Ok now im confused. Quick question, are the spaces between strings bigger as you get further from the headstock? What does compound radius neck mean??? This whole neck business truly has me confused.Thanks in advance for any help u guys can give.
It has to do with the curvature of the frets, not the spacing.
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it means you have a more curved radius towards the headstock, which lends itself to easier chording, and the radius flattens out towards the body, which lends to easier soloing. i quite like the compound radius on my SL2H
It has to do with the frets and the fretboard; they are more arched (smaller radius) towards the nut and are flatter (larger radius) toward the body.
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Does this affect how low i can put the action? Or will strings buzz when i bend or anything? In fact what are the downsides?
okay, I'm going to explain this the best i can.

The radius is how curved the fingerboard is.

A high number fingerboard radius would look like this(but a little bit curved) This is what classical guitars usually use. = |

A lower number radius would look like this and is more like a fender strat = (

A compound means it is lower radius at the headstock end, and it gradually flattens out as you get higher in the frets to enable easier soloing.

If you play rhythm/lead parts or enjoy to, compound radius's rock, some like them some don't.

EDIT: I personally love the feel of both, and it's a personal preference to what radius you'd prefer.
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The action can still be low and I've never had any bending problems with a compound radius fretboard. Most shred-oriented guitars like Jackson as mentioned above are well known for extreme bends and fast playing feel and many feature compound radius fretboards.
Last edited by fretz86 at Sep 16, 2009,
The only downside to it is it's a bit... pointless.
If you mostly shred and use other faster lead techniques, you'll like the flatter radius at the higher frets but you'll probably have no use for the more rounded radius at the lower frets.
If you're mostly a rhythm player, you'll like the more curved radius at the low frets but probably won't have any use for the flatter radius at the higher frets.
If you're a bit of both (for example, you might be the only guitarist in the band), you're going to like the very low frets and the very high frets, but the middle portion of the neck will probably feel very jarring to play on as it transitions from curved to flatter.

I have two guitars with compound radius fretboards (10"-16") and I'm not really a fan. I don't find the flatter 16" radius area is any easier for fast or precise playing than if it was a straight 10" all the way along, and actually I don't find 10" is quite curved enough to really offer the more comfortable rhythm playing effect either - I find you need to go down to a 9" radius or even 7" to really notice a difference in comfort for rhythm playing.
Also since I mostly play as the only guitarist in the band (the only others being the drummer and our bass player/singer), I find playing the mix of rhythm and lead is very odd. If for example I'm playing a part low down on the neck, then I have to slide up or ascend up the neck to the higher frets, it's a really jarring transition. It's very obvious if I use any kind of barre chord, to barre the strings properly at the 8th fret requires me to barre the strings at a much different angle than the same chord at the 5th fret, because of the neck getting flatter as you go up. It's annoying to keep having to remember that and it means i find myself focusing too much on the radius of the fretboard, rather than on my playing.

So yeah it's... alright. I can see why some people might like them, but to me they're not anywhere near as great as certain guitar brands would have you believe and I think most people are better off getting a guitar with a straight fretboard radius to suit exactly how they play, rather than the 'jack of all trades, master of none' compound radius boards.
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I'd say Mr.Flibble's breakdown of the compound radius is rather accurate... at least how he describes how it works.

I find it to be a useful feature on my SL2H in a similar vein to Killedelphia19. The lower frets are noticeably easier for chords, while access on the higher frets is remarkably easy.

As with anything else, try some compound radius's before you buy.

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