Does anyone own a JPXI-7 or some other 7-string with a 20" fingerboard radius?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by coreypla, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. coreypla

    coreypla SS.org Regular

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    HI all, I know this is really a matter of personal preference but I was hoping to glean some insight on this topic from anyone who has owned or played a 20" radius fingerboard.

    I am looking into getting a seven string guitar with a 20" radius, but I've never played such a flat fingerboard before. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with one, and if so, what your thoughts are on the 20" radius and playability. I mostly like to play lead work, but also play rhythm (writing and recording my own music). Do you think playing chords towards the nut of a 20" radius board is difficult? Do you think a compound radius of 16" to 20" would be noticeable and make any difference? I was told that at a 20" radius, a compound radius from 16" to 20" isn't really making much of a difference.

    I have heard different, juxtaposing things. Either " 20" radius is too difficult to play and very drastic ", or that " the 20" radius is just a bit flatter than a typical 16" radius."

    I was just hoping to get some idea about this. I wish I could find one to play near the Niagara Falls / Buffalo NY area, but they are tough to track down and no local shops have any to try out.

    Let me know what you think and keep shredding!!!!
     
  2. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    you don't really notice it. i don't really like rounder boards.
    definitely a difference between 20 and 16 but not really enough change your playing.
    what's more important is that the back of the neck has to match up. a super chunky neck and a 20inch board means you are going to cramp ville.
     
  3. coreypla

    coreypla SS.org Regular

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    Thats another good question to follow up with!

    would a typical 'C' style neck work well with 20" radius? Or should I opt for a D or U shape neck?

    I would like to avoid this 'cramp-ville'.....
     
  4. Ziricote

    Ziricote SS.org Regular

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    As the style of music evolves so does the guitar to suit this styles. 20" is better for newer styles of shredding whereas the rounder was better for the vintage times Fenders and Gibsons playing styles. Think about it. The Ibanez players exploded onto the scene with shredding players and flatter radius than the previous companies at 16" or 17". 20" is the next evolution for players taking it to the more extremes for 7 strings styles because its better
     
  5. TheTrooper

    TheTrooper SS.org Regular

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    I owned a JP12 with the 20" radius, a Carvin and currently own another guitar with 20" ( all of the were 6 string) and owned Ibanez guitars in almost all ranges.
    The real impact is the differences between the shape of the necks, you don't really feel the radius under the fingers (Unless it's something drastic like going from 20" to 7.25" or 10") and it's more in the limitation of the set-up you can achieve than anything else; Example: A Mercedes car will always be better (on paper) than a Toyota car, but You might feel more comfortable driving the Toyota.
    Go with what You like.
    I don't think a compound 16"-20" exists, but I might be wrong.

    The JP line has awesome neck shapes, can't really go wrong with them; the "genre/radius" thing is pure BS, You play what You like and feel comfortable on, nothing prevents you to play Black Metal on a 1957 Strat or Iron Maiden on a 8 string-fanned fret Strandberg because "period incorrect"

    EDIT:Also fret size matters comes into play.
    I actually have a 12"-16" radius guitar that I forgot :)lol:) and it has vintage skinny frets; MASSIVE difference in playing between guitars with Jumbos, but again, you don't feel the radius
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  6. coreypla

    coreypla SS.org Regular

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    all very good points...

    I am all about keeping in the forefront of the guitar scene, and try to keep my finger close to the pulse of guitar innovation.

    What are the differences between the jumbo and skinny frets that you notice in your playing, TheTrooper?

    I'm interested in this! What about different neck shapes? I usually go with the standard C, but I really haven't had a chance to sit down and play all different neck shapes side by side. I wish I could do something like that. settle this once and for all!
     
  7. TheTrooper

    TheTrooper SS.org Regular

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    Personally, I've always been playing on Medium Jumbos and Jumbos; when I got the one with the skinny "vintage" frets the main difference is that since they are shorter in height you obviously have more contact between the fingers and the wood of the fretboard (Which is not a bad thing, it's more of a preference I guess).
    Very different in feeling, I do prefer Jumbos over them, but I don't dislike them at all.

    Neck shapes: too much to choose from really.
    I do however remember guitars I had with great necks, namely: EBMM JP12 (really really easy to play, super comfortable; I feel it lacked in overall tone the guitar, but I'm no fan of mahogany necks), Ibanez JPM and USA Custom (Viper neck on both or a slightly different version, great feeling and they sounded out of this world), Ibanez RG8520 (Had it's own "custom-ish" neck shape, I like Ibanez in general), Ibanez JBM100 (loved it), Carvin Holdsworth (HUGE neck, like really big neck. 20" radius fretboard and sounded so good, but not too easy to play on for me at least)
     
  8. secretpizza

    secretpizza SS.org Regular

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    I had the same question about a year ago, when I first made the jump from Gibson-only to trying out different companies. I actually passed on an incredible deal on a burl-topped Suhr modern because I was worried the 16" radius would be too weird.

    Eventually I tried it, first on a Mayones Regius, and found that I loved it; if you're doing mostly lead work, and the neck is on the slimmer side, you'll probably find the flat radius very comfortable. Since then I've owned a couple Kiesel Vader 7s and Strandberg 7s, both of which come with 20" radii, and I think it works great for 7s as well. Other than my Dunable Yeti, I won't really buy anything with less than a 16" radius now; I just really like the way it feels for lead work.

