Factory Basses with 7.25" Fretboard Radius

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Antisyzygy, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Hello all. I was just wondering if anyone could recommend some factory bass brands that have 7.25" radius.

    I'm aware of the Fender Classic series, they have Ps and Js with that radius. I was mainly looking to be made aware of other options from Cheap to Mid-range.

    The biggest problem is that many manufacturers don't list what the fretboard radius is online.
  2. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    The G&L "vintage" neck profile is 7 1/2". I think that's USA models only, though. The double mid-range priced EBMM
    "Old Smoothie" has a 7.5" radius also.

    I know that's no help. Sorry. What about the Classic Fender series are you trying to move away from? I ask because you could build your own with a Classic series neck. Are you looking for more of a Stingray type or more modern style?

    I'm off to research this problem...
    Antisyzygy likes this.
  3. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    I appreciate that. Thanks! Ive been researching it too.

    Yeah, I have a G&L SB-1 with a #6 neck that is my main bass. I also owned a Fender Road Worn P for a time and only traded it because someone offered a different G&L (plus cash from me) for it. Both of those basses were the most comfortable I've ever played, so I'm kinda wanting that radius on everything these days!

    G&Ls are a steal on the used market but it's hard to find them with a 7.5" neck. Either the instrument is listed without information on the neck, or it has a 12" radius it seems.

    I was mainly looking for cheaper options like 200-700. Mid-range for me I guess goes from about 500 to about 1000-1100 dollars. Everybody has a different definition though.

    This is probably for a mod project. I just like working on modding or improving cheap basses every once in awhile as a hobby. I also keep one to a few cheapos around for taking out or couch playing.

    I wish Ibanez would offer some 7.25" basses. I would kill for a Artwood Semi-Hollow like that.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I thought the Geddy Lee was 7.25 but I could be wrong. I know the Jaco Artist is but that is a fretless. I would imagine the fretted version they made a few years back has the same neck but I do not know for certain.
    Antisyzygy likes this.
  5. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX

    By the way. I'm really proud that no one has tried to educate you on why flat boards are "better".

  6. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Aerodynes are cool, didn't know they had that setup. I wish they made a P version (in the States) though.
  7. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    When Fender-Japan was still "Fender-Japan", I noticed a lot of their offerings had the vintage-style, 7.25" radius, and not just the 'Dynes. Funny thing though, their five-stringer Aerodyne had the more common 9.5" radius.
    Antisyzygy likes this.
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    The Sire basses have vintage 7.25" fretboard radii, even the fives. Not surprisingly, Fender's Marcus Miller signatures do as well.
    Antisyzygy likes this.
  9. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    Fender Road Worn basses do.
  10. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    I wish they had a P!
  11. Tbone76


    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    The Musicman Classic line also has either a 7.25" or 7.5" radius fretboard. They're out of your price range new, but if you wait a bit you should be able to find one used at around your upper-end price.

    EDIT: The Sterling by MusicMan Classic line may also have the vintage radius, and they're solid basses.
  12. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    For the Geddy Lee I know that is true of their CIJ basses. The MIM and US Geddy's are both 9.5".
  13. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Applying what I know about basic geometry... at the bridge, 7.25" (184.15mm) radius with 18mm string spacing, common for Fender 5s, and you draw some magic lines (hard to illustrate but trust me on this one) and use the Pythagorean Theorem twice, and (184.15^2 - 0^2)^0.5 - (184.15^2 - 36^2)^0.5 = 3.553mm. Anyway, what does this number mean? The A string would be a full 3.56mm higher than the B and G strings. Think about how ridiculous that number is. Applying this to 9.5" (241.3mm) radius or 14" (355.6mm) radius, you'd get 2.7mm and 1.83mm. Anyway, the point is, considering how A string output often suffers on a 5 string because of flat pickups and round fingerboards, 7.25" radius would cause the A string to be more than 3.5mm higher than the outer strings and would really challenge flat pickups, forcing quite generous amount of magnet stagger.

    Of course, radius matters on 4-strings, too, and since we're doing math right now, if I were to do the same math to 7.5" radius and 19mm spacing on a 4-string bass, (184.15^2 - 9.5^2)^0.5 - (184.15^2 - 28.5^2)^0.5, we have 1.97mm, which means that the A and D are just under 2mm higher than the E and G strings. And anybody who has set up a P Bass or a Mustang Bass w/ a 7.25" radius knows how severe that slope is, so imagine the problem being 80% worse on a 5-string. This number is 1.5mm for 9.5" radius and just over 1mm for 14" radius on a 4-string.

    Anyway, this simple geometry is probably why vintage radius 7.25" on a 5-string is virtually unheard of. The pickups are really strained by such curvature on an odd number of strings across wide spacing.
    Le Basseur, Matt R, krovx and 4 others like this.
  14. trebbihm


    Dec 7, 2014
    Inland Empire
    All Geddys are 9.5"
  15. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Do you have a source for the CIJ specs?
  16. trebbihm


    Dec 7, 2014
    Inland Empire
    Every CIJ or MIJ I've ever played has been a 9.5. They are easy to tell apart.
    I'm not sure where you heard that they were 7.5 radiused, but all the literature I've seen shows them as 9.5". Much of it is here, or in ads for used Geddys on the Ishiwata website, Reverb or eBay. The Fender site description is unfortunately long gone.

    Here is a review from when the Japanese version was still the only version:
    Rex and the Bass: Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass Review
  17. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Just working from memory as I had a CIJ. As you can imagine the official specs are no longer published. I trust the link more than my memory however and concede the floor.
  18. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Excellent post.
    Tobiasfin, Matt R and jamro217 like this.
  19. HertzWhenIPlay


    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    My early 2000s MIM jazz basses have 7.25" radius boards. An easy tell tale sign, if the bass is original, would be to inspect the pickups and look for the raised poles at the A and D strings.
  20. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
    I'm curious what are the playability differences between the vintage 7.25-7.5 radius, vs the more modern ones? I've read that flatter boards on 6-string guitars are easier to play and won't choke out, but I can't imagine that would be a problem for the larger bass strings.
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