7.25 radius

RadioFM74

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 5, 2016
1,747
Italy and Switzerland
You got loads of good insight already. One point that wasn't mentioned is that the strings you use and your technique also have a huge impact on whether your bends will choke or not.

Assuming that your tech will do a good job with relief, frets etc… you'll have to do a little bit of trial and error yourself to see where the sweet-spot is in terms of action.

PS: 7'25, and doing 2 whole step bends no problem… but I do use 11s and like my action around 2 mm
 
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freddy

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 28, 2018
28
Belgium
i have a 7.25'' soft V neck on my classic 50's and I like it a lot , for the action i have tried to set it to 1.5mm for high E and 1.8mm for the low E but it didn't feel well and nots would choke on the high strings , then i have tried a different strategy , i set up the action on the 12th fret to about 2mm and i have tried to play like that it was better but after i have raised the Hight E just a tad more the guitar plays really well and i don't fret out any more across the whole neck .
i know that the action seams a bit high but for 7.25" it feels and sounds the best .
from my experience low action on vintage radius with vintage frets its not recommended , for low action you will need a more modern neck profile and bigger frets
 

3bolt79

Dr. Stratster
Oct 16, 2018
14,309
Oregon
I have my 7.25" radius Fenders set up as 5/64ths on the low E and a hair over 4/64ths on the high E (basically just so high as to see the line on the ruler under the string). Works for me. Anything lower than that on the high E and not only does it choke but it is difficult to bend. Of course your frets need to be level.

‘I agree. A slightly higher action makes bending easier.
 

uncle daddy

Strat-O-Master
May 16, 2020
995
UK
I really dislike a super low action. I set mine up so they don't buzz or choke, and that's good enough. I also dislike vintage frets; fat and chunky and a bit worn in for me.
 

DavidGilmour

Strat-Talker
Sep 16, 2020
380
united kingdom
Thanks all. Bit of a strange situation, both I and the tech know the neck itself isn’t great, it’s not twisted, just not consistent, but somehow it was playing good with an action not far over 3/64ths. It was just choking up past the 14th on bends, and the D and G saddles were maxed out. Bemusing how it was playing so well. It just needs higher action but he’s going to work on the frets to get them consistent and level up the neck. I’m sure he’ll get it as low as it can go without choking, but I just wondered what is the rough norm for that radius. Basically as I don’t know about this radius I don’t want to be fobbed off and told that 5/64ths (2mm) is normal for a 7.25, when actually they should be able to be lower and actually it’s just a rubbish neck!
Gilmour used the 7.25" radius neck on his candy apple red strat.. I want to get one myself but am having a jolly hard time locating one.. the neck I have now is more than adequate.. until I read your post and now im of the opinion that I don't want a 7.25" radius neck.. if choking occurs because of the radius and frets need levelling to prevent it your essentially reducing the radius of the neck, was 7.25" a bad idea to start with??
 

Lost Sailor

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 20, 2012
1,157
Wolf 359
I have both and like both. I like the action a bit high so my chords and lead lines are clean and clear no matter where I play on the neck.
 

Adf91081

Strat-Talk Member
May 26, 2020
85
Uk
Cheers all! Set them high then! I love a high action!!! I’ll drop a post when I get the guitar back and let you all know! Just to confirm though, the fret work isn’t to flatten the radius... it’s to even out some inconsistencies In the neck lengthways. This would normally be a red flag I know, but seriously, this guitar is something else and it was like 500 bucks!
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,552
Sante Fe, NM
Got my guitar coming back from the workshop in a couple days - my first ever 7.25 radius, played well in the shop, fell in love etc, but could be better, so the complementary work being done etc. I like a medium action I guess you’d call it, anything around 1.5mm or a tad higher is the best for me, 1.75 on the low E (but on my Les Paul - diff radius). I told the guy this when he asked how I liked my guitars set up. He said he would look to set it up at 1.5mm. Anyhow, seeing as I’m a newbie to this radius... what should I expect from such a radius, would a 1.5mm action on the high E and 1.75mm on the low E at the 12th (I think that’s just under 4/64ths and just over 4/64ths) give me, say nice whole step bends without choking, and half decent clean notes. Or is this very low for a 7.25? I’m not a big bender but do like to squeeze it up between the 7th and 15th quite a lot. What’s your experiences?? Thanks all!

The answer is that the radius of the saddles need to match the radius of the fingerboard. All these other numbers are mostly meaningless.
 

