2007 Stratocaster 7.25" neck radius

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by westies, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. westies

    westies Strat-Talk Member

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    2007 Stratocaster.JPG
    I bought this Strat a while back and it became my lesson in neck radius. It came with the original small frets and after playing it a short time and I couldn't figure out why I was struggling to fret the smaller high strings and why my bends were fretting out. My luthier told me it was due to the 7.25" neck radius. I wasn't even familiar with that term back then. I haven't played it as much as I do my other guitars because of the limitations imposed by the 7.25" radius. I have found that it's excellent for chording up and down the neck, and it's very friendly for barre chords. I would to love to hear any tips and advice for playing this neck radius. I'm learning to love the guitar, and would like to be able to best take advantage of the neck design
     
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  2. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member

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    Watch Jimi. That radius didn't bother him much. Seriously, I've heard a lot of guys complain about it but it never bothered me. I'm guessing it's down to playing styles and touch/grip.
     
  3. Tsjackson

    Tsjackson Strat-O-Master

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    Not being able to bend on a 7.25 radius neck is absolute bunk. Set the guitar up properly and they are as easy to bend as any other. I much prefer that radius and I will actually re radius necks I get to it. Il also defend it ha. As said above, all the guitar greats pre 1980 something managed it. I’m sure you’ll be fine

    nice guitar btw!
     
  4. Tsjackson

    Tsjackson Strat-O-Master

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    What is it out of interest? I’d love to get a stock vintage spec guitar and try keep a mental note of which models have them
     
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    I devised a solution for such issues 50+ years ago... While true, some guys cannot accommodate some neck metrics, I encourage them to use my methodology. When I'm playing a guitar that will not permit me to play certain tunes, I refrain from playing them. As a result, I never have a problem and can play about any neck commercially available. :p

    r
     
  6. westies

    westies Strat-Talk Member

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    I should have said that I'm a Gibson player by and large, and used to 12" radius necks, I have a 59 LP special, a 1987 Deluxe, and a 2015 custom, so 7.25" was a long way from my comfort zone! I do have a 2006 James Burton MIM Tele with 9.5" which is very comfortable to me. Like I said, I'm getting used to the 7.25 radius and beginning to understand it. My post was to seek advice and tips on handling that radius. I really don't think my current struggles are just bunk, btw. I play the same riffs on all my guitars. I can't wrap my thumb around the neck to fret the bass strings like Hendrix either. Please don't tell me that's bunk too.
     
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  7. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    Struggling to fret on a neck with small frets is a problem for me. It forces you to put your fretting finger close to the fret, as opposed to anywhere between the frets, but some chords make this nearly impossible. I found I much prefer big frets, and refretted my 7-1/4" radius neck with the biggest stainless frets Jescar sells. Now it's more fun for me to play than it ever was before.

    As far as the small radius, it does require a good setup and reasonable string heights if you want to do big bends up past the 12th fret. I like strings to be a little higher than a lot of guys, so it's not a problem for me at all. When I go from a 14" radius on one of my guitars to the 7-1/4" radius old Strat, I really don't notice any difference in technique required or playability.

    Is your luthier really a guy who builds guitars from scratch, or is he a guitar tech?

    And welcome to the board, @westies!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  8. Tsjackson

    Tsjackson Strat-O-Master

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    Oh no getting used to new radius definitely isn’t bunk, I’d struggle like a good’n on a 12” radius guitar! The thumb thing is actually super handy if you can get used to it but not necessary. I’d advise you try set the guitar up again with the curve of the fretboard in mind.
    so that chording is super comfortable and bending is as easy as it would be on yr gibbos.
    There are lots of people who say they don’t struggle jumping from one to the other, presumably people who own and play them all regularly. It will take a while to get used to, but when you LOVE it your gibbos will feel like your playing a fretted table top!
     
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  9. Scooter

    Scooter Strat-Talk Member

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    I'm of the opinion that the 7.25 radius became a much bigger problem because of internet forums. ;):D

    I think many strong preferences were formed by people who read about it but never owned one or attempted to set it up properly. To be fair, sure, it's not everyone's preference and if someone has tried it and can't get along with it that's completely understandable.

    I had two 7.25 radius guitars that I played countless gigs with before I started posting in forums. I paid little attention to the radius spec. I just tried the guitar in a store and if I liked it I went with it. I played them and set them up so they worked for me.

    Personally I don't have a strong preference. I have guitars ranging from 7.25 to 12" radius and after a few minutes of playing I just adjust. Not everyone is like that though and I get it.

    I will agree that the combination of the 7.25 radius and vintage frets can be challenging. I do prefer the taller frets on that radius (now that I know I have choices!).
     
  10. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-O-Master

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    I really wish he'd told you the truth .. that it just wasn't set up properly.
    7.25" can be unplayable if the action is too low or there's too much relief, or the neck angle is too straight, or the strings don't follow the neck radius, or you've not got your trem setup properly to evenly distribute tension accross the wound and unwound strings.
    Once it is set up its fantastic, but like a Ferrarri in need of a service, things get disproportionately lumpy compared to other more forgiving (of crap setups) radii.
    Also like a Ferrarri, once in correct fettle, there's nothing else quite like it..
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
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  11. Tsjackson

    Tsjackson Strat-O-Master

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    An exceptional paragraph!
     
  12. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

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    Indeed.

    Can't bend on 7.25?

    Blackmore, Hendrix, Clapton, Green, Trower, Gallagher, err, well I'll stop now cos it's too long a list. Check it out ... anything played on a Strat or Tele pre about 1980ish.
     
  13. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-O-Master

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    Hi Ron! What is your solution? I don't have any issues with my 7.25 tele, but if I did I'd like to know what to do besides the obvious setup stuff. And many thanks for all the knowledge you have shared. I'm a fret leveling master thanks to you!
     
  14. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster

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    I don't mind the neck radius, but when set up to follow the neck radius, the strings are further from being on a plane where the picking happens. Many players with a preference for flatter fingerboards are also fans of picking on stings that are nearly on a flat plane.
     
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  15. marksound

    marksound Strat-Talker

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    I have a bunch of guitars with fretboard radii from 7.25 to 12. Each one takes a few minutes to get used to again, but after that it's no big deal. Full disclosure, I built and set up all of them.

    A modern example is the PRS Silver Sky. Every demo I've seen, the player can't believe the neck is a 7.25 because it feels so good.

    I haven't played one yet, but I will.
     
  16. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-O-Master

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    That is a stunning guitar! I have a 7.25 tele and it's very comfortable to play. I agree with the others that your setup may be off. It'll be worth the trouble to get her dialed in!
     
  17. westies

    westies Strat-Talk Member

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    Hey, thanks, that's very helpful; matter of fact, my luthier is the go to guy in Charlotte NC (tech, not a builder), and he recommended jumbo frets when I took it to him for set up, which made a huge difference, and is the biggest reason that I'm getting better with it. I'm comfortable with the set up I have now, thanks a bunch
     
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  18. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    Then he's not a luthier, he's a tech. :) If you do go with big frets at some point, I bet you'll like them.
     
  19. westies

    westies Strat-Talk Member

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    now that makes perfect sense, thx!
     
  20. westies

    westies Strat-Talk Member

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    It's a 2007 American Vintage 50th Anniversary 1957 reissue, bought it from Sam Ash a few years ago, excellent condition
     
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