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Best Setup for 7.25" Radius?...

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by B.K., Sep 11, 2012.

  1. B.K.

    B.K. Former Member

    310
    May 12, 2012
    Not Here
    Thought it a good idea to get some suggestions on best setup practices for 7.25" radius neck.

    Share your knowledge and helpful hints. Do you go w/ Fender Specs? Have you found cool tricks along the way that have helped get better results w/ things like saddle height/adjustments.... neck relief specs etc...
    To start, will share one thing I've tried...
    Saddle adjustment:
    Have them in a "V" shape... If sighting down from the headstock can see that the Bass Side saddles (Low E, A & D strings) are lower on the right side and slightly higher on the left... On the Treble Side (G, B & High E strings)... just the opposite... lower on the left, slightly higher on the right.
    Perhaps this is not the best thing to do?... Maybe flat would be better?... If so, why? Pleas beam in w/ any insights, discoveries, pontifications etc... in respect to ---> Best 7.25" Radius Neck Setup Practices! :)
     

  2. ghostwolf

    ghostwolf Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    texas
    Admin Post
    flat is better. sometimes with uneven saddles, the string can vibrate against the lower side of the saddle, causing a noticeable buzz when played.
    i prefer the neck to be as straight as possible, with as close to 0 relief as possible. shimming the neck a tad to increase the angle the string breaks over the saddle seems to make a lower action possible with a 7 1/4" radius, but this is something you'll need to play with to get exactly right. it can be done, but will take some time and patience.
     

  3. B.K.

    B.K. Former Member

    310
    May 12, 2012
    Not Here
    Sweet... did wonder about that. Makes sense that tension = weight in regards to the bridge... need to have a more even weight/tension distribution. K, will tweak those flat.
    Thanks!
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.

  4. Gburst

    Gburst Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2011
    wyoming,Pa.
    One of the biggest complaints about this radius, combined with vintage frets, is choking out on bends.

    I've had an AV' 62 for a while now and I've never had that problem. I leveled the frets myself right after I bought it which really made the guitar play smoother and let me get the lowest possible action.

    The setup keys for me are to set these guitars up with a little more relief than fender spec, and I set the action just fractionally higher than fender spec on the high e, low e and low a strings. With that setup, I can easily get a step and a half bend at the high e string, fifteenth fret without fretting out. I can also dig in on power chords without worrying about buzzing.

    Actually, I setup my guitars with fender spec as a starting point and tweak from there. The above setup is usually about where I end up with these strats. Overall, this guitar plays great.

    By the way, I agree with Ghostwolf on the issue of the saddles-keep 'em level.
     

  5. B.K.

    B.K. Former Member

    310
    May 12, 2012
    Not Here
    A fret level is def in order. This strat has an AVRI '62 neck from '87 (Carona era). Play it all the time and have worn the frets down some. Have never done a fret level. Admit, hesitant about going there.

    Right now, have little relief in the neck.. Do like the feel of a straight neck... will have to experiment with putting a bit more relief in there. Action is a little higher than Fender Spec.... about 2 mm on the treble side... 3 mm on the bass side. Seems to be just right.

    Fret out... Get it with heavy bending on the B-String @ the 7th fret.... High-E on frets 9, 10 & 11... G string at the 14th & 15th fret. Chords overall are crispy clean but... get some buzz at times.... generally w/ Bar chords... Nothing intolerable... but a bit annoying all the same. I really like this strat... Something very special about this one.
     

  6. Gburst

    Gburst Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2011
    wyoming,Pa.
    Try loosening the truss rod a quarter turn or so-may be just what the doctor ordered. If you don't like how it plays you can always tighten it up a quarter turn again.

    Loosening the truss rod as above will raise the action ever so slightly. You may want to try it that way for a while. Again, if you don't like it or if you think the action is too high, you can always lower it back down a notch to where you have it now.

    These necks are a bit more finicky setup wise than necks with a flatter radius. Keep experimenting until you find a setup you like. Good luck.
     

  7. Gstrat

    Gstrat Strat-Talker

    474
    Nov 21, 2009
    Brooklyn,NY
    Relief = The thickness of your High E - Action = 5/64 all strings. Very crisp,clear,ringing,Full Tone. Bends are Easy. Pickups = Hold down E strings at last fret, 8/64 bass side,6/64 treble side. Clear,thick Strat Tone with NO Magnetic pull,Great Sustain.
     

