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This thing with Radius - is there anyone that feels it is really more comfortable?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by MatsEriksson, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Almost flat. I said. That said, the difference between a 16" radius and totally flat, is way lesser (in feel), than the difference between 7.5" and 16".

    That's very ok, to have that opinion. I tend to agree, that all things must fit. All things have to gel. Not one or the other. But me personally objects to that bizarre rationale behind it that people has, where they seem to put radius above everything else, as important, that do or breaks the deal with guitars. They may think it's the radius or flatness of the fretboard that does it, when it's really something else, they haven't thought on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  2. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Find it funny that no one has dared to challenge my long winded post on why radius (a large one at 7.5" and so on) is detrimental to intonation, especially Frankentronics. I'd like to hear some devils advocates out there. "Everything you say can be used against you". Sort of. C'mon, prove me wrong on that. Fight me. I will be the first one to stand corrected if someone should prove me wrong on the intonation thing.
     
  3. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    If we followed that analogy, both Mozart and Bach did very well too, without any kind of guitar, even classical nylon strung with flat fretboards, didn't they? :twisted:

    Now, I don't say you can't set up a radiused fretboard guitar without choking or bending, but I still have to remind you that Hendrix did not use heavy gauge strings (like SRV did) which is a huge misconception. Hendrix did use 008 or 009s, sets, the bass strings side, later on, and on top of that downtuned to Eb. Little wonder you could bend like butter, in spite of one inch action height...
    ;)

    https://www.guitarworld.com/artists/secrets-jimi-hendrixs-guitar-setup-interview-roger-mayer

    "First of all, we weren't using a flat-radius fretboard," Mayer says. "We were using the normal one, not the very high radius but definitely curvy. The actual strings we used were not what people would expect. The string gauges would run .010, .013, .015, .026, .032 and .038.
    "

    o_Oo_Oo_O

    thus not the 7.5 radius...

    - - - - - -

    FWIW considering bending: I have a strat which has compound radius from 12-16. Made by USACG. The main idiosyncrasy is that it has a very wide string spacing at the nut. 46.5 mm and flares out, and turns out almost as a classical guitar width neck at the 12th fret. What happens when string bending is that the adjacent strings doesn't act as a speed bump, or bend brake, and exerts another stopping force to the finger that is bending. I can bend strings to kingdom come. THAT is the main deal maker there and then. It's like you took off all the strings but one, and just left the plain G-string in the middle, and has free leeway both sides, and bends like Jeff Beck does with his whammy or moreso like Jeff Healey did with bare hands. Have yet to snap a string. The solo to Pink Floyds "Another Brick In The Wall" is just a breeze... with the large bend in the middle. Grows small biceps on my fretting pinky eventually. Of course, SS frets facilitates smooth bends... but we digress...back on topic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  4. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Not everybody wants to wear cargo shrots and a bumched shrit. Only middle aged bass players still let their mother buy clothes for them. Why would buying guitars, amps, cars, bikes, beer or anything else be different?

    It comes down to personal preferences. I gave up trying to work out why people do the things they do a long time ago.
     
  5. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Play anything for a while and you can become used to it. I’ve had a few 7.25” radius strats for about a year here in Japan. They’re different but still just guitars. The over the fretboard thing is easier ala Jimi. The angle relative to the thumb is easier for sure. Chording and scaler stuff is nicer on my 10”-16” radius necks. I like both for different things.
     
  6. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Word! Any chance that you're running for office next time around...? ;)
     
  7. ratdoc

    ratdoc TDPRI Member

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    My most comfortable necks are compound radius: 7.25 - 12 and 9.5 - 14. Both are simply wonderful.
     
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  8. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Another very valid opinion to have. I have no objection to this sort of things. That said, over the thumb thing chords, of a la Hendrix, the starting E6 chord of "one rainy wish" for example. I only could perform when I had a flat fretboard not vintage radiused. I can pull it off on classical nylon strung guitars, too, but it sounds not right.

