Change radius from 7 1/2 to 9 1/2?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by RickLafayette, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. RickLafayette

    RickLafayette TDPRI Member

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    Is it possible to change the frets on a 7 1/2" and shape them to a 9 1/2" radius?
    And would this allow more bending of the strings?
    Or, is it possible to change the radius on the neck from 7 1/2 to 9 1/2"? (I'm talking about a maple neck).
     
  2. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    You can de-fret it then sand it down with a 9 1/2" radius block, then re-fret it and then varnish it. That's a lot of work... but doable.
     
  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not worth it IMO ... raise your action instead .... Or buy a new neck ... The 7.5 radius was chosen to be familiar to acoustic players switching to electric in 1950 ...
     
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  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    It's much easier to do what Leo intended, buy a new neck.
     
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  5. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Re changing the radius of just the frets, Yes it is and I have done this many times.

    It is an old guitar tech method to make string bending easier without choke on vintage style guitars. Just ask your tech to do it.
     
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  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's do able by sanding the fretboard and refretting. If you don't do refretting get a new neck from Fender for $200 You will need to take off about .040 on the fretboard edges it appears. (just comparing radius gauges) Not as much as I thought.
     
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  7. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    Never really understood why people make such a big deal about 7.25” and 9.5” radius necks. There really isn’t much difference. I can seamlessly go from one to the other and I play a lot of country-based stuff and never have a problem bending and doing pedal stee licks on 7.25” necks. My current Tele has a Classic 50’s neck on it with a 7.25” radius and sort of low action and bends never choke out.

    Get some fret radius gauges and you’ll see there’s not much difference between the two.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  8. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    Never understood why some people can't understand why some people like what they like. If you like 7 1/4 radius great buy guitars with that radius. Some people like 9.5. Thats why guitars have that radius. Whats so hard to understand. Some people like both and either makes not much difference. I can understand that to.
     
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  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    No.
     
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  10. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Might be able to change to a 9.5 radius with a radius block, just reshaping the frets you have. Very little material to be removed, if your frets are high enough now it's a snap. Show it to a good luthier.

    It it can't be done with the frets you have, you'll have to re-radius the fretboard and get new frets. Or get a new neck.
     
  11. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    Never understood why people spend time getting caught up in there own head and on forums when they should probably spend more time actually playing, but instead of get all worked up when someone has a differing option than they do.

    I'm entitled to my opinion just as much as you are. It's fine if you don't agree with what I have to say. But no need to get your knickers all bunched up between your cheeks when others don't share the same opinions as you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  12. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    There's actually a Stew-Mac video on YouTube where they show an old Telecaster with a 7.25" radius neck that's over the years actually became closer to a radius of 9.5" because the frets have been leveled and crowned so many times and they take radius gauges and show how little difference there really is between 7.25" and 9.5".

    Definitely a dramatic difference in feel between a 7.25" and a 12" neck radius, but again, really not much between 7.25" and 9.5".

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. nocastermike

    nocastermike Tele-Meister

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    A good luthier can do it just by refretting and adjusting the frets. Dan Erlewine did my guitar and it came out unbelievable. He never sanded the board.
     
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  14. RickLafayette

    RickLafayette TDPRI Member

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    For those who don't understand and think the 7 1/2 and 9 1/2 inch radiuses are too close to make a difference, they are dead wrong. Been dealing with this for 40 years. When you bend strings a lot, as in country picking, or even blues style, the strings hit the top radius of the 7 1/2" fret board and "choke out". Strings clear the fret board on a 9 1/2" radius. BIG DIFFERENCE. I just happen to have acquired a special guitar that I don't ever dare change the neck but would not have a problem with changing the radius so I can play it. String benders get it.
     
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  15. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    There's a pretty big difference IMO but more important for bending is fret height.

    If I have a 7.25" neck with nice tall frets big bends are a non issue, but if the frets are too low, forget about it. Nothing but roll-out. But the same will happen on a 9.5 with shorter frets.
     
  16. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    Being as I'm in Canada I mostly use metric.

    1mm is a very small distance........until you add it to the back of the neck or nut width. When talking about guitar necks & feel 1 mm is a "Country Mile". Same as the radius.

    7.25 ='s comfortable chording,
    12 ='s easy big bends,
    9.5 ='s a bit of both.

    I can also go through all 3 no problem, but regonize some guitars are better for some things than others. Anything can be done on any guitar if you're willing to fight the guitar.
     
  17. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    I agree with most on here. Just buy a new neck. You can do either option you're talking about but if you aren't doing the work yourself then you will likely spend as much as another neck only to have devalued your old neck with varying degrees of success.
     
  18. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    I would compare the radius of a fretboard to differing models of Levi’s.
    I mostly wear 501’s and 505’s, but I also like 517’s (especially when wearing specific pairs of boots)...517’s fit a bit snugger in the *ahem* region, so I’m happier and more comfortable in the 501’s...501’s are a bit more peg-legged at the bottom, so I have to split the outerseam at the bottom to fit over my favorite boots...505’s are easier to don and doff because they’re roomier in the aforementioned *ahem* region, and are cut a bit different in the seat than the 501’s...

    But all of them are blue jeans and prevent exposure to cold and law enforcement.

    Likewise, I have guitars with all kinds of radiuses (radii?)...7.25, 9.5, 12, even a 16(!)...

    I obviously can play them all, but I prefer the 9.5 radius...it feels best to my hand, and easiest to “bond” with.

    Play what you like.

    To the OP, it seems a visit to a good tech or luthier (or two) is in order.
     
  19. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    guess I’m lucky with only ever owning 52AVRI’s and Classic 50’s Teles that both have 7.25” necks and tiny vintage frets and thick finishes and have never had a problem playing country and pedal steel licks. And all the country players back in the day only had 7.25” necks on Fender guitars and they never seemed to have any problems with those big country bends either.
     
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  20. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    The price you will get charged you might be better off just buying a new neck
     
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