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interesting idea, involving multi scale basses, without fanned frets...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Greg Johnsen, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    I was wondering if anyone else had also thought about this.

    I read the patent thread about how if the string is not parallel (sp.?) to the strings, then intonation will be off, well, I have a way of getting around it. What you do, is have a straight fret, but at different locations for each fret placement depending on what scale is using for that string.

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    Like that, but with more accuracy, and it'd look like a fanned fret bass, but with staight individual frets for each string. I realize that this would be a hassle for anyone who builds it, but if it gets correct intonation, then it should be worth it.:bassist:

    If I ever get to try this, I will report back to TB and see if it helps at all, or if this is a total failure or w/e. However, if someone else more experienced and knowledgable would like to try it, please do so. I just want to get credit if it becomes the new way to fret basses though, lol.


    EDIT: ugh, the drawing thing doesn't work. I'll update this later with a better example.
  2. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    Warwick made a bass such as you describe.
  3. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    lol, really. I never knew that. I guess that means I'll have to make a better one then.

  4. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    I believe theres was not multi-scale, but rather, had frets placed for true tempered playing.
  5. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
  6. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    You can get correct intonation (within 1 cent or so I believe, depending on how accurately you cut the slots and crown the frets) by aligning the two outside scales you are working with along the two outside strings rather than along the midline of the neck. You get straight fret slots that way, not the steps you are describing which would be horribly tedious to cut. This is already the way every builder that builds fanned fret instruments does it to my knowledge.
  7. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Actually, I remember seeing an article in Bass Player, or some other music mag, about this Bassist and Guitarist playing in a weird micro and macro tonal system to which their fretboards were a mishmash of wildly placed fret segments all over the place. The Bassist was playing a Warwick.
  8. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    The discussed intonation error in the novak patent isn't inherent to the fact that the frets aren't placed perpendicular to the neck, it's just an oversight in the calculations. Doing this would not in and of itself lead to better intonation than a properly designed fanned fretboard.
  9. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    I suppose it would work but would it really be worth it? talk about a TON of work. Cutting the slots would be impossible, you'd have to route them, unless you cut an individual mini fretboard for each string, then glued them together. Then you'd have 4x the fret ends to dress, and the frets that are close together (where, on a fanned-fret, the frets are close to vertical) would be extremely hard to get at to crown and dress.:(
  10. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Like people have said: there's nothing wrong with the intonation on fanned fret boards, if they are built correctly.

    As far as I know, people DO build them correctly. They do this by NOT following the actual Novak patent, which would result in bad intonation.

    They use the two-outer-scales method, which works properly.

    So no need to install 72,000 individual frets! ;)
  11. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    hambone, if he did this, there would be 80 fret cuts in the fretboard for a standard 4 stringed, 20 fret neck, give or take the ones that are straight (actually only 1 fret will be straight, if i read the OP correctly.

    thats 76 fret "lines". wouldnt there be a large "lack" of fretboard material? also, the "frets" or "fretgroups" that are nearly perpendicular to the neck will basically be a mass of frets almost next to each other. the lines would probably run into each other, if not, whatever material between them might not be strong enough to hold that tangs of the frets.

    id go with carl's "individual mini fretboard for each string" then glued together idea. then again, refretting this is a nightmare, no matter which way you build this.
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    While it's interesting to hear how the 80-fret board might be accomplished, I repeat: there is no intonation problem with f*nned-fret instruments that this would be solving!

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