Adf91081

Strat-Talk Member
May 26, 2020
85
Uk
Great news! Got the guitar back today and he’s done a great job... complete fret job, no shimming and action at 1.6mm (4/64ths) across all strings - although I don’t think the saddles will push higher then that, but it’s playing buzz free and the notes bend fine so I’ll settle for that! Turns out the pick ups aren’t tex mex like they should be in this model, but are Seymour Duncan California 50s, the wiring is also upgraded to cloth covered! Happy chappy!
 

huubstah

New Member!
Aug 31, 2018
6
amsterdam
My avri 59 has an 7.25. Absolutely love the feel of the neck. No problems with big bends anywhere along the neck. Maybe a shim would do the job. Had a standard 9.5 for years with adjustable neck angle, but couldn’t get it right and sold it. God luck!
 

Slartybartfast

Strat-Talker
Aug 10, 2020
395
Ca.
Got my guitar coming back from the workshop in a couple days - my first ever 7.25 radius, played well in the shop, fell in love etc, but could be better, so the complementary work being done etc. I like a medium action I guess you’d call it, anything around 1.5mm or a tad higher is the best for me, 1.75 on the low E (but on my Les Paul - diff radius). I told the guy this when he asked how I liked my guitars set up. He said he would look to set it up at 1.5mm. Anyhow, seeing as I’m a newbie to this radius... what should I expect from such a radius, would a 1.5mm action on the high E and 1.75mm on the low E at the 12th (I think that’s just under 4/64ths and just over 4/64ths) give me, say nice whole step bends without choking, and half decent clean notes. Or is this very low for a 7.25? I’m not a big bender but do like to squeeze it up between the 7th and 15th quite a lot. What’s your experiences?? Thanks all!
Being a newbie to the 7.25 radius, what should you expect? Expect to appreciate your Les Paul even more. Expect having your action higher than you like to be able to bend notes without fretting out. And, as this radius is almost always paired with tiny frets, expect string bending to also be obstructed by fingerboard friction. I didn't know any other radius or fret size, but when it was explained to me in the 70s why my friend's Les Paul simply played better than my Tele and my Strat, there was no turning back. Is was reworked necks and aftermarket necks from then on out. I will never see why people prefer something that simply doesn't work as well as it could.
 

jayaitch

Strat-Talker
May 28, 2020
214
st. louis
Gilmour used the 7.25" radius neck on his candy apple red strat.. I want to get one myself but am having a jolly hard time locating one.. the neck I have now is more than adequate.. until I read your post and now im of the opinion that I don't want a 7.25" radius neck.. if choking occurs because of the radius and frets need levelling to prevent it your essentially reducing the radius of the neck, was 7.25" a bad idea to start with??
That 7.25 radius is from an era when there wasnt any string bending and ther werent any light gauge string sets with a plain G string. Its just that folks kind of deal with the radius. I’ve grown REALLY accustomed to it myself. The flattest radius on a Fender that feels “right” to me is 9.5.
 

Adf91081

Strat-Talk Member
May 26, 2020
85
Uk
Haha! That radius rocks for me, loving it, my les is great, I like that radius as well, but loving the way the 7.25 feels more like holding a baseball bat. Regardless of radius though, give me a medium-high action anyone over a low one anytime... you get better tone and you can grab the strings better for better bends and wobbles! The strings don’t bunch up on bends either. Not too high that your intonation is thrown out though! Consider can of worm open.
 

old hippie

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 29, 2017
15
Indian Land South Carolina
I sure hope I can eventually try a 7.25 radius someday. With guitar stores closed, and unknowns on radii on wall guitars, don't know how hard that's going to be to try. All I know is that Ive always had 12" radii and buying my first guitar with a 9.25 I'm in love with lesser radii. I wonder now if I would like an even lower radius, can't wait to eventually find out. My new guitars are all now NOT 12" radii, and really liking it better. yeah one can adjust but if you really like something else, why tolerate it?
Try it before you buy it; if you are used to 9.5 to 12 radius guitars (I have 3 les pauls, a tele, and a rick) you may find yourself searching for the high e string which is much lower than it would be on a flatter neck.
Got my guitar coming back from the workshop in a couple days - my first ever 7.25 radius, played well in the shop, fell in love etc, but could be better, so the complementary work being done etc. I like a medium action I guess you’d call it, anything around 1.5mm or a tad higher is the best for me, 1.75 on the low E (but on my Les Paul - diff radius). I told the guy this when he asked how I liked my guitars set up. He said he would look to set it up at 1.5mm. Anyhow, seeing as I’m a newbie to this radius... what should I expect from such a radius, would a 1.5mm action on the high E and 1.75mm on the low E at the 12th (I think that’s just under 4/64ths and just over 4/64ths) give me, say nice whole step bends without choking, and half decent clean notes. Or is this very low for a 7.25? I’m not a big bender but do like to squeeze it up between the 7th and 15th quite a lot. What’s your experiences?? Thanks all!
I posted not long ago that I had purchased my 1st strat and at the time I had never heard of neck radius (I know, sue me!) I have 3 les pauls that are 10 and 12, a rickenbacker that's 10, and a tele that's 9.5. I wondered why my strat was fretting out on bends, and why I was searching for the high e string on leads because it was lower than the rest of the strings. The replies I got were "it isn't set up correctly" and "it was the choice John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, etc " and basically "this is a great neck and there's something wrong with you". The simple explanation is that 7.25 isn't my cup of tea, and I much prefer the flatter neck radius. I love the sound and feel of a strat, and I am looking for a hard tail with a flatter radius. If you are a thumb wrap player, it's likely fantastic, but my short crooked thumb will barely mute the low e, and certainly won't fret it. I'll stick to the flatter radius.
Being a newbie to the 7.25 radius, what should you expect? Expect to appreciate your Les Paul even more. Expect having your action higher than you like to be able to bend notes without fretting out. And, as this radius is almost always paired with tiny frets, expect string bending to also be obstructed by fingerboard friction. I didn't know any other radius or fret size, but when it was explained to me in the 70s why my friend's Les Paul simply played better than my Tele and my Strat, there was no turning back. Is was reworked necks and aftermarket necks from then on out. I will never see why people prefer something that simply doesn't work as well as it could.

