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I need a large, close to zero radius 5 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ericmknight1906, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. After all of this money spent and wasted on Fenders and squiers and other similar basses, it took me a while to figure out why they are so uncomfortable for me to play. I've concluded that these small radius bass guitars with "rolled necks" are the culprit. My most recent purchases were 5 string fenders, squiers and most recently, a 4 string squire classic with a 9.5 radius. I love the sound of fender passive basses but the small radius necks just don't feel right to me.

    I believe that my dilemma of uncomfortability will be solved with a bass having a high or close to zero radius fingerboard.

    Any ideas? I would like to stay under a grand if possible.

  2. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I can't help you with the under a grand part, but i know Wilser Ramirez makes killer basses with a flat radius (oxymoron?)

    His basses aren't too north of a grand though...
  3. peterbright


    Jan 23, 2007
    On The Bayou
    Carvin has a 14" radius as an option
  4. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    But that's further away from zero than the Fender radius.

  5. well, maybe i worded it wrong. From my understanding the smaller the radius, the more curve the fretboard will have. A 9.5 radius will have more curve than a 12 inch radius. The higher the radius, the closer the board is to being flat.

    So technically a 12" radius would be closer to zero radius than the 9.5 Atleast thats the way I understand it.:meh:

    I don't need a completely flat board but the closer the better.

  6. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Nope. The larger the number the flatter the board. Remember we're talking about radius.
  7. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Do you have a 5 string bass that you like? Maybe a neck replacement is in order.
  8. I this his point was you're not looking for a "zero radius" but probably an "infinity radius"... Or something...
  9. EddieG


    Jan 19, 2005
  10. Without going custom, I don't think you'll find anything better than a 12" or Carvin's 14" radius.
  11. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    My Carvin LB76 has a very flat neck. Not perfectly flat, but very close.
  12. SurrenderMonkey


    Aug 18, 2006
    Ibanez SRs and BTB have flat radiuses (12'') and slim necks. The SRX have even flatter fingerboard (16''). And Warwicks of course (16'') but that's over a grand (unless you consider rockbasses).
  13. See if you can find a used Warwick...the standard 'wick 5-string neck radius is 26". Now if you could find a Streamer broadneck, and would be comfortable with playing a 2x4, they have a 47" radius. :)
  14. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Also, you can take the frets out, sand down the radius and then refret.
  15. yep, warwick board are as close to no radius as you can find. Nothing I've seen is flatter except full flat.
  16. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    One possibly less expensive option is to re-radius one of your current basses. On a fretted this could be a fair bit of work tho, as you'd need to dress the frets afterward and the center could be closer to the board than the outside more than you want depending on what the original radius is (i.e. if it's 9.5" now and you go to 20", er, that could be a problem ;)). Might could get away with it just using a radius block if you're only flattening it out a little....
    Otherwise, as the other poster said, you'd have to defret, re-radius and then refret. That's even more work but would really be the right way to do it as you would't have the inconsistent fret height problem.
    Easily doable on a fretless tho again you may remove a lot of material from the center of the board, a possible problem if the fingerboard is fairly thin, same with doing the refret job on the fretted.

    Could be worth it if you really like the bass you have.

    Otherwise, I'll chime in with Carvin, their 5 strings typically have a 14" radius (I also like as flat a fingerboard as I can get) and 14" is an option on the 4 strings.

    My bunny 6 has the 14" and I hardly notice the curvature....

  17. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    My Sadowsky has a 12 inch radius... Im not sure how comfy a Zero/infinite radius would be...
  18. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    If you can find a Godlyke Disciple or Deity, they've got 16" radius, very comfortable neck.
  19. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Also, if you flatten it a lot, you'll probably loose your dots or other inlays
  20. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Carvin Bunny Brunel (BB75). 19mm spacing, 14" radius, asymetrical neck (thinner on the G string side). Simply a wonderful wonderful 5 string neck.

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