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7.25 vs 9.5 - a new angle (no pun intended)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by vcmdooq, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. Irondog

    Irondog Tele-Meister

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    I just got a Road worn 50s tele with 7.25 inch radius, 1st time playing 7.25. I love bending, I was fretting out almost every bend, Soloing and fast playing definitely more difficult. it's playable it just feels a bit limiting, I might be able to raise the action to an annoying level, but, I've already ordered a Warmoth, 10 to 16 compound radius.

    for the 7.25 the Minor barre chord shape is slightly easier to grab quickly,
    and I noticed Thumb over low E is easier but not by much.

    the more modern fretboard designs seem to allow much wider range of music style and technique to be played more easily.
    but each musicians hand comfort and particular songs/ techniques certainly can make 7.25 a more comfortable choice... it's nice to have the choice.

    I think 7.25 inches is slowly fading away into the background... very few guitar manufacturers offer it for a reason. it's hard to find wooden spoked car wheels they offer less performance/flexibility, even though they were clever at one time.
    generally professional musicians keep a strong tally of the pros and cons of each component,, and complain or collaborate with Fender. I would like to minimize these negative attributes... I would like to maximize these positive attributes.... and so you have modern guitar neck design that offers more performance more flexibility. it can still play most of the old ways and it can play in newer ways.

    musicians and artists are tenacious we can force most things to work. It reminds me of track and field events where the runners wear high heels they re surprisingly fast, after they practice for a few weeks. 7.25 reminds me of high heels on the track. you can make it work but why.:);):D:lol:
     
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  2. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

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    My three Fenders are 9.5

    My other guitars, even flatter.
     
  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Higher action produces better tone
    IMO ...
     
  4. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I never thought about fret radius through my acoustic guitar years....

    then I got a nice Strat that felt a lot easier to play... still not thinking about a slight radius change because the action was lower and slinkier anyway...

    then I got my first tele which was an '83 (12" rad.) and it felt as slippery as a goose and I started bending notes all over the place.... still never thought/knew it was a radius difference...:rolleyes:

    I like that neck..:)

    the first jam, that Tele seemed to know all the songs, too..like it had been there long before me..o_O:D:cool:
     
  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I’ve not run across many others who say this, but I agree. Going just s but higher allows me to play slide and standard on all my guitars.
     
  6. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    it really does depend on the guitar, my 60's mustang 7.5" didn't fret out with a great action but a lot of vintera's i have tried did with a 7.5" a tele that looks classic with a 12" is my dream
     
  7. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    All this makes me wonder what action some of you guys have on your 7.25 necks

    You’ll never get shredder action but you should definitely be able to have comfortable action

    I also haven’t played 9’s or 10’s for probably close to 15 years so maybe that’s why I think it’s not a problem
     
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  8. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    There's no discernable difference between the action on my 7 1/4" and 9 1/2" guitars. I'm not obsessed by measurements, because I never use them.
     
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  9. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool

    I don’t think there’s any reason to hike up your action between a 7.25 and 9.5

    So you’ve confirmed I’m not crazy by having the same exact setup on both without problems
     
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  10. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I've been playing 7 1/4" since the 1970s, the biggest difference to 9 1/2" is the fret size.
     
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  11. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    I think 7.25 benefits from vintage frets, they seem to bond together well. I like the 7.25 radius on Teles, but then again i play electrics with high action.

    If someone wants low action, i would go 9.5. It is much easier for a 9.5 guitar to play perfectly with no buzzes and low action, and to stay that way as frets wear off, the instrument ages, etc..
     
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  12. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Along the lines of Beagle above - it's really about where you like the setup and I too just set them up and play ... never thought to compare them so here's the surprise:

    7.25" Rad Treble side 1.5mm Bass side 2.25mm
    9.5" Rad Treble side 2.0mm Bass side 2.5 mm .... so go figure that one - but they work for me.

