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Fender Strat Neck Shape & Contour Diagrams

Radius & dimensions specs illustrated

Fender Neck Shape Profiles

Strat Neck Chart(image orig. from Musician's Friend Strat Buyer's Guide)
CLICK on chart for better view

Neck Contour & Radius Explained

Above are some handy reference illustrations for anyone in a spin over "soft V, hard V, C, etc..." when reading about neck shapes. The most common & popular shape for Strats overall is "C". The "V" contours are old school and show up mainly in vintage reissues. The "C" shape seems more conducive to modern playing; making it most popular. Ironically though, Eric Johnson prefers a "V". So, try to play all shapes, and discover what's truly best for you!

Radius is the curvature of the fretboard. We won't get into all the various radius specs, but for anyone confused about "Compound Radius", just know that on this type of neck, the fretboard flattens out as it gets wider, higher up toward the guitar body. In other words, the radius changes instead of remaining the same from one end to the other and all points in between-- thus, "compound" radius. Stew-Mac's (Compound Radius Explained) gives ya the full NASA tech briefing complete with geometric-trig diagrams. But you get the idea here...

The benefit of a compound radius is that it permits wider string bending higher up the neck. Too much fretboard curvature at the high end allows for a condition known as "fretting out". This is when a bent string loses its action/height as it is bent toward the crown of the curvature, eventually touching the frets ahead of the fretted note. When this occurs, the note mutes out against the fretboard-- thus the term "fretting out". This doesn't happen on a flat fretboard. Compound radius designs flatten the fretboard at the mid to high end where bending is widest.

Strat-style replacement necks are available from various sources. Below is a cross section of suppliers with interesting neck inventory:

Lindy Fralin NeckImage: Allparts Fralin Neck- avail. at Angela Instruments.

eBay Stores Directory - 'Stratocaster Neck'

The STRATosphere (large selection of new Fender necks & bodies, including EJ Strat & Jeff Beck model components)

Birdseye maple Strat replacement neckBirdseye Maple Replacement Neck

Exotic wood Musikraft finish Strat-Tele NeckImage: Jamerson-Guitars aka Musikraft

Jamerson-Guitars a Top-rated Seller, is Fender licensed Musikraft's Official eBay "Custom Shop". Check out their exotic wood neck selection. Another way to give your guitar a unique vibe. Inventory fluctuates-- keep checking back.

Remember to shop carefully, compare $$ and get the right shape and spec you really need.


(Matching Fender Fretwire to Dunlop, Stew-Mac & Jescar)

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