Fretboard Radius - Jemsite
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-18-2015, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Fretboard Radius

Decided to start another project guitar and probably going through warmoth for the neck. I don't think I've ever played a guitar with a compound radius, but I'm thinking about giving it a go oh this one. Is there any reason not to go with a compound radius?
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-18-2015, 01:02 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

Not unless you prefer a much flatter radius at the nut, too. It gives you more comfortable chording in the lower registers, while allowing lower action without choking further up the neck. I dig the hell out of them.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-18-2015, 01:20 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

I could not play a strat comfortably until I went with the deluxe strat that had a compound radius. Fast on the higher frets but nice to chord with. I say Yes!!!
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-18-2015, 05:40 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

That's literally my only regret with my Strat - well, one of two related, I guess. I wish it had jumbo frets (instead of medium jumbo), and I wish it had a compound radius. I'd just pay someone to re-radius it, but considering it's a vintage-tint clear over a maple board, that might be a little tricky.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-18-2015, 06:32 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

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Originally Posted by elcid View Post
Is there any reason not to go with a compound radius?
None. Compound radius necks are great.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-18-2015, 11:36 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

The cool thing for me about a compound radius is that I DON'T notice it as I'm playing. There's no major difference in the feel of the neck when you first jump on it, but playing a lot of stuff seems to requires a lot less effort. It's hard to explain, but my playing seems to flow better on a compound radius than a flat 16" or 17".

I also have to say that I DO feel it when I switch back to an Ibanez with a straight 17". If your still going to be playing your straight radius guitars I wouldn't order anything too far away from what your used to playing. For me, the 14"-16" compound on the Jackson is the easiest when switching guitars back and forth. I think it would be a lot harder to go from, say 9"-12" compound, then jump onto a wizard. That would be pretty tough.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 07:39 AM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

I have a Warmoth Strat I'm putting together as well. I have the body already (picked up a showcase body when they had a 20% off sale at the beginning of May) and am getting ready to order the neck. I'm going with their 10-16" "Warmoth Pro" neck as well.

The only thing that slightly worries me about it is leveling the frets. I know they say it's no different than any other level, but that seems like BS. On a straight radius neck, you would just level axially on board where with this, you have to follow some theoretical cone shape. Not sure how an average person does that?
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 10:00 AM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

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Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
The only thing that slightly worries me about it is leveling the frets. I know they say it's no different than any other level, but that seems like BS. On a straight radius neck, you would just level axially on board where with this, you have to follow some theoretical cone shape. Not sure how an average person does that?
It isn't any different than the regular leveling, really. On a straight radius neck, if you level axially with small perpendicular steps in between every axial movement, you are introducing a very slight compound radius affect as well.

What I have is a granite counter cut off enough to cover the whole fretboard length and I only use its weight to level the necks. Having the beam long enough to cover the whole length helps a lot as you can sand a whole axial length of fret board in one pass. Having the beam thin enough that you're not sanding a wide section is the second thing that helps with it. I know people also level with thin 24" "flooring" levels but I wasn't able to find one good enough when I was looking for one.

We live close enough, so you're more than welcome if you'd like to stop by and try it if you prefer. I have 4 boards (10"-14" comp. radii) fretted and ready to be leveled and you can try on one before yours get here as well.

I went dumpster diving at Counter Intelligence across from Walter Reed Annex in Silver Spring before they closed/moved, so I have enough "leveling beams" that I don't have to change grits between progressions.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 10:30 AM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

You're assuming that I actually have any ability at leveling frets

My concern was more in the finding someone who could do it. But yeah, thanks for the offer. I'd definitely be interested in seeing how you do it. I've heard very so-so things about Warmoth's fretwork so I'm thinking that this neck might need some work before it's ready to go.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fretboard Radius

Thanks guys. I just ordered my neck, I'm working on a bit of an odd project but it won't be too expensive. I'm making a '49 snakehead/esquier hybrid. So it will be a very old looking guitar with Dunlop 6105s and a 10-16" compound radius, and a D. Allen triple play pickup which I found pretty impressive in the demo videos, kind of what inspired me to do this build, using a pine Squier CV body.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 02:12 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
You're assuming that I actually have any ability at leveling frets

My concern was more in the finding someone who could do it. But yeah, thanks for the offer. I'd definitely be interested in seeing how you do it. I've heard very so-so things about Warmoth's fretwork so I'm thinking that this neck might need some work before it's ready to go.
LOL. Really, nothing to it. If I can do it, you definitely can. Let me know when you can stop by (before/after getting the neck) and we can do it. I work from home so I'm mostly free other than meeting days (Wed-Thu right now) during the week as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elcid View Post
Thanks guys. I just ordered my neck, I'm working on a bit of an odd project but it won't be too expensive. I'm making a '49 snakehead/esquier hybrid. So it will be a very old looking guitar with Dunlop 6105s and a 10-16" compound radius, and a D. Allen triple play pickup which I found pretty impressive in the demo videos, kind of what inspired me to do this build, using a pine Squier CV body.
Sounds like quite a nice guitar, will you put up a thread for it? If it is coming fretted from Warmoth, I think it will be their own 6105 (manufactured by Jescar) which is slightly different than Dunlop 6105s though.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fretboard Radius

Yeah they are fretting it, I assumed 6105 was a Dunlop code. I think my Strat has Jescar frets, but not 6105s. I will probably just do an NGD thread since it's more just assembling parts than a real build. It's 8-10 weeks until I'll have the neck, but I have just about all the other parts. They had a compound radius Snakehead neck in stock , but I went with the Warmoth Pro construction because I hate having to take the neck off to adjust the truss rod, and I wanted the dual action truss rod. Giving an Earvana nut a try to for the first time, and a Satin vintage tint finish
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 02:33 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

FYI, 6105 is "medium jumbo" and not "jumbo," which is 6100. I built a Warmoth a while back, and after planning it out carefully, accidentally checked the 6105-equivalent stainless box rather than the 6100 I'd wanted. Didn't realize my mistake until the neck showed up. As it happened, I got along with them well enough since they're essentially what Fender had used on my Strat, but I'd have preferred something a hair bigger.

I also didn't bother to level the frets when the neck showed up - action was fine right out of the box, so I think they, despite all Warmoth's disclaimers about bringing them to a tech for a level, were pretty good right out of the box.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 03:17 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

Quote:
Originally Posted by elcid View Post
Yeah they are fretting it, I assumed 6105 was a Dunlop code. I think my Strat has Jescar frets, but not 6105s. I will probably just do an NGD thread since it's more just assembling parts than a real build. It's 8-10 weeks until I'll have the neck, but I have just about all the other parts. They had a compound radius Snakehead neck in stock , but I went with the Warmoth Pro construction because I hate having to take the neck off to adjust the truss rod, and I wanted the dual action truss rod. Giving an Earvana nut a try to for the first time, and a Satin vintage tint finish
They source their frets to Jescar and 6105 is what comes with MIJ JS (and I believe JEMs as well), "vintage tall and thin" with .45" x .095" dimensions if I remember correctly. I think it shouldn't be far off from the Teles I remember you having.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 11:48 PM
 
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Re: Fretboard Radius

My plan was to get the neck with stainless 6105 frets as well. I like those on the JS and (modern) Jem. Drew, just curious why do you feel you like the jumbo (6100) more? My favorite guitars all have jumbo but I feel like I'd enjoy them as much or more with 6105.
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