What are decent headless fanned fret guitars for 2021?

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

  1. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Dude's looking used (sees: WTB thread in classifieds), so initial purchase is moot.
     
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  2. BradleyAllan

    BradleyAllan SS.org Regular

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    Allot of good useful info / recommendations here in this thread. I’ve been playing Strandberg’s for the last two years and have really liked them. I do agree that there seems to be allot of QC issues that are just not acceptable, especially at the price point they sell for. And I would also say that the options for different wood choices and colors seems to really be lacking compared to their J series which sometimes carry triple the cost of an Indonesian made one. Because of that I’ve begun looking outside of the brand moving forward and just last week picked up a Abasi Master Series 8 which I’m quickly falling in love with (they also have QC issues, I think I just lucked out on one that’s seems really well built). But what I will say is that i really dig Strandberg’s design concept and how they use science to create a functional, ergonomic guitar. I have yet to find a headless that feels as good as a Strandberg in classical position. Not saying they don’t exist, I just haven’t found one yet. I’ve loved reaching for them everyday and haven’t had any issues personally other than both of them needing a full setup (which is to be expected depending on what your preferences are) and swapping out the pickups almost immediately after getting them. Having done that, they’ve been solid for me personally. But I emphasize “personally” because I’ve seen some pretty unforgiving examples online of horrendous oversights from their indo production line. I’m also very interested in a Aristides h/08 as everyone who has them seems to really dig them.
     
  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    Not sure why you'd recommend a brand that
    lmao "science"
    Ola cut up a strat and slapped a 2x4 neck on it. He spent a lot of time prototyping and refining the design but that is far from scientific. He did make a half asses analysis of waveforms from differing types of wood and try to make an inference from that, but it's not really useful scientifically.
    The endurneck is a very crude way of forcing nonclassical players to keep their thumb in the middle of the neck basically. Not to mention they have horrendously blocky neck joint for upper fret access.


    Guys like steinberger, parker, spalt, teuffel and toone were pushing the design/engineering aspects of modern guitars long before ola was. Putting the bridge closer to the ass of the guitar was done as far back as the 70/80s and is/was more prevalent with bass designs.
     
  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    For real.

    This isn't even conjecture, Ola posted everything in real time on his original EGS blog before "Strandberg Guitars" was even a thing.

    It's still out there.
     
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  5. SCJR

    SCJR SS.org Regular

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    Not really sure what you're referring to? Are there VanderMeij horror stories I am not aware of?
     
  6. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    not sure about horror stories, but Dave at EQ told me that he considers Vandermeij to be building in the "old school style" while he is part of the "new school/modern"...maybe someone who is a hobbyist luthier etc can detail what that would mean? As it's not like EQ is an Aristides using weird synthetics or injection molding etc
     
  7. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canada

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    Every Vandermeij I've seen has been spectacular, and owners I've spoken to have loved theirs. Koen is a super nice dude, he definitely has the skills to be building. He did all his training at Aristides.
     
  8. trickae

    trickae Former Ibanez enthusiast

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    Thanks guys, a second hand Kiesel's is high up on my list and has been for sometime.

    Sorry just haven't been a fan of Aristides, I tried a few in store and something about the feeling of food just did it for me. Though, i'll for supporting the company and their greener view to guitar buiding.

    This was incredibly insightful, thanks for the detail. Yes, I've been down to chipping norton countless times when getting my Cilia made. Back then wenge necks, front and back bevels and low neck heel profiles were non-exisiten, we pretty much came up with the CGA7 design.

    I'll check out the tone sanctuary and there's a local Mayones Dealer at Industrie Music in Leichardt. I'm planning on ordering a hydra VF 7 from there. Plus owning a strandberg has been a dream of mine ever since Ola came out and only sold out of his custom shop. How much do they go for here?

    100% agree. I think headless and fanned frets combined are a step towards more ergonomic designs, where really the guitar hasn't changed dramatically since the super strat days of the 80's. I've owned ibanez guitars exclusively over 25 years and found i've grown out of them. I'd pull my hair out if I ever had to setup a floyd rose again.

    I sold my guitar collection and want to try a different direction with modern shapes and designs. I'll throw in a solar V and Explorer to the collection to support Ola Englund.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
    odibrom and eclecto-acoustic like this.
  9. trickae

    trickae Former Ibanez enthusiast

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    You guys have a valid point and I remember going through the threads where the founder himself came onto to defend the company. I'll definitely buy second hand as don't have the budget or time to wait on a custom design. I'd rather pick up a ready made one.
     
