Fanned frets. Need explaining.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Bren, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Bren

    Bren New Member

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    Hello everyone, :wave:
    I'm new to this website and I need the help of all you experienced luthiers and hopefully have the answers to my questions (which have probably been asked... [I just haven't found them])

    Also, before anyone says "Google the answer", believe me, I have Googled the answer and the answers aren't really telling me anything...

    QUESTIONS:

    1) What makes fanned frets different to normal frets (other than the fact they're slanted...) and how do they actually work?

    2) What is the relationship between the fanned frets and scale length in terms of tone and intonation?

    3) On fanned fret guitars, I've read they are able to tune higher from Standard tuning without the strings snapping. Is this actually true and how do fanned frets enable them to do that?

    4) "The main advantage of the fanned fret designs is that they provide that extra length for the base strings, producing improvements in both tonality and harmonicity (better refinement of overtones on the bases) while maintaining the desired scale length of the trebles". How do the fanned frets provide this extra length?

    - See more at: Guitar Setup and Intonation; Intonation Subtopics

    5) I've played an Ibanez RG8 before and noticed that the scale length was 27" but the F# string was floppy and sounded muddy. Would having fanned frets on this guitar made it better or worse and why?

    And that's all the questions. If these seem like newbie questions, that's understandable. It's just this Fanned Fret business is confusing me the more I read about it and I just need clarification on it. I'm just trying to learn :scratch:

    So thank you :D:metal:
     
  2. Blue Belly Guitars

    Blue Belly Guitars New Member

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    Guitar players often being the "fashion over function" types, will either love or hate them. Those who love them, or want to try to sell them, will find every advantage to promote. The other side will scoff. You'll likely never get the answer you want, until you play one yourself.
     
  3. DRF

    DRF Member

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    lol, I have now idea about all that listed but its supposed to make for a natural hand or finger position. On Basses the extra scale length gives it a tighter punchier tone, if you look at a 30in scale bass (isn't that what the Beatle bass is?) compared to a 37in scale you get different toanz. I should probably shut up now.
     
  4. otterhound

    otterhound New Member

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    1 The actual frets are no different . The difference is in how they are oriented on the fretboard .
    2 Fanned frets are one way of having multiple scale lengths on the same guitar . They should have no effect on intonation . Many claim an effect on tone .
    3 A totally false statement .
    4 They provide for different scale lengths for each string . The results are individual opinion .
    5 I like tuning down to Eb on my hardtail Strat . Doesn't get muddy or floppy one bit . Can't speak for a guitar with an extra 1 1/2" of scale length . Fanned frets would have made no difference .
    There is another thread about fanned frets going , but I will ask it here also .
    Do fanned frets affect pitch when doing string bends ?
    Fret spacing differs only as the scale changes . No scale change = parallel frets .
    Scale on a guitar is measured as the distance from the nut to the twelfth fret times 2 . There is a Pythagorean formula that specs the proper placement of the frets based on the scale .
    Hope this helps .
     
  5. Leo

    Leo Member

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    Instead of one scale length for all the strings you choose a scale length for the highest string and another for the lowest string. The strings in between fall into place automatically.

    For any given pitch, longer scale length = brighter, more high end, and shorter scale = the opposite.

    This is only true if the scale length of the highest string is shorter than the instrument you're comparing it to. This is a scale length issue regardless of whether the instrument is fanned or not.

    However there is a major advantage to fanning if you want to have a very high string without also making your low strings as short.

    Fanning simply allows the bass strings to be longer than the higher strings.



    Fanned frets would make the low F# string sound significantly better if they increased the scale length of that string. For example a 30" to 27" fan.


    Other threads on this topic:

    http://www.luthiertalk.com/forums/o...anned-frets-extended-range-guitar-thread.html

    http://www.luthiertalk.com/forums/guitar-building/539-multiscale-fanned-fret-thread.html
     
    skeels likes this.
  6. Bren

    Bren New Member

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    Thanks everyone :)

    This also might sound like a stupid question as well (and I forgot to ask), but why don't you just use normal frets and retain the multi-scale? Just doesn't work that way? :S
     
  7. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    Huh?
     
  8. gborelli

    gborelli Active Member

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    Huh!
     
  9. otterhound

    otterhound New Member

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    Uh , huh !
     
  10. Bren

    Bren New Member

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    Huh...
     
  11. Leo

    Leo Member

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    :agreed:
     

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