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 appreciate the responses. I'm still partial to the strandberg and Mayones but will still get a kiesel once I found a few on sale locally.
     
  2. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks ERG Player Wannabe

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    137
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere in the middle of Mexico
    I know there are mixed opinions on Ormsby, but in general I would dare to say they are solid. I have only heard about issues with pickups in the earliest runs and given that you are in Australia maybe you could try one out? I agree the fan is very wide, but what matters is if it fits your style or not. From the multi scales I own (Strandy, Ormsby and GOC) I feel like the one that adapts better to my playing style is the Ormsby.
     
  3. trickae

    trickae SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    160
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    sydney
    Thanks, I was exploring ormsby about 7 years ago, I'll check them out, had no idea they did headless now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  4. odibrom

    odibrom .

    Messages:
    5,340
    Likes Received:
    3,244
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Location:
    ... perto de onde a terra acaba e o mar começa...
    Go 2nd hand, because there a few too many horror stories on custom support...

    Personally, I find the Kiesel Vader hideous. As far as visual design goes, Aristides and Strandberg are the best, followed by Skervesen and Mayones. Strandbergs have been said to have relatively poor QC on their price range...
     
    Hollowway likes this.
  5. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    FWIW, I've got 2 7 string Ormsby guitars, including one of the headless Goliath models and they've been great. They are both relatively early and I honestly haven't had any issues, had them for over a year now and have used one of them near every day.
     
    trickae likes this.
  6. trickae

    trickae SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    160
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    sydney
    Thanks, I found a qatsi deluge second hand, but it's been a challenge find a headless. There are some J series Strandbergs on ebay but hard to find the right one.

    I'll be honest the kiesel vader, I never liked the look but was taken by the price point and the neck-through design. It's hard to find other neck through headless guitars.

    That's good to hear. I'll see if I can make a trip to perth to give the goliaths a try.
     
    Ziltoid and odibrom like this.
  7. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    334
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2020
    There is also the Chris Letchford signature from Kiesel which is multi-scale and neck-thru. Maybe the shape is more to your liking. Pretty much just as customizable as the Vader is.
     
  8. Nitro

    Nitro SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I can add another vote for Ormsby. The only headless or multi scale I've owned is my Ormsby Goliath GTR, but I tried out a couple of Standbergs in shops in the past. With Ormsby there's two ranges - the GTR production guitars built by World Music, and the hand built guitars. There's obviously a significant price difference, and most people will be looking at the World Music GTRs. My GTR is a really nicely built guitar (most of my other guitars are high end US and Japanese made guitars). The Ormsby has great fret finishing, good hardware, beautiful finish etc. The multi scale is fairly aggressive, but I didn't have any issues adapting to it quickly - and it's my go to 7 string now, even through all my 6s are straight frets.
     
    Stuck_in_a_dream and SCJR like this.
  9. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Midwestern USA
    I ordered an Agile Geodesic 62527. For less then $600. Let's see how it goes.

    [​IMG]
     
    SCJR and odibrom like this.
  10. fabronaut

    fabronaut SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    They're also adding another price tier soon - GTI models, presumably at a specific factory selected in China / Indonesia to reduce the cost of labour while having similar / same appointments? hopefully it doesn't cut too many corners and is consistent. I've been eyeing the Korean made stuff on and off for ages. if I was more consistent with practicing and developing my skills, I probably would've jumped on one of the 7 or 8 Goliath or Hype models by now. (RIP wallet if they bring back the purple to pink colour shift paint job.)

    apparently the GTI models will have an Evertune bridge option with a fan, neutral point at the bridge, much like the multi-scale Floyds that are out there. not sure if Evertune will bother prototyping a fanned variant of their bridge. there isn't really a de facto standard for scale length and neutral fret position. I assume production tooling may not be profitable unless someone hits massive success in volume sales or has an industry wide splash we haven't seen yet. think of the impact that Steve Vai's Universe / JEM models had for Ibanez -- that level of buzz. small companies have made their own custom tremolo variants but goddamn, are they ever expensive.

    the GTR stuff will likely remain the price / performance sweet spot, as well made Korean guitars are stupid good from a consistency standpoint. I believe the Agile ones are mostly (all?) made in Korea. the LP neck through I have is well spec'd, it just weighs a ton. not too many Agile models kicking around here in Canada, probably b/c we get hammered with massive shipping and import / handling charges when it crosses the border. kind of a major piss-off when it's made overseas anyway, but what can you do.

    anyone anywhere can make great guitars, provided that they know what they're doing and rigorously QC so nothing lacking leaves the shop. regional generalizations would be more accurately tied to specific factories / shops, but brands aren't likely to tell you where they're specifically made in case they switch or have competitors saturate the production queue.

    in spite of the Jackson X Series DKAF7 multiscale (presumably Cort, made in Indonesia) having a disappointing fret dress / crown job that turned me off from actually playing the damn thing, it was nice to be able to try a fan fret guitar recently. I'll have one some day. maybe it'll be the first 7 string I own, who knows. :) looking forward to hearing about more fanless stuff, will lurk and learn as I go!
     
