Compound Radius Necks - Problems with (Staggered) Poles?

If you're thinking a 7.25 - 9.5" compound radius is the ticket then you may as well just get a Warmoth 9.5 inch straight radius. Some people can't even feel the 10-16" Compound radius so the other would be very slight to say the least.

Don't forget that any compound radius continues to flatten out as it heads to the bridge, so over staggered pole piece pickups, a straight 9.5" radius may be the best fit besides going Total Vintage 7.25" straight radius for the true vintage experience.

I dont feel compound radius when I play it. that says in my book that it's a great invention. I can play on the warmoths with such ease, unbelievable. When I pick up a guitar with a straight radius, I suddenly do feel a difference; there is no compound radius. strange hu? :)
I get caught up worrying about stuff like this sometimes, staggered pole pieces, whatever. I sometimes have to remind myself to "Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar".

Seriously, let's all shut up. The gear-head stuff is important and fun but should always be second to playing. I think.
i have a good friend who is an awesome guitar player, he is friends with a lot of big name players, satriani, vai etc,,,

He is always telling me about all the stupid stuff that makes up for tone, it ranges from nitro celulose paint, no emblems burnt into neck pocket, pickguard material, neck wood, alnico magnets, 1 piece 2 piece 3 piece bodies, iron tremelo block, the list goes on and on, and we've all seen the stuff.

Kinman is probably correct, but he's splitting attoms, and the results are probably undecernable to most or all ears.

I don't believe most of it, but maybe, just maybe, if you add together 5 things, maybe an expert could think he hears a difference.
You know, maybe another factor we should take into consideration on this topic is the sweat residue coating each string. The more residue, the less the string volume. So, if your G string collects the most crud, perhaps a pole piece accentuating that string would be more appropriate.  But what if you do not sweat the same as the next guy? Maybe for you, it's your B string that needs the boost because that is where you deposit the most hand oil coating. Are the pole pieces from these vintage pickup makers staggered according to new strings? Because my strings are only new for about an hour.

Maybe, what we need is a pickup manufacturer who staggers the poles in accordance to your sweat accumulation instead of a generic "one size fits all" arrangement. Now THAT would be custom.  :laughing7:  :icon_jokercolor:
Congrats on buying your new Seymour Duncan Custom Custom Custom pickups!  Here's the instructions to get you started:

1. Run one (1) mile in seven (7) minutes.  Scrape your left armpit with the included sweat scraper.
2. Apply your sweat to a set of your preferred strings.  Wait six (6) hours for oxidation to set in.
4. Use the included oxidized-string-color-to-pole-piece-height conversion table to optimize your tone.

Coming soon: Warmoth Custom Custom ergonomic necks!  Simply cast your hand using the included plaster hand cast, return it to Warmoth in the prepaid envelope, and in six to eight weeks, you'll have your ergonomically correct custom neck!
New from Trojan: Custom Custom Condoms! Simply cast your...self using the included plaster cast, return it to Trojan in the prepaid envelope, and in six to eight weeks, you'll have your ergonomically correct custom condoms! Please specify preferred reservoir tip configuration.
DiMitriR33 said:
:laughing3: wow where is this going, you guys are nuts!


Back on topic? ;)

jackthehack said:
Haven't used Kinmans, but have Warmoth Pro 10/16 compound radius necks on several builds with "staggered" pole piece single coils from Fender and other mfgrs. and 0 issues to date....

Same here, I have two with necks compound radius on Strat builds with Dimarzio Virtual Vintage (staggered pole) pickups. No issues.  Plus more manufacturers are adopting the compound radius, and I see pickup manufacturer's touting "magnet staggers that work with TODAY's  guitars" to quote one. Though I do remember as a teenage experiment raising the screws on my Duncan Distortion bridge position to match the stagger on the HS-3 in the neck position of one of my SuperStrats (old Charvel neck, non compound radius), and yes the result WAS the 'D' and 'G' being waaay too loud. Not pretty. Switched that back after like one gig... :laughing7: Actually, it may have been between the 3rd and 4th sets if I recall correctly!  I (and my band as well) was like "YUCK!" 

So based on that, I believe I'd be able to hear it if it was a problem on these guitars, and it's not.... :glasses9:
FYI as of July 2008, Kinman reports that Warmoth compound 10"-16" radius is excessive but nevertheless came up with a stagger layout for it or any flatter fretboards ranging from 14" to 20". "The Kinman flat radius stagger magnet array is engineered to compensate the D and G strings for balanced output with all other strings." It's alleged to be much better than regular non-staggered magnets, which I have on my Warmoth Strat. However, I got to install a set of these new staggered layout on a Warmoth compound built for a friend and I didn't hear any obvious difference compared to the non-staggered magnet layout. Might be just a sales pitch.
stubhead said:
Consider that Buddy Holly and Jimi Hendrix both used basically the same tone-generating device. Hardcore Fender-sniffers may quibble about the differences in neck dimensions and types of capacitors between the 1957 and 1967 models, which semi-skilled laborer ran the pickup winding machine that day,  etc. -ETC.- but still.... When I think about the tonal differences between "Peggy Sue" and "Purple Haze", the staggering of the magnets is not what first comes to mind.

+1, tone is in the fingers.  I've never heard people in an audience complain, "man, that guitarist really needs to look into an alternate stagger for his pickups, that unwound G is just piercing!".  It is far more likely for one to hear something along the lines of "man, that guitarist should spend more time practicing!".



What to do, what to do???

I see this same sort of stuff in the aftermarket car business, they thrive on it.
While there may credibility to the theory, in practice you could never tell.
We call it theoretical HP.  Often there are more "HP gains" to be had by cleaning out your trunk.

At the same time, I give my man credit for running a business and catering to a niche.
I'm sure they are nice pickups.

Just my 2 cents,