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Magnetic Frets

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by loogy1, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. loogy1


    Feb 23, 2013
    richmond, va
    would it be possible to magnetise fret wire so the the magnetic force would help pull the strings down for a cleaner faster tone
  2. have you bumped your head?
  3. that's almost as hare-brained as my idea for wooden frets a few years ago!
  4. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Interesting idea...

    But I think one could achieve "a cleaner faster tone" with some intelligent practice.

    I also believe the tone is not controlled by the fretting hand. I could be wrong, though. :D

    Back to your idea... maybe a series of electromagnetic frets, a sequencer, and you could phone in your part.
  5. Hi.

    The regular fretwire alloys aren't composed of any materials with ferromagnetic properties, so technically the answer is no.

    One could make ferromagnetic frets, or install magnets on the FB, but that would result sound muffling rather than cleaning it.

    The very problem of hot (or close to the strings) passive pickups is the string pull of the required strong magnet(s), and those strong magnets dampen the string vibrations very effectively.
    That's one of the reasons active PU's exist in the first place.

  6. BKBassDude


    Jun 17, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I was hoping this was about a bass that had frets that could come on and off via magnets. That would be rad. And physically impossible. But rad.
  7. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    Such a thing did exist. I don't remember who made them. 70s or 80s thing. The whole fretboard was magnetic. You could swap frettless and fretted fingerboards out quickly.
  8. klaus486


    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    I believe this was a Musicman thing. At least the only basses I ever saw it on were Stingrays. Maybe.....Modulus Graphite was involved somehow....maybe Modulus just made graphite Stingray necks....my memory is hazy.
  9. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    How would you get the strings to rebound?
  10. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    I think a problem would exist with letting the strings go and having them stay down on the frets.
  11. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    I believe they were called Novatone.

  12. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters

    I covered that. Electromagnets.

  13. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Well...you'd still need to pluck the strings! :p
  14. not magnetic, but i remember parker fly supreme used a special resin to glue frets, this glue hardened via an electric impulse to install them and soften the same way to remove them.
  15. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I prefer soldering my strings to the frets.
  16. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    How would the electromagnets know when to switch on to hold the string and when to switch off to release ??
    The neck would need an 4 powerful electromagnets per fret (for a 4 string) x 22, that's 88 electromagnets, you would need a hell of a power cable into your bass..
  17. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  18. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    I think a 37 string bass with each string tuned to each note would be better, no need for frets or lefthand fingering.
  19. loogy1


    Feb 23, 2013
    richmond, va
    well i was watching a video of a guy making a pickup then later fretting a fret board and the idea ran across my head for magnetised fret wire because he magnetised his pickup magnet

    the only thing i found relevant on google was this http://www.google.com/patents/US7358429

    soo i figured i'd see what anyone else thought

    thanks for all the input
  20. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Removable finger/ fretboards would be awesome. Use some tiny neodymium magnets... the only problem would be cutting the boards perfectly and being able to adjust the truss rod.

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