  11. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

    Messages:
    2,647
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Seattle
    I’ve had 4 strandbergs and they were decent, save one that was quite nice. Nine of them can touch my Padalkas though. If you want a modern FF headless: that’s where I’d go.
     
  12. bzhang9

    bzhang9 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    517
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2019
    how many strings?

    I play primarily ibanez, tried a bunch of headless/multiscale. for 6/7 strings they don't play any better, probably worse, its just novelty and the different in tension is negligible to have much benefit. For 8 strings its probably worth it to try multiscale, as good as the MIJ Ibby 8s play.
     
  13. trickae

    trickae SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    160
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    sydney
    Thanks. I've played Ibanez guitars since 1995. I've played RG550's, Sabers, Jems, Jcustoms and Universe's but sold them a few years ago.

    I'm looking at playing mostly 7 and 8 strings. I found the 27" neck string tension too high for the high E and B strings, where bends felt too hard to pull off. I'd rather have the multiscale that's not too dramatic and have higher tension on the lower 3 strings and lower tension on the higher strings.
     
  14. Stuck_in_a_dream

    Stuck_in_a_dream SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,370
    Likes Received:
    422
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Recently, and due a couple of medium-range purchases (Agile Chiral, Ormsby Goliath), I'm now fully bought into the multi-scale design as the only logical option for 8-string and beyond (totally agree w/ Tosin :D). Not just easier intonation, but the high strings sound so much sweeter, anyway, besides the point I'd like to make.

    So, re the Agile Chiral, I was not only surprised by the specs (SS frets, 3-piece Wenge/Maple neck, ebony fb, Fishman moderns), but it was almost flawless, perfect fret endings, awesome back of neck satin finish, great fit & finish overall. My 2 minor gripes were the bridge saddles (adequate) but they recently changed the design, I got the old one, and I like to upgrade them (in the works). The other issue has to do w/ wiring, but that's a trivial fix. Overall, great experience there. I was terribly worried about the 28.5" inch on the bass side, but 30 mins. were enough to get me used to it.

    Now, re Ormsby, I got a Goliath GTR black and white, here:
    [​IMG]
    I was not prepared for this thing. First of all, it is chambered, so it weighs like nothing, but still sounds great. I like the neck pickup (Alnico II), bridge pickup is not bad per se, but definitely not suited for anything metal w/ 8-strings (no tightness/clarity on bass side), so plan on replacing it.
    Everything else is perfect, fit/finish, SS frets, custom Hipshot hardware. This will definitely not be my last Goliath, already looking forward to current & future Goliath GTR runs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
    odibrom and fabronaut like this.
  15. Dayn

    Dayn SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    827
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Yeah mate, if you're Australian, check out Ormsby's offerings. You'll have no problem enforcing your consumer law rights compared to overseas brands. I see all these interesting things here, but I always know that unless an Australian retailer sells it it's always a gamble.
     
  16. Thaeon

    Thaeon Cosmic Question Asker

    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I want Strandberg to be successful. Cool design. Interesting neck profile. They just have terribly inconsistent delivery with the exception of the J Series. I want one. But I also want it to not suck. Especially for that kind of money. Would love for prices to be more reasonable based on location of manufacture as well.

    I was gonna say, VanderMeij makes so quality stuff. Though they don't get mentioned much around here.

    The Chris Letchford is a set neck. Not a neck through. One of the few Kiesel headless guitars I like the design of. Maybe the only one. I won't give them a penny though until Jeff steps down. I've also seen some issues with the way that the pilot holes are drilled for the nut/string locks at the end is splitting the wood. Looks like along the grain.

    If I were looking at a headless design, I'd be looking at Padalka. Simon's guitars are unbelievably good. One of the few I'd put next to my Oni. Speaking of, I'd love for Dan to figure out how he'd like to address that situation. A headless Oni would be unreal.
     
  17. Ben Pinkus

    Ben Pinkus SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    397
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Location:
    London
    I swear I have seen a one off Vandermeij headless - but yeah the magistra is his main offering to my knowledge.

    I'd probably go Aristides out of the choices listed, some other options that I don't think have been listed:

    Skervesen
    Padalka
     
  18. trickae

    trickae SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    160
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    sydney
    Holy shit, I've just watched a padalka neptune - making of video. These look incredible. I don't know if I could ever afford it though, but it looks crazy good!



     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  19. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    Yes a single Vandermeij headless model does exist, it was just a prototype/test though
     
    Ben Pinkus likes this.
  20. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    334
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2020
    Ah my fault on the misquote. Also I had forgotten about the issues with the pilot holes for the nut/string locks. Once you mentioned it I remembered seeing several things about that and remembered why I wasn't considering a headless from Kiesel any longer.
     
    Thaeon likes this.

Share This Page