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How to choose where to fit the "straight" fret on a fanned fret fingerboard?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Triad, Mar 17, 2008.


  1. Triad

    Triad Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Europe
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    Hi! I'm planning to build a fanned frets bass in the near future. I already know how to cut a fingerboard (at least I hope I do!) :D but I wanted to know: how do you decide what fret will be "straight"? Is there any difference if you place it on the 8th fret (like I see is done on most basses) or in another point? I must admit I never found fanned frets layout very appealing but it's growing in me ;)
    TIA!
     
  2. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    For me I prefer and am happy with 12th fret near parallel.
    In my setup I use 36-32 on 6 strings, I use a two inch offset to start the nut on the 32" side. Perhaps it fits me well because I don't do a lot of bar chords at the first fret. ;)
    I'm sure there will be many more comments to come in this thread.
    Oh yeah it looks stranger than it feels when you play it and get used to it.

    Good Luck,
    Dirk
     
  3. Triad

    Triad Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Europe
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    Thanx Diggler! I'm more a John Holmes fan but it's a matter of taste :D
     
  4. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I prefer my perpendicular fret to be around the 7th... that way, you are not angling your wrist *too* much if you play a lot in the lower register, and the upper register is still not so angled that it is hard to play on... it will look something like this, on a 6-string, with 37" to 33.25" scale differentiation:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Triad

    Triad Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Europe
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    Uhm... I think I'll have to do a bit of research. I never played one of these basses so I really don't know how it would feel. I wouldn' do it to obtain a better LowB though, as the only bass with more than 4 strings I made had a LowF# and it sounded waaaaay better than any LowB out there :D
     
  6. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I basically chose my "perpendicular fret" after looking at several Dingwall basses... having it at or near the 7th fret reduces the angle required on the lower frets, and as most upper fret playing is also done on the higher strings, the instrument isn't engineered to be practical for playing on the B or E string above the 14th fret or so. The A, D and G strings play just fine, because their scale is much shorter, to the angle doesn't throw you off as it would on the lower two strings...
     

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