    However, I think the above need further qualifying:
    The 7.25" is an AV64, 42mm @ nut width, 21 frets, Mid 60s, Vintage frets ... and the neck relief is 0.5mm.
    The 9.5" is Am. Std, 42.8mm @ nut width, 22 frets, Med C, Med Jumbo frets ... and neck relief 0.75mm!

    Edit ... Hybrid strings on both ...

    Whether or not two different necks (other than the radius) affects things - common sense says yes, but I've really no idea.
    ie. imo, it's way more than just about string height.

    Plus, for the record, I'm firmly in the camp of "7.25" rad = choking/fretting out issue" is a myth.
    Take a standard like Hideaway "a la Clapton" ... double-stop bends, half bends, full bends even a 1 1/2 bend all over the fretboard ... no problem .... BUT ...

    What I do have issue with on a 7.25" rad, in a tune like Hideaway, is when needing to do a double stop across the E & B strings at Fret 12 .... I can, more times than I like, end up just muting rather than fretting the E .... undoubtedly my poor technique all these years ... but, at my age .... :rolleyes:
     
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  13. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    All my guitars have 8-38s and will hold a 2mm JD Stubby plectrum between the string and the last fret, that's as close as I get to measuring anything.
     
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  14. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    In my case, I PREFER a tad higher action when bending. I also prefer a tad higher action on a glossy maple fingerboard. This being said, I typically try to keep my actions low without buzzing.

    I believe the reason for my preferences is I don't really like glossy maple fingerboards. My fat, flabby fingertips take up allotta real estate. They create friction both with slides and bends that I don't get from rosewood. Even ebony creates a little more friction.

    Another issue I have with bends is getting enough purchase on the string to bend it without it slipping back under the pad of my finger. So if I use a little more force, the fingerboard friction comes into play. So, a slightly higher action seems to help ME with purchase on the string - especially big bends.

    So......... Results will vary. You can't measure some of this stuff - it comes down to feel and technique. Hand position, anatomy, technique, string gauge, and fret height likely play a bigger role than action height. In my opinion it all comes down to feel because I don't play with gauges, I play with fingers.

    Along those lines, I set up all my guitars myself. Even with pickup heights and neck relief, I never use gauges - it is all done by eye, ear, and feel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  15. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    I like 9.5 radius. Its what I feel comfortable with. I've had many 7.25 and I'm always trying to get it to feel like a 9.5. But it doesn't. I'm not going to tell the 7.25 crowd that they can't get equally low action on their guitars for their purposes. Cause I don't care. If it works for them great. It doesn't work for what I want. I don't like vintage frets either. It may have been good enough for clapton or hendrix or whoever but its not good enough for "ME".
    I can appreciate that different people like different things. Music is an art, guitar is the tool we use to express ourselves in that art. So we should all be happy with the specs we choose.
     
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Does anyone make a hybrid 7-10 inch radius neck? I know flatter ones are common like 9-14".
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I haven't had a 7.5 radius fretboard in so long I have no idea how good or bad they are.
    I've always wondered how the physics of a smaller radius board "fretting out" occurs. Doesn't seem to make sense to me.
    -When you stretch a string, it is still in single point contact with a fret.
    -The string does lay less perpendicular to the fret when stretched, more diagonally across the adjacent frets.
    -But with a smaller radius fret, the adjacent fret curves away from the string faster than with a flat fret.. so why would it fret out more?
     
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  18. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Shhh! This is the interwebs... :p
     
  19. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It depends where you are on the neck. If you are on the treble side, the frets curve up faster. If you are on the bass side, they curve away faster.
     
  20. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I went away to make a sketch and figured out why:
    The bridge radius is the same as the neck radius. (usually) So when you bend a string on a smaller radius neck, the string is anchored at a lower point at the bridge and you are bending it to a higher point on the fret. (if ending a treble string up toward center) At some point along the string, it is near to a higher fret in between than where it is anchored at the bridge when stretched. I think!

    Oh well, carry on gentlemen, sorry for the side road. I'm still not sure.
     
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