Compound radius boards ... how do you set string height?

SpeedKing

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 9, 2015
2,185
UK
Well as the name suggests really... not much more to add.

I know of course you'll eventually set it up to just what feels right but where's the start point? Are the saddles following the flatter radius the more curved radius or does it end up somewhere confused betwixt and between?

Is the nut cut for the lower radius round the lower frets and the bridge adjusted for the higher radius at the higher frets?

Just curious. Thomman have a CS 68 strat with a 7.25 - 9.5 board and whilst I'd sooner have true vintage specs myself it got me to wondering....
 

Stu78

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 20, 2019
1,612
Scotland
Well as the name suggests really... not much more to add.

I know of course you'll eventually set it up to just what feels right but where's the start point? Are the saddles following the flatter radius the more curved radius or does it end up somewhere confused betwixt and between?

Is the nut cut for the lower radius round the lower frets and the bridge adjusted for the higher radius at the higher frets?

Just curious. Thomman have a CS 68 strat with a 7.25 - 9.5 board and whilst I'd sooner have true vintage specs myself it got me to wondering....
I'm honestly not sure but a very good question and one that has out me off buying guitars with a compound radius neck before. I'm with you on the 68, would prefer vintage spec 7.25 for a guitar like that.
 

Stu78

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 20, 2019
1,612
Scotland
Well as the name suggests really... not much more to add.

I know of course you'll eventually set it up to just what feels right but where's the start point? Are the saddles following the flatter radius the more curved radius or does it end up somewhere confused betwixt and between?

Is the nut cut for the lower radius round the lower frets and the bridge adjusted for the higher radius at the higher frets?

Just curious. Thomman have a CS 68 strat with a 7.25 - 9.5 board and whilst I'd sooner have true vintage specs myself it got me to wondering....
Which one is it? Thomann have a few listed. Incidently I've always liked the look of the Michael Landau Strat in Sunburst, very nice. 🙂
 

bluejazzoid

Strats Amore
Silver Member
Aug 14, 2009
8,316
Southeast USA
For your example, imagine the strings without the fingerboard/neck beneath: just the nut at 7.25"+, and saddles at 9.5"+..... that's your starting point. Then add the fingerboard/neck back into the equation, allowing for some relief and your preferred action... adjust saddles to taste.
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
1,155
Maine
Its super easy in practice, zero thinking involved.
Nut slots and saddles are set to the proper height based on where they relate to the closest fret.
From nut to fret at each string, nothing is different, treat each string individually without worrying about the other strings or the radii.
 

Ebidis

Providing the world with flat bends since 1985
Nov 14, 2013
28,287
Alabama
It is absolutely no different than setting string action on any other guitar.

The nut is set for proper action at the 1st fret, and the saddles are set for proper action at the last fret.

Don't over think it. It's really just that easy.
 

sam_in_cali

Scream for me Strat-Talk!
Silver Member
Feb 21, 2014
15,721
Santa Maria, CA
Its probably different for everybody but I set my string height based on what feels good doing whole-step bends. As soon as I can get a good grab on each string around the 15th fret, I'm done.
 

Nate D

Most Honored Senior Member
Apr 2, 2016
9,604
Philly, PA
I don’t ever put an intentional radius on my strings. I literally just put them where they feel good. I like my strings feeling flat, but a low action on the high E, so there tends to be a bit of a curve or radius to them.

Do what’s comfortable for you. :)
 


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