Fan fret skepticism

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by DaddleCecapitation, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. DaddleCecapitation

    DaddleCecapitation Manatees Last Breath

    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have never played a fan fret guitar before and was wondering what the people who own them think of them.

    Having only watched and heard others play them, I'm not entirely convinced of the benefits of a fan fret guitar. I would also like to hear from fan fret players regarding the ability to bend notes and similar phrasing techniques, because I always imagined that bending and vibrato on a fanned fingerboard would be problematic.

    Thanks.
     
  2. devolutionary

    devolutionary No longer 7-less

    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    35
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    Auckland
    Why would bending be problematic in particular? If anything, once you go past the 90 degree fret, bending becomes accentuated and able to reach higher notes than before on up-bends.
     
    DaddleCecapitation likes this.
  3. skeels

    skeels ..to pay the beels

    Messages:
    4,136
    Likes Received:
    721
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Location:
    milwaukee,WI
    I built a fan fret guitar because I could never find one to try.

    Adjusting to it -if you want to call it that- was easy. There was really very little difference in playing or posture. It was subtle but significant.

    Tension across the strings was more uniform. The balance was noticeable.
    My fingers fell into place with little effort. Bending and vibrato are not an issue, even with my rather large fan- 25" to 28" on 7 strings.

    At the same time, I still feel comfortable on perpendicular frett guitars. I can go back and forth with no difficulty.

    I'm planning another fanned build, this time an 8 string. Maybe after a couple more, I'll do another 7 too.

    Bottom line? Personal preference, as usual. Everyone has their favorite weapon of choice. Find yours and go forth...
     
  4. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Location:
    France
    First part of the neck favors your up-bends, last part favors your down-bends (assuming that the 0° fret is at the center of the fb).
     
  5. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

    Messages:
    11,865
    Likes Received:
    2,654
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire, U.K
    Fan frets was a must for me because it was a 9 string with a high string so 29.25 to 24.75 was decided.
    I told myself I'd just have to adapt - I didn't expect it to be easy though I knew I'd love it. Never played one before.

    It took no getting used to whatsoever, apart from the very extreme angle of the high frets - only because of lack of fretdots!
    It's incredibly comfortable, and tonally amazing.

    I can imagine not all would like such a big fan, but a regular fan should be great.

    You say you are not entirely convinced about the benefits. I would simply say - just don't get one unless you are using 8 strings then. It's not really necessary for a 7 (though still hugely beneficial, imo).


    It makes sense in theory, and I was expecting to notice something especially considering my fan is twice as extreme as most peoples. I notice no difference whatsoever bending - aside from it being incredibly easy because the fretjob is amazing and the board is flat.
     
  6. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

    Messages:
    3,755
    Likes Received:
    932
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    NoIL
    I apologize and will stop posting in "that" thread :lol:

    Ray
     
  7. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    14,345
    Likes Received:
    7,326
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    I understand your skepticism. There are a lot of schools in the West Virginia area and Deep South that are teaching not just the evolution of fanned frets, but the traditional fretted instruments. There is no proof that fanned frets are better, and if the good lord wanted instruments fretted he would have made trees grow slanted. I think schools should teach more traditional fanned fretism. And don't even get me started on that bunk about climate change affecting the wood in a guitar!!!



    /troll
     
  8. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,353
    Likes Received:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I have a fanned 8, and it's really easy to play. Bending is easy and stretches are more effortless when going up and down the fingerboard.
     
  9. The Reverend

    The Reverend GHETTO KING OF SWAG

    Messages:
    3,457
    Likes Received:
    431
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    From what I gather, the main benefit to fanned fret guitars is the better string tension across the board, as well as slightly better ergonomics and better timbre (from having more appropriate string gauges).
     
  10. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    14,345
    Likes Received:
    7,326
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    Yeah, and for the lower strings you can keep them thinner, and the higher thicker. I personally like that aspect because the higher strings don't sound as brittle and the low strings don't sound as bassy. I personally think the fan is almost mandatory on a 9, and definitely usefull on an 8. The 7s don't make much of a difference to me. I play in standard tuning.
     
  11. Schizo Sapiens

    Schizo Sapiens SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Location:
    Russia
    Isn't that the other way round? In first positions of fanned-fret guitar, downbend is more desirable, as it makes string shorter as you bend it.

    Same thing with 'up the neck positions'' and upbend.
     
  12. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Location:
    France
    Main ergonomic reason : easier to play barre chords without involving a radial deviation of the wrist.

    Correct ! I meant up=pull and down=push :lol:
     
  13. Walterson

    Walterson SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    791
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    Just finished my latest FF (25,5-27") ergonomic 7-String build and it rocks. It's set up with EXL 110-7 (.010-.059) and compared to my other 25,5 7-Strings the lower strings sound way better, more defined, better clarity, more attack, more sustain. I think ff is the way to go on 7 Strings too.

    Here is a picture, the guitar is not completely done in that pic, but you get the Idea.... there will be a NGD soon.
    [​IMG]
     
    guitareben likes this.
  14. penningmic

    penningmic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    How much do these guitars usually run in cost?
     
  15. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    14,345
    Likes Received:
    7,326
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    ^ All over the board. You're cheapest option are Agile Pendulums. Check those out on the rondomusic.com site.
     
  16. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,070
    Likes Received:
    268
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    This is what happens if you mess up on fanned frets:



    [​IMG]
     
  17. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

    Messages:
    36,747
    Likes Received:
    25,627
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    I don't think that anyone has touched on in here yet is that just because an instrument has fanned frets doesn't mean the guitar is instantly better sounding, or more ergonomic/comfortable.

    A lot of thought still has to go into the choosing of the scales being used, what the perpendicular fret will be, and all the other aspects of selecting a guitar that will sound and feel right to the player.

    Thus, I can see how a lot of players still favor parallel fretted instruments. Just because my AV8 has fanned frets, doesn't mean it's going to do better in every musical context.

    From what I've experienced, there are still trade offs, so I'm far from convinced that everything with 7+ strings needs a fanned board. Make the fan too wide, you loose a lot of the ergonomic benefits, same with placing the perpendicular fret in a particular spot. For ideal ergonomics, you need to set the scales at a certain point, which might not be 100% ideal for the desired tuning.

    For the record, I LOVE my AV8, but I also loved my RG2228. really dug my SC608B, and appreciated the heck out of my various 25.5" to 30" scale Agile 8-strings. I'm probably going to get another fanned 8 at some point, but I also want a couple straight fret ones.
     

Share This Page