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Replacement fanned frets necks - question about pararell fret?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Honch, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Now, since more and more seem have to jumped on the Dingwall bandwagon, with fanned frets basses as industrial and mass manufactured as can be, with both Ibanez, ESP/LTD, Bryce/Rondo among others (Ibanez has even launched an acoustic guitar with fanned frets) not to speak of originals NOVAX onboard, I have a question about - eventual - and upcoming replacement necks.

    1. If the span/fan is set as 34" - 37 " on the original neck, and the original neck has the pararell fret at - say - 7th fret, is it thus possible to replace it with another fan fret neck with the pararell fret at twelfth fret instead, provided that it is made for 34" - 37" scale anyway?

    Is it easily a direct replacement or you have to adjust too much at the bridge anyway?

    I know that Moses graphite has fanned frets replacement necks already. Mild fanning though so you can use existing bridges.
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    You'd have to do some layouts to know for sure how much you'd have to readjust the bridge. A 34"-37" fanned fret fingerboard has pretty steep angles at the ends. Moving from 7th parallel to 12th parallel is going to reduce the angle of the bridges ten degrees or so. That's probably beyond the range of the intonation adjustment of the outboard saddles. You'd need to lay it out accurately to see. But you would probably need to change or modify the bridge. Most likely, the heel of the neck would be different too. There's no standard neck pockets for fanned fret necks.

    I doubt that you are going to see too many aftermarket fanned fret necks available. So far, there hasn't been much movement towards a standard, common, most-liked geometry. Different preferences and too many variables involved. Although a few manufacturers are now offering fanned fret models, it's still a small niche market.
    ehque and Honch like this.
  3. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Thanks, I know that Moses tried to make fanned fret necks for other fanned frets, like Dingwalls. Now, most of his fanned frets necks in graphite DOES have pararell 12th fret, and thus not a direct replacement. I've told him this through mail, but he seems to have removed the items. I think it was around last NAMM 2015, that he showed in on his facebook page, but then none on his website.

    I agree it will open a pandoras box or can of worms... Moses is alright if you plan a DIY project from the start on, and use the resulting body and bridge accordingly to whatever neck it ends up with.

    Moses DO have real Fender J & B fanned fret necks available. He thinks the existing bridge has leeway for at least 34-35 inch fan. That's on a 4 string. There he makes the last fret pararell so it's going to fit the pocket...


    MJ-144A: 34”/35” Fanned Fret J-Bass 4
  4. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    And here's Moses Dingwall replacement neck:


    Not with any 12th pararell of course. This one just from facebook. This works for Combustion only.

    7th october 2015:

    Moses Carbon Graphite Guitars
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  5. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Geometric guessing tells me that if the parallel point is different it must be due to the angles of the nut and bridge being different. As such you might not have things align the way you like if two differing necs are swapped.

    Think of it this way. for the parallel to be at the 12th fret, the low string's increase in length is equally divided between the bridge and the nut. If the parallel point is further towards the nut that implies the nut is closer to straight and the bridge is further set back.
    Honch likes this.
  6. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Yes, I thought so too. But I only had my suspicions, not proof. The thing is, with a pararell (regular) fretted neck, it's only the scale and NUMBER OF FRETS TOTAL that makes sense, of where and how to put it. A 34" neck will fit on all others, provided it still has - say - 22 frets total. The funny and peculiar thing with fanned fret necks, is that even if the nut and bridge are aligned to follow the total scale from 34" - 37" to a tee, and total number of frets are the same it won't align up. You have to know where the pararell fret was. Then there's the neck pocket thing, and you have to have the pararell fret at the same spot (say 9th fret or 7th or 12th fret, or somewhere else).

    - - - - - - -

    The thing I've heard from Moses why "he" lets the 12th fret be the pararell is a two edged sword. The main problem is that this point isn't the halfway of ALL strings, as it is on a pararell fret - say - 34" neck. There's the neck relief who should be the lowest point at the 12th fret. Now, the neck is a wood of plank with a truss rod, and it's maximum low relief point should be somewhere along the neck where there's halfway point of the strings oscillation. I e where the string oscillate the most, in open position. This is the general rule of thumb for regular fretted necks on basses. If you build the rest of the bass, nut and bridge accordingly with the 12th pararell fret, so the half point harmonic node is at the same spot for each string, chances are that the relief adjustment with truss rod has the most effect on that spot too.

