View Full Version : 9.5 radius strat neck with a Floyd Rose?

12-01-2012, 02:06 PM
Hey guyz

I'm building a superstrat. I'm making the body from scratch and the neck will probably be a Musikraft. The idea is to have a non recessed Floyd Rose and a 9.5 radius that I oh so love.
But if I've understood correctly, the Floyd Rose has a different radius? 10"? So I will need a neck shim? What happens if I install the Floyd and the neck without a shim? Will the strings hit the fret or something and be unplayable?
Also, if I go with a recessed Floyd, will the same issues remain?
I'm a real beginner when it comes to the technical stuff such as radius etc so bear with me.


12-01-2012, 03:05 PM
The Floyd should work fine. There may or may not be shims under the saddles. Just put the Floyd on, string up, and see how it is. If it's not to the curvature you like, then remove/add shims as necessary.

12-01-2012, 03:23 PM
a neck shim is used to create neck angle. a non recessed floating is 2-4 degrees, 0 degrees is standard fender Vtrem if you have an early floyd it will sit flat on the face of body on a standard fender 0 degree angle. in order to get the height to raise pitch you need to shim the neck. people who like the feel of the bridge at V trem height back routed floyds, it also saves wood when making neck thrus. neck shim has nothing to do with fret board radius.

12-01-2012, 03:57 PM
I wouldn't be concerned with a 1/2" difference in radius.

12-01-2012, 04:18 PM
I have to say 9.5" is not a great choice for an OFR build. OFR's are designed to match up with 12" - 16" radius necks. There is a shim that ships with OFR's that can be installed under saddles 2 - 5 that drops it from 16" to 12". If you must have 9.5", go with a 9.5" to 12" or so compound radius neck. You don't need that smaller radius up high.

12-02-2012, 11:57 AM
But how do guitar techs do when someone gives Žem a 9.5" strat and wants a Floyd Rose installed?


12-02-2012, 12:39 PM
Few guitars have a 100% perfect radius at both the nut and bridge. Every guitar has its little defects. A tech will do the best he can, and many guitarists are quite oblivious to these types of technical issues and may be perfectly happy with it. It may even play pretty good. However, you are loading the dice against your build right out of the gate. The radius at the nut can be nasty because the OFR locknuts have a "one size fits all" design. They have a 12" radius, and technically you can't compensate for that. Your outer strings are going to be a tad higher than the middle strings on the low frets. So, go with a straight 12" radius or a 12" - 16" compound radius if you want things to be tip top.

12-02-2012, 12:42 PM
Also, stringlock designs can deal with odd radiuses at the nut, but you sure as hell don't want one of those!

12-02-2012, 07:15 PM
I believe the Floyd is set up for a 14" radius at the bridge. If you take Jackson's 12-16" compound radius, Jackson removes the shims under the A, D, G, B saddles. This gives close to the 16" radius. To accommodate a 9.5" radius, you will want to put a 0.08" shim under the D and G saddles and a 0.020" shim under the A and B saddles. This should approximate the 9.5" radius. I will double check the saddle heights when I get a chance. This saddle positioning is from a while ago.


12-02-2012, 07:32 PM
The Floyd site has most of the nut radiuses at 10" except for the R3, which is 12". So you might not be too bad there. The Floyd site also says the radius at the bridge is 12" with the shim removed, which I know is a crock of shit! This is making my head hurt...

12-02-2012, 07:55 PM
As stated with a 9.5 radius neck your two E strings are going to be too high to be comfy to play.

12-02-2012, 08:32 PM
There's tricks you can do like skunk striping the frets to change the radius although this is usually done above the 12th fret to make bending easier and keep the action lower. Shimming the bridge is one option as is pulling the frets and reradiusing the board to a 12-16 compound or a straight 12 etc. then re-fretting the neck. This is expensive and very time consuming. I did this to my Star cus it was a 7.25 in radius with a 16 in radius Floyd. It needed re-fretting anyway cus it just wasn't playing right even after having a seasoned tech level crown and polish on it. The radius' just weren't accommodating to each other. So I did it myself. Tons of work but the result were well worth it. It's now one of the best playing guitars i own. But keep on mind if you do this last option you need to be aware of where the truss rod is you can easily get to close to the rod or even expose the rod if you're not careful.