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Scalloping Frets

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this is from a talk with Karl Sanders of NILE(yea!!!!!!!!!!)

"well , on the plus side, there is plenty of NOTHING under the string -

where your fingers would normally slam into fretboard , there is now just air. Consequently, the note now has nothing to do with the string touching the fretboard , it is only making contact with the fret itself.

To my ears this yeilds a purer bell-like tone -

also , since your finger is no longer hell-bent on sqeezing the strings all the way into a hardwood fretboard,

you only need apply enough pressure to gently touch the string down to the fret. ( any more would push the note hopelessly sharp)

So you can actually relax your grip a little bit.

But this is a double edged sword -

since there is no appreciable functioning fretboard to stop you,

you can very easily play WAY out of tune -

and sound quite horrible. "

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I had a link to a much worst one, but the pic is bad, but like all mentioned above, easier bends, faster vibrato, notes are easier to fret (at least for me), but this is good on low frets, if you are making your own neck, unless you like low fat Gibson frets, get the tallest you can buy, like the 6100, and there ain't too much to do,

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Yeah, I used to play a Yamaha Billy Sheehan bass every once in a while in college and the last few frets were scalloped under the treble side only. Never really understood why but then I'm not much of a bass player, either. Good sounding sig bass, though. That Yamaha played real nice.

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I presume when you are saying scalloping the fret board on a bass, you are only talking the last few frets rite?

I heard (from a reliable teacher) that scalloping the WHOLE fret board on a bass is near on suicide...

The string tension would MUTULATE the neck and you would be wondering on stage thinking where the other half of the neck is... :D

~~ Slain Angel ~~

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Article about Scalloping from Ibanez

Scalloped Frets 21-24 - All JEMs have this feature except the JEM10, JEM90, JEM7BSB JEM7DBK and JEM555. It is said to offer more control of the strings at the upper register and allow better feel & sustain.

Expanded Tonal Explaination of Scalloping:

When Ibanez first made the JEM it had a standard neck joint plate. The high four frets go over the body [with no mass behind them] and when you play these notes through an amp the sustain of the [upper four] notes is alot shorter. The reason is all the area of the neck is gone it is just a fingerboard extension [see Guitar Photo Gallery Neck Details]. Billy Sheenan had done this to his basses to keep the sustain [alive for the upper frets laying] over the body, so we did it on the Jem and it made the notes ring the same as the basic neck [below fret 21]. The distance between the frets does not allow your finger in there anyway. When [ibanez] switched to all access neck joints the scallop thing does not have any purpose anymore. The VWH [was scalloped] but this guitar was actually designed way back in 1989, the first one... had the original neck joint.

Why Some JEMs are Not Scalloped:

Tonally speaking, the AANJ eliminates the need for the scalloped frets 21-24. In addition to these reasons listed above, the production of the JEM neck with scalloped fretboard is very costly due to typical production line yields which result in more defects from the process. Even with Ibanez' policy of strict quality control. The problem with scalloping is [the process] screw up many necks; the reason is the inlays get wacked. Even the JEM7VWH is really bad, usually they turn out black, But we did a new improvement to the VWH that is now shipping [in 1999-2000]. If we scallop the fretboard and the inlay rips out we need to refret the neck. If you ever did a refret on scallops when you pull the fret out, small chips around the scallop come with it then it needs to be sanded down, and refreted then rescalloped. Usually this means throw[ing] the neck away. The plastic screw inlayed dots on the BSB/DBK prohibit the scalloping for similar reasons - It is impossible to scallop these at the 24th fret because of the fretboard radius of 430 mm. The dots are too far out [toward the edge of the fretboard] and can't be done.

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I recently scalloped my neck with pleasing results, it makes bends sound so good, although it does take a little getting used to.

I only scalloped from the 12th fret to the 24th as I am not likely to chord in that area, and scallopes do make chording more difficult as it is very easy to press down to hard which makes the chord sharp and out of tune.


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