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What is your favorite fretboard radius?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bassic83, Feb 1, 2005.


  1. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Just curious what everyone uses for their fretboard radius. What seems to feel the best to you?
     
  2. FLAT! I recently build a couple of basses with flat fingerboards ..can't believe how comfortable they are. feels like classical guitars.
     
  3. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I'm afraid of flat radii, they feel almost concave to my hands. Maybe I should go for a flat 14" radius? Jazz basses are 7.25, right? They feel good. If I wanted to go flatter, perhaps a 16" or 20"?
     
  4. Czar

    Czar

    May 6, 2003
    New Jersey
    Personally, my technique stinks so a low radius of 7-9 feels better to me when I wrap my paws around the neck. Also like compound radius, they fell right as I move up the neck.
     
  5. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Surprising how much folks like the flat boards! I enjoy the classical guitar and the feel of a flat board also, but I put a bit of a radius on the fish bass fingerboard. 1/16" high all the way down which works out to 16" at the nut and 20" at the 25th fret position. I haven't finished it to try it out yet but it looks a feels like a winner so far.
     
  6. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    How did you radius it? Compound, I mean. Did you use several different blocks and blend them, or did you use a router jig, or some other method?
     
  7. The way I achieve a compound is ala cumpiano/natelson. Planing by following the fingerboard taper. I take, like Wade, 1/16 off of each side and then finish up with sand paper.
     
  8. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Do you still retain a 1/4" profile down the middle?
     
  9. yes. although it does get a little big sanded off.
     
  10. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Racine,Wi
    The Conical radius on my US Masters is great. I love the flat Warwick 6 neck though.
     
  11. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    I Cheated! :D

    I drew mine in CAD and cut it on a CNC machine.
     
  12. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    I like 12". I would like a 7.25", but that isn't happening any time soon.
     
  13. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Ham, how come you type such a small radius in such a large font??
    Envy?? ;)


    OTOH, I don't even know how to type my favourite radius in math terms. (Write, yes, type, no) :(

    :D :D
     
  14. Hey, that 7¼ isn't near as big as my OTHER 7¼! ;)
     
  15. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    What about for a six?
     
  16. spc

    spc

    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Is the radius measured in the middle of the neck? Is it often the same over the whole neck? What is the radius on a typical Fender jazz (american for example)?
    Thanks!
     
  17. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Radius is measured edge to edge. If you take a string and tie it around a pencil on one end, and then put a pin through the other, the resulting arc is the radius. So, if you have a string that is 7.25" long when you've tied the pencil on and tacked it down, the line you draw would be equivalent to a Jazz. If you took the same pencil and ran it down a ruler, that would be a Warwick. Lots of room for adjustments and different feels. My current project is a wide-necked 6, so I'm torn between flat and 20". Flat would be less work, but 20 would feel nice to me. I haven't spent enough time trying flat Warwicks, so I guess it's off to Guitar Sphincter to try some after work... :eyebrow: