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Crusader
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Hi

I've enjoyed reading and expressing opinions on this forum so far and would like to show some of the guitars I've made

The first one here was inspired by seeing Dave Hill's (of Slade) guitar "The Super Yob" It made me realise a guitar doesn't have to be the usual shape (this was a very long time ago btw)

Its made of Western Australian Jarrah. I thought I might 'discover' a fantastic new tone-wood but it sounds like an "arking" crow

I made this to tune down to D and is two frets longer than the Fender scale which is 25 1/2 inches or 647.7mm. This is 727mm

It has the tuning pegs as close together as possible to eliminate the need for a locking nut

As mentioned it doesn't sound the best (A bit like too much Maple) but has heaps of sustain and some good tonal qualities due to the longer scale length...?

It nearly went on the fire-heap a few years ago but I decided to keep it for some reason...

Picture181925pc.jpg

If you look closely there is a screw in the back which gains access to the end of the trussrod

Picture183025pc.jpg

Its wedge-shaped so you can see the fretboard more easily, which works and also makes it comfortable to play

Picture183325pc.jpg

More to come soon

Edited by Crusader
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I've just realised I'm probably on the wrong sub-forum but if I talk about concepts and tone, does that qualify for being here?

Here's the guitar I call the MH1

As you can see it has too much Maple and sounds like a yappy dog. (There is a previous guitar I call the M1 and is made completely out of Maple but no piccies yet) 100% Maple - Yikes!

The main timber on the MH1 is African Mahoganny which was a big step in the right direction

This is my first 27 fret guitar and my first attempt at multiscaling. It has a scale length of about 703mm on the 6th string side which is meant to be two frets longer than the Gibson 24 3/4" . I've lost details but the 1st string side is just a scale length I chose so the frets spacings are slightly longer. I thought it would look better than if they "fanned" inwards

When making this I made a huge blunder and put the fret spacings along the edge of the fretboard instead of in-line with the strings. With angled frets, the intonation is a bit sad

Picture178025pc.jpg

African Mahogany back and trussrod filler-piece

Notice the volume+input cavity is unfinished. I am capable of great feats of craftsmanship in difficult areas but a simple thing like this is too much for me!

Picture178525pc.jpg

A closer look at the fretboard shows how the frets are slightly fanned - in the opposite direction to other guitars I've seen

Picture177725pc.jpg

This one is my 4th attempt at a straight-through Maple neck so I call it the M4 (The M2 and M3, along with the J2 J3 and J4 died during childbirth - RIP)

It has a Brazillian Mahogany body and no Maple cap but the Maple neck is still too much and sounds like a different breed of yappy dog than the MH1

It also has 27 angled frets using a Gibson-based scale on the sixth string and regular on the first. Scales are 704.5mm LHS and 702mm RHS

Looking at my noted, apparently I chose the LHS fret positions with my Boss ME30 Tuner (Can't remember if I actually did or not though)

In any case I've been currently scutinising the intonation and so far it seems to be quite good

Picture180325pc.jpg

The top ear was supposed to join further up the neck but during construction things changed. It ended-up level with the lower ear and I decided to make the neck join the same as my '61 Re-Issue SG Les Paul. The SG-style chamfered edges were also a last minute decision and while doing this I discovered how nice Braz Mahoganny is to carve. The colour is also the same as the SG which took hours and hours of mixing different stains

Picture181725pc.jpg

I wanted a longer head on this guitar but still kept the pegs close together. The result looks really dumb, like a "Really surprised Albino"

You can see I use the 'Bullet' style trussrod nut like a Fender but combined with an angled headstock like a Gibson

The fill-in around the trussrod nut is Jarrah and the back of neck filler piece and fretdots are too (All those little bits of Jarrah... Mmm is that why it don't sound no good?)

Picture180625pc.jpg

Here's a good look at those Gotoh's all bunched-up like they're mating or something - a little too hard to tune though

Picture180925pc.jpg

I have to say I'm not too keen on these long-scales (Too heavy, hard to play and the long necks aren't stable enough to get a nice close action) So I made two regular guitars. The first one is exactly like the MH1 and the other is a Strat copy

I'll be back

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I really am lost for words! :D

704.5mm and 702mm scales?!? Let alone on the same fretboard! B)

Something which you really should do is sit down and do this ------> :D - particularly concentrate on the scales sections!

Just a quick piece of advice - to make those Baritone scaled guitars play far better put on heavier guage strings (12-54 will suffice) and tune them down to C or ideally B. You might find they aren't so hard to play amongst other things!

Edited by SJE-Guitars
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I'll try to answer all your questions. This is probably stuff I should have said from the begginning, but better late than never!

Before getting started on these guitars, I hunted around libraries and universities and read heaps of books on guitar-making. They were quite helpful but I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for on fret spacing, so I figured it out for myself

It occured to me that the Nut to 1st fret distance must be a certain percentage of the scale. And each fret distance after would follow the same pattern

So I sat down with a calculator and through trial-and-error found a number that after doing 12 calculations you get half the original distance

The number is 5.61257%

But later-on I finally found a book that gave me the magic number - 1.05946309436

I couldn't understand why my number wasn't right but after a few calculations I realised its kind-of the inverse of 1.05946309436

My number gives you the nut-to-fret or fret-to-fret distance and the other gives you the fret-to-bridge distance

The number I had is actually like the 1/18th rule

After obtaining that information I tried to apply the formula to the guitars I owned and found that it worked on the Strat but not on the SG

I measured the frets with a steel rule and a magnifying glass and did it several times to be sure

I transferred the scales onto a length of Maple and compared them to other guitars and it was usually spot-on

I couldn't work out the Gibson scale though. I tried numerous ways of applying the usual formula but nothing worked. This was a problem because I wanted to make a guitar two frets longer than normal scale and be sure the intonation was right. I contemplated various methods like Fret Factors and as mentioned, using a tuner. I can't remember which method I ended up using but for eg, the M4 frets closely match the numbers I wrote down (from using a tuner) and it has quite good intonation

I checked the intonation on my guitars very extensively and found the Strat was good on the 1st string but not the 6th. My Gibson was the other way round. It was good on the 6th string but not on the 1st. So my reason for different scales on the same guitar was for better intonation, Gibson on the 6th string side and Fender on the 1st (not the actual scale but the "formula" behind it) I realised if I worked out both sides on the same scale the frets would spread-out wider on the 6th string side. But I thought it would look weird, be harder to play and it would need more compensation on the bridge. I actually aimed to have no compensation at the bridge on some guitars

The tuning pegs all close together reduces the amount of string beyond the nut and they don't go out of tune so easily - No need for a locking nut!

Another concept I had with the "D" guitars. Put the double fret-dots at "E" not the 12th fret. So you have them at the second and fourteenth. But it gets confusing if you're playing open-octave stuff (If you know what I mean)

I designed these guitars to tune down to D and maintain the same string tension, no problem there. What I don't like about them is the wider fret spacings are a bit of a stretch, they seem a bit heavy and I can't get a nice close action. Having good access to higher frets on a baritone makes a VERY long neck. And after all this I discovered I don't really like playing in drop-tunings

However - I like the idea of combining bass guitar with guitar. Where you wouldn't be playing open chords etc

One thing I tried is, instead of tuning at the 5th fret, tune at the 7th fret (like a violin) This is the same as tuning your E down to D but doing it on all strings. It tunes almost down to a bass guitar and as high as a normal guitar. The only trouble is you would have to completely change your playing style and there are things that are just impossible (like 6-string chords)

Well I better go and by the way I really am from another planet (shsh, don't tell anyone) lol

But I think its concepts like mine that break ground and after-all I don't see how I'm weirder than other people. The Novak guitars with the fanned frets look exactly like what I had in mind for my next guitar. And TrueTemperement.com - Now thats what I call "from another planet" I remember seeing Hamers (or Hoffners?) having a wiggle in the frets on the B or G string many years ago. I really don't see the point of wiggly frets when you can just use a compensated nut...?

On one or two of my guitars the angle on the frets is so subtle I even have to ask "why bother?" You can get good intonation with a bit of fretwork. But thats the thing, if I get this right you won't need to!

Oh thats right - I gotta go, Its nearly 3am again

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I'll try to answer all your questions. This is probably stuff I should have said from the begginning, but better late than never!

Before getting started on these guitars, I hunted around libraries and universities and read heaps of books on guitar-making. They were quite helpful but I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for on fret spacing, so I figured it out for myself

It occured to me that the Nut to 1st fret distance must be a certain percentage of the scale. And each fret distance after would follow the same pattern

So I sat down with a calculator and through trial-and-error found a number that after doing 12 calculations you get half the original distance

The number is 5.61257%

But later-on I finally found a book that gave me the magic number - 1.05946309436

I couldn't understand why my number wasn't right but after a few calculations I realised its kind-of the inverse of 1.05946309436

My number gives you the nut-to-fret or fret-to-fret distance and the other gives you the fret-to-bridge distance

The number I had is actually like the 1/18th rule

After obtaining that information I tried to apply the formula to the guitars I owned and found that it worked on the Strat but not on the SG

I measured the frets with a steel rule and a magnifying glass and did it several times to be sure

I transferred the scales onto a length of Maple and compared them to other guitars and it was usually spot-on

I couldn't work out the Gibson scale though. I tried numerous ways of applying the usual formula but nothing worked. This was a problem because I wanted to make a guitar two frets longer than normal scale and be sure the intonation was right. I contemplated various methods like Fret Factors and as mentioned, using a tuner. I can't remember which method I ended up using but for eg, the M4 frets closely match the numbers I wrote down (from using a tuner) and it has quite good intonation

I checked the intonation on my guitars very extensively and found the Strat was good on the 1st string but not the 6th. My Gibson was the other way round. It was good on the 6th string but not on the 1st. So my reason for different scales on the same guitar was for better intonation, Gibson on the 6th string side and Fender on the 1st (not the actual scale but the "formula" behind it) I realised if I worked out both sides on the same scale the frets would spread-out wider on the 6th string side. But I thought it would look weird, be harder to play and it would need more compensation on the bridge. I actually aimed to have no compensation at the bridge on some guitars

The tuning pegs all close together reduces the amount of string beyond the nut and they don't go out of tune so easily - No need for a locking nut!

Another concept I had with the "D" guitars. Put the double fret-dots at "E" not the 12th fret. So you have them at the second and fourteenth. But it gets confusing if you're playing open-octave stuff (If you know what I mean)

I designed these guitars to tune down to D and maintain the same string tension, no problem there. What I don't like about them is the wider fret spacings are a bit of a stretch, they seem a bit heavy and I can't get a nice close action. Having good access to higher frets on a baritone makes a VERY long neck. And after all this I discovered I don't really like playing in drop-tunings

However - I like the idea of combining bass guitar with guitar. Where you wouldn't be playing open chords etc

One thing I tried is, instead of tuning at the 5th fret, tune at the 7th fret (like a violin) This is the same as tuning your E down to D but doing it on all strings. It tunes almost down to a bass guitar and as high as a normal guitar. The only trouble is you would have to completely change your playing style and there are things that are just impossible (like 6-string chords)

Well I better go and by the way I really am from another planet (shsh, don't tell anyone) lol

But I think its concepts like mine that break ground and after-all I don't see how I'm weirder than other people. The Novak guitars with the fanned frets look exactly like what I had in mind for my next guitar. And TrueTemperement.com - Now thats what I call "from another planet" I remember seeing Hamers (or Hoffners?) having a wiggle in the frets on the B or G string many years ago. I really don't see the point of wiggly frets when you can just use a compensated nut...?

On one or two of my guitars the angle on the frets is so subtle I even have to ask "why bother?" You can get good intonation with a bit of fretwork. But thats the thing, if I get this right you won't need to!

