Other Guitars

New Year’s frenzy — radius is king

1

A furious short scale shootout just went down and the smoke has cleared.

In one corner, clean 1962 Melody Maker ¾. (narrower neck than its esteemed opponent), rosewood board, stock frets, 1 single coil. 12” radius.

In the other corner, recently built mutant Duo Sonic /Jazzmaster =’57 Duo Sonic maple neck w/ big honkin frets, 7.5” radius, marginally wider string spacing, 2 righteous buckers – clearly this one has the advantage?

Advantage Melody Maker!

Despite slightly more cramped string spacing and less cool rosewood board, and lower profile frets, the better radius, 1.5 pound less, makes the difference! Looking to put in a Duncan Splitbucker to help the sound.

http://customshop.seymourdu...

So I may eventually sell the Duo Sonic neck w/ Hideous Reality of 7.5 radius, and maybe keep the body in the event some kind of decent radius shortie maple neck ever happens. Won’t hold my breath tho.

2

What a pair! I'd give it some quality time with both before shipping one off. One shootout ain't enough; see which one you pick up more over the next couple months.

What do you dislike about the small radius? What kind of stuff are you trying to play on it?

3

I like7.5 inch radius. I might be your buyer on that neck if you decide stay with the melody maker. Might be just right for my next Frankenpartscaster.

4

The red one may be sticking around for a while yet. The Melody Maker needs taller frets and all new electronics on a new aftermarket guard. I think there are hi-ratio 3 on plate covered Klusons available. All this takes time (and money).

Except for the red/loaded Tele body, these are the only guitars I have right now. Always need a back up anyway.

I play Timid Folk Music, lots of fingerpicking -- sort of like acoustic guitar. Some clean solos. It's just the 7.5 radius bugs me now -- didn't use to, but then neither did 25.5" scale and small frets which are also on my no-go list of electric guitar specs.

It's just deciding what you can live with for getting something else you want more-- and now, if I have to take a narrow nut to get short scale I will gladly make that trade.

I once asked an Intense Rick 12 Dude how lhe lived with/could deal with the killer narrow neck. He smiled knowingly, and replied "It's mind over matter."

5

But which one SOUNDS more betterer? I wouldn't want to be limited to a single - bridge - pickup...and you likely won't mutilate the MM body to put in a necker, will you?

I know this question comes belatedly, and you're surely aware of these - but howbout the current Fender/Squier mini-Strat and mini-Jazzmaster?

Have they any merit in your quest?

6

Well we gotta go step by step. None of the 3/4 MMs were double pickup like the normal scale ones. So this was my Christmas 1962 guitar under the tree -- /

Will of course not mutilate this killer-kleen survivor. Has the newest lookin' brown alligator soft case I have ever seen. Most are just beat to pieces.

First will see how the Duncan MM splitbucker sounds... you won't get a neck sound but still if there is enough difference in treble and bass etc. it might work ok. So it will be new guard/new electronics.. original stuff preserved intact.

And yes the thin MM single coil is nothing compared to that full-on bridgebucker. One solution --get a louder amp, but my loud playin' days are over.

But I sure like the feel / weight etc. of this latest addition @ 5.8 pounds A nice companion would be the ES 125 3/4.

I could look at the Squier Mini -- if those are those $99 dollar things tho it's just pouring a lot of money into something tho. Plus there's the Hideous Satin Finish on those cheapies. It's hi gloss or nothin' for me.

Still best I can tell no one makes a 22.5, big fret. hi gloss, 9.5 / 10 /12 radius maple neck. I can't go sinking $500 in a 90s Mexi Duo Sonic neck either -- frets, finish tuners. It's just too much.

But I love a challenge and so will keep you all informed.

7

But which one SOUNDS more betterer? I wouldn't want to be limited to a single - bridge - pickup...and you likely won't mutilate the MM body to put in a necker, will you?

I know this question comes belatedly, and you're surely aware of these - but howbout the current Fender/Squier mini-Strat and mini-Jazzmaster?

Have they any merit in your quest?

– Proteus

I even tried the somewhat decent ca. 2006 22.5 Mexi Strat Jr. Pretty good .. but no maple neck option, small frets, and dogs**t satin finish on back of neck. Just can't win w/ Modern World Fender. They did have a good sound tho w/ Duncan Stratbuckers

8

think of me when/if you sell the neck. it would be a perfect excuse to buy a Desert Sand Player Duo Sonic and fit it with the correct neck. bingo! a early DS with more-or-less period-correct appointments which would go well with my 22.5 Duo/Mini Strat conversion.

9

Every post I look at, DCBirdman's guitars keep getting smaller and smaller! Dang!

Cool!

11

if they were much smaller they'd be as small as the Christmas ornaments i used to have (don't ask) from Pier 1 Imports. they came in Western and Chinese instruments. i had a bunch of them.

12

think of me when/if you sell the neck. it would be a perfect excuse to buy a Desert Sand Player Duo Sonic and fit it with the correct neck. bingo! a early DS with more-or-less period-correct appointments which would go well with my 22.5 Duo/Mini Strat conversion.