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  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    not sure why you were recommending a brand that doesn't even make headless guitars in a thread about headless guitars
     
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  11. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Have you thought about what you want to get out of multiscale? Because there are several different configucations there.

    The Boden 8 only has a 25.5"-26.5" scale, with a neutral fret at the 7.

    The Kiesel 7 is 25.5-27" with a neutral at the 9th. Compared to the Boden, i think they will play/feel much much different. At least the Boden would compared to the Kiesel and Mayones:
    • You get a longer scale with the Kiesel for your lower strings
    • The same scale and neutral fret on fewer strings, though, also leads to a more angled nut and less angled upper frets
    • the Kiesel's longer fan, even with the same neutral fret, also leads to a more angled nut.
    • a higher-up neutral fret, even with the same scale range, also leads to a more angled nut and less angled upper frets.
    The Mayones 7 is almost the same scale range as the Kiesel, but the neutral/parallel location is the 7th fret, so the nut will be very slightly less angled than it, while the highest frets will be slightly more angled. I suspect that small of a difference though will be a bit harder to pit up on unless doing an side-by-side. Some companies jumped into the multi-scale pool with 12th fret (seems logical doesnt' it?) but depending on the scale range can be incredibly uncomfortable down in the lower frets with such a steeply-angled nut.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  12. trickae

    trickae Former Ibanez enthusiast

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    I tried baritone scales of 27" in the past and it just made soloing much harder. I wish I had tosin's finger strength an even a fraction of his scale. For extended range, I'd much prefer a multiscale.

    I thought the Boden 8's go for 26.5" to 28.00". I know it's a bit more of a stretch but I'm willing to try it. I have big hands. I beleive a neutral fret on 12 makes it more extreme a stretch at the first fret and higher up right?

    Right now i'm after the variety, the more differences between the instruments the better. I find the strandberg chambered body more light weight. The enduraneck is enticing and I think it'd change up my playing.

    The kiesel has the neck through design which stands out to me for more resonant and a fuller sound.

    As long as they all sound different, bring something different to the table then I'm all for it. I'm rebuilding my guitar collection after a messy divorce so keen to get back into it.
     
  13. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    You know what? You're right. My mistake. I was reading too quickly and what i thought I read was the 7-string specs for the scale length. Sorry about that! Somehow I got the neutral fret right, but not the scale length.
     
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  14. SCJR

    SCJR SS.org Regular

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    That is my mistake, I've mixed up VanderMeij and Valravn.
     
  15. asopala

    asopala SS.org Regular

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    Not sure if he's referring to using CNC machines or the style of guitar. Old school I'd think like what Suhr does (though there's admittedly a bit of a modern flair, they are at the end of the day mostly strats and tele's). Eastwood would be even older school (read: 1960s). Vamdermeji doesn't give me that vibe. Neither does Valravn, for that matter.

    He could be talking about something else entirely, idk. Might not be a bad idea to ask him for clarification.
     
  16. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    yeah I should have asked him, I know both use CNC so not sure exactly what he meant.
     
  17. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Neither vandermeji or eq have a headless model. So they are lumped in with parlor acoustic builders in terms of modernity in my book.
     
  18. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    So in summary, what is the consensus on the best headless guitars?

    The way I read from least to best:

    Nk
    GOC
    Strandberg
    Ormsby
    Kiesel
    Aristides

    Right?

    This thread gave me headless GAS, so I am looking for an affordable 6-string headless that is probably multiscale to replace my baritone to keep the low tuned strings with a better length and the high tuned strings at a more comfortable length.

    I would love to have an Aristides but I can't afford it, but Strandberg is half the price. Are they really as negative as I have read around?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  19. SCJR

    SCJR SS.org Regular

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    I've heard some issues arose with GOC's Guitarmory pickup run that didn't put GOC in the best light and it seems dealing with them can be a bit dodgy as well but that is just hearsay from reading around on here. I've never looked into them myself. I've read dealing with the owner of Ormsby can be hit or miss as well but again no personal experience.

    I believe if Strandberg puts you off enough to stay away then Kiesel will most likely satisfy. I'm not sure if the fan implemented is a big deal to you but each manufacturer will vary on that of course. Ormsby being much more drastic than Strandberg, for example.
     
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  20. jayarpeggios

    jayarpeggios SS.org Regular

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    Strandberg is amazing, bought two of them last year and they are by far the best guitars I've played or heard. QC can be a problem, but just return / replace if you get a dud.
     
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