You lost me a bit with your posts (I'm having a 'slow' day), but great pics, thanks for sharing. Could you please share the details on this maple board 'Retta? Who, what, where..? Very interested in knowing more
Are all grails R5? I recall this was often the 'dealbreaker' with them for would-be owners.
LOL I can't post info on it... until it's MINE LOLOL! What I can tell you is that the neck was converted, just like the 5150, by Paul Unkert at the factory (hence the painted headstock back.) It is also made of poplar, whereas most production Barettas were maple.
As to nut width, yes, supposedly all production "Grails" have an R5 nut. I never understood why this would be a dealbreaker. Back then, wider necks were in vogue, and all of the Charvels that Eddie played prior to Kramer were indeed 1-3/4" nuts (R5), and the necks, while not Ibanez thin, were thinner than what Fender and Gibson were offering. If you've held an original San Dimas Charvel pre-pro, you'd know what I mean. Even though my hands are not large, I much prefer a wider neck. Narrower necks are great for cowboy chords and blues, but I don't play that stuff on a Kramer anyways. I do play a lot of surf music on my Kramers, where the Floyd is a huge plus.
Hahaha, playing your cards close... maybe a wise decision. I was wondering about the painted headstock, poplar... such a sweet axe. Something I notice - the truss rod notch. For me, this is a big deal - I hate not being able to get to my truss rod. This is one of those 'vintage' features that to me is just completely arse-backwards and should be resigned to history.
Good luck getting your hands on it, look forward to hearing more when you do!
Agree with you on the R5. I don't own any R5 necks (well, one, it's a sad story). However I learned to play on a classical guitar with a boat neck. I would prefer a wider-neck, but I just got used to 'what's available'. When your options are limited it's adapt or perish.
In reality, the trussrod notch is there only to serve as clearance for the truss nut, not to make adjustments. This was a carryover in design from the original Strats and Teles, that actually had the same notch hidden under the pickguard. Those workers, however, got really good at anticipating how much adjustment is needed after an initial fitment.
I got to look for it, but I made an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the amount of bow adjustment on a neck given the amount of turn of the trussrod nut. It's not perfect as wood compression, trussrod stretch and other factors are not factored in; just pure mathematics. But it's pretty close. On my vintage trem guitars, I simply loosen the strings, put a capo at the first and 12th frets, then loosen the neck screws and tilt the neck up to make adjustments, then simply reverse the procedure. I used to use blue tape, but on some vintage instruments it can cause loose finish to pull, and I'd have another dilemma to deal with. On a Floyded guitar, it's easier because the locking nut will hold the string in place; I merely loosen the bolts to detune the strings, then snug them up to keep them from unwinding on the tuner posts.