no radius

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by kimstevens, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. kimstevens


    Nov 12, 2002

    Has anyone built or played a bass with a completely flat fingerboard, or nearly flat? I am wondering about any playability problems such a board might have. I imagine advantages would be in string bending, tapping, and maybe string dampening with the plucking hand.


  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    The Curbow basses I've owned have had probably the flattest necks, with 16"-18" radius, which feels quite flat. In general, the flatter radius seems to make the most difference on wide necks, which is why classical guitars are built that way. I really prefer that feel--it seems faster, and makes all the strings feel equally accessible on a 5 or 6 string. Some folks might not find it as comfortable, though.

    I know that Alembic has built Trip Wamsley an 8-string (not doubled) with a completely flat board. See

  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I believe the Chapman Stick uses a flat fretboard.
  4. This is correct. Any touch-style instrument should have one.
  5. Balor


    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    At 40 inch of radius, TRB6 from Yamaha is pretty flat. It plays very nicely, feels very fast.
  6. My bass has a completely flat fingerboard...the guy who built it didn't feel confident in radiusing (sp?) it..

    Feels a bit weird at first, but i kinda like it after playing it for 6 months.
  7. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    Medium-well for me, pls! (11-12-13-14-15).The best of both world.
  8. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I have a BassLab. Board is almost perfectly flat. Playability is not perfect (because perfect doesn't exist), but as close as possible.