Oh thats right - I gotta go, Its nearly 3am again

Instead, You could have just used this for the regular scales.

http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator

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Instead, You could have just used this for the regular scales.

http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator

Good call but I didn't have a computer in 1996!

Actually, the first guitar is quite ingenious with it's wedge shape.I haven't heard of that before.
Thankyou, I thought it was pretty good too! I have to confess though, I heard of similar ways of tilting the fretboard so its eaier to see, and my method was just a variation

What scale length where you using for your Gibson calculations?
Good question, I'm glad you asked!

For my normal scale-length guitars I just took the measurements staight off my SG

For the long scale lengths I used 628.65mm (24 3/4") with Fret Factors

You get Fret Factors by dividing the scale by the fret-to-bridge distance

Then divide the new scale by the Fret Factors and you get your new fret-to-bridge lengths

There are different ways of doing Fret Factors and btw the scale length you use is actually irrelevant, its just mathematics

Gibson lists a 24-3/4" scale but it is actually a compensated 24-3/4" scale. The true scale is closer to 24-9/16"

Yes, the mysterious Gibson 24 3/4 scale! Its a hot topic which I'd rather leave for another day right now but here's food for thought -

On my SG the 12th fret is exactly half of 24 9/16" So therefore it should be 24 9/16" But as it is said, "the true scale is CLOSER to 24 9/16" So if its not 24 9/16 what is it?

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Gibson lists a 24-3/4" scale but it is actually a compensated 24-3/4" scale. The true scale is closer to 24-9/16"

Yes, the mysterious Gibson 24 3/4 scale! Its a hot topic which I'd rather leave for another day right now but here's food for thought -

On my SG the 12th fret is exactly half of 24 9/16" So therefore it should be 24 9/16" But as it is said, "the true scale is CLOSER to 24 9/16" So if its not 24 9/16 what is it?

did you miss the last discussion on it ihockey

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=39687

i think the guitars are interesting and have some unique ideas, some may not be practical but it always pays to try.

I think your approach to building is interesting... there are a lot of us that have been lucky enough to have numerous books and online resources to learn by and i think we forget that some people had to just figure it out for themselves. strangely your stuff reminds me off some john birch guitars (the superyob builder).. not in shape or style, but in some elements of construction and slightly unusual look. he figured out how to build guitars himself from doing repair work in the 60's

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I think the guitars are interesting and have some unique ideas, some may not be practical but it always pays to try
I take your comments as quite a compliment Wez, You have some great credentials!

When you say not practical I'm thinking of things like the tuning pegs and the double-dots at E instead of the octave

Picture184625pc.jpg

The tuning pegs so close together on this look okay because it just suits the whole "look" of the instrument, but it doesn't with a more conventional shaped body, and in any case it is difficult to tune

The fretdots on this one were a failure becuase the Tasmanian Oak went nearly as dark as the Jarrah after spraying with lacquer. And as mentioned it is confusing when you want to play the octave, and after-all you may want to tune to a lower pitch so the "E" idea goes out the window anyway

...some people had to just figure it out for themselves...
You're not wrong there. I virtually built these things from the ground-up and every step of the way was an absolute nightmare. Although I read as many books as I could find, they didn't have much useful information. And if they did I still put every theory to the test before going ahead (Being a tradesman a lot of things in books are common sense to me, like flat surface before gluing...those sort of things...)

On the topic of reasearch, something I have still never found in a book is the pitch of notes. We know A=440, but what are all the rest of them? I take it for granted you use the same formula for working out fret spacings, except the inverse (When the string length is half, the pitch doubles)

...your stuff reminds me off some john birch guitars (the superyob builder).. not in shape or style, but in some elements of construction and slightly unusual look. he figured out how to build guitars himself from doing repair work in the 60's
Now that IS interesting!

Oh here we go, its nearly 3 o'clock again!

