I’m a bit confused about the standard for the fretboart curvature.
Often it is said that it should be straight and (maybe) with a relief.

To me the most perfect curvature follows the underside
of the singing string, which has the form of a cigar.

As I fret up the board, the waist of the cigar is moved
towards the bridge, but less fat.

The resulting curvature is that of a "half smooked" up to 12th fret
and then flattening out a little for the rest of the frets.

With this form you get the lowest possible action.
I always converts my guitars for this setup, with
a remarkable improvement in playability.

So why this idea of a straight neck?

A consession to the overwelming part of buyers
who peeks down the neck for this well established myth?

Is it a so much easier way to go when straight?
(as the cigar is nearly not visible for the high e, while obvious for the low)

The down sloop often seen after the 12th fret, to me
only means that it was not ment to be played up there -
- which is obvious when listening to its intonation.

Relief wont tell you much about the ideal form of
the entire bridge, as it even allows a hump at the neck joint.

Maybe this is nothing new to most luthiers….
or maybe am I all wrong?

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Your description of the relief following the curvature of a vibrating string is exactly correct. This is why an aggressive player needs more relief than someone with a soft touch. The dropoff over the top is a result of the traditional way the neck is angled back to produce the right height of bridge and saddle. Note that Taylor guitars have no dropoff, because the neck/fingerboard is attached differently to the body.

Neck relief is a personal thing, too. Some players need a lot of relief, and others none at all.

For mandolin, I like a perfectly straight neck with no relief - the strings are short and really tight, so it works best for me that way.

Our old pal, Dan Erlewine, stod me he ets up his own electric guitars with zero relief, which suits his playing.
A man who ets his own guitars, that's dedication :)
Just to clearify my PS -
I thought of relief as measured between the neck joint and first fret...

Thank you for your comments.


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