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Neck Radius

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassman1185, Nov 27, 2000.


  1. What does the neck radius mean? I know it has to do with the thickness of the neck, but how do you find it?
     
  2. Actually, I think it's got to do with the degree of curvature. If you don't mind, I'll move this to Setup where I know you'll get some great responses. :)
     
  3. ubersam

    ubersam

    Oct 12, 2000
    L.A.
    it has to do with how flat the fretboard is. a smaller radius neck/fretboard will be rounder than a bigger radius, which would be flatter.
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    ubersam and Stingray are correct, the radius refers to the amount of curvature on the fretboard.

    While no electric bass guitar has as much curvature as an upright bass, they are all curved to some degree.

    A Fender Jazz bass has a 7.25" radius, which is fairly curvy, except that on a slim neck like a Jazz it looks pretty flat.

    The majority of basses produced today have around a 12" radius, which is fairly flat, and widenecks such as 6 and 7 stringers can have anywhere from a 15" to 20" radius.

    :confused:I wonder if anybody has ever made a truly flat radius fingerboard?:eek:

    The word that you are looking for related to thickness(front to back) of the neck is most commonly referred to as profile, and as examples of this, Fenders have a thick profile, Warwicks have a very thick profile, Yamahas and Washburns are on the thin side, and the Ibanez Soundgear line probably has the thinnest profiles of any production model basses.
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think the "profile" question is one of the most important for having a comfortable bass. It means that for me, Warwicks are unplayable for example, but this "dimension" is never mentioned in specs and is impossible to judge from photographs.

    I would disagree about the soundgear basses - I think say Yamaha TRBs and Ken Smith basses are thinner or flatter and most soundgears I have tried have had very narrow (pencil) necks but have been quite thick front to back. Fenders also do vary a lot - the RB5 has a much thinner profile which makes it far more playable for me than any other Fender.
     
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Bruce, I think that my Ibanez SR 506 must be different than the Soundgears that you've played. It has a very Yamaha like profile, very thin profile and pretty wide neck, the thickness is perfect, I just wish it were about 1/2" wider like a TRB6.
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well there are a lot of them about and they must vary. I forgot to mention the Tobias case. I tried a lot of the recent models but couldn't get on with them. But then I found a pre-gibson model with the assymetric neck profile and this was a revelation! It's thicker at teh top and thinner at the bottom so has the nevessary mass, but is comfortable in the places it needs to be. I think this must make the production costs higher than a neck that it is symmetrical, though.
     
  8. I agree with Bruce on this one. I had tried pretty much every kind of six string and wasn't happy until I got my F bass. Interestingly this too has an assymetric neck profile, although not quite as pronounced as on the pre Gibson Tobias' (by memory that is). This idea just makes the bass more comfortable IMHO.