Edited by Crusader
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Gibson lists a 24-3/4" scale but it is actually a compensated 24-3/4" scale. The true scale is closer to 24-9/16"

Yes, the mysterious Gibson 24 3/4 scale! Its a hot topic which I'd rather leave for another day right now but here's food for thought -

On my SG the 12th fret is exactly half of 24 9/16" So therefore it should be 24 9/16" But as it is said, "the true scale is CLOSER to 24 9/16" So if its not 24 9/16 what is it?

did you miss the last discussion on it ihockey

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=39687

i think the guitars are interesting and have some unique ideas, some may not be practical but it always pays to try.

I think your approach to building is interesting... there are a lot of us that have been lucky enough to have numerous books and online resources to learn by and i think we forget that some people had to just figure it out for themselves. strangely your stuff reminds me off some john birch guitars (the superyob builder).. not in shape or style, but in some elements of construction and slightly unusual look. he figured out how to build guitars himself from doing repair work in the 60's

Yeah, I did skip over that thread. I was just asking because he said he couldn't work out why his SG fret spacing was not matching his calculations.

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yeah, the tuning peg locations dont but the one with teh bigger headstock and bevelled back edge reminds me of some similar ideas i have seen. i find getting headstocks the right size to be a real struggle, too small and its awkward to turn the buttons - too big and it can really throw off a design.

i dont have an issue with the location of dots , or the fact they blend in on the first guitar... infact i think you should refer to them as ghost dots from now on - there to help the player but not be seen from a distance :D

the bits i like are the bevels on the first one, the back and neck join on the second and the body contours and colour of the 3rd

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the bits i like are the bevels on the first one, the back and neck join on the second and the body contours and colour of the 3rd
All the same bits that I like!

- to make those Baritone scaled guitars play far better put on heavier guage strings (12-54 will suffice) and tune them down to C or ideally B. You might find they aren't so hard to play amongst other things!
Looking over it again, I have considered something along those lines. But I'm thinking more-a-less turn them into bass guitars if I keep them "as-is"

Another idea - I was going to chop the necks off and put on Mahogany necks with a regular scale and Rosewood fretboards (to steer away from such a "bright" sound) But I put so much work into them like the trussrod and radius and not-to-mention lacquer. With the red one I am especially surprised how good the intonation is, and thats the one I used the Boss tuner to place the frets!

Oh yeah nearly forgot. The red one has a major blunder in the design. When you adjust the bridge as low as possible, the action is still quite high

The jury is still out on "saving" these long-necked guitars I made

Edited by Crusader
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Good suggestions

Yeah the action is just a little more than I would like, but it IS playable

The main thing I want to be rid of is the bright sound. Its not just bright but its a screechy type of bright. Like I said before, a yappy dog...annoying

If I went for the bass-guitar idea, the brightness may be advantageous

The other thing of course is the tuning pegs. Considerations have been made towards filling the holes, re-shaping the head by adding to the sides and a veneer of Rosewood or Ebony (as Gibson do)

Btw that was the fastest reply I've ever encountered on forums!

Its currently right-on midnight here (with daylight saving)

So its really only 11.00

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The jury is still out on "saving" these long-necked guitars I made

I'm pretty guilty about wanting to test out my own weird ideas on my builds...I end up looking at the builds as prototypes (and building itself as just a fun hobby). It helps me get rid of them when the time comes. Sure, it hurts a bit, but it's for the best.

So I just can't see pursuing those first two guitars. Just chalk 'em up to experience and tuck them away in the closet, or burn them or whatever you prefer. Although I could see the wedge guitar working as a short-scale travel guitar.

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...I end up looking at the builds as prototypes (and building itself as just a fun hobby)...

Yeah same here, everything I do is just a hobby. I couldn't imagine going into production and selling anything I make, unless I come-up with some fantastic new concept that I can patent. But predictably it seems that anything I think of has already been done... For example I never saw or heard of "fanned frets" when I built my multiscaled guitars... oh-yeah I never heard of that either!

If only I had "Invented" these concepts 30 years ago!

Yeah I bin drinkin' again and my ring sings stinky things

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