A few questions about 7.25" necks

AtlanticCity83

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Hi,

I own a 50s Classic Tele with a 7.25" neck/vintage frets.

A few days ago I reveived the guitar back after a setup (including fret-job). I'd like to know your setups...

Action:
Low E string 2.2mm, high e' string is 2mm - measured @ 12th fret.

Neck relief is (measured on high e' and D string, Capo at 1st fret and string laying on 17th fret) 0.5mm at 8th fret. Is this a common relief? I checked on low E string where the relief is approx. 0.75mm.

When I bend the high e' string a full step at the 15th fret, the note's choking. So I nearly can bend a full step. A smaller relief or a lower action results in buzzing.

Sure, back in the 50s when those 7.25" Telecasters came out, guitarists used to play different.

Is there a bigger problem with the neck itself or is it just a common setup on a 7.25" guitar? I don't have that much experience with such guitars. The guitar itself feels and plays good but I've read about much lower actions and smaller neck reliefs so I'm a bit confused...


Thanks anyway and have a great day!
 

Fenderbaum

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Strings fretting out on 7.25" is common. Relief have little to say about this because tussrod have no effect on the frets up there where the neck is mounted
Some necks magically does not have them, probably due to a sharp fall-away from 12" fret and out.
But going for a low action on them, you are mostly certain fret-outs will occur.
The flatter the radius, the less problem you will have with it.
back in th 50´s, bending was not a thing then.
 

kinkstah

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Assuming frets are properly dressed, I think that what you need is (way) less relief (a 0.5 mm clearance at 8th fret seems huge to me, but to each is own), then you may set up the action (bridge saddles height) as desired.
In my experience, too much relief calls for excessively lowered saddles -leading to insufficient clearance for a fretted string to vibrate freely up the neck (hence buzz, and fretting out).
I only own 7.25" Teles, set with a rather medium string action (approx. 1,9 mm low E / 1.6mm high e, @ 12th fret), none frets out when bending a full step in the upper registers (12th-21st fret). There might be, eventually (picking hard), a slight acoustic buzz when bending a 1.5 step, but not audible through the amp. Neck relief is minimal (eyeballing it, i'd say it's barely 0.1 mm).
That being said, 7.25" requires some trade-offs and don't allow ultra low action, compared to flatter radiuses (and depending of your playing style). I still do think they can be set to play comfortably without noticeable fretting out.
 

kinkstah

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Maybe this setup is the best I can have on this specific guitar, could that be?
Mmm. I think there is room for improvement, understanding your guitar recently had a proper fret job (i.e. frets leveled).
Based on the measurements you provided, the relief (0.5 / 0.75 mm, measured with capo on 1st fret and fretted at 17th) is in any case very high, even higher than what Fender advises (0.3 mm). Unless you specifically want your neck bowed that way, so that it fits better with your liking/playing style (we all have our preferences), it's not really surprising that getting the action at around 2 mm (which is not low action) induces buzz/fretting out.
I don't know how familiar you are with setup, but you may find very good info on TDPRI about this very topic (and how to do it), and how to get the better out of your Tele, according to your preferences (relief, action).
My advice would be, first, to straighten the neck a bit. Go gently on the truss rod (one 1/4 turn clockwise at a time, then put the neck back on, tune and check. Repeat if necessary, it's an iterative process) then, secondly, to raise the saddles accordingly (to keep the action where you like it). Hope this helps.
 
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-Hawk-

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I just happened to set up one with a 60’s series neck yesterday after I swapped pickups and saddles. For reference, I leveled and crowned the frets about a year ago.

Relief was the standard .010 inches. Sorry, not sure what the metric conversion is there.

Action ranged between 1.75 and 2mm and it was both buzz free and bent without choking. Plays very nice.
 

bottlenecker

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I just happened to set up one with a 60’s series neck yesterday after I swapped pickups and saddles. For reference, I leveled and crowned the frets about a year ago.

Relief was the standard .010 inches. Sorry, not sure what the metric conversion is there.

Action ranged between 1.75 and 2mm and it was both buzz free and bent without choking. Plays very nice.

.01" x 25.4 = .254mm
 

AtlanticCity83

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Thank you very much.
I think I'll tighten the neck and then raise the saddles. Hope this helps. Otherwise it's a sh***y fret job the luthier did and I don't think so as my Std Squier Strat now plays fantastic after he levelled the frets.
 

takauya

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People on net forums talk about 7.25" radius causes fretting out blah blah, and I'm pretty sure they have never touched a 7.25" neck. Unless you set the action way low like jazz guys would, there shouldn't be a problem just by bending whole step at any positions. And, your action is on the higher side with too much relief. It's fair to say the guy who did the job messed up your guitar.
 

