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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How to multiradius fret dress a fixed radius fretboard (ibanez JS satch tech style)?

Who can give me some advice on multiradius dressing frets on a fixed radius fretboard? I don't like the necessary high action on 250mm vintage fender style necks such as my JS necks to keep bends clean in high registers. I've read some techs do it from 12th to 22th fret, but I have no clue as how to keep control of a gradual step by step flattening over the course of 10 frets. Satriani's setup goes something from a 10" to an 11", meaning:

fret 12: 10.0"

fret 13: 10.1"

fret 14: 10.2"

fret 15: 10.3"
...

fret 22: 11.0"

-> jup, I'm puzzled. the corners of the frets are not touched but the bump from the center until the corner goes gradually flatter.

ref from joe's tech in SF: http://www.satriani.com/satch_frames/guitar_shop/frets_fingerboard.html
 

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I'm willing to bet that some type of fancy shmancy machine or tools are utilized, which are beyond the reach of us mere mortals unless the requisite coin is paid.
 

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Using a leveling bar you'd just use pressure from the mid to end of the neck and angle stroke keeping it centered at the nut rolling to near the edges at the 22nd. It used to always say he wanted that 9" radius under the E strings and the compound started inside them. It's all a contradiction anyway as Ibanez has always cut the necks to 250mm which is closer to 10" to begin with and the nut is 250mm so the first fret needs to be 250mm to get correct action in the first few frets.

That page is probably 25 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hoped you'd chime in Rich 😉 being a JS lover. Thanks. that article is indeed very old, but I am surprised to find so little about this. A lot of people thought the JS was multiradius but that reflected the back of the neck, not the fretboard. I couldn't imagine joe with his 250mm, indeed 9.85" fixed radius having the necessary high action to keep bends clean and even reverse trem pulls not chocking out. This article is the only thing I could find on this setup. I asume it is still correct then? Odd the js just does not come with a multiradius fretboard... I think it might feel odd the have taller fretspace near the edges compared to the center.

A bit hard to exactly imagine what you mean but I'm getting a visual. I made a drawing:

https://ibb.co/bKx2DmH

Looking at the drawing, to rephrase if you don't mind: So you put a leveling beam over the full length of the neck between the D and G string, with your left hand you hold the left tip of the beam centered at the nut. with the right hand you grab the right half of the beam to put pressure on the beam fret 10->22. with the right hand you stroke perpendicular to the strings up and down. Is that correct?

Some additional questions:
- if you don't surpass the edges of the 22th fret with the file, then only the center zone of let's say fret 12 meets the beam. But you need to cover the whole fret or you will have a center flat plateau. On the other hand you don't want to surpass the edges of fret 22 because then you will start taking too much material of the edges of the higher frets. How do you handle that?
-How do you measure how far along you are? I have radius gauges.
-How much will be nocked of at fret 22 in the center? (in my drawing I mention a gradual knock off in the center going from 0.1 to 1.0mm as an example. Witch 0 knock off at the edges all along)

Thanks for having a closer look 😉
 

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Reading that made my head hurt. But you diagram is close enough. This isn't something you overthink, you just do, and gradually, checking the progress with your radius gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haha sorry. I have the same trouble with the supercondensed all in 1 sentences you use to write 😉 but I do get the performance of that.

ok, I better find some junk necks to learn the technique.

Thanks again for reading through.
 

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My personal? Or sales? Not a chance, you can big bend 1.2mm action without problem with the stock radius. But I don't set the low side as low as Joe does, too many would complain of too much buzz. You have to understand his guitars are bumble bees of wound string buzz. Listen to him play Groove Thing on the Satch Tapes where you can hear the guitar itself near as loud as the tiny amp he's got it plugged in to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can get my RG's/jems like that after a setup with fret dress (thx to your website 20j back actually!). But my JS1 and 1200... nopes... bends choke. maybe I have to revisit your pages once more, it's been long ago.

I don't mind a some buzz on the woundeds anymore. used to be anal about that. comes along with the kind of low action we are talking about I guess, unless you play butterflylight.
 

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If you're taking the wounds as low as the highs then you will start to get reduction in sustain, choking is dying, a little reduction is expected. If you have too much neck relief you will get choking. The lower the action the straighter the neck has to be so you need just the slightest relief or straight if you go 1.2 even across, and you still may get a little loss of sustain the bigger the bend. Whole steps shouldn't but 3-5 and you're pushing it's limits. Considering the level has to be perfect.

Notice he doesn't do the rolloff every other tech would be talking about it needing, and I've never believed in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thx for the input Rich. Maybe I keep hair too much relief on the js's although I normaly keep only the subtlest relief.

what do you mean by "he" and "rolloff" here?:
Notice he doesn't do the rolloff every other tech would be talking about it needing, and I've never believed in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
oh, that's odd because I wondered about exactly that during last fret dresses I did. the thaught started at the last fret. how can I check if it is too high with a fret rocker, since there is no next fret that stops my rocker. wel I doesn't matter if I file the last fret a bit too low because there is no next one anyway. that is one buzzless fret for free! but wait... why not extend this further? thus the rolloff you talk about!

If a neck would make a perfect bow till the last fret, and mounted to the body under the correct angle, all should be well I guess?

where do you aim, if the neck allows it, for the deepest point in the bow of a neck? halfway at the 12th and maybe flat from there onwards, or the last one? which might make you decide to shim the neck...
 
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