– macphisto

Modern World Duos all 24" scale -- so you would have to move up the bridge some. There were questions from some about how intonation worked out on Duo/Jazz but we just placed the bridge where it would be on a 22.5 guitar because the wood was there. Other bodies might be different

13

if they were much smaller they'd be as small as the Christmas ornaments i used to have (don't ask) from Pier 1 Imports. they came in Western and Chinese instruments. i had a bunch of them.

– macphisto

The goal is a 21" Rick 950 to be my short scale one --(325 doesn't cut it cause of 3rd pickup and strings to high off the body) and 22.5 officially confirmed at my long scale.

Short scale bass is now 24" and long scale bass is now 25.5". On bass, in 3 years, I went from 34 to 32 / 32 to 30 / 30 to 28/ and now 28 to 25.5"

14

Modern World Duos all 24" scale -- so you would have to move up the bridge some.

are you entirely sure of that? my 22.5" conversion apparently took a Mini Strat neck and married it to a body from a 24" scale Squier Classic Vibe Duo Sonic body, and it intonates just fine without the bridge being moved. obviously it's an experiment, but vintage Duo Sonics used the exact same body and bridge position for both scales.

15

I can’t understand how that plays in tune above the 10th fret. Short scale are difficult to keep in tune to begin with then set the bridge in the wrong spot and everything goes wonky. I’ve had to move some Gibson bridges back 1/4” to make them play in tune.

16

i promise that it intonates correctly within the limitations of the 3-saddle bridge using a +/-0.1 cent electronic tuner. i think it's like 24-3/4" Telecaster conversion necks: the body was originally designed for 22.5" necks, and the 24" scale was essentially a conversion neck while the body size and bridge position remained the same. the general dimensions and relative bridge position of the Fender Player DS is quite close to the older bodies, though the new ones string through the body and use a Strat-style hardtail bridge while the originals and the Squiers string through the back of the surface-mount bridge. with any other design no doubt it wouldn't work, but the history of the design makes this a special case. all this is IMO based on personal observation; obviously i defer to your expertise. honestly, i was surprised it played in tune.

17

I have no expertise. Just trying to find things that work for me at this Antique Age.

So it was sort of a conversion neck scene back then -- sorta like the Warmoth Modern World 25.5/24.75 conversion ....that totally explains it then.

Of course short scales are more tweaky on tuning, but worth the effort.

18

as i always like to say, "what's a couple of cents flat between friends?"

19

It seems like you know exactly what you want in a neck...have you considered the custom route? I'm sure there are a number of luthiers who could build to your spec.

20

It seems like you know exactly what you want in a neck...have you considered the custom route? I'm sure there are a number of luthiers who could build to your spec.

– Otter

I contact at least 4. No one answers. They just want to keep honkin' out the 25.5" scale firewood.

Warmoth out of the question.

There is just no interest -- so I am moving on from that idea. Only chance is if a hacked (bad refin.bad frets, decal gone) Duo Sonic neck comes up for cheap, then get it re radiused. But no biggie on that.

Plus once the Duo Jazz is out the door, that leaves open the possibility of one of the other 3 Gibson 3/4s which were all done by 1970.

I am not a vintage guy per se, but if I have to go that route to get what I like now, that's what I will do.

ES 125 3/4 ES 140 3/4 (less likely, ain't payin' another K just for a cutaway Les Paul Jr. 3/4

and killer rare '66/67 Melody Maker SG body 3/4 -- this sold one is eatin on me bad

https://guitarpoint.de/en/p...

21

And the Fun Starts Tomorrow -- setup, new tuners, adjustable wrap around bridge, decent pots, and will be selling world's cleanest Gibson brown alligator chip case- (that would work for hi-$ Les Paul Jr. 3/4) to pay for some of this frenzy

22

I contact at least 4. No one answers. They just want to keep honkin' out the 25.5" scale firewood.

Warmoth out of the question.

That's been my experience in searching for a similar custom neck. To get real custom specs, you have to go with a real custom luthier. I bet Curt could do it, but I think he's pretty swamped these days.

23

I contact at least 4. No one answers. They just want to keep honkin' out the 25.5" scale firewood.

Warmoth out of the question.

That's been my experience in searching for a similar custom neck. To get real custom specs, you have to go with a real custom luthier. I bet Curt could do it, but I think he's pretty swamped these days.

– Otter

He is -- so I am starting the new year All Eaten Up with Melody Maker possibilities . it appears the first 2 years like 60/61 the necks were the 1 11/16th so maybe 2nd one will roll in - 2 would be cool.

24

I contact at least 4. No one answers. They just want to keep honkin' out the 25.5" scale firewood.

Warmoth out of the question.

That's been my experience in searching for a similar custom neck. To get real custom specs, you have to go with a real custom luthier. I bet Curt could do it, but I think he's pretty swamped these days.

– Otter

It's impossible to build one specific neck for any non-standard guitar and expect to make .10¢. I worked it out and the break even point is about 10 and to realize any profit 12 have to be built and paid for.

If you do the math and consider $1.00 a minute, a neck like this would cost about $60.00 in materials and $800.00 in labor. If you think that's high consider frets jobs cost between $350.00 and $425.00. To refinish a neck in nitrocellulose it's $350.00. It can be an expensive sport.

25

it seems like the only way you could do one-offs economically is with a CNC machine.


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