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 Post subject: Frets
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:38 am
Posts: 76
Location: Worcester, UK
Hi
Be patient, be gentle, but can someone explain to this Ric-novice why the neck on my 330/12, although exactly the same length as my dream 381v69/12 (in Amber Fireglo please sir...) has 24 frets, while the 381 has only 21?
I know about short scale necks and the like, but here we have identical neck lengths.
No rush. Nobody leave the building.


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:25 am 
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Location: Santa Ana, CA
We only make the 381's on Fridays and the craftsmen want to go home early for the weekend, so they stop when they get to the 21st fret.

Seriously- think about it. Take a 24 fret neck and pull out three frets and you'd have a 21 fret. I'm assuming you're bothered that a given scale has a different number of frets; scale length and number of frets are unrelated. Any scale can theoretically have any number of frets but the corresponding ones must be in the same place to play in tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:46 am 
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If you hold the necks of the two guitars up together with the nuts aligned the same, you will find that the only difference is that the fingerboard and that small portion of the neck, called the heel, supporting it is longer on the 24 fret guitar to accomodate the extra 3 frets. As Mr. Hall said, it's a structural detail, not a scale issue. It is neither better nor worse, just different, as the paint colors are different. Given the same kind of pickups, there is a minor difference in the tone of the neck pickup due to a slightly different nodal pattern that results from the particular placement, ever so slightly brighter and less "hollow" on the 24 fret neck, but most people don't/can't hear any difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:38 am
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Location: Worcester, UK
Quote:
scale length and number of frets are unrelated. Any scale can theoretically have any number of frets but the corresponding ones must be in the same place to play in tune.


Thank you both for your replies.
I am really sorry, but I am missing something quite fundemental here (I'm not the brightest star in the sky...)
Both speca (330 and 381) show a scale length of 24 and 3/4 inches, yet one has 21 frets, the other 24.
If these were to be put side by side, as identical lengths, the frets surely would have to be differently spaced to accommodate the extras?
And if they are differently spaced, this brings me onto another puzzle, not just with Rics but with all guitar necks (and I ask it here because this is — well, up to this point anyway :~) — the friendliest site I have experienced.)
How can scales be different lengths? Doesn't fret spacing determine the note to be played and therefore any alteration changes that note?
Worried of Worcester


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 461
Location: New York/New Jersey
Quote:
Both speca (330 and 381) show a scale length of 24 and 3/4 inches, yet one has 21 frets, the other 24.
If these were to be put side by side, as identical lengths, the frets surely would have to be differently spaced to accommodate the extras?
And if they are differently spaced, this brings me onto another puzzle, not just with Rics but with all guitar necks (and I ask it here because this is — well, up to this point anyway :~) — the friendliest site I have experienced.)
How can scales be different lengths? Doesn't fret spacing determine the note to be played and therefore any alteration changes that note?


For any fretted string instrument that uses a 12-note (Western) scale, the 12th fret will always be at exactly half the distance between the nut and saddle for any individual string. For two necks with the same scale length that are correctly intonated, the distance from the nut to any given fret will always be the same. A 24-fret neck will simply have a longer fingerboard than a 21-fret neck...but the 21st fret will be at the same distance from the nut on both.

Does that make sense?

Try this site for a complete explanation...

http://www.bsharp.org/physics/stuff/guitar.html

It gives the physivs behind fret spacing.


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:51 am
Posts: 3362
Location: Atlanta, GA
If you hold a 21 fret and a 24 fret guitar side-by-side, and line the nuts up together, the first through 21st frets will all line up - The 24 fretter will have three extra frets extending beyond that.


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:38 am
Posts: 76
Location: Worcester, UK
Thanks again guys.
It was me being stupid, as I suspected.
So the scale length given in specs does not mean fingerboard length, which I thought it did. Doh!

As for the physics page, Kevin. Wooh! I took one look at that and come over all hot and cold. In the classroom, when it came to maths, algebra, etc., I was consistently told I wrote the neatest rubbish in class.
Nothing has changed.

Love and peace


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 461
Location: New York/New Jersey
Quote:
So the scale length given in specs does not mean fingerboard length, which I thought it did. Doh!


It's just so easy to get confused, and sometimes the more you think about it the worse it gets!

You know there are times that I am grateful for my "classical" scientific Christian Brothers English grammar school education. But then I remember the "reign of terror" and I break out into cold sweats all over again!


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:18 am
Posts: 55
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Quote:

...And if they are differently spaced, this brings me onto another puzzle, not just with Rics but with all guitar necks (and I ask it here because this is — well, up to this point anyway :~) — the friendliest site I have experienced.)
How can scales be different lengths? Doesn't fret spacing determine the note to be played and therefore any alteration changes that note?
Worried of Worcester


this is not the sae, but kinda related. anyone familiar with the Dingwall Basses ?

http://www.dingwallguitars.com/html/pro ... uperj.html

check it out. they have the fret in a 'fan' arrangement. Suzie Vinnick used one here a couple of years ago. i still can't get my head around them, how the frets are askewed....


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 Post subject: Re: Frets
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 461
Location: New York/New Jersey
The Dingwall design "works" because each string has a fairly radically different scale length; from 32" - 34 1/4" according to their specs.

A guitar is a very imperfectly designed instrument and if you look at most of them, the bridge allows a small amount of adjustment to allow for the best possible intonation for each string. Normally this doesn't vary much from string to string, but when you have an instrument like a bass with big differences in string diameters, the adjustment needs to be substantial. This results in the tuning accuracy at each fret being off just a little. The fanned frets are just an attempt to optimise, or "sweeten", the tuning.

It looks like a very interesting idea.


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