SRV neck radius question

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mikenixon316, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. mikenixon316

    mikenixon316 Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    Leeds, England
    If SRV's number 1 strat was, from what I understand, a composite of a '59 body and a '61 neck, how come the SRV signature model has a 12" radius fingerboard? I was under the impression that all 'vintage' strats from this period had a 7.25" radius.
    So was the 12" radius just an invention for the signature model or did SRV's number one actually have a 12" radius? If it did then how did that come about?

  2. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    It's been 12+yrs since I sold mine, but IIRC it was based on the measurements of the actual neck of his #1. Which likely had been refretted & worked over many times through the years (not to mention manhandling by the man himself :D) resulting in the flatter radius (and asymmetric neck profile). I could be wrong though (it's been a while) so don't take that as gospel. ;)
  3. ZeroCool

    ZeroCool Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    +1. I read somewhere that due to quite a few re-frets and from constant play that the radius actually flattened from a 7.25" to about a 10".
  4. fastburn430

    fastburn430 Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    I always wondered about the radius myself. Why a 12" when it was most likely a 7.25"? I also heard the re-fretting explanation. Personally, I would have liked the 9.5 instead.

    Regarding the guitar date of his #1, this is the real story taken from:

    "Number One was disassembled by Fender Custom Shop employees in 2003, and they stated that the neck is from December '62 and the body is a '63. So, Number One can rightly be called a '63 Strat. Pickups are 1959, which is why Stevie referred to it as a '59."
  5. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

    Oct 31, 2003
    NorCal Bay Area
    Yeah the neck had flattened out.
    Don't forget, SRV was hip to the project, and involved with it before his passing. Likely he chose that 12" for easier bending.
  6. DanielT2

    DanielT2 Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    There's a piece by Dan Erlewine -

    Where he says Number 1 became a 9" or 10" radius in the upper register from re-frets.

    Always thought it a little strange that the Fender SRV model was a 12" radius but I guess Stevie must have developed a taste for a flatter radius later in his career.
  7. TexasDude

    TexasDude Guest

    Check out this link. It's been stated numerous times (of course, by Rene Martinez, his guitar tech for years) how the neck became flattened out due to refrets. Near the end of Stevie's career, this neck was practically unplayable. He was using a Fender CS replacement on Number 1.
  8. supar6

    supar6 Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I second Texas' comment. Stevie started using replacements on his #1 as the original neck was jacked beyond the point of repair. It's my understanding many of the replacements were 10" and 12" necks. I've got a '92 and a new '07. I personally would like one to be a 10" and the other to be a 12" just for variety. It took me a little while to get used to the jumbo frets on those necks as well. I got real used to my 7.25 necks with vintage frets before I bought my SRV.

    Nice guitar all around and the neck is nice and fat too!

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