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> Fender Neck Radius, I'm Done
yoncopin
post Feb 4 2017, 01:24 PM
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I have three Fender guitars, an American Strat, a HH Blacktop Strat and a Tele. I've enjoyed them all, but I've given up on the Fender 9.5" radius. Now I know there are countless players who just slay with Strats (even 7.25" ones) since the beginning of time, but for me I can't buy anything <12" anymore. It's not the feel, which I like, it's just so difficult to get reasonable 4/64" action on the high E without it fretting out or buzzing on upper fret bends. Maybe I'm too picky, but it drives me nuts for my clumsy amateur playing.

Other than tradition, I'm really not sure why this is their default neck anyway. Almost all their signature models are at least 12" and from what I've read a lot of the guitar heroes of the past had their necks compounded just by sheer usage or re-fret modifications.

I have too many guitars anyway, so I'm selling the Tele and Blacktop and ordered a compound radius Warmoth neck for the Strat. It actually feels good to clean house a bit, now I have some empty wall hangers if something shiny catches my eye smile.gif Curious what anyone else thinks about this.


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Kristofer Dahl
post Feb 4 2017, 01:34 PM
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Understandable!

Two thoughts:

* I assume you have done professional fret levelling to optimise action? My strat has very low action after PLEK (like 1.1 mm at 12 fret high e-string)

* also, the PLEK machine can give you compound radius if requested, through precise and computerised fret levelling. It will mean sacrificing a little bit more fret wire though.


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yoncopin
post Feb 4 2017, 01:42 PM
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I have had a professional setup, though I'm pretty confident in my own setups now. They took a look and didn't find any high frets (though a Plek is another level) Both the Tele and Blacktop are MIM <$500 guitars, so there's a cost/value question there for the price of a Plek job. I guess if I really loved one of them I would consider it, but there are so many other amazing instruments to choose from I'll just try something else. I do really like the American Strat, but the cost of a Plek was similar to just getting an "upgraded" neck. From what I've read, this is a common Fender problem, I'm just puzzled why they still use 9.5" at all.

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Feb 4 2017, 08:34 AM) *
Understandable!

Two thoughts:

* I assume you have done professional fret levelling to optimise action? My strat has very low action after PLEK (like 1.1 mm at 12 fret high e-string)

* also, the PLEK machine can give you compound radius if requested, through precise and computerised fret levelling. It will mean sacrificing a little bit more fret wire though.



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jstcrsn
post Feb 4 2017, 02:03 PM
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QUOTE (yoncopin @ Feb 4 2017, 01:24 PM) *
I have three Fender guitars, an American Strat, a HH Blacktop Strat and a Tele. I've enjoyed them all, but I've given up on the Fender 9.5" radius. Now I know there are countless players who just slay with Strats (even 7.25" ones) since the beginning of time, but for me I can't buy anything <12" anymore. It's not the feel, which I like, it's just so difficult to get reasonable 4/64" action on the high E without it fretting out or buzzing on upper fret bends. Maybe I'm too picky, but it drives me nuts for my clumsy amateur playing.

Other than tradition, I'm really not sure why this is their default neck anyway. Almost all their signature models are at least 12" and from what I've read a lot of the guitar heroes of the past had their necks compounded just by sheer usage or re-fret modifications.

I have too many guitars anyway, so I'm selling the Tele and Blacktop and ordered a compound radius Warmoth neck for the Strat. It actually feels good to clean house a bit, now I have some empty wall hangers if something shiny catches my eye smile.gif Curious what anyone else thinks about this.

I am with you , don't feel bad, everyone is a different player and their hands do different things. I swore off fender and Gibson years ago and have never looked back
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klasaine
post Feb 4 2017, 05:31 PM
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Def don't feel bad about not digging a 9.5 neck. So many great players don't play G's and F's anymore and haven't since the 80s.

Having said that there are several non-artist Fender models that have a 12" or compound radius fingerboard:

72 Deluxe Tele
Many of the classic 'player' strats and teles.
American Deluxe has a compound 9.5 - 14
Classic 60s Strat (which is ironic)
Highway 1 Teles
Jim Root Tele (not an expensive artist model)

* The used market will yield many ...
Early 2000's American 'special' Strats (also 22 frets)
Elites from the 80's had a 12" (great guitars).
Some Strat + models (87 - 99)

Most G&Ls, which are fantastic strats and teles, have a 12" radius

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 4 2017, 05:37 PM


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Grappa
post Feb 4 2017, 05:56 PM
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Had mine Plek'd and it now plays beautifully.. No choking anywhere and smooth as silk..nice low action


Simon

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Todd Simpson
post Feb 4 2017, 09:25 PM
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I have only owned one pleked guitar and I gotta say it was pretty sweet in terms of the action and intonation. I wish every guitar just came pleked but sadly no. Having it done after market is about like buying a good guitar on the installment plan smile.gif It will transform your guitar to be sure. But cost wise, you could have just gotten a nicer axe. Still, even buying a nice axe is no guarantee that it won't need a good pleking. Almost any guitar can benefit from a pleking smile.gif If it's good it will just make it better.

I always expand and thin out my guitar collection and keep trimming back to my two ibbys pluse one or two spares. I've kept the red xiphos, yet another ibby smile.gif But then again, I"m an Ibby guy. There are wads of strat guys that keep going back to strats smile.gif

QUOTE (Grappa @ Feb 4 2017, 12:56 PM) *
Had mine Plek'd and it now plays beautifully.. No choking anywhere and smooth as silk..nice low action


Simon


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yoncopin
post Feb 5 2017, 02:36 PM
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This is a great list, thank you. I just saw a Rick Graham video popup on my Youtube recommendations, where he's playing a Strat. Sure enough, Classic Player 60s.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 4 2017, 12:31 PM) *
Def don't feel bad about not digging a 9.5 neck. So many great players don't play G's and F's anymore and haven't since the 80s.

Having said that there are several non-artist Fender models that have a 12" or compound radius fingerboard:

72 Deluxe Tele
Many of the classic 'player' strats and teles.
American Deluxe has a compound 9.5 - 14
Classic 60s Strat (which is ironic)
Highway 1 Teles
Jim Root Tele (not an expensive artist model)

* The used market will yield many ...
Early 2000's American 'special' Strats (also 22 frets)
Elites from the 80's had a 12" (great guitars).
Some Strat + models (87 - 99)

Most G&Ls, which are fantastic strats and teles, have a 12" radius



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