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What if I don't like the neck on my custom Suhr? Cost?

 
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brokeguitar



Joined: 06 Mar 2017
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:40 am    Post subject: What if I don't like the neck on my custom Suhr? Cost? Reply with quote

I ordered a Suhr awhile back and am expecting it to probably be finished in November or December.

I ordered it with a straight 9.5" radius.

I chose that radius because I didn't want to stray to far from the YJM Fender guitar I had.

However, I did have some nightmares with the Fender YJM Strat, one being that the high E string kept slipping off the edge of the fretboard, and then also that often times when I'd bend notes higher up on the fretboard they would "fret out" or "choke" like the note would stop.

Most guitars I've played have been guitars with a 12" radius like the SRV Fender Sig Strat I used to own, or several Gibson Les Pauls I used to own, and I've also owned some BC Rich, Jackson, and Ibanez guitars that had an even bigger fret board radius. So what I'm saying is, I never had such a horrible time with notes fretting out on any of those guitars with the bigger fretboard radiuses.

I had even taken the YJM Fender Strat into Guitar Center once to get them to set it up better to correct the fretting out problem. and a couple weeks later with those same strings still on it, nothing had been changed since, and it started fretting out again.

This Suhr is costing me $5,050 all said and done (because I got a scalloped board with stainless steel frets)

And, now that it's getting closer to completion, I'm getting paranoid that WHAT IF i get the guitar and it frets out when I bend strings? And then I take it to guitar center to try and get them to set it up so it won't fret out, and then it's fine for a couple days and starts fretting out again, and again etc.

A part of me wanted to just originally go with the 12" fretboard radius from the very start, but my sales guy made it sound like if I liked the tone/feel of the YJM Fender Strat that I should stick with the same fretboard radius as that.

However, this guitar is going to be a complete worthless piece of garbage to me if it arrives and I have any issues with it "fretting out" when I bend strings.

I went with the 9.5" fretboard radius because my salesguy told me not to worry, that Suhr will NOT send me a guitar that has any issues with strings "fretting out" when I bend notes, or slipping off the board either.

So I trusted him....

Even though something in the back of my mind is telling me maybe I should have went with 12" because I have owned over 50 guitars in the past all with 12" or more fretboard radius and never had a issue with "fretting out" until I briefly owned a Fender YJM Strat, which I mainly sold because of the high E string slipping off the board and the notes fretting out.

And I'm having this Suhr built because they are supposed to be the best.

So anyway,

Worst Case Scenario, when my guitar arrives, if I have these issues, how much money is it going to cost to get a new neck with a 12" radius?

I mean I am hoping this guitar arrives to me without these issues, but just in case it dosen't, I'd like to know how much financial damage this will be for me to get fixed?

I read on another forum that someone had to replace a Suhr neck a few years ago and the cost was about $750 base for the neck plus 50% of the original cost of options like SS frets. Just wondering if that is true or has changed today, and also what cost of scalloping would be in that situation as well, would that be at 50% or full price?

Hoping for the best, but trying to prepare for the worst.
Because $5,050 is a lot of money to me. And I've never even played a Suhr before. So this was a blind purchase, but hopefully it will turn out to be a good one.
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DaeniusZ



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 435

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should DEFINITELY contact customer service ASAP if you want to change the neck radius! They can change the build-spec before it's finished, so if they haven't made your neck yet, you have a high chance of just getting them to change it for free, and your guitar will arrive with your preferred 12" board. Call or email them right now and tell them your problem.

Now, as to 9.5" radius and the Fender YJM... I own a regular USA Fender with 9.5, and I used to own a Fender YJM. I didn't have any "choke" or "fret-out" issues with my regular Fender, but it was happening to my YJM... All in all, while the YJM was a very cool guitar, I wasn't very happy with its build quality... maybe I was just unlucky. It didn't feel as good as my cheaper USA Standard Strat.

Suhr would most certainly be of much higher quality, so I don't think your notes will be fretting out severely like your YJM. But either way, 12" is always going to be just a bit smoother with the bends.
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brokeguitar



Joined: 06 Mar 2017
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's probably to late to contact Suhr at this point, on my order sheet it said the estimated build date would be sometime in July to start it.

Yeah the yjm I had sucked. I've had $400 BC Rich warlocks that played perfect, but the yjm fretted out and also high e string kept slipping.

I don't know a lot about radius. I hardly ever play chords so all I care about is soloing, I don't really use a whammy bar, but I bend notes more than probably any other guitarist.

I'm hoping you are right that it's more about quality than it is radius.

But 12 inch radius would give me more peace of mind at this point.

I will try reaching out to Suhr but it's most likely already too late.
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DaeniusZ



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 435

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you're an expressive shredder! While Suhr wouldn't have the same kind of crappy quality issues, a 12" fretboard would certainly be much more comfortable for you than a 9.5". I'm very much same as you in that regard, I really like 12" fretboards too.

Contact them right away and don't lose hope! Last time I had Tom Anderson change specs for my custom build about a month after build started, and they were able to do it no problem.