Wallaby

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I'd work to get relief in the .05 inch range and action at about 1/16 inch at the 12th fret and see how it goes with bending.

You might try using a straight edge instead of a capo'd string for the relief measurement, with the guitar in playing position. The .5 mm written in the OP seems off IMO.
 

teletail

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People on net forums talk about 7.25" radius causes fretting out blah blah, and I'm pretty sure they have never touched a 7.25" neck. Unless you set the action way low like jazz guys would, there shouldn't be a problem just by bending whole step at any positions. And, your action is on the higher side with too much relief. It's fair to say the guy who did the job messed up your guitar.
+1

I have several 7.25” teles, including my number one and never had any issues with low action.
 

AtlanticCity83

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Ok, well here's what I'm gonna do...

The luthier did the fretjob so that should be fine if he did a good job.
I'll straighten the neck by turning the trussrod 1/4 clockwise and wait ca 24 hours. Then I check the neck relief again and go for Fender's recommended relief. In case of buzz, I'll raise the bridge saddles a bit and I hope this does the trick...!

Is there a possibility to adjust the trussrod without putting off the neck?
 

kuch

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Ok, well here's what I'm gonna do...

The luthier did the fretjob so that should be fine if he did a good job.
I'll straighten the neck by turning the trussrod 1/4 clockwise and wait ca 24 hours. Then I check the neck relief again and go for Fender's recommended relief. In case of buzz, I'll raise the bridge saddles a bit and I hope this does the trick...!

Is there a possibility to adjust the trussrod without putting off the neck?
Hey AC83,

I'm surprised that you didn't play the guitar at the shop after the luthier did the fret job and set up. If I took my guitar to a luthier and paid him to do the work, I would make sure that he set it up the way I wanted before paying and taking it home. Just my thoughts.....

See the attached "guide" from fender for setting up their Tele's:
 

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Wallaby

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I have a tool called a "Tele Crank" to adjust a heel-adjust truss rod, there are also small right-angle screwdrivers. Paint can openers will work in a pinch too.
 

Boreas

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I assume this was not happening before the refret?? Personally, I would not assume the fret job was perfect. Frets can shift after being set, especially if they were not glued in or too loose in the slot. I would "map" out the neck and find which fret positions choke and which do not. Take it back to the luthier with this information and let him figure it out. It wouldn't be the first full fret job that didn't need tweaking! 😲 He may have omitted fall-away (not every one does it, or does it right), or there simply may be a fret or two that have crown issues or are loose. A tight radius neck does not automatically mean it WILL choke-out, but they are a little more reliant on a good fret job and a good setup. Not quite as forgiving as other brands and radii.
 

AtlanticCity83

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Before the fretjob the action was even higher. I assume I can feel that the frets now are levelled - at least it's just a feeling. I will check out what happen when the neck has been straightened and the bridge saddles have been set up.

Otherwise I should look for another luthier...
Strange, he always did great jobs on all my guitars.
 

AtlanticCity83

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A little update:
I have tightened the trussrod and the action is now 2.0mm and 1.75mm, relief is around 0.4 - 0.5mm. For now I leave the guitar in its bag and measure again tomorrow evening.
The choking didn't get worse so I hope I can lower the action a bit by straighten the neck so there's enough room to raise the saddles without ending up with an action which is too high.
 

Boreas

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Before the fretjob the action was even higher. I assume I can feel that the frets now are levelled - at least it's just a feeling. I will check out what happen when the neck has been straightened and the bridge saddles have been set up.

Otherwise I should look for another luthier...
Strange, he always did great jobs on all my guitars.

I believe this is exactly WHY you should return it to him to diagnose. No luthier is perfect, and if he is any good, will stand by his work. As I said, it could simply be one loose fret. Have him recheck the level of the frets and set it up the way you want it. You need to ensure all frets are level and properly crowned before proceeding, or you will likely be chasing your tail forever.
 

teleplayr

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I have a MIJ Custom Tele with the 7.25" radius and I set it up just the same as my 9.5" instruments and I don't have any issues with it chocking out when doing bends.

I actually broke out the capo & feeler gauges (something I won't normally do) and the relief was less than recommended settings.
 




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