Who prefers 22 fret guitars?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Dumple Stilzkin, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    I'm happy with whatever, extra fret access is nice but I rarely do anything above 22 anyway. The difference in tone on the neck pickup is subtle enough that it doesn't matter to me.
     
  2. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    It depends. There are a couple different ways to get a 22-fret guitar, and they aren't all the same.

    One thing to consider is: was the guitar designed to be a 24 fret model, or a 22 fret model?

    I think the one that comes both ways which most would be familiar with is the PRS 22 and 24 (and by extension, the Kiesel CT6 and CT624, the CS versions, and the Solo and Aries bolt-on twins...which I only bring up because they are the ones I am personally most familiar with).

    So: Both-fretted versions basically have the same body, and their scale lengths are the same, right?

    If you just added 2 frets to the end of the 22 fret board, those two frets would be almost unplayable. So, they shift things over, so that the 22-fret-model's highest fret and the 24-fret-model's highest fret are both at the same point on the body: right at the edge of their fret access cutaway. This ensures that it's just as easy to reach each version's own highest fret with equal ease.

    However, you can't just move the frets like that and keep everything else the same unless you are also shortening the scale. To keep the same scale, if you're pushing the frets away from the body, you're also pushing the nut further away, and to retain the same scale, you're also moving the bridge in that direction, too.

    So just by adding two frets to a designed-as-a-22-fret-model, you've changed:
    - ...how far away the nut is from the upper strap button, which can make open chords and lower-fret fingerings feel more awkward for some, more natural for others. It could be as much of a difference as going from a 25.5" to a 26.5" scale neck, all else being equal.
    - ...where the bridge is positioned in relation to the back strap button, which can change where you palm mute, where you strum/pick, where you go to reach your trem arm, etc.
    - ...where the controls are, in relation to where a 22-fret guitar would hang on you. you can see here on the 22 fret, the controls are closer to the bottom strap button.
    [​IMG]

    ...how much space there is between the two pickups. You can se there's much less real-estate between the pickups on the 24-fret model where you won't hit something with a pick. It's enough of a difference that some people swear off middle pickups or even pickups rings when choosing a 24-fret guitar, unless maaaaybe if it's a longer scale length to get back some of that breathing room.
    [​IMG]


    Then you have models like Kiesel's Delos and Theos (only because they are the ones I'm most familiar with) which are also available in both 24 and 22 fret models, but they have different bodies. The treble side cutaway is made deeper, rather than moving the neck out, to retain equal "highest fret" access on both versions.

    This is the Kiesel Theos 22 fret (flamed maple in "deep lava stain") and 24 fret (solid light blue) models overlaid:
    upload_2020-11-12_17-31-28.png

    With this design, when you hang these two guitars on a strap, the tuners, nut, 12th fret, bridge, controls, and picking area are all in the exact same place. It will feel identical. The only difference will be that you can reach up two more frets because that part of the body is cut away, and the neck pickup has shifted up 2 frets-worth of space.


    These differing design methodologies is why, when you get a "24 fret conversion" neck for a strat, there's two ways to do it:
    1) a diving-board extension that goes deeper into the body, extending over the standard neck pickup location and those extra frets are not easily accessible...
    [​IMG]

    2) or, if you get one where the 24th fret stops where the 22nd fret normally does, it's a 28-5/8" scale conversion neck:
    upload_2020-11-12_17-37-31.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  3. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    I prefer 22 only for strats and teles because of the neck pickup tone. Everything else 24. Someday I'll own a 27, maybe.
     
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  4. Phlegethon

    Phlegethon SS.org Regular

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    I'm fine with a guitar having 22 frets, in spite of the fact that everything guitar/bass I own have 24 fret necks. Not so much with bass, a bass needs the full two octaves. Hand strength isn't there to bend the G string up a whole step on a bass. Since I can get that super high E on a 22 fret guitar no problem, it's less of an issue.
     
  5. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    For me, I've just only played 24 fret guitars. Do I use all 24 frets? Very, very rarely. To me though, it's about the feel and the access to having those extra frets just in case I need them. I'd rather not be limited when most guitars I look for have 24 frets anyways. It also just feels off to play 22 frets.
     
  6. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

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    I don't think I've ever heard a song where the bassist hits the highest fret of his instrument.
     
  7. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter ... drifting...

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    I have to have 24 cause any day now Imma start busting out Vai-level licks so gotta be prepared... gonna happen. I can feel it.
     
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  8. Snarpaasi

    Snarpaasi SS.org Regular

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    Learning certain shred solos 24 frets are must but not for all guitars. I prefer a good upper access neck joint and often 22 frets are good enough. My strat with 21 is occasionally a bit mehh.
     
  9. possumkiller

    possumkiller Square Dance Caller

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    Come to think of it, even on my 24 frets guitar I never use the 23st fret at all. I only use the 24rd fret on the high e for tapping. On my less than 24 frets guitars, I just tap the end of the fretboard overhang or the harmonic. Nobody hears the difference anyway.
     
  10. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously Contributor

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    This guy. For 99.9% of guitarists they will never use the top two frets other than reaching for the high E, which is far sexier with a big bend anyways.
     
  11. Glades

    Glades Down in the Everglades

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    Literally every tech death song ever written has a lick with a tap at 23 or 24. So y’all either banging cowboy chords, playing some fruity music or lying.
     
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  12. _MonSTeR_

    _MonSTeR_ SS.org Regular

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    Satriani arguably did his best stuff with a 22 fret guitar...

    The 22 fret JS certainly looks better than the 24 fret versions he’s playing nowadays...
     
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  13. possumkiller

    possumkiller Square Dance Caller

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    Don't the 24 3/4 conversion necks also have 24 frets?
     
  14. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Yes and no, I think.

    The 24.75" scale, 24 fret necks are meant to be 7/8 size guitars, and the necks only fit their 7/8 size bodies. The 24.75" scale strat replacement necks are still 22 frets.
     
  15. Glades

    Glades Down in the Everglades

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    If I can’t play Necrophagist or Death in a guitar, I don’t want it. 24 frets are a must for me. There are literally no drawbacks to having the 2 extra frets ... more notes, better access to higher frets, all the chicks (or dudes - not judging).
     
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  16. Dayn

    Dayn SS.org Regular

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    I need 24 frets, but I'm thinking my next one will have 29 frets instead. Can't beat those highs.
     
  17. primitiverebelworld

    primitiverebelworld SS.org Regular

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    25.5 - 24 frets. Best for me and 2 full octaves make sense often for certain fingerings and triplets in many solos. specially if the guitar is in somekind of standard tuning and the solo is in the key of the lowest string. Dropped lower string songs shift everything away from the highest frets and in that case I would not notice the absence of 23 and 24 so badly. I play sixers only atm. And quite simple melodeath if that matters. Nothing particulary fusiony. But I would not want 24 3/4 to have 24 because the space between pickups gets too tight. Ec-1000 and custom24 look specially bad regarding this issue :)
     
  18. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    Can't play fruity music if we're not playing tech death ;)
     
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  19. mikernaut

    mikernaut pixel pusher

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    I feel much more comfortable on shortscale guitars. I had a Charvel 750XL that was soo fun to play. wish there were more Supershredder style 24.75" guitars.
     
  20. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Jokes on YOU, I can’t PLAY tech death! Ha!


    *plays mediocre metalcore*
     
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