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Glass Fretboards?


flood

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I've read about this fretless guitar dude named Ned Evett who has glass fretboards on almost all his working instruments. what exactly is a glass fretboard? is it an actual sheet of glass over the fretboard? if yes, how is it strengthened and/or protected against chipping /cracking/smashing? and how exactly would you install something of the sort?

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Must be fiber glass, but thanks for supply new material for my 'fretting gone way wrong' dreams I have at night sometimes.

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I've been thinking about glass fretboards. If you have a kiln, you can stick a chunk of glass into a mold and melt it into whatever shape you want- they make slumped sinks that way.

Another way would involve fusing rods on as fret- makes lot sof sense to me, but I've never done torchwork. I do have a kiln however, so I've been thinking a lot about glass fingerboards. What was that fretboard shaped like a stairstep- that seems like a really good way to do it.

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probably fiber glass. I'm pretty sure that's what the high end parkers have, and they play like butter. However their frets are just glued on I think... no tangs no nothing because of it. However i've had no problems with mine as of yet... however I don't play it much since it's up north, so not much wear and tear.

Chris

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nedglass.jpg

Actually it is mirrored glass! The idea is to have something really hard as if the fretboard itself was a slide. But it doesn't have to be glass. It could be metal like the surfretter by Viger or epoxy. But most frettless guitars are simply de-fretted guitars!

Generally you use much heavier strings, sometimes tuned down and a very low action. I became more aware of them because many artists are users of sustainer devices as this gives the benefits of a fretless with the potential for infinite sustain.

There is a company doing glass fretboard conversions but it is harder than it looks and there may be some problem with quality control. The neck needs to be planed down dead flat and attaching a glass board is very tricky...and of course the edges need to be ground down for safety...not just cut. The glass will also have a vastly different expansion and compression to the neck and will need to be attached with some care I suspect and will always be somewhat heavy and fragile...as you can imagine.

There are a couple of sites that may be of interest...

http://www.unfretted.com

kronosonic

pete

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Ok, I wasn't about to accept that it's *real glass* when I imagined frets involved, but fret-less is Ok. I could probably even do a glass fret-board, since I already know how to cut thick glass, and my 'neck jig' would be a big help with getting the fingerboard-less neck planed flat under string tension, before bonding the glass to it.

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I was reading the other day about a new material called machinable ceramic. It aparently machines much like cast iron (just to powder) Its an interesting idea as well.

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A glass fingerboard on a fretted guitar would make no sense to me. How would you adjust relief?

Fretless bassists often use zero relief but fretted bass players don't. Maybe the same idea works on fretless guitars too.

Me, I don't think so, though I like playing slide. I have enough trouble with frets.

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Well, from what I've read so far, they don't want relief :D errr..well, I mean they quite like a bit of buzz of a very low action apparently. But then, with no frets and a perfectly smooth board I guess you could have an action or relief you want. A glass fret board may be hard to adjust, but as I say, that is a little rare.

The fretless guitar is often used by the Avante Guarde but can sound really beautiful...just like the fretless bass. It's a little like slide guitar but of course you can finger it so you can slide whole chord shpes if you like and are not limited by the slide. People are often attracted to it because you can play microtones and in perfect tune. It has some relation to instruments like the oud and other non-western instruments that typically favour melody over harmony...but then it is not that far removed from the cello or violin either...

Steve Vai has one on his tripleneck Jem with a sustainer and this can be seen and heard on the G3 Live in Denver concert. I posted a link recently on the sustainer thread...here it is again I know you're here - Vai - go to 25:45 for the sustainer fretless bit

As you can see, no need for a glass board. He has the fretlines marked on and a matching vine inly, but real fretless enthusiats swear that you should play the thing blind and not have any markings...

Interesting sound...enjoy... pete

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