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Fingerboard Radius??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Hey experts,

    What is this (Fingerboard Radius)? I see specs all over the map on this on different basses (10", 16", etc). Just curious as to what it means and how it effects playability.

    :confused: :confused:
  2. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    The curvature of the fingerboard. Some basses are very flat and some tend more towards the bass viol, which has a lot of curvature so that you can bow the strings.
  3. witness

    witness Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2002
    So what does the numbers mean, which ones are more flatter (10", 14", etc..)
  4. I'm pretty sure the higher the number, the flatter the fingerboard, (and the lower the number, the more curved the fingerboard).
  5. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    That's correct, because the fretboard radius corresponds with a circle what that same radius. You can cut out a piece of that circle and it will have the same arc as a fretboard with that radius.
  6. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    The bass that I just purchased has a 16" radius. Sounds pretty damn flat!
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Yep! The vintage Fenders were 7.25" (I think), even the newer ones are like 9.5" which is still fairly curved. My Modulus Quantum is fairly flat at 15", and my Warwick Streamer Stage I is flatter still... I don't know the official measurement but I'm guessing 20".
  8. Zon Bass

    Zon Bass

    Jan 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    My Sonus has a 12' radius
  9. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    Anything near to 12" 13" 14" 15" it's ez & comfortable for me.


    Dec 21, 2001
    Boise, ID
    warwicks use a 24" radius, the thumb basses may even be a little flatter. that's what warwick told me.
  11. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Most bass manufacturers today are usually around 10 to 12. A 12 has become the radius of choice for the "modern" jazz bass. A good example of a bass with a "tight" radius, one with a visable curve from bass to treble, would be a vintage Fender. A good example of a bass with a compound radius would be a MTD. The theory behind the compound radius is that it is a little easier to play low on the neck with a tighter radius, but the higher up you get (and the more distance there is between the unfretted string and the top of the frets), a flatter radius is easier to play because there is less distance for the unfretted string to travel before it hits a fret. There really is not "good" or "bad" fingerboard radius....it is all based on feel and comfort.
  12. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    My fav. Compound radius is from Lakland 10" - 13"
  13. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Is there some way you can measure radius without some special luthier's radius measurmajig?

    brad cook
  14. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Quadzilla, did you order a Conklin Groove Tools? 16" is the same radius on my BD-GT7.
  15. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Sho nuf! I bought this Rocco signed baby from Ebay for the fund for his liver transplant. It came with a letter from Conklin verifying it's authenticity. Good price too..

    Link to intial thread
    Click Me

  16. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    This link has a template you can download and cut out. It doesn't have every radius, but it will get you in the ballpark.