Pros and Cons of "12 Neck Radius

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by mozzarate, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. mozzarate

    mozzarate Banned

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    Was looking at the 60s classic player and just wanted to know if a "12 radius is a big jump from a 9.5? Also what are the pros and cons of having a "12 radius neck?
     
  2. BackNtheSaddle

    BackNtheSaddle Strat-Talker

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    Pro: Easier to bend strings... especially big bends. If you have fat fingers, more room when chording.

    Con: Harder to chord if you have small hands, short fingers.
     
  3. Bryan Lake

    Bryan Lake Strat-Talker

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    Well, I just bought a used LTD Strat about three weeks ago with a 12" radius U-shaped neck and I think it plays beautifully. Yeah, it takes some getting used to, but it only took me a few hours to get a feel for it.

    I guess it depends on you, really. Hold it in your hand and see if you feel comfortable with it. If it bothers you so much that you honestly don't think you'll be able to get used to it, then perhaps you should stick with a 9.5".

    Try to clamp onto a first position A chord using the Hendrix rhythm shape. If you can get your thumb over the edge of the neck without any substantial discomfort, you should be fine. When I first did this on a 12" radius neck, yeah, it felt considerably flatter so there was a noticeable difference, and it did feel a little strange at first, but not so strange that I didn't think I'd get used to it, which I did in no time. Now, I don't even notice.

    The flatter radius also makes for a sweet slide guitar. You can get some real tasty Duane Allman type licks out of it, I was just playing with that today, actually. It's all up to you. But personally, I actually prefer the 12" radius now.
     
  4. ashcastermetal

    ashcastermetal Senior Stratmaster

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    I personally love a flatter radius strings can be lower and won't fret out, plus I got small hands and have no problems with it, Although I have a long reach because I worked on it

    ROCK!!!!!!!
     
  5. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog INMATE #7XX7XX7

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    Normally, 9.50 is as flat as I like to go. This 60s player is a different story. It somehow worked with that c profile & when I got one I didn't put it down for about a week. The American Standard type neck with a 12. though, I absolutely can't stand.
     
  6. mozzarate

    mozzarate Banned

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    My hands are not that small but there not that big. Right now I play a Epiphone standard les Paul I think its 7.25 I could be wrong
     
  7. Bryan Lake

    Bryan Lake Strat-Talker

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    My LTD has a thin U-shaped neck. I could see how a 12" radius on a big fat c-shaped neck would be a bit of a problem.
     
  8. mozzarate

    mozzarate Banned

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    Well my epiphone is a les Paul standard it doesn't give the neck specs on the website. But most of the ones I see on te Epiphone site are "12 and "14 but I'm not sure if the neck specs are the same like fender. Also a lot of the Epiphone necks are tape slim? I not sure how slim that is
     
  9. xoso

    xoso Senior Stratmaster

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    Well here's my take on it which might upset a few people but I think there is a lot of BS spoken and written about neck Radius'. A lot of the time when I read about people who must have a 9 and couldn't possible play a 7.25 or whatever I think it's a load of nonsense. I've got the 60s with the 12" radius and its sweet. I've also got the 50s with the 9.5" radiuus and swap between the two without even thinging about it. In fact I've got something like 19 guitars all told and across the whole range of radius' and play whatever I fancy without even thinking about the neck - I couldn't even tell you what the radius is on most of them.

    I think there was some good advice about hand size and yes if you're a hobbit or something and currently struggle to fret chords you might want to check the neck out first but for perople with average size hands it's not going to make diddly squat difference. Think of it this way - if a 12" radius was known to be difficult to play except for a small percentage of people do you think Fender would bother to make them?
     
  10. LeftyBlake

    LeftyBlake Most Honored Senior Member

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    A 12" radius is perfect, IMO. Wide bends are easily achievable with low action on flatter radii.
     
  11. Bryan Lake

    Bryan Lake Strat-Talker

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    The specs on Guitar Center and Musician's Friend for the Epiphone Les Paul Standard just say "slim-tapered neck profile", so I'm guessing it's sort of like a thin V-shaped neck. If it really does have a 7.25" radius, you might be in for a bit of a culture shock. But I agree with Ash, all those bendy blues licks are just effortless, especially if you have jumbo or medium jumbo frets. Makes a world of difference. I think you'll be surprised.
     
  12. mozzarate

    mozzarate Banned

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    It looks a lot like a C shape or a D shape neck to me.
     
  13. osaur

    osaur New Member!

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    I find my 7.25 easy on the hand playing Barre chords for ages, but bending is a definate issue, strings choke far too easy. My 12" neck requires a little more tension to Barre chords but isnt an issue, and bending notes is never a problem, although my old 9.5 never had a problem either.
     
  14. LORDDiESEL

    LORDDiESEL Strat-Talk Member

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    12" radius with 43mm nut is kick ass.

    12" with 42mm, not so much.
     
  15. xoso

    xoso Senior Stratmaster

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    Classic

    :D :D :D :D

    can you really tell the difference with 1mm of nut buddy? Really?

    If you can I'm not worthy, you're a better guitarist than me and probably better than Eric Johnson :rolleyes:
     
  16. Thin Lizzy

    Thin Lizzy Strat-Talker

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    12 inch rad is great for fast solos and string bending.
     
  17. Teddy Watkins

    Teddy Watkins Senior Stratmaster

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    It really depends on your hands and how you like to play. Pros for me could easily be cons for someone else. 9.5" to 12" is not a big jump feel wise in my experience. I've got three 12" radius guitars and one 9.5"
     
  18. ntotoro

    ntotoro Strat-O-Master

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    Honestly, with a good setup, I can't tell much of a difference between a 9.5" radius and 12". Anything flatter than 7.25" feels pretty similar to me and it seems the frets themselves make more of a difference than the radius, as long as the setup is good.

    That said, a flat radius with a narrow nut on a chunky neck starts to fatigue my left hand after a while. The EJ neck and the 10/56 neck feel very, very similar to me, the difference being the radius. I can play the 10/56 neck (or even the NoNeck carve) with a 9.5" radius all night long with no problems, but the 12" radius on the EJ Strat fatigues my left hand and makes it "burn."

    I don't have anything scientific to back up that, so it's all a feel thing. Probably a combo of chords and leads, but more chords.

    Nick
     
  19. Mouse

    Mouse The Knees of Rock

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    I thought all the Epi LPs were 12". I have a '94 model and it's got a very flat fretboard.

    To the OP, up until recently I've always played flat fretboards. I don't have huge hands and the radius has never been an issue. I'm probably more affected by nut width and neck thickness than radius. My strat currently has 9.5" radius and while it definitely has a different feel, it's not terribly different from 12".

    Where some may have an issue is if they move from 9.5" to a compound radius neck where it flattens to 16" at the 12th fret. My Charvel has a neck like that and if I've been playing my strat for a while, moving to the Charvel neck is slightly odd but only for a few minutes. Then I'm back to being comfortable again.
     
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  20. Michael919

    Michael919 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Here's a copy/paste of something Ron Kirn has posted before:

    [​IMG]
     
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