the strings, added a couple of mm either side and had the taper of the fretboard, and continued that taper for the entire neck, and neck pocket.

I just imagined thats how its done, and that the strings should always be parrallel to the fretboard edge, but I saw a pic of a bass where this is not the case, there definatly seems to be a bigger space between the string and the f/b at the 24th fret than at the 1st

bass4.jpg

so did I over complicate, or did I do it properly? How do you do it?

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The customer probably changed their mind on the string spacing at the bridge, or the bridge was later changed to accommodate tighter strings spacing. The taper of the neck / fingerboard is usually as parallel as possible to the outermost strings.

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Unparrallel taper is a sign of sloppy workmanship...

The neck on that bass is obviously built with the wrong taper

There isn't one common bridge string spacing on electric basses like there is on guitars, the spacing can range anywhere from 15mm to 20mm center to center and varies from person to person to many different play-styles. I have seen many after market changes with the bridge changed out to achieve tighter string spacing. I highly doubt a custom builder would be that far off with the neck taper.

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That makes no sense,Jon...Tighter string spacing gives a thinner neck width,which is the main reason for going with that tighter spacing...there is no reason to tighten a string spacing and leave the neck width the same...I highly doubt that scenario

And Jon...there is not one common spacing for guitars either...nut width,string spacing,and overall bridge width vary on the guitar as well..

Sloppy..or just an oversight...final answer :D

I highly doubt a custom builder would be that far off with the neck taper.

You would certainly think so,huh?

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Unparrallel taper is a sign of sloppy workmanship...

The neck on that bass is obviously built with the wrong taper

Or simply for a customer that require a wider space between outer string and the fret board edge. And sloppy workmanship... c'mon...originally I thought that you were only making a bad joke…throwing a few firecrackers into the fire, that type of thing, but as the thread goes on I’m not really sure anymore.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. Some players really enjoys (and craves) the bigger string-edge distance up the neck as the string moves easier from side to side when doing large vibratos and stuff like that. Some doesn't. If the intention was an even string-edge distance and the outcome is a bigger distance down the neck, it is of cause a sign of a noob or other type of hack, but if it is intentional it can be a sign of craftsmanship.

My latest customer ordered a guitar with a fretboard with a greater taper than the string spacing normally would suggest. And I delivered a guitar with exactly that feature. Sloppy workmanship…

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Many guitars with bolt on necks suffer from too little clearance on the high E side. I recently played a nice gibson semi hollow body with quite a lot of clearance on both the high and low E strings. In other words, the strings get further away from the edge of the FB as you go up the neck. This was a nice thing I thought, and I plan to build my next neck just like that. It made some really cool vibrato techniques possible that I can't even think about doing on my strat....

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A neck with more space near the last fret than the nut is a common request, especially with bigger necks like for bass or 8 string guitar. I've seen several Gibson guitars this way too like the LP Junior. Personally I prefer that taper too.

The instrument pictured may have been designed that way, yet it does look like a bit too much space at the last fret. Agreed.

Once people finally break away from that 'Strat neck' frame of reference a whole new world of options are manifest including more favorable spacing at the last fret...

-Doug

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Think about it... the strings are not parallel to each other. The whole neck is "radial". As the strings get farther apart towards the bridge, why shouldn't the edge of the neck follow suit?

I.e., it would follow its own radial line, rather than the radial lines of the two E strings moved over a few mm.

Edited by Geo
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