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Question About Multiscales


MikeD
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I was wondering why you never really see multiscale guitars with the nut as the perpendicular fret. Clearly you would be limited to a minor fan because the upper frets would be angled a little ridiculously with a 2 or 3 inch difference in scales, but is there another reason I'm overlooking? I know there was a strandberg that used a perpendicular nut, but that's the only time i've seen it done. Thanks.

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the hardest part with any fan is a bridge that can support the multi scale. if the nut is the perpendicular fret then the bridge will have the most extreme angle possible. i think it could be done but you are right it would have to be very small fan to keep the upper frets and bridge from having a really extreme angle.

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I was wondering why you never really see multiscale guitars with the nut as the perpendicular fret. Clearly you would be limited to a minor fan because the upper frets would be angled a little ridiculously with a 2 or 3 inch difference in scales, but is there another reason I'm overlooking? I know there was a strandberg that used a perpendicular nut, but that's the only time i've seen it done. Thanks.

If memory serves Ola didn't use a perpendicular nut. He used 2 very close scales with a zero fret. I believe he used the 5th or 7th 8th as his perpendicular.

Image from Ola's website. Very generous of him to share his innovations with us.

05.jpg

Having made several Multiscale pickups for guys I would say that using scales that differ by more than one inch and a perpendicular nut you end up with too much angle on the pickups and the bridge... just ends up being ridiculous.

Edited by RestorationAD
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I just checked and the first one he made did have a perpendicular zero fret, but the later ones he did used a perpendicular 8th.

This one:

img_1669.jpg

Anyways, i suppose that proves that its not totally unreasonable with a relatively small difference in scales. I'll just have to do some experimenting now.

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I just checked and the first one he made did have a perpendicular zero fret, but the later ones he did used a perpendicular 8th.

This one:

Anyways, i suppose that proves that its not totally unreasonable with a relatively small difference in scales. I'll just have to do some experimenting now.

Forgot the first one :D ... my bad.

I think it really depends what you are after. If you are keeping the scales relatively close then the purpose would be? (ergonomics) If you were using something a bit more drastic you might be planing on using alternate tunings...

I mean on an 8 string I could see using a 25.5 - 28" scale (drastic never experimented with myself) as that would allow you to use a reasonable low string and still have decent tension at C# or whatever ERG guys tune those low strings to.

I would think pickup placement becomes an issue at some point. On Ola's 8th fret perp the scale length diff is minimal so the normal bridge pickup is still relatively close to the bridge... similar to a regular scale. However as you move towards a more radical setup you would probably be better served with an angled bridge pickup so you could retain the distance of a normal setup (else you end up with a middle pickup on the lower strings).

Edited by RestorationAD
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I am currently building a 28.5 /30" fan on a bass and I have no perpendicular fret. Mostly I have found that for a guitar, 24.75 /25.5 works best for me, with a 5th fret as a perp. It makes the frets follow my fingers very nicely and is extremely comfy.

On the 28.5/30 the frets are most "normal" looking down around the 12th fret area. I ended up putting 1 inch of slant on the nut, and the other 1/2" at the bridge. Kind of extreme looking, but it's a bass, so chording isn't necessary, mostly individual notes will be played.

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  • 1 month later...

Out of curiosity, why the perpendicular nut? I can see a perpendicular bridge (so you can easily use off-the-shelf hardware), but I missing the utility of a straight nut/zero-fret.

Ray

Pretty much just so you can use a commercially available nut instead of slotting it yourself

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if you cant slot a nut - how do you expect to make a fanned fret guitar :?

besides - even pre-slotted nuts need extra slotting and setting up

i can understand people using a straight bridge to avoid having to make one. even so i dont think its a good idea - but doing it the opposite way just to use a pre-slotted nut is ridiculous

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if you cant slot a nut - how do you expect to make a fanned fret guitar :?

besides - even pre-slotted nuts need extra slotting and setting up

i can understand people using a straight bridge to avoid having to make one. even so i dont think its a good idea - but doing it the opposite way just to use a pre-slotted nut is ridiculous

That's logical. This is all hypothetical at this point. Just looking for ideas.

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The way I see it, it's all about hand/finger movement and playing comfort. The natural movement of the wrist is to twist a little bit towards the bridge as you move further up the frets. As such, you'll feel more comfortable playing a multiscale guitar with a perpedicular nut vs one with a perpendicular bridge.

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The way I see it, it's all about hand/finger movement and playing comfort. The natural movement of the wrist is to twist a little bit towards the bridge as you move further up the frets. As such, you'll feel more comfortable playing a multiscale guitar with a perpedicular nut vs one with a perpendicular bridge.

yes, but much more comfortable with one that fans out somewhere between 3rd and 9th for the same reason, your hand naturally sits mid neck somewhere... depends on arm length/height. It doesnt just twist in towards the bridge but twists out towards the nut as well

but a perpendicular nut will feel quite natural since its what we are are used to playing, at the same time it misses out on one of the advantages of fanned fret designs which can help with first position chords when layed out in an appropriate manner. but its a much better reason to build it that way than just wanting to use a pre slotted nut

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The way I see it, it's all about hand/finger movement and playing comfort. The natural movement of the wrist is to twist a little bit towards the bridge as you move further up the frets. As such, you'll feel more comfortable playing a multiscale guitar with a perpedicular nut vs one with a perpendicular bridge.

yes, but much more comfortable with one that fans out somewhere between 3rd and 9th for the same reason, your hand naturally sits mid neck somewhere... depends on arm length/height. It doesnt just twist in towards the bridge but twists out towards the nut as well

but a perpendicular nut will feel quite natural since its what we are are used to playing, at the same time it misses out on one of the advantages of fanned fret designs which can help with first position chords when layed out in an appropriate manner. but its a much better reason to build it that way than just wanting to use a pre slotted nut

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I might add that the manner in which an instrument sits due to its design, the player's manner of holding and playing it contributes to the ergonomics of multiscales also. An instrument held high with the body more to the chest like yer'average jazzer might benefit from a different perpendicular fret position, whereas a silly monkeyboy like the current Metallica bassist would maybe benefit differently. Although there would definitely be more positive gains from the advice of a consulting physiotherapist. I digress.

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