Traditional Strat with better Upper Fret Access

Does anyone have recommendations for such a thing?

I have a standard traditional strat which I love. However, I practice mostly standing up and I find the upper frets beyond the E and B strings tough to reach because of the heel joint.

So it would have to sound as stratty as a Fender strat but with a contoured heel joint. I’m aware of the Sire Larry Carlton S7, but the body shape isn’t traditional enough for me - it looks a bit too pointy! (Yes, I’m shallow).

Suhrs fit the bill but are (i) expensive and (ii) not so widely available in the UK

Any ideas gratefully received!


Well, there’s the PRS Silver Sky, but I bet you hate the headstock on that.



1 Like

Fender have done some carved heel joints. The Jeff Beck model has it, and MIM Deluxe models.


Apparently the neck joint contributes a lot to the tone and sustain. This is one of the claims about the superiority of the Les Paul with its set neck. I believe Richie Blackmore glued his Strat necks in for that reason. So going for a slimmer heal profile could be at the expense of tone. Just a thought.

1 Like

@Majik Suprisingly I’m not anti-PRS headstock or birds! I had forgotten about the silver sky - I think at the next opportunity I’ll try one out in a shop to see how I get on with the 7.5" radius neck.

@Richard_close2u Ah right, the JB looks lovely, but pretty expensive. I couldn’t find any Player series with carved joints, but I haven’t looked very hard yet. Thanks for the tip!

@rorystrat Yep, sustain is important as I like bluesy music, so I’d definitely want to try before I buy!


Personally, I doubt it. I think the glued-in vs bolt on makes sense as a glued-in neck will be mechanically stiffer and will absorb less energy from the strings (less energy absorbed = greater sustain).

I doubt a few cubic centimetres of wood mass will make much of a difference, unless that somehow contributes the mechanical stiffness of the neck joint.




Is there and Anderton’s close to you? If so, you might check out the G&L strat style models, Legacy, S500 and Commanche. The heal is not rounded but the body cut may be a bit deeper. I don’t have a Strat for comparison, but I have no trouble reaching all the frets and I have short stubby fingers.


Thanks for the suggestions Robert. There is just one Anderton’s branch in UK, and it’s quite a drive for me. I can reach all the frets without much problem sitting down, but standing up I can’t reach the low strings on the high frets comfortably.

1 Like

I play standing up almost all the time. The heel of the necks on all my G&Ls actually are rounded where the neck joins the body. My previous comment was in error as I was referring to the body of the neck socket, not the actual neck. The necks are also all modern C with a three having 9.5 radius boards and one a 12.
Hope this helps.


The options for a different heel carve on a bolt-on neck are quite limited, and I’d say you’re probably heading towards Super Strat or custom built territory.

My first and only thought is Feline - Feline alder S-type roasted maple neck relic charcoal burst – Feline Guitars.

If you were to ask this question on, then there are a good few people who will know what options are available.

I’m not a lead player by any means, but I find it hard to imagine wanting to play on the 5 and 6 strings up near the body of the guitar. The little solo fills I do pretty much only involve the four thinnest strings.

1 Like

I think you’re right - there aren’t many. I wasn’t aware of Feline specifically, but I guess quite a few custom builders would offer that possibility.

It’s not something you’d do a lot, but those strings/frets with chunky gain offer a warm and fuzzy sound. I’d do it if, for example I was doing a dominant blues in A with A minor pentatonic box 1 rooted at the 17th. A quick run down the scale there can sound nice.

Like EC does here at ~4:10 (though it’s so fast there you can hardly hear it) Eric Clapton - Groaning the Blues (Official Live Video - Nothing but the Blues) - YouTube

If you can hardly hear it when EC plays it then I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. :smiley:

Now look, you’re undermining my excuse to get a new guitar. This is a clear violation of forum rules :rofl:


I don’t have particularly big hands, but this is how far I can reach on my Fender Player Plus Strat, without stretching my fingers:

How does it compare to your guitar?

This is me fretting the 6th string on the 17th.
With my thumb in the position you have yours, there’s no way I could play with any speed on the low strings!

Hi Phil,
Just stop it. I can see it crystal clear, you just need another guitar for this :roll_eyes:, have fun shopping :sunglasses:


If motivation did depart,
Just be smart: Add to Cart


1 Like

No problem in reaching the dusty end with a Strat; but a Les Paul? Leave the poor guitar alone: