Anyone have any experience with the compound radius Fender necks?
I love the sound of the Fenders but have always fought the 9.5" radius. The Deluxes come with a 9.5" to 14" compound radius which is closer to the 16" that a lot of us are accustomed to.
Anyone have any hands on with the compound radius neck? Is it easier to play in the upper registers due to the larger radius?
I am looking at the HSS due to the versatility as my playing will be taking a bit of a style turn.
I had a Deluxe with compound radius and while it does have the rounder 9.5" inch radius near the headstock, the flatter radius on higher frets makes it easier to play and bend on. It's not a Wizard neck, but compared to the longtime standard 7.25" in super round neck, the compound radius from Fender is a huge improvement over its old counterpart. Some people like the old 7.25"inch Fender for its vintage feel and I switch over in what I play and how I play it when I move onto an old Fender radius.
If you take the Deluxe for what it is, faster and hotter than original, then you will appreciate it. I remember being at GC and the salesman was trying to tell me how Fender was making something close to the Jacksons and Ibanezes in terms of shredability, but that was the wrong approach. The Deluxe does use hotter ceramic pickups and that brings in more midrange and sharp attack but they are not DiMarzio humbuckers. Some of the very latest Deluxe models have the warmer, more vintage sounding alnico magnets and that will give it more of an old Fender sound, and less of the Jackson and Ibanez tonalities. Alnico has better cleans, imho, but the ceramic is usually better when it comes to shredding if you are talking single coils or single coil space pickups with narrower field. Some shredders will only use the full sized humbucker, and while the softer alnico, should be OK for stuff up to hard rock but not stuff that needs complete command of single not passages. We all know, or should, that stuff like EMG 81 or ceramic mag Evos tend to get that sound down. Again if you take the current alnico Deluxe humbucker and put it up against a Seth Lover, then it will sound like a shredder, but don't put up virtually any alnico humbucker and expect it to sound like the Evo simply because it's on the Deluxe which is an expensive instrument.
The low action on the Deluxe still cannot be dialed down to the lowness of a full 12" or 16" inch radius neck because the parts of the 9.5" inch neck will still feel high. If you lower the action too much on the Deluxe it will choke out on those first few frets if you bend. It's not a guitar that many use to shred with and put down a super low action made for two hand tapping. For that get an RG or Solosist with a flatter neck radius.
But for an all around guitar playing well within a wide range of styles, the Deluxe is a great guitar. It's just not designed as a metal shredder like many here are into. Mine did have a full sized humbucker in lead position (a few do) and it was a pretty fast shredder but didn't keep up all the way up and down the neck like my Charvel with two full sized humbuckers and Kahler trem. The Deluxe was not designed that way, and that's what I hope RG users know from the get to, and really wants to keep the overall feel as close to the original Fender Stratocaster of 1954 which has more than enough fans.