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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Sal_Paradise, Nov 30, 2004.
I guess Warwick does it. Has anybody tried it? If yay, what are the pros and cons?
I only have flat fret/fingerboards. It's pretty much the same, though it takes five minutes to get used to. But it's no problem to double with DB, once tried!
The pros, playing wise, is that all strings are pushed the same distance, or rather, every finger is always rotated the same angle, which decreases fatigue a bit. And you can bend the tone until the string breaks, without any buzz.
Production and maintenance wise, it's much easier to reach terrific quality.
And, to me, it feels nicer.
I believe JP Basses come standard with a non radiused fretboard. I have made a few with flat fretboards as well and have yet to hear any complaints.
AFAIK, JP radiusses all his fingerboards, except on one many-string instrument from his last batch.
That's funny that they name it that way-- flat is actually infinite radius, not zero. Zero radius would be a point or line.
No radius is accurate, though.
I think JP has done some sans radius fingerboards. mebbe he will thow his duex francs in.
from JP's site on what his basses come with standard:
"34" Pau Ferro or Macassar ebony FLAT fingerboard (no radius). Your choice of acrylicized woods for fretless boards."
"16" radius fingerboard at no charge"
Didn't see that. That large instrument I believe referred to was his first, he had a thread asking for opinions on the issue before he tried it, and that was not too long ago (maybe a year ago?). He must have been quite happy with the result to make it his standard. Previously all fretboards were done with his twin-rail router radiusing rig.
All of my Warwicks have played awesome. I really like the flat board.
Also, tapping is IMO much easier on a flat board.
IMO, it can depend on you playing style, finger style, 2-handed/tapping stuff.... seem to go good with a flat board.
I find that it can be a little awkward for the right hand when slapping.
Like anything else, it just takes getting used to. I slap mine like crazy and find the slapping on my Warwicks to be easily as comfortable as slapping, for instance, a Fender Jazz.
I've never been in the situation of going back and forth between a radius and a flat board, but it's probably a similar situation to going back and forth between instruments with different string spacing. It takes a while to get used to switching, but you get the hang of it after a time or two.