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Fanned Fret System anyone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass of Galt, May 6, 2004.

  1. Bass of Galt

    Bass of Galt Guest

    Mar 25, 2004
    Scrotillia Falls
    I've known about this for sometime on Charlie Hunter's 8 string guitar - but recently discovered Dingwall Basses

    I'd love to know if anyone has tried playing on fanned fretted basses - please do tell. :)
  2. I have a friend that owns a Charlie Hunter, I was quite surprised how little time was needed to get used to the fanned frets. You would think playing for 20 something years on normal frets it would feel just wrong, but it doesn't.
    I think the Dingwalls are a great idea on a bass, someday I will have one for sure. And to me the concept makes real sense in the scientific/ergo world.
    Try one if you get a chance.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I play a Dingwall 6 ( it's an earlier Voodoo model that Sheldon dosen't make any more)and it plays like butter.getting use to the Fanned Fingerboard takes only a couple of seconds.and it has one of the best sounding and feeling B's.
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Do searches on "Novax" and on "fanned fret" You'll find a lot. Several people here own them. you'll find Dingwalls, plus Acacias, and maybe Bee, Adler and a few others.
  5. vwbtletdi


    May 6, 2004
    I have never played a fanned fret bass myself, however, if you do decide to get on be prepared to pay quite a bit for it, because the builder must pay royalties to the company that owns the copyright, (and they will also want to make money on top of that for labor, engeneering, special bridge costs, etc.)
  6. ivanthetrble


    Sep 9, 2002
    Killer basses! Love mine to death. Best B string on the planet.

  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    The planning and the fret slotting are harder, especially I would think if the builder hasn't done it before. A jig must be made to do the slotting (unless you have some awesome CNC capabilities).

    Novak's fee to license the patent is only $75.

    If you use individual bridges, there is no special bridge cost. Also, if you do only a slight fan, you can get away with a stock bridge, per the Novax Nex page.
  8. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I have played a few Dingwall basses at Sheldon's shop a few years back. The fanned frets were a little odd at first, but you adjust to them very quickly. Great sounding and playing instruments.

    On a side note: I saw Lee Sklar on TV playing a Dingwall with Phil Collins the other night. It souned great. THe low-B was fat and clear.
  9. Can someone explain to me how this is supposed to be an improvement (other than the tight B). It seems counter intuitive for me as the further down the fretboard i go, the more my hands curl in and this seems to accentuate any reaching problems. whateva, im sure its good :cool:
  10. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Here is some info: Fanned Fret System
  11. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    I loved it down low, but did not like it up high...

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    The Guitar player in my Band plays a 9,11,and 13 string (all non doubled)with the Novax Fanned Fret System and he says it's an incredible improvement overall for him.The 6 lowest strings on the 13 string are Fretless.
  13. I've had the pleasure of playing Jean Baudin's 9-string fanned-fret Conklin "pac-man" bass.


    It's a great instrument. It sounds fantastic and wasn't that difficult to play (I'm used to 7-strings already though). I can see it being relatively easy to get used to the fanning of the frets. The improvement in the evenness of the tone due to the fanning is certainly worth the extra cost of the fanned-fretboard. I'm considering having a new bass built with fanned frets. I want to try out Jean's pac-man bass some more first though.

    - Dave
  14. Bass of Galt

    Bass of Galt Guest

    Mar 25, 2004
    Scrotillia Falls
    I seriously doubt anyone can hold 1 finger per fret on the first string/ first position of THAT monster!

    Play the piano already!! :p
  15. garyhead


    Apr 15, 2004
    I play a 6-string Prima. Took about 20 minutes to adjust to the fanned frets......but, I already play 6-strings.....
    Beautiful Low B! The Bag End ELF WAS MADE to be played with this bass:)

    (Pic? Go to the bass nw site under bass gallery _ dingwall 6 string - Whale Pool Blue - Spalted Maple top......ooooohhhh)
  16. jusplayinmybass


    Apr 17, 2003
    Conyers, Ga
    Keith McMillan Instruments, SIT Strings, Accugroove Cabinets
    hey Jauqo

    Didn't you have a fanned fretless 8 made? Did you ever play it? How well would the fanned fret, or multi scale, fretboard work on a fretless? I've been kicking around that idea for a while.

    BTW, I played a Dingwall lately, not sure what kind. But it had a killer tone. Very clear. B string was lovely. All the strings were pretty balanced. I think the tone would make a lovely fretless. It'll really sing. I'll have to see if it was the fanned frets, or Dingwall's luthiery that made it so great. I'm betting it is a little of both.
  17. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I play a 6 string Dingwall and I love it. I can't add too much to what others have said other than to say that it sounds excellent and is very comfortable to play. Add that Sheldon is 100% customer oriented and I can't stay away from these basses.

  18. I'll also add that in my experience w/ my Dingwall basses that playing up high while a little tricky as far as fret placement, its actually easier on the wrist and feels more ergonomical. Less wrist twist (say that 3 times fast).
    And yes a Dingwall fretless sings and plays wonderfully.

    Its been hard to beat Mr Dingwalls committment to his basses

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    Yes It was a Conklin.it played great and the tone was very nice and growly.it was tuned Low F#-high F.it had only one Volume knob and one Pickup.By it being Fretless it would be the same as if it was a Non Fanned fingerboard,concentration would be the key.
  20. munkyboy


    Feb 1, 2004
    here are some soud files. some are fretless. Sounds like singing to me :)