    Now, having the "halfway point" at different places for different strings, like they do on a fanned fret neck, like - say - at the 7th or 9th fret will throw the 12th fret slightly askew and produce a "halfway point" different for each string. Now, for intonation purposes this is not a problem at all, but for relief settings. The neck adjusted for relief will be at the lowest and best point for some of the strings, not all. Which means that you may deliberately have to "sink" it too much, to be able to accomodate for all strings.

    The truss rod adjustment and relief will make a bow at the middle of the neck, the wood neck, and regardless how the frets are laid out, or if its fanned or not. The string tension is equalled out, on a fan fret but still, one can't have a different relief for the g-string and the b-string which would supposedly be of a necessisity on a fanned fret neck, with a pararell fret at another point than the 12th fret. The 12th fret on a fanned fret neck (with pararell fret at 7th) goes slighty askew across the fretboard.

    So the best option for a fanned fret neck with a different position than 12th fret pararell fret, is to have the relief made on the fret height instead of truss rod adjustment. Like using some sort of PLEK machine treatment. And leaving the actual truss rod relief and neck completely straight at all times. I do not doubt for a single moment that Dingwall does this, but then you're limiting the uses of different string gauges and the possibility to change the relief to your tastes on later down the road.

    .Strandberg guitarworks has his pararell fret on .... you guessed it...first fret! on his 8 strung guitars. The frets goes quite askew above 12th fret.

    I know, I know, this IS nitpicking and a*al retentive but, so be it...since Dingwall and fanned frets caters to those people anyways.
  7. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    So all in all, if the fan fret is a mild 34-35 on a 4er I wouldn't mind at all the 12th fret being the pararell since the stretch at the first few frets wouldn't be so severe.

    On a 34-37 5 string neck I would like to have the pararell fret at the 9t or 7th fret. Better to have the fan spread out to be more askew above the 12th fret, that totally unwieldy stretch (and impossible) at the fist few frets, where it will have to be quite askew if the pararell is at 12th.
  8. pravus


    Feb 5, 2013
    Broomfield, CO
    The scale length is set by both the neck and the bridge since it's nut to bridge. If you replace the neck, you'll have to find an exact length replacement or change the bridge to retain the scale length. If you look at the Dingwall bridges versus other bridges you'll notice that the Dingwall bridge is quite staggered. This is why the parallel is at the 7th fret versus the 12th fret. Other fanned fret instruments use a closer bridge spacing which moves the parallel cross-over point up closer to the 12th fret. This is an effect of the movement of each string relative to each other and not an effect of the neck per se. As I said, both the neck and bridge set the scale length. You'll also note that different fanned fret instruments use different scale dimensions. You would have to compare the scale lengths of individual strings to verify that a replacement neck would retain the original geometry.
  9. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Isn't this a fanned fret replacement neck for a standard, "pararell" fret bass? I've been curious to try that.
  10. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    It is Wvbass. He found out that - for example - a Leo Quan Badass Bass bridge has ample room as it is, for at least turning it back so it will accomodate for 35" at the low E. Not only that, it will accomodate for regular intonation spacing too. For you to try out if fanned frets makes a difference. It seems you only have to retract the bridge saddle with say 0.5 inch backwards, compared to g-string saddle.

    Most people thinks that a - say - 34" - 37" inch scale you have to spread saddle bridges as well with 3" inches apart from the lowest to highest string. It's not.

    - - - - -

    the thing is with that particular Fender graphite neck, is that - probably - it should be just as easy as doing the other way around, having the fan fret go out, with the FIRST FRET pararell, and just let the rest fan out to the 20 fret. However, I think you might have to skip the last 2 frets and have the neck squared, so it is a little "empty". The last fret is the 18th as it reaches over askewed over the space where two frets should reside.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  11. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Badass bass II sure has ample room for a fanned fret neck...

