neck/bridge radius

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neck/bridge radius

Postby Dave Tays » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:00 am

seen this on another forum but curious to what you have to say about it. should the bridge radius match the neck radius?
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Re: neck/bridge radius

Postby Mark Swanson » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:26 am

I like to take each string individually, and not worry about an overall radius. When I get done they are radiused however but it doesn't exactly match the fingerboard. I like the action a bit higher as the string diameter increases.
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Re: neck/bridge radius

Postby Craig Bumgarner » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:56 am

It is a matter of personal preference of course, but I like to think of the strings being concentric to the fingerboard and do whatever I need to the bridge to make it work like that. By concentric, I mean the strings are roughly equidistant to fingerboard and technically the strings would thus have a larger diameter radius than the fingerboard. Pretty minute difference, and using the same radius for both is a good place to start.

I find if I leave the bridge at exactly the same radius as the fingerboard, then the outer strings feel high to the fretting hand compared to the middle strings. This makes getting from one string to the next with the fretting hand more awkward.

I start with the bridge with the same radius as the FB, then like Mark, adjust on a string by string basis until it feels right. Like Mark says, the bass side tends to be a bit higher, though I seem to be doing less of that these days. For some reason, they are now within 0.1-0.2mm of each other most of the time.
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Re: neck/bridge radius

Postby Dave Locher » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:09 pm

I'm with Mark: I want the thicker strings much higher than the treble strings. If you look at my favorite bridges they have a much flatter radius on the three larger strings.
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Re: neck/bridge radius

Postby Dave Tays » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:59 am

the reason i ask is i bought 14" rad locking roller bridge ( http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_ta ... es#details) and i want a 12"rad neck. curious of what kind of problems i will be running into if any?
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Re: neck/bridge radius

Postby Mark Swanson » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:19 am

I think you'll be just fine.
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Re: neck/bridge radius

Postby Henrique Schneiter » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:17 pm

Dave, in spite of agreeing to the previous comments (in theory), you may want try to match the radiuses the best you can. I have used this very bridge on a couple guitars, on one of them the neck has a 12" radius and on the other is 14". On the "matched" one I could get a slightly lower action.

My explanation to this is that the difference in radius is beneficial as the lower strings have a larger diameter, mass and excursion, but it should not be as big as 2". As you sand the radius on the neck you tend to tilt the sanding block a little and you actually sand a radius that's slightly narrower than the actual block, unless you have professional equipment.

Your guitar will work, though.
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