I'm sure Suhr can do the same. Their customer support is generally very helpful. I've contacted them numerous times to upgrade/modify my Suhrs and they've done nothing but great work every time.

As for the YJM... I think the string slipping off has to do with the scalloping... It's VERY VERY deep scalloping and I think your fingers subconsciously feels like it needs to grab on to the string more than it should, and hence pulling it off the fretboard... I had the same issue... I don't know for sure but I can certainly say that the YJM Strat is like trying to drive a garbage truck ON ICE... Yngwie can somehow drive that thing at 200mph... for normal people like us, we just crash and burn, LOL
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brokeguitar



Joined: 06 Mar 2017
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You were point on in your "garbage truck on ice" comment, haha, and yes, It's amazing how Yngwie makes that guitar do some of the things he can get it to do.

I called my sales guy today and he's going to call Suhr to see what step they are on so far, but he said most likely they've already done the neck, but he won't know for sure until he gets to hear back from them, which he said should be Monday or maybe even Tuesday... seems like a long time to do a simple communication, but I guess I will be on the edge of my seat until then.

I should have put more thought into the radius of the fretboard before I finalized everything, I just really didn't understand clearly what all the radius of the fretboard affects.

I mean a beautiful looking and beautiful playing guitar is pointless if it lacks play-ability.

If I still have time to change it, I'm going to go with a 16" radius because that's what Jason Becker used, and if it works for Jason Becker it will work for me.

I've spent hours today researching more on fretboard radius online, and I have not been able to find anywhere that having a flat radius is going to change the TONE in a negative way! But what I have read is that with a 16" radius you can basically bend a string to the edge of the board and it's not going to fret out or choke or go dead or buzz or anything.

My sales guy told me today that I should be fine just doing 1 whole step bends on 9.5 radius, but that crazier bends are not going to be possible, and he also told me that a good setup has a lot to do with actually being able to even do 1 whole step bends on a 9.5 radius..... so to that I say, no, I don't want the hassle of having to have the most perfect setup on my guitar to be able to play it the way I want to play it, because do you really think the tech at my local Guitar Center is going to know how to set up my guitar as good as Suhr sets it up before they ship it to me??? I doubt it. And I SUCK at doing ANYTHING myself. If I even try to mow my own yard it looks like crop circles when I'm done, if I try to fix anything around the house it will be even more broken by the time I'm done with my fixing... you know what I mean, so I have to rely on Guitar Center setting up the action and all on my guitar. So if 16" radius will make my guitar more bulletproof, then I absolutely need that.

I don't care how a guitar "feels".
I can and will adjust to the feel of any guitar if I have to.

But I refuse to pay $5,050 for a guitar that will not let me bend strings as far as I want. I'm not going to do it.

My sales guy at Matts Music made me feel like if I did anything different than the 9.5" radius on the YJM guitar it would probably change the guitar too far from what I wanted in a guitar, and I just wasn't educated enough on this to know better at the time.

I went to guitar center and I played a classic Fender with 7.5 radius and sure enough it fretted out on me.

Then I played some Ibanez and Jacksons with 15" and 16" radius, and I could bend them as far as humanly possible without any issues.

And the 16" radius really felt just as comfortable to me anyway, I have long fingers, I met Yngwie once and our hands/fingers are the same exact sizes, I pressed my hand to his to see.

I don't see why anyone wouldn't want a 16" radius, I mean where is the downfall, cause I don't see it. I almost never play any chords, however today at guitar center chords didn't seem any more difficult for me on a 16" Ibanez radius as they did on the Fender 7.5" radius!

I wish the limitations of a shorter fretboard radius would have been more clearly explained to me before I finalized my build.

Other than the scalloped board, now I feel that te fretboard radius is the most important decision a customer has to make, because if you pick wrong then you will be stuck with a guitar that's unplayable.

I loved the scallops on the YJM guitar, so I have no worries on that.

But I sure do hope there's time to change the fretboard radius, because I am VERY very very OCD when it comes to these things, at this point I'm not even willing to try the guitar with a 9.5" radius no matter how good they quality/set up is, I am now totally convinced that a 16" fret board radius would be far superior in every way possible.

I just hope they can catch this in time, because I only make $16 a hour and my rent is $1,000 a month, and the guitar is already costing me $5,050, so for me this is an insane amount of money already on a single guitar, I mean I could buy a GMW Randy Rhoads Polka Dot V, a SRV Fender Strat and a Eric JOhnson Fender Strat, I could get all 3 of those guitars for $5,050 that I'm paying for this ONE guitar. So yes my expectations of this guitar are extremely high.

I read a post in a older forum that Suhr charges $750 for a replacement neck, plus 50% cost for every thing else, they charged me $1,000 just to scallop the fretboard, plus the other options with the headstock as well like body matching paint, MOP inlay, engraving etc.

So I imagine if they've already made the neck at this point, then I will have to pay between $1,250 to $1,500 MORE to get them to do it again with an acceptable fret board radius.

