Strat neck radius

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

Strat neck radius

Postby synop7 » Tue May 02, 2006 1:30 pm

I got this MIM Strat ('50 Reissue).

Because of the radius of the neck, it is very hard to bend a note passed the 12th fret without getting it to choke. Especially on the 1st and 2nd strings

Otherwise the axe is tremendous, fantastic.

What if I use lighter or bigger strings, will it solve the problem?

It was already looked at by a luthier, the guy did a fantastic job on it and I don't wanna get rid of it.

Any ideas?
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 3:08 pm

RE: Strat neck radius

Postby rustyslide » Tue May 02, 2006 1:54 pm

Raise the action. I have a vintage radius on my Strat's neck with vintage sized frets, and have no trouble bending notes anywhere.

With open strings, the bottom of my low E is just shy of 1/8" above the fretboard at the 12th fret, and the high e is 1/8" on the nose. The saddles follow the radius of the fretboard.

I use .011-.052 strings, FWIW.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 1942
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:01 am
Location: Halifax, Canada

RE: Strat neck radius

Postby lightninboy » Tue May 02, 2006 2:29 pm

I had the same problem with a '64 L series.
I had the fingerboard planed from the 12th fret up.
It fixed the problem, but I wouldn't do it again.
I nearly lost my clay dots!
(I was young and silly).
Just raise the action a little.
If you really must, then get it planed, and refretted.
Heavier gauge strings probably wont help.
User avatar
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 8:19 am
Location: Queensland, Australia.

RE: Strat neck radius

Postby guitarsmurf » Tue May 09, 2006 10:35 am

That's right. Had the same issue with my Yamaha Mike Stern (Tele). That darned 7.25" radius... The only quick fix really is (like the previous guys said) is to raise the action.

I had mine set up like Mike Stern himself... An action that looks like an inch high (just kidding) and 11 gauge strings.

To me that's a bummer though, cuz I like really low-and-fast action with 9s or 10s. To me the 9.5" radius of modern Fenders is just right. Enough "bulge" for chording and still flat enough for comfortable soloing.

Well, that's another thing you could do. Just get a replacement neck with a radius that you like.
User avatar
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:28 pm

RE: Strat neck radius

Postby 1dustyeod » Wed May 10, 2006 5:33 pm

When setting up strats I believe the 'manual' states that the strings and the saddles should NOT follow the neck but should be set flat with a little angle (short end to the light strings). The pickups should have a little tilt to 'em also for proper sound. I've never had any problems with strings fretting out with a proper set up.



"A strat, a cord, and an amp set to 10 is all I really need. Nothing sounds better than a tortured stratocaster....."
User avatar
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Charleston, WV

Postby trguitar » Sun May 14, 2006 8:11 pm

Raising the action will work. Short radius necks chord better, flat radius are better for lead especially on the higher frets. Simple fact of life. I tend to prefer a flatter radius myself as I tend to like to noodle.
User avatar
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:21 pm

Return to Guitar

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests