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24 fret upgrade

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BlackeyedFlea, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Hi,

    I've been searching for awhile and have found plenty of advice on switching to a different neck of the same frets. I would like to change the 20 fret neck I have to a 24 fret neck.

    If I was to build or buy a 24 fret neck of the same scale as the existing one I have would I need to move the position of the bridge and would it totally destroy the intonation? Or could I get away with having the new fretboard sit flush with the pickguard and not have to do too much, just fit it and string it?
    Any help is greatly appreciated, this is my first time even considering such a thing.


  2. bass_walloper


    Aug 23, 2011
    The way I see it, you basically have two options here:

    1) Get a neck that's the same length as your 20-fret one, but with a fretboard extension, so that the fretboard hangs over the body to give you the extra 4 frets. The downside to this is the cutaway designed for a 20-fret neck will likely not give you very easy access to those upper frets.

    2) Get a longer neck and shift the bridge closer to the neck to make sure it intonates properly. This will give you access to all the frets (as much as you had before, anyways), but since you will have shifted the the position of the scale relative to the body, the pickups will now be much closer to the bridge, changing the soud you get from them. Maybe it will be to your liking, maybe not. You could, of course, route new pickup cavities to compensate for THAT if you want your pickups to sound like they did before.

    Seems like no matter what, it'll be a compromise and you'll have to decide what you want to sacrifice. That's my take on it; I'm curious to see what others have to say.
  3. bass_walloper


    Aug 23, 2011
  4. suraj


    Oct 1, 2008
    Mumbai, India
    If the fretboard extension is difficult to access, you can reshape the lower horn for a deeper cutaway. Although that will require refinishing the body. If you use those last four frets only for tapping, then its a simple mod. Anyway, you can try the extension on, and see if access is that much of a problem.

    Moving the bridge, while not difficult will require you to get a brand new custom neck.