7 string microtonal guitar

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by nicomortem, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    I am doing my first full conversion, I just finished installing the frets on my buddy's 7 sting LTD. The swirls in the rosewood give an optical illusion that some of the frets arent straight, but my digital calipers confirm that they are placed properly. I still have to level and crown the frets, but this is what I have so far....I know many people wish they had a microtonal guitar, but they dont want to spend the $1000+ that it costs to own one. ...If anybody on the board wants to have their guitar converted, let me know here. I am only equipped to do 24-tone guitars at this time.
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  2. veshly

    veshly SS.org Regular

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    Do you have any way to demonstrate how the frets sound and how 'accurate' they are? Would you be willing to share more information like turn around time and price?

    Are fret markers an issue when it comes to adding more frets?

    I wouldn't be able to jump on immediately but would definitely be interested to in the future. This would be perfect for my project/experiment/dowhatever RGA7. :evil:
     
  3. Walterson

    Walterson SS.org Regular

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    You need a more acurate digital caliper, those frets behind the 12th fret are not straight at all and thats not an illusion...
     
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  4. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Orlando must be the first city ever to have a microtonal metal "scene" ;)
    Yeah those high frets may look out but image resolution conversion can do that so i am reserving judgement.
    It looks like you have left the original frets in there, my humble suggestion is to replace the original frets too since differences in fret type, brand, age or wear will produce uneven fret levels, and fret levelling is even more essential on a microtonal instrument to avoid buzz. Even new frets of identical height may wear at different speeds if they are of differing brands, width or quality.
     
  5. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    I would have to put the guitar back together first, I am not finished with the job. It would take me a week to do. The price would be $150.

    Fret markers get sawed right through, under the fret.
    You could also buy all the tools and the fretwire and do it yourself for about the same price. Just make sure to practice on a cheap neck before you do a real guitar.
     
  6. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, they look crooked in the photo, but in real life they are straight as can be. It is difficult getting them straight, and I took an entire day just to measure out and draw my lines...but in this photo, they look crooked....if they really were though, then all the other frets would look "off" too. Do the rest of the frets look straight to you? My calipers are fine, maybe you should have told me to get a better camera!
     
  7. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    haha "scene" ok!
    I left the frets in, I bought the exact same size fretwire, and even if they weren't, I always do a fret level when installing frets. Your point about them wearing at different speeds sounds good, but that would happen anyways, depending on which areas of the neck get played the most, or which get hit by the biggest strings.
    I was able to leave these frets in, because its a new guitar also, never been played. On a used guitar, I would replace all the frets, just as you suggested.
     
  8. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Cool thanks for explaining :) i think Neomortem is awesome music ... what M.A.N. is doing with 24ET is cool and occasionally mildly interesting but doesn't do it for me. I think metal is the most likely breakthrough point for microtonal guitars and 24ET the most likely tuning ... now Ibanez should release a simple 24ET RG so we can have the rest of the frets they left out on the "Oriental guitar".
     
  9. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    Its been a while since I was on here, sorry guys. But I have to be honest, under further scrutiny, these frets ARE crooked, in the high register above the 12th fret, as Walterson has pointed out. I have done a couple more jobs since this one, and so far, I still cant get the frets spot-on...I get the measurements perfect, but once I go to make the cuts, I screw up. I am getting better though, and I suppose there was a time when builders had no power tools or table saws to make perfect fret lines, but I am still no where near close to what I want to be, even though each conversion I do gets better and better, still none are perfect. I have noticed though, the intonation is not affected enough to notice, and the solo register frets above the 12th fret sound fine, especially since they are not being played with other notes in chord form. I still want perfect frets though, for aesthetics alone if anything. I guess I will have to man up and invest in the proper equipment, and stop doing it by hand.

    I have a couple more necks to show you guys, I will upload pics and a back-story to each one.
     
  10. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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  11. noUser01

    noUser01 Still can't play.

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    I'm positive a tuner would disagree with you. You probably don't notice it because your ear isn't used to hearing things in a microtonal way. Sure, maybe you've studied the music a lot and play these necks a lot, but it doesn't change the fact that you're from Florida and (I'm assuming) grew up in western culture. If you took it to a professional musician who grew up with the microtonal system I'm positive they would hear that it's not properly intonated.

    That being said, points to you for the honesty and not getting discouraged. Once you find out how to get these things perfect I may be getting one myself.
     
  12. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    Maybe if they make a tuner that can hear quarter-tones! I know that when I go from playing a power chord on the 4th fret, to playing a power chord on the 4.5th fret, and so on, the 5ths don't go out of intonation, even on the microtonal frets. And anybody can hear if a 5th is out of intonation, even if its played on a microtonal fret. Its just not enough of a difference to be heard, if the fret is crooked.

    I do have a guitar with perfect fret slots, it was converted by Ron Sword, and he has the proper tools, machines, and experience to install the frets perfectly straight. He also had enough nerve to send me my guitar back without leveling the frets! But I have since finished his work, and the guitar plays fantastic. I am thinking of selling it, but you may or may not be attracted to the guitar at all. I will be installing inlays and putting it up for sale soon, if its something you might be interested in, let me know. Here are a couple of pics, to show you what it looks like and to show you how straight the frets are. I didn't cut these fret slots. I can give you more info on the guitar if you ask. But you might not even like it. It does have straight frets, plays good, and its probably the least expensive option for somebody wanting to get into microtonal guitars. Its not for sale yet, not until I put in the inlays. But once it is, think you might want it?
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  13. noUser01

    noUser01 Still can't play.

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    Yes, but that's the whole point of getting the frets PERFECT. Sure it's fine in that very specific example, but do that with the entire fretboard. There's no way it would be perfectly in tune with frets that crooked. Those are certainly not straight, as you have said, and I doubt that it would be as in tune as any high end, well made instrument.

    But as you said, you're working on your skills and it's a WIP, and that's what it's all about - improving.
     
  14. nicomortem

    nicomortem SS.org Regular

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    I agree completely. But for now, I get to have 12 more notes to choose from than 99% of all the other guitar players out there, while everybody else waits for Ibanez to introduce a microtonal seven string. :cool:
     

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