    Well, let's have a contest or experiment or voting... go and try this on any of your guitars, and come back here:

    E6 chord of the intro to "One Rainy Wish" by Jimi Hendrix. With thumb-over and subsequent partial barre in the middle:

    SHOULD NOT BE PLAYED LIKE THIS:



    BUT LIKE THIS:



    Skärmavbild 2021-01-02 kl. 14.23.58.png

    The 7 th fret on thick E and A string should just be thumbed over. Thumb covering both strings. The index at 5th fret B-string, pinky at 7th fret, high e-string, and here comes the crux...the 6th fret on D and G string should (must) be partially barred with the remaining long finger only. One finger covering the 2 spots. Without buzzing the adjacent strings.

    Peculiar thing is, that all YT "instructional" videos of this tune omits this introductory chord. But Eric Johnsons, but that ain't "instructional" it's from a live show. And the few where they have this chord, it's voiced wrong and not even a E6. And not even thumbed over in any way... beats me.

    I have very hard time to pull it off on a 7.5 radiused neck. No matter what the rest of it is set up like. The flatter it goes, the better I am to pull it off without struggling.

    Now, how about you?
     
  9. tanplastic

    tanplastic Tele-Holic

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    In my experience a radiused board makes thumb-over much easier.
     
  10. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    To quote the great John Mayer "I am always playing slightly out of tune all the time...on purpose."

    If you care so much about intonation perhaps you should attempt to tune a piano. Have you? I have and do. I'm pretty d*mn good at it too. There is no such thing as perfect intonation. Once you have tuned three pianos with relative accuracy (above 70 percent correct according to the human ear, verified by a professional piano tuner) we will talk about intonation. The fact that a perfect fifth is not actually a perfect fifth on a piano should be an indication of what intonation really means. You cannot have a perfect fifth and a perfect fourth at the same time from the same sets strings no matter what the instrument. It is physically impossible. Go ahead and keep trying to harp on intonation, please. It simply does not matter beyond a certain relative point. What you perceive as a problem someone else has made into a musical phenomenon. Think "Fur Elise" the whole thing is technically out of tune. I supposed you would argue that because it was written on a piano that it is perfectly in tune but you would have to be wrong because as I stated a perfectly in tune piano is actually out of tune. Now back to the question of radius on the neck of a stringed instrument. Does intonation matter beyond your ability to play in tune with other instruments? Not unless you are playing through a spectroscope and have an OCD level of compulsion to make mathematically perfect music. Even people with true perfect pitch (Yes, I know a few.) accept that all instruments are slightly out of tune with each other, as well as with themselves. So please keep complaining that your guitar is out of tune when you play it. I will go back to my living room and continue to enjoy my well earned 7.25" broadcaster neck, and my other less than 12" radiused guitars.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  11. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    You heavily Implied it in your initial post and in several since then. Frankly I just wanted to point out that you asked a question with an obvious bias therefore you cannot ascertain a logical answer because you violated the first rule of academic and scientific questioning by starting from a biased viewpoint.

    What acoustics are you playing?!?!?! I can bend almost two whole steps on my steel string acoustics. None of them have exceptional actions, a couple are actually quite high but I can still bend on them.

    I never said that either of us were alone. I simply stated one of my observations. which was that I could infact play faster on my Anniversary Broadcaster than I can on my Ibanez G10. What is wrong with an observation I made about my person experience with a rounder radius against a flatter one? Am I not a valid guitar player and individual who is entitled to my own opinions and experiences? Perhaps, I am mistaken in reading what you wrote, but it certainly seems that your opinion can be the only correct one in this conversation. I'm sure if I had the energy to spare I would find sources to back up my assertions too. However, as I have more important things to do than scour the "interwebs" for people backing up my opinions, but I am not looking to validate my opinions and experiences. In 2000 years when we are all dead and gone someone will have the definitive answer to making the perfect guitar neck and the debate will start again after this whole discussion will have happened several million times over with different participants.
     
  12. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    Personally I prefer straight radius necks, but if you had to pick one for a parts caster which one would you pick? I am in the process of pickup out a neck for my first build and was contemplating a compound. I am seriously looking at a warmouth 7.25"-12". Although I kind of like the 9.5"-whatever on my Am. St. Tele. Thoughts?
     
