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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by TelePunkJCM, Jun 10, 2019.
I like them all but I do like the vintage radius and wire the best ...internet over hype
The only gripe I have about my '60s Baja is the fact it doesn't have a 7.25" radius and vintage frets. I can live with it, but having played an AVRI neck since 1991, I always notice the difference with the 9'5" neck.
7.25" rad and tall(ish) frets do it for me too.
Got 9.5 " and 12" rads on electrics with med-jumbo frets too ... But my AV64 just feels and works the best for me
Thank you .. I guess bending it's really that big a deal for most here
I do love my 12" radius strat neck .. and if I ever find a tele with a 12" radius that will probably be an insta buy too
(it's not impossible on a vintage instrument, but you action just can't be all that low .. on the other side you get the classic slight choking when you bend which is a good thing if you want to sound like those old records)
I can bend a whole step on my 7.25" neck with no issues. How much further do people want to go?
And therein lies one of the issues ... For some of us 7.25" is the norm/where we feel at home.
The solo from While My Guitar Gently Weeps is based around a bend from an A to a C. Just to reference something classic from the 60s.
Hotel California has some cool bends too that are even wider as I recall
We don't have to visit the later shredding styles to find wide bends
I frikkin love 7.25. I’m a basher and any bends I do are tiny and imprecise. I have radii across the spectrum here and they’re all fine for my purposes, but the classic Fender engineering feels best to me.
Must've been Felder, since I think JW was playing a dreaded 7.25" Fender, as I recall.
I don't even get worked up about details as much as some. If I like a guitar, I am pretty flexible with the neck specs, or any number of things. I have never had a guitar cause me pain or problems due to its specs, and I find I can adjust pretty easy to nearly anything.
I have all kinds of radius and fret necks and for me the 9.5, 10 and 12 inch larger fret ones are better for bending on with low action as you would know owning a 12 inch neck. If you want a 12inch with super jumbo's Allparts make a 22 fret med c tele neck with those specs. $109 unfinished on ebay. Great quality and that extra fret doesn't stand out much visually. Still resembles a vintage style neck.
1 to 2 steps or somewhere between with 10's. Great for blues improv and probably more suited to blues. It's also about how easy you can grab the string for the bend too. Harder on a 7.25 radius with vintage frets and low/ medium action than on a flatter radius with larger frets. I can set up a 9.5, 10 and 12 inch radius necks with med jumbos much easier than trying to get my 7.25 vintage fret neck to get near the same bending range.
Its not that vintage is bad for me it can just be limiting for certain applications. There are lots of cool songs with overbending in them.
6230: The smallest fret wire found on older Fender necks (.078″ x .043″).
6150: Vintage jumbo. Much wider but not as tall as 6230 (.102″ x .042″).
6105: Modern narrow and tall; currently very popular (.090″ x .055″).
6100: Jumbo. The largest fret wire available (.110″ x .055″).
6130: Medium jumbo (.106″ x .036″).
I find it funny that everybody keeps referring to vintage wire 6230 as being small when it’s actually taller than medium jumbo 6130
I don’t like big frets, I love medium jumbo, vintage, and vintage jumbo. But in reality we’re talking from .036 to .055 a difference of .019 thousands of an inch. Aren’t we a picky bunch !
I also love the 9-1/2 and 7-1/4 in radius over flatter Gibson necks. But they’re all playable.
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That's weird, the guitars I own with what I think are medium jumbo's must be some other frets because the frets are higher than on the vintage fretted neck.
Are you sure that chart is accurate? My road worn strat I thought had med jumbo's and they are much higher and wider than the vintage ones. The 6100 is probably right although I thought they were called super jumbo by fender. I have a neck with .118" x .055" frets Allparts call Modern Jumbo. Allparts and jescar used to call the largest super jumbo.
+1 on the small frets (6230's). I prefer the 9.5" radius but recently played a 7.25"-9.5" compound .and it was very nice.
Like the OP, 5-6 years ago I consciously avoided 7’25’’ based on what I read on the internet. Then I bought an AV and now it’s the other way around. If I buy a Fender-style guitar, it has to be 7’25’’ and vintage frets.
Medium jumbo frets get in the way. Like @mimmo I can live with 9’5’’ but 7’25’’ is home. I still like my Baja 60s a lot, but the playing experience is better on my AV tele and strat.
As for fretting out: it all depends on the action. If like me you like your action on the high side (not massively high… 2 mm @ XII fret) it’s never a problem on a vintage neck. When I feel like Gilmour, I bend 2 whole steps. The problem is never choke out – it’s that on some strings and positions, I can’t pull it off myself (I like .11s…). Of course, if you like low action it’s another story.
Nice article on the whole thing:
I really can’t stand any of the jumbo frets, they just don’t do anything for me at all. I think it’s their width rather than height though... I have a roasted maple allparts neck which seem perfect to me, but no idea on the actual fret dimensions but they are very skinny, much skinner than the narrow tall’s I recently used on a (slightly disappointing) refret.
However - I like a flatter radius. I think that it’s just because I learned on a very flat neck, ~14. I tried a 7.25 but it just didn’t sit right... maybe I could have got used to it. 10 is as round as I can get on with. Flat radius/thin frets isn’t a popular combo unfortunately... although I’m all set on guitars right now.
I prefer vintage radius and frets. There's something about the curvature of a vintage neck that just seems to fit my hand better. It really feels like home to me. That's probably one reason I tend to prefer vintage reissue guitars. I'll sometimes play my son's American Special Strat and I can feel the flatter radius right away. It's not that it feels uncomfortable, it just feels less comfortable than a 7.25 radius fretboard to me. It's still a nice guitar.
I had absolutely no idea about fingerboard radius or different fret wire when I bought my JV Squier Strat in 1982. It's effectively a '57 re-issue, so of course we all know (now) that it will be a 7.25" radius and 'vintage' fret wire, but I only found out less than 10 years ago via the internet. I didn't realise why other Strats felt strange to me and also a cheap Affinity Tele I bought as a travel guitar felt quite different (narrow neck too, which I did figure out on my own).
When I went looking for a better Tele I'd found out about these details, so specifically looked for a model with the 7.25" radius and vintage frets, hence why I now own two Classic 50s Teles. I've never had trouble bending (though maybe I don't bend as far as some) and can set the action low enough that I'm comfortable with it.
I spent a couple of hours in a guitar shop recently trying lots of different Teles to try to get a handle on what I liked and whether I would feel comfortable moving to something else. Couldn't get on with the flatter radius models, especially the Elite with it's compound 9.5-14"(?) though 9.5" was OK for me, just they generally have the taller frets too, which I'm not so keen on. I'm going to try a 9.5" MIM neck for a project I'm working on, but will have my guy take the frets down a little.
It's not that I've fallen out with 7.25" radius, but it seems that changing to different guitars helps with my ageing hands: If I get pains playing one, then I can change to the other and it's all fine.
What I never understood was that I'm perfectly happy playing my Epiphone LP that I've owned since 1995. It has a 12" radius, though I admit it also has very low frets. I think my recent Gretsch Electromatic purchase has 12" (or maybe higher), but also very low frets.
Maybe I'm just more bothered by 'tall' frets than the radius itself?
I do some 3-fret bends and also some downward pulls that can be a strain with some guitars. The Allparts compound-radius (7.25 to 9.75) neck works well for me. It's also got a nice chunky C profile and SS frets.