I didn't even know what neck radius was until I bought my 1st strat and wondered why it was fretting out on bends and the high E string was lower than the other strings and my finger was looking for it. Having 4 acoustics with flat necks, 3 Les Pauls with 10-12 radius, a tele with 9.5 and a rickenbacker with 12, I had no ideas that a really curved neck radius could be a problem for some players. When I posted my comments on 7.25 to the group, it was not received positively. Replies were "7.25 was good enough for Mayer, Hendrix, etc (if I could play like those guys, it wouldn't matter what I was playing) to "you don't have it set up right, your luthier doesn't know what he's doing, you don't know how to play it, your string heights are wrong, etc, etc. It's the only guitar I ever bought that needed a re-education to play. I never even noticed this stuff until I bought my 7.25 strat. It ain't my cup of tea. It's a beautiful guitar, plays well, and sounds great. It does feels great fretting barre chords, but in my case, flatter necks are much more comfortable.
 

GlassyD83

Strat-Talker
Apr 8, 2020
171
Ireland
Got my guitar coming back from the workshop in a couple days - my first ever 7.25 radius, played well in the shop, fell in love etc, but could be better, so the complementary work being done etc. I like a medium action I guess you’d call it, anything around 1.5mm or a tad higher is the best for me, 1.75 on the low E (but on my Les Paul - diff radius). I told the guy this when he asked how I liked my guitars set up. He said he would look to set it up at 1.5mm. Anyhow, seeing as I’m a newbie to this radius... what should I expect from such a radius, would a 1.5mm action on the high E and 1.75mm on the low E at the 12th (I think that’s just under 4/64ths and just over 4/64ths) give me, say nice whole step bends without choking, and half decent clean notes. Or is this very low for a 7.25? I’m not a big bender but do like to squeeze it up between the 7th and 15th quite a lot. What’s your experiences?? Thanks all!

If you don’t have a heavy hand and don’t bend too much, you could get away with it. I’d say that would be on the low action side for what I do with my tele at 7.25 radius with vintage style frets.

I have probably a little under .10 relief. Action approx 1.75 treble side and just over 2mm bass side. I use a radius gauge to fine tune things. No fret outs or buzz.
 

Adf91081

Strat-Talk Member
May 26, 2020
85
Uk
Great that we all have different tastes and styles, variety is the spice of life! I do have a heavy fretting hand and hit the strings on the hard side, but still at 1.6mm there’s no buzz and I can bend easily to 1 1/2 steps. I’ve raised the low E to more like 1.7mm as I had a tiny bit of buzz. My experience of the 7.25 so far is probably a testament to either the fret job the shop did for me or the quality of this individual guitar. Thumbs up for Mexican made strats!
 

CFFF

Strat-O-Master
Aug 17, 2018
500
.
I wonder how many people can say a neck is 7.25 or 9.5 without knowing the model of the guitar or using a gauge. :)
 

jb65

New Member!
Jun 21, 2020
1
Los Angeles
I just got my '79 Strat refretted and the tech used similar specs: 0.029 nut, 0.011 relief, 1/16" action (a little higher on the low E). I don't have any problem fretting out. I also I floated the trem, and now the 3rd string has to go almost to the 5th string to get to pitch. I never really liked how it played before, but it turns out the frets were low (~.030), with with the new jumbo frets, it's great. For reference, I have a Tele with 10" and a Les Paul (with I don't know what), and I pretty much like whichever one I'm playing. I never thought about any of this until he asked me if I wanted to change the radius along with the refret. Glad I didn't.
 


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