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1961 strat build.

Axelorox

New Member
Wow, great to see everything put together! Looks really great.

I don't think you've mentioned yet where you found the pickguard. What supplier would you recommend for a vintage accurate one?
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
A colleague had that one lying around for a job he never got. I'm not sure where he got it from but I was comparing with a vintage original and it is nitrate plastic very accurate. You can use a modern fender reissue as a pattern for shape and hole position and then find one with the right plastic laminate /material/colour to compare with . There are quite a few good ones out there but not reliably from the same supplier. Some guys use a blunt cutter to get the chatter in the bevel and get the countersinks right but most don't even start with the right plastic .If I was looking for one I would start with Crazy Parts in Germany . Don't assume everything they have is as good as each other. You really need an eye for tiny detail and check yourself. They have some clone quality parts but also some garbage and it not reflected in the price. learn to trust your eyes and not the writing. Also don't ever use even master built Fender reissues as a reference, only originals.
 

MisterE

Fractal Fanatic
the radius (16") sounds like a real one but plays like a Suhr.
Andy, you said that a 16" radius makes it play like a Suhr.
But on the Suhr website, I can't find a guitar with a 16" radius.
Most are compound radii of 10"-14"
I thought you mentioned it somewhere what the difference between different neck radii is but I can't find it.
Care to share your thoughts on the difference between a 16" and a 1"0-14" compound or a 10"-16"?
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
The 16" radius is a custom option at Suhr and standard on the Andy Wood, Scott Henderson and shred series. In fact my strat is almost the same as the Scott Henderson (better for me) I have thin nitro, stainless frets and a different neck profile. Scott wanted it like his old purple Charvel.
Suhr uses the 10'~14" as standard on the pro series because it is a pragmatic conservative choice that offends the fewest people.
BUT I don't have to.
There is no ergonomic case for curved fingerboards . People get used to what's available and teach themselves to like it. This is why vintage fret size and the 7.25" lasted for so long . If you play it for long enough anything else will feel less comfortable but actually all you need to do is properly get used to something that empirically works better. If you use cad to model fingerboard radius and how strings interact to produce their next fret clearance ( the breath on the note) you will find that in all circumstances the flatter the fingerboard alway produces more clearance when the action is the exact same before fretting. In fact the best is dead flat but because this is the most different to what is out there it feels the most alien . So in order to still be comfortable across a wide range of existing guitars a small curve is practical. I personally have no issues at all switching between 16" and other commonly used radii. (I have 30 guitars).
Fret size is also a big issue . This one IS ergonomically driven to tall being better. With a tall fret 0.055"up (6100, 6105, 6000, 57110, 5590, 58118 being dunlop and Jescar sizes). It is easier to grip a string and fret on a tall fret. Better articulation and easier chording. There is a case for scallops but you reach a point where it becomes easy to press out of tune. I personally think this is just bad playing but I get it. Neck profile too is an ergonomic consideration but it is dependant on us all having perfect technique to have a single solution and we certainly don't. Personal hand position will govern what feel right and works. Do thick necks sound better? this is a question I am often asked but there is no definitive answer because it is dependant on how the particular neck works with the rest. On balance I like the stability but you can't say they sound better because they don't.
 

MisterE

Fractal Fanatic
Thanks Andy.
I personally have no issues at all switching between 16" and other commonly used radii. (I have 30 guitars).
Neither do I. I have lots of different guitars (also around 30) I have some with a 16" radius (mainly my Larkins) with tall frets and they do indeed feel very comfortable.

It is easier to grip a string and fret on a tall fret. Better articulation and easier chording. There is a case for scallops but you reach a point where it becomes easy to press out of tune. I personally think this is just bad playing
This is exactly my thoughts. Although I have fairly big hands and sausage fingers - I have a very tight grip - I don't play hard.
By this I mean, I never had to have a refret done to any of my guitars and even on a scalloped fretboard I play very light so I don't play out of tune.
Tall frets also help me getting more "meat" under the strings for bending.
 
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