1959 Fender Tele Neck Radius?


Anybody know what the radius of 1959 Tele's are? I want to get a neck as vintage correct as possible. Thanks! :beer


Silver Supporting Member
definitely 7.25 radius - 1.65 nut width

and usually a soft V profile that's a little flatter than rounder

starting in late 58 and into '59, the necks tended to get kinda small - often as small as .80 at fret 1. As the early 60s crept in - they took on a more medium C shape - a bit bigger w/ a little more shoulder


I'd get hold of (or make) some radius gauges and check the radius of the wood, and the radius of the fret tops, they could easily be different.

7 and a bit (they never seem to measure perfectly, and I'm talking about the wood) is too small for me at the higher registers, the action is just a few shades too high, its not great for intonation either.

If you've ever wanted a lower action up there you could get the vintage style neck, put in some thin-ish, tall frets and have a compound radius put in.

It wont be a gigantic step away from an original, but it will be a more playable version.

I seem to do a lot of this kind of thing, most guys find it slightly strange to begin with but much prefer it once they're used to it!


Bob V

Yes by all means get your hands on a 7-1/4" radius neck and play it so you'll understand why they went to 9-1/2" and you can make an educated decision. People will be just as impressed that you did a specific radius or compound radius as they will being told that it's "vintage correct." Don't get me wrong, 7-1/4" is great for cowboy chords and the type of thing that the artists Leo hung out with were playing at the time, it's really comfortable, but if you're bending a lot of notes higher on the neck you may want a compound radius so the notes don't choke out as you bend them. Many vintage guitars have been dressed and refretted so many times that in the process there's an almost accidental flattening of the radius as it goes up the neck.
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