Guitar Neck Fingerboard Radius

The fingerboard, or playing surface of the guitar neck, is usually curved or radiused across its width. The purpose of this radius is to accommodate the natural ergonomic shape of your fingers when they are in playing position. Comfort is certainly a major factor in selecting a fingerboard radius but it is not the only factor. Musical Style... the fingerboard radius must also allow you to play the style of music you prefer (Chording, bending, etc.)

Compound Radius Fingerboard

A Warmoth innovation

This is a concept that we introduced nearly two decades ago to improve both comfort and playability. It has proven to be a very popular feature that we have incorporated into the majority of our necks.

Everyone knows how comfortable vintage Fender necks are for rhythm work and chording, but without uncomfortably high action, string bending is not an option because the strings "fret-out."

To achieve low action and no buzz while string bending, many necks resort to a 16" fingerboard radius. This certainly works, but the comfort factor is lost because it's very flat.

What we developed was the theory and technology to make the fretboard conical. This retains a tighter radius in the area commonly used for rhythm and chording, while flattening the area used for bending and lead playing.

We selected a 10" radius at the nut for both comfort and compatibility with the popular Floyd Rose locking nut. A 16" radius at the heel has proven to afford 2-1/2 step bends with action below a 16th of an inch!

In usage, the changing radius is not really noticed. It is simply easier to play on and more comfortable. Compared to a conventional single radius neck, the compound radius is far more difficult and time consuming to produce. So, why do we do it? This is a design that will make a genuine difference in your playing. An improvement in your playing speed... Its fast! String bending has never been easier, and comfortable. And of course your playing will be better if your hand is more relaxed.

One final note for your tech about the compound radius

There is no practical difference in accomplishing a fret level, nut cut, set-up or any other adjustment to a compound radius neck. They are as easy to work with as any other neck.

Custom Straight Radius

Straight radius necks have been the industry standard since the inception of guitars and are still used by the majority of manufacturers; primarily because it is much easier to produce than the much more comfortable Compound Radius necks. For those who prefer straight radius, we have a custom machine which is adjustable to any straight radius between 9" and 16" in half inch increments.

Select Your Language

Copyright © 2014 Warmoth Guitar Products. All rights reserved.

Connect with Warmoth