A question about Neck Radius and Fret Size.

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,812
NW LA
It seems the most "Popular" Fender Neck Radius nowadays is 9.5" (notes won't choke out when you bend them as much as they will with a 7.25" Radius) , and the most "Popular" Fender Fret Size is the Medium Jumbo (they are said to provide a great balance between fast playability and ease of bending).

So how did all those great Fender players back in the 50's/60's/70's play so great with a 7.25" Neck Radius and Vintage Frets?

Popular ≠ only

That's how.
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,812
NW LA
.

Marketing fads. Check out these features that came and went:

Fretless guitars
Fanned frets
Baritones
7, 8, 9 string guitars
'great taste less filling'

Up until PRS and the Mayer Strat, every forum post was how to fix their 7.25 radius so they didn't choke out on note bends. After the Strat like thing with a tight fretboad radius marketing game convinced weak willed players they needed the same thing.

Try some skinny necks, a lot of those skinny necks, before you convince yourself you need one. Those other faddish guitars are hard to re sell, unless you can locate another curious buyer...

.

Multi scale guitars didn't come and go. They're just as popular as ever. Thousands of guitar players play on them daily. You see them in a lot metal bands these days.

If they were a fad that came & went, everybody would've all have moved back to 6 strings. Baritone guitars weren't a fad either. When was there ever a time when everybody switched to baritone and then back to reg length guitars?

7/8/9 strings go with multi scale guitars. Again, they're played by thousands upon thousands daily. Some of the biggest metal bands in the planet have been using 7+ multi scale strings for 15 years or more by now. Just, because you don't keep up with it doesn't make it a fad.
 
Last edited:

mattier303

Strat-Talker
Apr 28, 2012
235
new mexico
I’ve found a 7.25” need to be setup very well.
I’ve struggled with some 7.25” early on in my playing that I just couldn’t gel with. I prefer 10-12” myself. med-jumbo Frets although I find fret material and quality trump size.
 

Danny D

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 2, 2019
1,256
The swampy desert.
M
Many of them had their guitars reradiused, new frets, etc. Others just played because they didn't know better or have the options we do now.

Let's not go down the rabbit hole of "Jimi and Dave played these, this must be great."

There's a plethora of reasons why and there's a reason we have so many options today. Things change, usually for the better.

We used to have drum brakes and carburetors, coal heating, etc. Now we don't. Things change.
My grandfather had to kick his mule before it would carry the water from the well.
 

JDug

Strat-O-Master
Sep 18, 2020
929
New Jersey USA
To me, 9.5 to 7.25, I barely notice any difference at all.

My AV 59 was so easy to do bends on. 7.25” and vintage style frets, I don’t get it….

Vintage style frets are so nice, they’re barely even there, and they’re out of your way, so easy to play on versus jumbos, I gotta work harder with those.
 

Ronkirn

Strat-Talker
May 26, 2006
118
Jacksonville, FL
how did all those great Fender players back in the 50's/60's/70's play so great with a 7.25" Neck Radius and Vintage Frets?
they didn't .. what they did was warp into the future with H.G;'s time machine.. record their music, on analogue gear of course, warp back and have 'em pressed into vinyl... it was easy... I mean. like what's the quandary?
 

Miotch

Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 28, 2011
5,529
ok
My personal guitars are probably all 7.5s, 9.5s, or 10s. And I don't really notice when playing them.

But I guess if I ordered a new neck, I probably would go with medium jumbo and 10" radius. Not that it will make me play any better. But if I'm going to order something to play, why not get what I think "might" be the best fit for me ??

It's kind of moot, though. The chances of me ordering a custom neck is Slim to None, and Slim left town.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
May 20, 2020
7,348
Sante Fe, NM
It seems the most "Popular" Fender Neck Radius nowadays is 9.5" (notes won't choke out when you bend them as much as they will with a 7.25" Radius) , and the most "Popular" Fender Fret Size is the Medium Jumbo (they are said to provide a great balance between fast playability and ease of bending).

So how did all those great Fender players back in the 50's/60's/70's play so great with a 7.25" Neck Radius and Vintage Frets?
If you set up a neck with a 7.25” radius correctly it will not choke out. This great players used those guitars because they were great guitars too. The medium jumbo fret size is more common now, but it is no better or worse than the smaller vintage type wire we use on most of our refrets. It’s just different.

Also, I think a 12” radius is currently the most popular fret board radius. We use a 16” radius on our acoustic guitars. Jimmy herring uses a 19” radius.
 

AngelDeVille

Senior Stratmaster
Jul 25, 2017
1,875
ABQ
Having owned a 58 , 63 and 66 Strat , everything above 7.25 doesn't feel right for me.
I have a Strat with 9.5 but always pick up the 7.25 , it feels like home .

my #1&2&3 geetars are 12” radius, with various fret types.

9.5” isn’t terribly noticeable of a difference, but 7.25” is somewhat refreshing.

I don’t notice any choking out on bends…

I’m wondering if the 7.25” geetar isn’t creeping into the #2 or #3 spot….

I do have a compound radius 10”-16” warmoth neck and it’s kinda weird…
 

Digiplay

Strat-O-Master
Feb 29, 2020
556
Birmingham, Alabama
my #1&2&3 geetars are 12” radius, with various fret types.

9.5” isn’t terribly noticeable of a difference, but 7.25” is somewhat refreshing.

I don’t notice any choking out on bends…

I’m wondering if the 7.25” geetar isn’t creeping into the #2 or #3 spot….

I do have a compound radius 10”-16” warmoth neck and it’s kinda weird…
Breaking News:

I hope all of you know that I didn't start this Thread to have a "fight" among ANY of us :)

It's obvious the answer to my original question is that guitar players like and can play 7.25"/9.5"/10"/12"/Radius Necks, so it boils down to what you like, and in the 50's/60's/70's, the 7.25"/Vintage Frets is what they usually had on Strats, so these guys just played what they had, and probably thought of other things when playing.


As an aside:

The Classic Player '60's Strat has a 12" Radius, and I'm curious how many of you like/dislike it compared to a smaller Radius?



And now, back to our Regular Scheduled Programing!
 

Intune

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 14, 2021
6,786
Edmonton, Alberta
I was going back and worth last night between a 7.25 and 9.5. The 7.25 had vintage frets and the 9.5 has narrow/tall maybe 6105 frets.

Both are set up very similar with low action. The only difference for me, I felt like a could dig in a little more with the taller frets. Not that I couldn’t with the other one it just seemed to rattle a bit more. It’s like with the smaller frets, rounded radius, you have to be a bit more precise when fretting. Still takes a second to give a little lighter touch and not so aggressive and it’s awesome.

That for me is the only real difference. Just felt I could play a little more aggressively with the 9.5 and bigger frets without causing any rattling.
 


Top