    Fret size is something I also didn't understand for a while. I have kind of thick fingers so I initially thought that jumbo frets meant less space on the fretboard and less ability to play up the neck. What I've realized since is that jumbo frets really just make bends super comfortable and smooth. You probably won't notice the difference other than that you'll feel like you're playing a bit better.
     
  9. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    Every Ibanez 7-string guitar has a 16 or 17 inch radius, it really isn't a big deal.
     
  10. thejone

    thejone SS.org Regular

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    Hi!
    I think it is really a question of personal preference. You should just look up a store that carries similar guitars with different radii to see what is best suited for your. I have several very similar guitars with different radii comprizing a six and seven string version of the same neck profile. For me the six string with 20" radius is the best playable guitar I ever played. The seven string is also very great but I feel that the benefit of the greater radius on a seven string just does not play out as well. If I could have a custom seven string guitar I would definately go for a radius of 20" or maybe even more. But again, I thing this is highly dependend on personal circumstances. I hope this helpes you! Regards, J
     
  11. coreypla

    coreypla SS.org Regular

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    Whoa! Lots of great info here since I last popped in.

    I am definitely in for the 20" radius, you all convinced me. And the other day I was listening to the new Greg Howe Album and was thinking (for fun) --what pickups does this guy use? When I saw a video, Greg was explaining he plays his custom Kiesel with 20" radius.....really put that cherry on top after the decision was made. What a player!

    I am going to spend some time next thinking about what a good neck shape would be. I have a few options to pick from:

    C-shaped, D-shaped, V-shaped, or U-shaped (and then a custom shape could be doable, but I don't think I need to likely stray from these choices).

    One of these pics should work:
    https://ibb.co/hEB26G

    <a href="https://imgbb.com/"><img src="https://image.ibb.co/dFzB0b/Screen_Shot_2017_09_30_at_5_01_50_PM.png" alt="Screen_Shot_2017_09_30_at_5_01_50_PM" border="0"></a><br /><a target='_blank' href='https://imgbb.com/'>how to upload photo to internet</a><br />

    [​IMG]
    how to upload photo to internet


    What does everyone think on this? I definitely want to make sure the neck is thin enough so that it doesn't "cramp" my style. I do have a Boden OS 7 that I find very comfortable. And otherwise I do have a 17" radius neck (the guitar is also 27" scale) and where it is comfortable, the 27" scale seems a bit roomy sometimes to me.

    Let me know what you have to say about these shapes....without thinking I usually go for the C shape...but I really don't know which is the thinnest or not. I have even heard terms like "thin U-shape" which then gets confusing. Which is why I turn to the lovely people on this forum. Guitar fanatics with more knowledge! Good friends to have!

    Let me hear your thoughts!
     
  12. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    TBH it's all just personal preference. You're never gonna know for sure unless you try a bunch of different stuff. Some people love U shaped necks, I can't stand 'em. Doesn't mean they're objectively good or bad. Personally I like the JP necks a lot, YMMV.
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    This, really. Are you looking to order some sort of a custom, from the sound of it, based on the way we're discussing individual specs in this thread?

    If so, I wouldn't bother, until you KNOW what sort of specs you like. Go out and play a bunch of guitars, figure out what you like, what you don't, etc. Personally, I couldn't even tell you what the neck shape on my Suhr is - I think maybe modern elliptical...? - but all I knew was the first time I played one, it was comfy as hell. Before that I knew I had a preference for slightly thicker necks than is common on "shred" guitars - the modern Fender thickness seems like a pretty good sweet spot for me.

    My personal thoughts are that fret size and neck thickness matter more than fretboard radius and neck thickness. YMMV, though.
     
  14. Krucifixtion

    Krucifixtion Duncan Hills

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    My Kiesel Vader VM7 has a 20" radius. Coming from someone who was mostly an Ibanez player used to thin flat neck profiles it's awesome! I even had them do the thinner neck option on the Kiesel and I love it. You will notice a slight difference from 16 to 20. My Ibanez RGD 7 is a comfortable neck, but still more noticeably rounder than the Kiesel.
     
  15. Wolfos

    Wolfos SS.org Regular

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    I have owned a JPXI 7 string with a 20" radius, I've owned 10", 12" , 14" , 16" , 10-14" compound radius.

    I'm sure there's more I didn't even pay attention to anyway all I have to say is that there is barely a noticeable difference between them for me. I can play all the same tunes and riffs at the same proficiency on all of my guitars with out feeling a difference or having to make any type of adjustment.

    If your having a tough time deciding on a curve, I've noticed Music Man JP models have changed all their new models with 17" Radius, They had started with 14" or 16" and then moved to 20" and now have landed on 17" I'm sure because for Mr. Petrucci it was the best of both worlds. See if your local store has a 17" model to try out like a JP15 or a Majesty.

    Anyway hope that helps!
     
  16. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    About the neck shape, it's more of a mattr of habit than anything else. Over time I'm fine with many different kinds of necks, while when I was younger I couldn't play on this or that. Now my guitar necks go from ibbies to the monstrous baseball bats and I'm fine with all, I can adjust. It's the same with bridges really.
     

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