What are decent headless fanned fret guitars for 2021?

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by trickae, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. trickae

    trickae SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    160
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    sydney
    I'm looking to pick up a fanned Fret headless guitar soon having played Ibanez guitars for 25 years. I used to lurk here when strandberg just came out and mayones was picking up pre periphery days, but never took the plunge.

    I was leaning towards
    * Strandberg Boden 8
    * Kiesel Vader 7 multiscale
    * Mayones Hydra VF7


    How have they held up?

    Do some of you find yourselves reaching for standard fret guitars or happy with the move to fanned fret.

    Which of the above would you recommend or have new brands and guitars come out?
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

    Messages:
    38,908
    Likes Received:
    32,203
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    Of those three, I'd just grab the Kiesel to your specs and be done with it.

    Strandberg quality is garbage unless you're looking at the J line and I don't feel the Mayones is that much better than the Kiesel considering price and options.
     
    Thaeon and Hollowway like this.
  3. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,847
    Likes Received:
    5,433
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    china
    get the Kiesel if you just want something to try it out. doesn't seem like you're in the states so the return is a bit more complicated but it's still the easiest option unless a store near you has strandbergs in stock.

    as for options in 2021...there are a lot. so many.
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire L'enfant sausage

    Messages:
    17,085
    Likes Received:
    19,339
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Location:
    MN
    Seconded on Kiesel. They've essentially become the new iteration of the "just get a used prestige" where they're very good quality and usually at very solid prices.

    Strandberg is a hard no from me. I had 2 os8s and a custom shop that were all mediocre at best, and the standards I've tried at guitar center were pathetic for their price point.
     
  5. odibrom

    odibrom .

    Messages:
    5,332
    Likes Received:
    3,240
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Location:
    ... perto de onde a terra acaba e o mar come├ža...
    ... errr, no love for Aristides? They also offer fanned headless guitars... quite awesome in my understanding...
     
    IAO, Hollowway, dbrozz and 5 others like this.
  6. Restarted

    Restarted SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    272
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2017
    Location:
    Jordan
    Aristides H/0 100% of the time, every time time.

    I did not have to get used to the fan frets at all since the fan is not that wide and side dots are in the right spot when you look down. I recently played a friend's Strandberg and needed a few minutes to adjust.

    Quality is Aristides quality. Perfection.

    I've not been playing the rest of my guitars as much as I should since receiving the H/0, even though it's in drop C and a lot of my practice is in standard tuning. It is the most comfortable guitar I own, and the most fun to play.
     
    Hollowway and dbrozz like this.
  7. maccayoung

    maccayoung SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    114
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    GOC is worth a look for a budget option. I have a 6 string GOC and it easily compares to the Strandberg (which I thought was overpriced). Kiesels are great too, I have a vm8.
     
    feilong29 likes this.
  8. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canada

    Messages:
    2,097
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Strandbergs are hot garbage, and I personally won't give Kiesel a cent. The Mayones Hydra is a definite winner.
     
    Thaeon, Luchilleus and I play music like this.
  9. Triple7

    Triple7 The Decepticon

    Messages:
    4,301
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Location:
    Yorktown,NY
    I'd look into Ormsby. Amazing guitars.
     
    SCJR likes this.
  10. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Midwestern USA
    I hate this thread. It's just giving me headless GAS.

    I would like to own an Aristides one day when I can afford one. The resin body would be perfect for our Midwestern changing seasons.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
    SCJR likes this.
  11. Pietjepieter

    Pietjepieter SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    438
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Location:
    Rotterdam
    If I was looking for a headless fanned fret guitar I would defiantly check Aristides... i mean damn :)
     
    I play music and littlebadboy like this.
  12. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    761
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    I'd say Kiesel Vader with the custom specs you like or Aristides if you have the budget.
     
  13. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic "That" guy.

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2021
    Choosing a headless was tough for me because of some features/styles I wanted to have in there. If you're cool with the "headstock lopped off" look, there's a lot of choice out there. I wound up going Strandberg because there just isn't any other guitar quite like it, and I wanted what it offered.