  8. VentilatorBlues

    VentilatorBlues Senior Stratmaster


    ^All of this. I use the Fender specs as a jumping off point as well, but then fine-tune by feel. In general I also find that my 7.25" necks play better with just a tiny bit more relief than flatter necks. I also do a lot of Hillel Slovak-esque funk comping where I really dig into the strings, and a slightly higher action on the lower 3 strings helps, so I don't really mind. There's obviously more than one way to skin a cat, and there are ways to get 7.25" necks to play shredder-fast if that's what you're after. But I've never had a problem with "fretting out", or with setting them up so they feel right. It's all about calculated trial and error and figuring out what works for you.
     

  9. B.K.

    B.K. Former Member

    310
    May 12, 2012
    Not Here
    Yes... trial & error does get you there. I've been tweaking about w/ this guitar and it's down to fine tuning at this point. Getting it exactly how I want it.
    Going to go w/ bit more relief and see how that sits. Think I can get it just where it needs to be without taking away from the overall "feel" it has right now.

    For the most part it really is playing rather nicely.... just need to sort out the little things that make such a tremendous difference. And I'm happy that I'm the one who's doing the tweakage... because I could never translate all the nuances of what I want happening w/ the setup to another person.

    Thanks to evry1 for beaming in. Super-Mucho Appreciated :)
     

  10. klegacy

    klegacy Strat-Talk Member

    10
    Sep 18, 2009
    Canada
    Hey all .. I have a Fender Classic 70s strat. I never use the tremolo, so I have it flat to the body with 4 springs on the back side. I am having great difficulty getting a good setup. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have my low e string at around 3.25mm with very little relief and I am getting all kinds of buzzing. I have tried adding relief, but I still seem to get that same buzzing no matter what. Can anyone post some good specs for this type of setup with the tremolo flat? I changed the saddles to Graphtechs so I would have more saddle height options. I am at a loss on this one. Have all of my other guitars working great but this one is presenting a wall for me it seems. Thanks in advance.
     

  11. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Be glad to help....Fender suggests 4-6/64" for the string height at the 17th fret when open, this is after setting and measuring the proper relief....if you set your truss rod like this, and then set your action height within Fender specs and STILL have a lot of buzz etc, you have an issue with unlevel frets...was this guitar new or used?



    http://www2.fender.com/support/articles/stratocaster-setup-guide/
     

  12. klegacy

    klegacy Strat-Talk Member

    10
    Sep 18, 2009
    Canada
    Brand new .. Just bought it, and it played well with the standard floating setup.
     

  13. klegacy

    klegacy Strat-Talk Member

    10
    Sep 18, 2009
    Canada
    Brand new .. Just bought it, and it played well with the standard floating setup.
     

  14. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    something's changed....did you change strings? It might have come with 9's and now maybe you put 10's or 11's on it? If so it's highly likely the whole setup needs redoing due to the higher tension on the neck now, like 15% more....

    I would follow that truss rod video then set your action height afterward....making sure also that each saddle is level, meaning both height adjust screws are set even on each saddle once you determine the proper height....

    If all is better after that, you'll only have to do step 3 which is intonation...
     

  15. klegacy

    klegacy Strat-Talk Member

    10
    Sep 18, 2009
    Canada

    Came with 9's .. I did flatten the bridge. It was floating when I got it. I will try this. Recommended string heights? Seems to buzz a lot with the flat bridge scenario.
     

  16. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    4/64" on the treble strings, 5/64" on the bass strings - with about .010" relief like in the video.....

    Measured at the 17th fret on each open string, distance to top of fret and bottom of string - after setting truss rod / relief...
     
    Lovnmesomestrat likes this.

  17. klegacy

    klegacy Strat-Talk Member

    10
    Sep 18, 2009
    Canada
    Recommend a curve on the bridge with the neck radius? or no?
     

  18. klegacy

    klegacy Strat-Talk Member

    10
    Sep 18, 2009
    Canada
    Getting closer to great setup already. Still a bit of buzzing on lower strings, but major improvement.
     

  19. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    measuring the height of each string directly over the 17th fret DOES follow the radius :)
     
    Lovnmesomestrat likes this.

  20. klegacy

    klegacy Strat-Talk Member

    10
    Sep 18, 2009
    Canada
    It is playing great now. Very cool. Thanks!