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Are there any disadvantage’s in playing a 7.25" vs. 9.5"?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by BrandonZ, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. BrandonZ

    BrandonZ Member

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    The Sunshine State
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]I’m thinking of purchasing a Fender American Vintage "Thin Skin Nitro" '57 Stratocaster from Wildwood but
    I haven’t played to many 7.25" necks. I’ve play a Don Grosh RC for the past 7 year but I want to add a real Fender to my arsenal.

    Thanks guys
    [/FONT]
     
  2. RickB

    RickB Member

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    I just got a '51 Nocaster Relic with a 7.25" neck. This is my first neck with this radius. I would say it took about a good three days of playing it to get comfortable with it. Now I love it. I can still easily get a good whole step bend without fretting out. Maybe more but I haven't really pushed it or payed too much attention to it since huge bends are not of significant importance to me on this guitar. My strat feels foreign to me though now when I pick it up. It has a 9.5" radius. But going back and forth is getting easier each day.
     
  3. Road Runner

    Road Runner Member

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    I played a G&L Asat with the smaller radius in the guitar shop and really struggled to feel comfortable with the neck. I ended up getting an American Series Tele instead, but now wonder if I was just chicken and could have made the transition if I'd tried.

    Later, Jim
     
  4. Jeeves

    Jeeves Member

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    I have two teles - a 52RI (7.25") and a Muddy Waters (9.5").

    The neck on the 52Ri just feels more comfortable to me. Like RickB, I can also bend a whole step without fretting out. I've read a lot of posts saying the small radius is outdated and not practical but having experienced the 52RI I wouldn't hesitate to buy another guitar with this radius.
     
  5. Chops

    Chops Gold Supporting Member

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    I like the 7.25" for playing chords; it feels more natural to me. But the flatter radius is nice for playing leads high-up on the neck. I like to play above the 12th fret, and those guitars (like Anderson and Suhr) that really get flat up there are nice. I guess I like both the Vintage radius and a flatter one depending on the application.
     
  6. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    7.25 (IMO) is the only radius to have on a Fender for fretted playing. Leo got it right the first time. I can bend as much as 2.5 steps on the 2 and 3 strings, 1.5 on the 1 string. Do you really need to bend more than that?
     
  7. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    I respectfully disagree. It depends on what style of music you are playing and how you approach it. The 7.25 is great for some people, but it does make bending strings tougher. If you are a slower, bluesy/rootsy player, you may dig it, but if you play faster rock, fusion or serious country, you may find a flatter radius to be worth searching out. I like a flatter radius (9.5 or 10) on my Fenders because it allows me do those pedal steel style bends without having to use lighter gauge strings.
     
  8. Coach

    Coach Senior Member

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    I find 7.25" alright for fast rock.
     
  9. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    The 7.25 makes a bit more work for me but I play 11-49s on my '62 RI Thin Skin and have no problems doing faster stuff and doing any pedal steel style bends. Not to disagree with you, it's just my findings and I have a handful of different radius necks.
     
  10. Don L

    Don L Member

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    I've never had any problems with either. If it's a great guitar, I pretty much quickly adapt to it...
     
  11. mr.mattphisto

    mr.mattphisto Member

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    +1

    My 2 cents are:
    Tele should have 7.25..but personal taste.
    Strats..anything that feels comfortable, I played a few compound radius necks that feel amazing (suhr, Fender EJ model, etc)
     
  12. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    7-1/4" radius is what I grew up with, but 9-1/2" is ok. 9-1/2" just isn't as comfortable for me.

    If you want to [FONT=Verdana, Arial]add a real Fender to my arsenal, then get used to the feel of the 7-1/4" radius.

    Pete
    [/FONT]
     
  13. Badger71

    Badger71 Member

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    I've strummed on a 52RI Tele at a local shop and it felt just as nice as the Fender CS Tele with a 9.5. Both guitars sounded great, bent notes were fine, and the craftsman ship was superb on both models. The price, OTH, went to the RI at about 2k cheaper. Luckily I'm pretty adaptable when it comes to neck thickness, width, and radii.
     
  14. karmadave

    karmadave Member

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    Wildwood just got a bunch of CS Strats and Tele's with 9.5" radius and 6105 frets. Personally, I have a difficult time playing any guitar with 7.25" radius and vintage frets. That's just me and others seem to be find with them. You might ask the good folks at Wildwood about their return policy just in case you can't "bond" with the instrument.

    -KD
     
  15. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    I prefer 7.25".
     
  16. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm becoming less concerned with radius all the time, or maybe I should say, have less preference, not that I don't think there is a difference. More and more I'm enjoying those differences, I have guitars from 7 1/4 to 12.

    I think that with a 7 1/4 combined with Fender vintage frets you do have to play a little more precisely, and notes are a little more difficult to sustain when you bend a stop or more.

    I don't think it's really a speed issue--remember that a lot of the red hot country pickers play traditional teles.
     
  17. go7

    go7 Member

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    I`m comfortable with 9.5 or any good neck w/7.5 radius. However lately I`m playing a compound radiuus neck 12 to 9.5. I really like compound radius as you get the best of both world`s. Compound radius`s are available in different radius combinations for each players preference.
     
  18. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    Totally agree. I love the USACG 10-12" compound radius. Any nicely made neck with a proper fret job and setup will work for me, but the aforementioned radius is extremely fast and comfortable for my hands.
     
  19. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    I should probably mention it while I'm thinking of it.... while I do prefer 7-1/4" radius fingerboards on Fenders, both of my Telecasters with 7-1/4" fingerboards are very poorly suited for playing slide on. I'm sure they'd be better if I'd just raise the action, but I keep the action suited for fretting notes.

    My Telecasters with 9-1/2"R. necks are much better for playing slide for whatever reason. But when I pick up a slide while playing a Tele with a 7-1/4" neck, I end up thinking, I used to be a lot better at this!

    I don't have a good theory to explain it, but while I prefer 7-1/4" for general playing, it hurts my ability to play slide.

    Pete
     
  20. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Member

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    The 7 1/4s I've tried have always fretted out above the 12th fret. I like to bend, really bend. At home I have a 12" and a 16" radius. Though I have to press harder on the barre chords though with the 16. The 12 is my main one at this time.
     

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