  13. RowdyHoo

    RowdyHoo Tele-Meister

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    Intriguing questions. Thanks for proposing
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  14. Torvald

    Torvald TDPRI Member

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    I'll take that on. I find your whole premise of the strings being depressed 90 degrees to the fretboard improving intonation flawed. With a radiused fingerboard the strings will be depressed tangentially to the board. Each string bent toward the center of the circle. Add to that the improbability of your fingers depressing the strings exactly at 90 degrees downward. Seems to me when you grab any chord on any fingerboard radiused or flat some fingers will push the strings slightly one way or another. Given all that, and the impossibility that any stringed instrument with frets can be intonated perfectly anyway, I think your premise has no merit at all.
    Also, I'm quite good at leveling and crowning frets and I've yet to experience this choking out phenomenon.
     
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  15. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Hey Brother, let me make an observation ... I guess it's an opinion regarding what I've observed since I started playing professionally in 1973 ... so, maybe a humble informed opinion:

    When intermediate players master the Barre Chord, it's a rite of passage ... they often feel they've attained the next level of proficiency, and that "Good" players use that type of chord, so they've become good guitar players. As time passes, if these intermediate players practice hard and make a lot of progress, they often look back at Barre chords as a technique that can be technically difficult at first, but has ended up of very limited use playing more advanced styles of music.

    What I'm saying is that IMO, Barre Chords are a very small and limited part of the technique palette of the typical proficient player. It comes up in classical pieces sometimes, and ironically I suppose, in basic Rock and Roll, but most working pros, live and in the studio, use Barre Chords sparingly. Judging the utility of a guitar's neck profile on whether you find Barre Chords easily performed on those necks is a narrow and limited perspective.

    The first thing music teachers notice about their guitar students is the startling variety of hand size and strength in their students. The epiphany that dedicated students experience as they progress, is that skill and proper technique can outweigh size and strength.

    I'm not primarily an instructor, but I've had students over the years, and I see many big strong guys with huge hands who struggle with techniques that some youngsters and small women execute flawlessly after years of practice and diligent training. Example, I play upright Bass as well, so I have some insight into this: I have made the acquaintance of several very petite ladies who play String Bass, in both Jazz and Classical genres, who will hand their instrument to a big strong guitar player (with a mischievous grin) and watch as the larger, stronger musician can barely depress the strings and can hardly play a note on the Big Doghouse using their finger-tips, (the proper technique).

    Respectfully submitted. Best wishes.
     
  16. tanplastic

    tanplastic Tele-Holic

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    I would say that of more limited use than the full barre chord is this bizarre obsession with 'bending' and focusing an instrument's set-up on ease of string bending.
    Most music on the guitar demands barring a fret at some point, classical and jazz included.
    Bending is an over-used affectation incidental to making music and, like vibrato, it's of great importance to those playing over backing tracks or blues-noodling.
     
  17. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah ... no. Urban Blues and Blues-Rock has a string Vibrato/Bending tradition since the 50s at least, and exemplified by B.B.King, Albert King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, to name the most notable practitioners. May as well denigrate the Classical technique of Vibrato for stringed instruments ... it's that ubiquitous in the style.
     
  18. Blister

    Blister Tele-Meister

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    What Telly do you have that has a 12 inch radius
     
  19. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Tuning is perfect thank you, intonation not. I've never ever stated that intonation should be perfect, neither is the rule of 18 perfect. The rule of 18 is based only and works solely on flat fretboards. Do not mix up tuning and intonation. While somewhat related, all strings on a pedal steel can be perfectly in tune, also on a violin, but if you don't PLAY intonated, nothing in the world will mitigate or correct that.

    It is the intention. Now why would there exist a lot of business ideas, inventions, innovations for mitigating and curing tuning/intonation then?

    If it was made right from the beginning we shouldn't and wouldn't need to bother. We have:

    1. BFTS.
    Buzz Feiten Tuning System. Some wiseguy decided that the way he presses down on strings, is the same for everyone else, and differs within 2-3 cents offsets on OPEN strings (beats me, if I play together with another instrument that can't be tuned easily, say vibraphone, piano, etc I want the open strings not to have any "nice" chorusy chorale vibe to it. That's when it sounds out of tune, and not intonated. Shelf nut, and have to intonate and tune to a certain tuner equipped with secret offsets. Beats me. If you have a spun third, and a 012 set it all goes out the window. And on top of this, as fast as capo is used, or barre chord, it doesn't matter what happens at the nut. This one beats me big time.

    http://www.buzzfeiten.com/howitworks/howitworks.htm

    Skärmavbild 2021-01-02 kl. 20.34.48.png
    Patented Pitch Offsets? Secret? Is it a joke? Sue me if I publish them officially on the net...then. I've never ever heard of paying someone else to tune or intonate my guitar. I can't do it for you, and you can't do it for me.

