Straight Guitar Neck Playing Stiff

Wagster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,153
I adjust the neck on my Tele to be as straight as possible and raised the action until it played clean. The tone and action sound and feel great but it's stiff when doing bends. I thought I'd try the Dan Erlewine approach but I may go back to the stock fender setup. Is this normal for a straight neck setup?

Thanks,
Billy
 

Fireball XL5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,920
Couple of possible reasons:

A side effect of straightening the neck is a lower action. With a very straight neck, the only way to minimize fret buzz in the lower part of the neck is to raise the string height at the bridge, often higher than what's necessary for the guitar to play clean above the 12th fret. This can in turn make for a stiffer feel.

Also, with a straight neck you have less string clearance/height over the frets (especially in the low & mid part of the neck) so you now have less purchase on the strings when bending. This can make for stiffer/harder bending as well.
 
Last edited:

Wagster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,153
Couple of possible reasons:

A side effect of straightening the neck is a lower action. With a very straight neck, the only way to minimize fret buzz in the lower part of the neck is to raise the string height at the bridge, often higher than what's necessary for the guitar to play clean above the 12th fret. This can in turn make for a stiffer feel.

Also, with a straight neck you have less string clearance/height over the frets (especially in the low & mid part of the neck) so you now have less purchase on the strings when bending. This can make for stiffer/harder bending as well.
So I take it that everything is a compromise and that a straighter neck equals in a lot of cases a better tone and clean playability at the expensive of a stiffer feel?
 

cardinal

Member
Messages
5,189
You could try shimming the front of the neck pocket. That will let you lower the saddles while maintaining the same action over the frets. Lowering the saddles reduces the break angle of the strings and might give a slinkier feel.
 

ahhlou

Member
Messages
777
There are many factors involved in an optimum setup. String gauge, fret board radius, neck relief and angle, scale length, etc., to mention a few. Many factors can be adjusted but in the end, as you say, it is a compromise between the physics of the guitar and your playing style.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,224
a straighter neck equals in a lot of cases a better tone and clean playability at the expensive of a stiffer feel?
no way!

+1 to @cardinal's tip about re-jigging the neck angle to have lower saddles to the plate at the same action.

also, what kind of tele? what size frets? low action and small vintage frets might feel stiff for bending because like @Fireball XL5 says it's a bit harder to grip the string for bends.
 

Wagster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,153
no way!

+1 to @cardinal's tip about re-jigging the neck angle to have lower saddles to the plate at the same action.

also, what kind of tele? what size frets? low action and small vintage frets might feel stiff for bending because like @Fireball XL5 says it's a bit harder to grip the string for bends.
@walterw I know that all guitars are slightly different but how much relief do you prefer? My Tele has 6100's and a 10 " radius.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,224
@walterw I know that all guitars are slightly different but how much relief do you prefer? My Tele has 6100's and a 10 " radius.
ah, so nice big frets and a good flat radius; you should be able to get it playing well with less relief. if i can get closer than like .008" i'm pretty happy.
 




Trending Topics

Top