It's enough to make me almost physically sick to think of it, but, I'm not taking a 9.5" guitar under any circumstance. Too limiting. I like to have the option to bend crazy high if I decide to do so. Maybe I won't bend that high, but if I want ever take a notion to, for $5,050 I certainly should be able to.

Just to better put the cost of this in perspective, I'm trying to save up the 3.5% I need to get a FHA loan on a house, that amounts to $7,000 on a $200k house, which isn't too far off from the price of this guitar, and certainly will be closer to that price if they already built the neck.

I'm just not saying, not everyone that buys a Suhr makes a lot of money or can really "safely" afford it. I would have liked it if my sales guy would have explained this radius thing much more clear to me in the beginning.

So I may have made an expensive mistake here by not being an expert on fretboard radius before finalising my build, but anyway let this be a lesson to anyone that reads this, make sure you know EXACTLY what you are doing when you are placing your order on EVERYTHING 100% for sure, because it may possibly be expensive to change later.

The anxiety of waiting to play this guitar is killing me because I never played a Suhr and I am just really worried because I want it to be the best guitar I ever played.

Radius is a big deal, if I don't like the pickups thats a easy replacement.

Radius was so confusing to understand.

I mean I put a lot of thought into making sure I got the right neck size/shape. But the radius of the fretboard, I just didn't understand how curvature effected string bending till today really. I mean I had always heard the 12" radius on the SRV guitar made string bending easier, but I also heard jumbo frets, and scallops, and SS frets also contribute to easier string bending, so I just didn't understand the HOW exactly does curvature affect bending. I always thought well my fingers are strong, I can bend anything, but no, this curvature thing will choke the note and silence it regardless of your finger strength.
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DaeniusZ



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 435

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

$5000+... Yeah I don't have a guitar nearly that expensive, so I totally understand how you feel.

As to fretboard radius? Well, classical guitars are FLAT, so... if anything... guitars are kinda supposed to be that way. Why the modern guitars have a radius? It's because of big barre chords and open chords! It's far easier to bar your index finger across all 6 strings if you have a curvature because your finger isn't naturally flat. It's a result of the players' demands: more people play pop music since the 20th century instead of classical music. If you're playing a lot of barre chords, a flat or 16" radius board can cause discomfort and cramps in your left hand, especially when combined with a thin and flat neck back profile like a thin D shape.

Fretboard radius changing tone... well yes, if you're playing poorly because you aren't used to the radius, then your tone goes to shit, because you're sounding bad from sucking, haha. I've played a 7.25" Strat once and yup, my tone sucked because all my bends were either out of tune or fretted out, so there you go.

I think what your sales guy thought was because you mentioned the YJM Strat, he thought you LIKED the feel of the 9.5", so he recommended that 9.5" so it'd be more familiar to you. I'm sure he's well intended.

As to needing a perfect setup to just bend one whole step on 9.5"... FALSE! 9.5" isn't as good as 12" or 16" for bending but CERTAINLY NOT THAT BAD!! My Fender USA Strat with 9.5" can easily bend a minor third without fretting out, so it's not as bad as people say it is, DEFINITELY NOWHERE NEARLY AS BAD as the YJM. My PRS which is 10" bends perfectly fine too, absolutely no problem unless you're trying to bend like... iono.. more than a major third? But chances are you either run out of finger strength or your string will just break before you fret out.

I hope the change request works out for you man! Let me know if it does! But hey, if it doesn't work out, don't sweat it, I'm sure the 9.5" will do just fine!
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Billielvis



Joined: 30 Jan 2017
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry at all - even if the fretboard radius is 9.5 the plek machine can tweak the frets to create a 9 to 16 or whatever you want ! Goo luck and enjoy
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qwe200



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 290

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worst case, I've heard of Suhr replacing non-exotic necks in the $700 range.
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brokeguitar



Joined: 06 Mar 2017
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, I read it was around $700 too, but my neck has a one of a kind body matching finish on the headstock, plus they charged me a extra $1,000 to do a full scallop on the fretboard, and I opted for the $200 mother of pearl Suhr logo on the headstock plus a special carved name on the back of the headstock, so I just worry worst case scenario might even be more than double that. Hopefully I will find out something tomorrow at the latest.
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qwe200



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 290

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I may offer an observation, it sounds like you suffer from the same syndrome I experience from time to time - Worrying about problems that don't yet exist. Maybe you'll really love the neck, then you've spent a lot of time and energy for nothing. Let's see how it turns out. I'm hoping you love it.
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brokeguitar



Joined: 06 Mar 2017
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great news! There was a delay in getting my original build started, so they are able to make the fretboard radius 16" straight for me. So I will feel invincible with that. I don't do a lot of crazy high bends, but I like knowing the option to bend high is available to me if I want to later. So glad this has worked out!!!!!
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DaeniusZ



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 435

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent! Great to hear that it'll work out!

Now, be sure to post pictures of the guitar when you get it!
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