12 Inch Radius Or Compound Stratocaster

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by Whisky Jack, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Whisky Jack

    Whisky Jack New Member

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    As a (wanna be) Luthier, that is not a guitar player, I need opinions. The build I'm working on is of Stratocaster style design. With a 25 1/2 scale. For my fingerboard, should I go with the 12 inch radius? Or the Compound radius offered by Stew-Mac? I'm building this as a hobby piece. Fully understanding that as my first, it is likely to turn out as a piece of crap. However, should it turn out decent, which radius would be more desired by a player? Thanks in advance for input.
     
  2. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    I'd go compound mostly because I haven't tried one and want to. Also... just want to pitch a place that I really like that is a small mom and pop shop. I'd like to support them as much as possible: allenguitar. they have really nice fretboards for very reasonable prices. no compound tho.
     
  3. Whisky Jack

    Whisky Jack New Member

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    What??!! Is Allen Guitars for real??!! Freaking Ebony fingerboards for $31.25? Stew-Mac is $54.60 for the same fingerboards! Okay. I'm sold on sending any business I can, their way. Back to said fingerboards. I want to go with compound radius, because what I've read about their "playability", makes a lot of sense. I just wonder how easy/difficult it would be for a player to adjust to the difference, of playing a compound radius fingerboard. Therefore, would it enhance a guitar's saleability, or lesson it??!! Anyway, thanks for your input. And for the mention of allenguitars.com.
     
  4. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    I've bought one ebony and one rosewood board from them and both were excellent quality. The downside to them is you pretty much have to call them as last I checked their paypal handshake was broken.
    afa radius...I recently built a slide guitar with no radius. it is surprisingly comfy. I have 20 or so guitars with a wide variety of radius, a jem with a compound. honestly never even knew the jem was compound.imo it's pretty easy to switch but you play diff on dif necks/radii/dimensions.
     
  5. jayjackson

    jayjackson New Member

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    with a compound neck bending notes from 1 st to 5th frets will be hard to go past a half step. But is easy'r to do chords. and to fret level you will need a Beam type sander. with a non compound neck like a 12 you can bend the notes more with out them fretting out. and you can use a radius block to do fret leveling.
     
  6. Whisky Jack

    Whisky Jack New Member

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    jayjackson, thanks for your input. But I'm confused. I thought the idea of a compound fingerboard was to compensate for the neck getting wider, as it goes from nut toward bridge. I've read that it helps maintain the same string height above the fingerboard. Therefore, why would it interfere more, when bending notes? I'm not doubting your input, I'm just trying to understand.
     
  7. jayjackson

    jayjackson New Member

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    at a 7.5 the bend of the frets are high enough that when a string is bent the angle of the string to the fret moves up and the curve of the fret is higher each fret above it so the string touches the fret and makes it stop vibrateing or makes it buzz. Its known as fretting out on a Bend. Now most players don't do extreem bends at the first 4 frets the string hight is the same as long as the nut and bridge are also at the same radius as the frets. to measure the radius of a compound to set the bridge it is at the 7th fret
     
  8. DRF

    DRF Member

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    I dunno, some people like compound...but also some like fanned fret. Classical guitars are flat and look at the chords they do, shredders like a flatter radius but many of the highest calibre players go vintage and some of those are 7-10in radius. I like 12 it's a good middle of the road and many bridges have that radius. 16 sounds okay too. I think string spacing, fret scale, action, finish on neck and fret detail are first to be considered.
     
  9. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    what has been said in this thread is accurate. just wanted to point out that compound itself doesn't make it hard to bend w/o fretting out... but a 7.5" radius does. if you went compound from 10-16 for instance, you wouldn't have this issue (isn't that was stew mac sells anyway?). I have a 7.5 that I love and as mentioned, if you want the action low like i do big bends will fret out. that said - the feel is outstanding! makes the neck 'feel' really thin as it technically IS thinner at the high/low e. I also have a guitar with no radius... different feel but I love it. if you want low action a zero radius will be the best... that said it is actually tuff to bend on! doesn't fret out... just takes more strength.
     
  10. Whisky Jack

    Whisky Jack New Member

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    Thanks jayjackson!
     
  11. Whisky Jack

    Whisky Jack New Member

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    Thanks DRF! I will pay close attention to the things you mentioned.
     
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  12. Whisky Jack

    Whisky Jack New Member

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    Thanks mistermikev! You win the "Knowing Parts Supplier's Inventory" award! Yes, Stew-Macs compound radius fingerboards in 25 1/2 inch scale are 10 "radius at the nut. 14 1/2" radius at the 22nd fret. And 16" radius at the bridge. So there shouldn't be any problem with fret buzz, if I pay close attention to string height and spacing, fret height and spacing, and other aforementioned details. (?) This is a project that I am taking very slowly. Because I want it planned out exactly. And done precisely. As a matter of fact, I received advice from you on a post a year or so ago, about my plan to use two sets of pickups. So thanks again. This pic may remind you of my one piece Jatoba wood project. (My rough cut)
     

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  13. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    snap - I win I win!!!!!! thank you. ahh yes... the 1 pc guitar. chop chop I wanna see some finished pics!
     
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