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New to Telecaster -- How low is your action on a 7.25 radius

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by bdub415, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. bdub415

    bdub415 TDPRI Member

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    I don't want crazy low action! I'd play my ibanez wizard neck for that. I want to know what people with 7.25 telecaster necks have their high e action set to bend over a full step after the 12th fret. I don't want to set my action to their height. I want to get a baseline of what you can set it to on a 7.25 radius standard fender telecaster neck.
     
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  2. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    ...Ok so my high e is right at 2mm.
     
  3. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

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    So what about the rest of the strings? You guys all set them at different heights for different playing styles? What’s the difference between a 7.25 or 12 radius? Obviously 12 is flatter but the myth of a round 7.25 radius being old school and you choke notes out because the stupid thin frets and round radius is a joke.

    Fenders site comes up on google and says 4/64 for the high E. Start there and keep raising the action on that one string until it doesn’t choke out.
     
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  4. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    If "baseline" is what you want, then simply read Fender's setup guide...then watch it not work because you're not playing like the average person. I can tell you right now, however, that your strings are already higher than Fender's recommended starting points. So you're obviously not their version of the "average" player with the "average" needs, and/or your guitar has some issues.

    In the time it takes you to Google and read the guide (which should have been your first step), you can turn a few screws on your bridge saddles and get the thing working.

    When you have it set to the point at which it works without choking...you're set to the point at which it works without choking. If that string height doesn't work for you (after giving it a real chance), then it doesn't work for you...and then we can troubleshoot (e.g. technique, style, strings, frets, etc.), starting with a video of what the "choking" is, at your preferred string height. But for now, stop searching for some general theory derived from the specifications of a bunch of clowns on the Internet, and just start turning screws till the damned thing works. Step one is knowing how far up you need to go to get what you want in terms of bending.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
  5. bdub415

    bdub415 TDPRI Member

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    If I use fender spec (4/64" (1.6 mm)) I don't even think I can get a full bend without choking after the 12th. I'm not sure if this is normal or not. So here's a better question: is it normal to choke out after the 12th fret on the high e string for full bends using fender's recommendations (4/64" (1.6 mm)) for a 7.25 radius guitar?
     
  6. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Holic

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    Dunno, never measured action on any guitar I own (or owned). I set it where it’s not too low, not too high, just right, like Goldilocks...and all my guitars’ actions are different, but just feels right to me for each guitar... am not very particular as long as it intonates and plays well...numbers add up to nothing
     
  7. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    Yes. I also own a Classic 60's Tele and it as well doesn't choke out anywhere near my max bends.
    I just re-checked them - *almost* 5/64 on both 62 AVRI and Classic 60's. Enough so I can get the meat of my finger underneath.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  8. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    There are a couple other things to consider: Some necks have been set up with some amount of fall-away. Bridge radius also matters. In addition to the importance of level frets, they need to be crowned properly. The more worn your frets are, the harder it is to crown them properly. Some necks are not a consistent radius. If they have been worked in the past, they may measure 7.25" across the center of the board, but may be a tighter or looser radius toward the edges. Also, the radius of the frets may not match the radius of the neck if they have been leveled incorrectly.

    I rarely measure anything on a guitar, but I am not a professional. Most of the time I simply go by eye and ear. Of course, many people may consider my instruments unplayable...
     
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  9. bdub415

    bdub415 TDPRI Member

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    Appreciate it!
     
  10. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

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    So with fenders starting point at 4/64 and you’re choking out then I’d start looking at frets popping up, neck relief, that kind of the setup part. Yeah like everyone else is saying, raise it until it doesn’t buzz. You may have “crazy high” action now.
     
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  11. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    Can you explain how flattening the radius at the bridge on B/E strings helps to prevent choking out?
     
  12. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    I never measure. Roy Buchanan could bend beyond measure on his old Tele. That being said, I don't like 7.25 radius as much as 9.5 up to 12, because it favors chords and twang while legato playing goes better with flatter necks. I find that 9.5 favors everything pretty well, really. Above 12, in shredder territory, I find that barre chords feel a little awkward.
     
  13. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

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    Is it bad that I struggle to bend any string more than 1-1/2 steps, regardless of radius :D Maybe I need one of those springy hand exercisers.

    OP - I think your question is a valid one, as you’re trying to get a baseline for what is possible. My brief experience (this is the first 7.25” neck I’ve owned) is that you can get a very playable action. Might be a good time to learn how to level and crown if you haven’t already. The guide @Ronkirn put out there has helped me tremendously. The investment in the tools was paid for long ago and I don’t hesitate to level/crown (if needed) every guitar I buy.
     
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  14. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Sure, its just raising the action on the B/E strings relatively higher than the rest. Instead of raising the action on all the strings, you only work the unwound strings up a little higher.
     
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  15. kinkstah

    kinkstah Tele-Afflicted

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    Just out of curiosity (as I usually go by feel) I just measured action @ 12th fret on my 3 Teles (which all necks are 7.25" radius -my preference) : it's 4/64 on the high e (and... 5/64 low E). I don't know if this is considered high, med or low action, but to answer the OP, this allows me to do full step bends without fretting out in the upper neck (12-21st frets). This setup (along with minimal neck relief) gives a slight buzz on the '52 AVRI, though, which I know is because this one needs a crown and level job (frets show a little bit of wear in the 10-12th fret area).
     
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  16. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lighter strings? I'm a 9-42 man on Fenders. Bendy goodness.
     
  17. bdub415

    bdub415 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the info! Seems like 4/64 (which is fender spec) allows a full step bend past the 12th fret on the high e though another poster mentioned they can get a full step and half. I have mine setup a bit higher and it just barely makes a full step before choking so maybe there's some wiggle room (I don't want my action lower but would love to be able to get another half step in the bend up on those frets).
     
  18. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This is the first mention I've seen of neck relief, and it's important. Try to get the neck as straight as you can, 0.006" or straighter, and then you should be able to get good bends with the action at 4-5/64", which is a little on the high side for my taste but still very playable. Your fretwork needs to be more accurate the straighter you get your neck, so you may find some fret buzz as you work into a lower action.

    For what it's worth, 1.7mm is right in between 1/16" and 5/64", which puts you right in the ballpark for Fender's recommended specs. Check that neck relief, adjust if necessary, and then reset action at the bridge. This should get you better results.
     
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  19. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I grew up playing a Strat with a 7-1/4" radius neck because - well that's all they had that I could afford, an old used Strat bought in 1966 :).

    I've always played with a high enough action that I could play slide with no problem (as long as I don't go too nuts ;)).

    Never have any problem with choked bends on a 7-1/4" radius neck :).



    edit; if I've learned anything over the years - you have to have your guitar setup with an action that suits you and your playing style.

    The prescribed action heights are just a guide, nothing is written in stone :).

    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  20. bdub415

    bdub415 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'm new to this radius (which i love btw) so trying to understand it's limitations and a lot of posts I searched just say "low action" or "high action" which is completely subjective so I appreciate you posting numbers. When you say good bends, do you mean more than a full step? In other words, in your experience does the fender spec allow a full step and a half bend for this radius on those higher frets? At some point it doesn't matter how level your frets are or the relief you will just hit the limitation of a 7.25 radius so I guess that's what I'm trying to understand.
     
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