    Nev375 likes this.
  12. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I have the Moses fan fret and you DO need a badass 2 bridge or similar long bridge to accommodate the intonation. A typical bridge wont work.

    ... unless he changed the design in the last 4 years...
    Honch likes this.
  13. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    I've tried to find users both on TB and notreble and such forums, to find anyone who's tried these ones. I e replaced their regular necks with Moses fan frets neck. It's easily done. But none finds as of yet. I know very well that Moses got kind of a bad rap for quite some while. And, as it ended up, a well deserved bad rap. They had it coming.

    EDIT: You beat me to it, by 3 minutes! :D
  14. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Well then, was it worth it?
  15. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I havent had any GAS for another bass since then.
    Honch likes this.
  16. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    I wonder if it was a direct replacement or a DIY project?
    One particular thing is, if you had to slant the pickups (fan) or you kept them straight as they were before. This has been some minor thing and gripe with me, since I've never seen or heard any a/b tests between slanted pickups and straight pickups. Given everything else the same. Is it the one in your avatar?
  17. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    The key word is wrong. Still. It's not still. It's growing by the numbers. Well, yes, at the moment, but it's not diminishing! But whatever and how many there are, they sure are more than it was before, and now that Ibanez made the plunge, and especially a certain music style that is popular, seems to grow accordingly, namely the 7-8 string guitar/bass bands of Djent metal and other down tuned bass/guitars metal I think it will grow, if only ever so slowly. You can tune down to F# on a 37" scale.

    I've heard from Ola Strandberg from .Strandberg Guitarworks that all these metal bands and guitarists bassists were disappointed of what was available so far, and turned to him instead, with his headless and multistrings innovations. He has backorders for one year at least, and still growing. As fast as you have any mildly udnerground cult following and artist that plays it (Nolly Getgood for example) kids and others wants to follow suit. I have no doubt that - say - Ibanez found out this, and especially the brand that has a lot of customers and endorsees in the metal genre, ESP/LTD. But whatever we say, Novax and Dingwall were first. And Dingwall, will be forever be the yardstick for the rest of the fanned frets basses to come. It will eventually turn out, like this: People won't buy any Dingwall any more JUST because of it has fanned frets. You'll buy it because it's a Dingwall anyway. Nothing else. If you have JUST to have a fanned frets bass, you have other choices. Even Payson has some things going on with replacement necks. I thought they just made strings. How wrong could I be? ;)

    - - - - - -

    I for one thinks that the graphite replacement neck above on that Dingwall is overshoot, and overkill. Dingwall necks has a reputation to hold up just as well as any made from graphite, regarding warping and enviromental changes in climate and so on. But it may mitigate neck diving... ;)
  18. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Yes it's the Squier VM Jag in my avatar. Well, it started out as a brand new squier, but the only remaining original parts on it are the body, lower control plate, pickguard and strap buttons. All of those parts but the strap buttons were heavily modded further with power tools lol (except the buttons of course) So it's more of a project build than just a mod.

    The neck was a drop in replacement. I upgraded the pickups to Bartolinis and they sound great. I never worried about the tonal difference in slanting the pickups so I can't really comment on that.

    I'm a HUGE advocate of composite necks. There's never any seasonal changes and I'd never have to tune the thing at all if the tuners didn't get occasionally bumped going in and out of the gig bag. This is a very very bright sounding bass with a LOT of sustain and I believe the neck is mostly responsible for that tone.

    As for the fanned frets... I could take em or leave 'em. Adjusting to it wasn't too hard as the only note I have to be careful about is the low F. I don't think I would like a more extreme Dingwall style fanning at all. If the bass was stolen and I had to replace it, I might opt for standard straight frets because it's way cheaper. That being said, the fanning does seem to improve the tonal balance between strings slightly. I'm very happy with it.

    It's something you just have to try to see if you like.

    Here's some close ups:
    Das Jugghead and Honch like this.
  19. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    We do indeed have a fanned neck available, Honch.

    Honch and therealting like this.
  20. How much are you doing that for?

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