    The comments that Strandberg is just bad are inaccurate. It would be more accurate to say that their quality control does not match their price. I was really hesitant before making the leap, but as I said, there's no other Strandberg. I mitigated my risk by buying from an in-country dealer with a good return policy, and could see detailed pictures of the ACTUAL guitar before paying for it. I got a stunning guitar, all told, and after a neck relief adjustment it was ready to rock. If I didn't have that opportunity and I had to order from overseas sight unseen, I doubt I would have gone for it. The QC oversights, setting aside frequency data because we really don't have any, are really mystifying and totally unbecoming the brand and the prices they command. You can see some egregious examples of stuff missed at the factory/distributor/store over on r/Strandberg. Cover your butt and you can get a good one. FWIW, it looks like you have a local-ish dealer in Chipping Norton (The Tone Sanctuary), so you may be able to stop in and try one out in person.

    If money were less of an object I'd have seriously considered the Mayones. I don't like the abrupt end to the neck, but they have an excellent reputation, the body shape looks killer, and I'd fully expect to get my money's worth. Ormsby is another great option for you seeing as you're not having to deal with international shipping. Their distance from me was the only real thing stopping me from giving them a whirl. Aristides is also a super cool option, as others said, if you've got the money. Only problem there for me is I can't un-see the smiley face on the body which is made exceedingly obvious by the top contours and slanted pickups. Sorry if I ruined it for anyone else...
     
  14. SCJR

    SCJR SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Location:
    S. Florida
    It felt awkward at first but the more I played a multiscale the easier it became to go back and forth between fanned and standard. Seems counterintuitive but there you go.

    As per my sig I play a Strandberg, not really going to dive into that one as there are plenty of threads here arguing the merits or lack thereof. Seems there are fanboys who can't find a single flaw in the entire line on one side and then those who were very hyped for them in the beginning and subsequently let down with the direction the company has moved in since and are very happy to talk about it lol. Be somewhere in the middle and find a used example that you like. They certainly hold value on the used market if you feel like playing roulette and don't fall in love with the neck shape or you just get a dud.

    They also seem to be one of the few companies who are not satisfied with just cutting off the headstock and calling it a day aesthetically but that is hardly at the top of the list of priorities all considered. Beyond that I would say pay some attention to how drastic of a fan any one company implements as well as where the parallel or neutral fret lies. These along with scale length are going to be the main specs that will determine and affect comfortability as it relates to your body and your playing. IMO the whole point of headless design is supposed to be in the spirit of moving toward function over form anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
    eclecto-acoustic likes this.
  15. trickae

    trickae SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    160
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    sydney
    Th
    Sounds good, there's one in stock locally so I can try one out. Having read through the thread....I'm leaning towards owning all 3 eventually.
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  16. SCJR

    SCJR SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Location:
    S. Florida
    Forgot to mention that if you're not too concerned with a wait period I think VanderMeij guitars are worth a look. From what I've seen there are positive experiences had by others on this forum and they seem to have fixed little things that others don't seem to like about headless guitars, particularly certain Strandberg design choices. Not something you'll probably see much of floating around in the wild so it's definitely a plunge.
     
    Ben Pinkus and trickae like this.
  17. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    877
    Joined:
    May 5, 2018
    But the guy is from Sydney. It's debatable if Kiesel is an option within the US ... I would maybe prefer a Balaguer headless over there .. but definitely avoid Kiesel outside the US
    I would go for Mayones or Aristides.
     
    trickae likes this.
  18. SCJR

    SCJR SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Location:
    S. Florida
    I think Kiesel just charges double the US shipping rate of $35 to ship overseas though I know he mentioned an increase on that coming down the line.

    I see how buying guitars that have been shipped to dealers in Australia eliminates dealing with the fees of buying from dealers outside of AUS. But for a company that ships direct like Kiesel, are there other fees related to them shipping from the US as opposed to, for example, Aristides coming from The Netherlands? I'm not familiar with international shipping at all.
     
  19. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    877
    Joined:
    May 5, 2018
    I was more thinking about the risk to receive a not good guitar and Kiesel not accepting that fact, not paying for return shipping etc.
    Never heard anything like that about Aristides so I think they are safe
     
    SCJR likes this.
  20. Randy

    Randy Tony Lazuto?! Super Moderator

    Messages:
    23,359
    Likes Received:
    10,877
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Kiesel becomes more tempting option if you can find one second hand. Can verify condition of build (with better buyer protection via Reverb), save yourself $500 to $1000 or more, and you don't have to give Jef Kiesel your money.
     

Share This Page