    2. Earvana nut.
    This one beats me even more. Moreso for acoustics where it isn't possible to intonate individually each strings since it has one saddle-bridge fits all. Works equally for all gauges of strings? yeah right...

    http://www.earvana.com/

    "You have probably noticed that it is nearly impossible to tune your guitar so that the chords in the first 5 frets ring true for any open chords. Earvana has solved this problem by developing a nut that compensates for the errors that are inherent in 99% of all stringed instruments."

    No, I bloody hell haven't noticed it's impossible to tune. No one else I know of either. Maybe intonate. That's different. They have hedged their bets on insisting 99% of all stringed instruments. Ok then, which one doesn't fall into this category? The one percent that is made right from the start on, with good nut, non curved fretboard, even a zero fret, and maybe even fanned frets? :twisted: Works equally for all gauges of strings, spun third or not? Beats me even more, this one, than BFTS.

    3. TrueTemperament frets.
    Now we're talking... someone else says. Maybe so, for one string gauge only, plain third string, and playing cowboy chords only. And .... "no-money-above-the-fifth-fret" philosophy. Try to level these frets later on if you dare, if they worn down, or change them out. The same problems occurs here should the fretboard be of severe radius. And poorly cut nut. I used to get thrown out of their booth at trade fairs (they're Swedish too) when demonstrating that the G# at the first fret of the g-string, and the 4th fret of the thick E-string together can't be played together they sound horribly out of tune. If that occured on a regular guitar I would stop and adjust tuning... I would think that the open strings were out of tune.

    https://truetemperament.com/

    [​IMG]

    4. C.F.S Circular Frets System.
    Stated above, don't need to put them here. FGN guitars has these. Again, try to do a refret or relevelling sometimes. May work for one string gauge or two...;)


    5. Fanned Frets systems.
    I happen to like this one more a little bit, just because it's not a brand name or patented (anymore). Anyone can build this if you like. But it's not about tuning or intonation as such. They don't make any difference in intonation though. At all. Works mostly or best on electric basses though which have low B's and are 5 stringed or tuned lower. Works with different gauges, and intonates as regular and you tune as regular. Still, maybe a niche thing, because if there's any "system" that makes chording harder it is this one. Hence that it is more prone to bass playing "one note at a time" so to speak. You all know by now what these looks like:

    [​IMG]


    Ok, so why do you think all these systems exists? seeking solution to a problem that doesn't exist? Yes, maybe because if the guitars where done the right way in the first place, they wouldn't be a market for all these smokes and mirros, and snake oil systems.

    My question, lies moreso in the incentive behind the severe radiused necks, that it is perceived as more comfortable, and people makes greater compromises in intonation, or "playing-in-tune" to ergonomics and comfortability. The bizarre rationale behind it, so to speak. The equal temperament is a concession, and huge compromise as it is already and doesn't need to get worse, or "bettered". As it does with most guitars radius, fretboards, nuts, and non adjustable bridges anyway.

    I think Occams Razor behind all this.

    I find it more comfortable to play a neck that stays in tune all across and along it. From first fret to last. If I want to play out of tune, I'll just press and squeeze a little harder... ;)
     
  20. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    Wrong, twice.

    Each individual string on a neck with a radius has the same relationship to the point on the fret immediately below it. When pushing the string straight down, perpendicular to the radius, it impacts the fret on the tangent line at the point of tangency. The radius is irrelevant. On every fret.


    As for your “narrow down of spacing” part of your argument.... string spacing from saddle to nut tapers on flat classical necks, too, not just necks with a radius. At the nut, a classical guitar will have a 43-45mm spacing from 1st to 6th string and spacing at the saddle of 56-57mm from 1st to 6th string.
     
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