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True temperament frets?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Kasporr, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Kasporr

    Kasporr Strat-Talk Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    Hey everyone.

    Does anyone here own a guitar with true temperament frets on its neck? I wonder a bit about the pros and cons of this. Having a neck made for you does cost around $1000, which by all means is quite expensive. But then you got to ask, is it worth it if you really want to hot up your guitar?

    For those who don't know what true temperament frets are, you can read more here: True Temperament - Fretting systems

  2. madmat

    madmat But I digress Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 13, 2010
    Allatoona Landing
    I have enough trouble playing a guitar with straight frets. That looks like it would be a nightmare for barre chording... my fingers are mostly straight.

  3. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    Ummmmmmm, yeah that is odd to say the least and I imagine a bunch of snake oil in the end.

  4. inkedintville

    inkedintville Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 10, 2010
    North Carolina
    My luthier told me he was going to get setup to do these, but after talking to some friends in Nashville he decided not to.

  5. willluvstrats

    willluvstrats Strat-O-Master

    Jul 2, 2010
    looks to me like bending would be totally screwed up! seems like the pitch would change as you bend:eek:! Really whats wrong with the traditional frets we've been using for years? I just don't see the point. Please enlighten me on what you would actually gain.

  6. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Senior Stratmaster

    May 26, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    I'd say, if ya can play like Satriani, then you might be able to get a thousand bux worth of something outta 'em... but if ya play like all those losers that only have normal frets... ya know, like Clapton, Gilmore, Malmsteen, Beck... and so on.... then it really doesn't mean much...

    Do ya really wanna convert $1000,00 of your money into someone else's money when plain 'ol frets seem to work just fine...

    Ron Kirn

  7. mabley123

    mabley123 Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 21, 2010
    i also asked for opinions last year about these frets.

    steve vai has been using these on both his original flo and evo guitars for several years now after experimenting extensivly with them

    i think it is telling that he would modify his main guitars if there was not merit to it.

    i think that modifying his main guitars that he has had for years goes a long way on telling you if it is a good idea or not. would you mod your #1 in this extreme manner if there was a chance it was going to ruin it?

    . ive got an earvana nut on my 71 4 bolt strat and it is without a question an upgrade in intonation playability all over the neck.

    the guy that put it on years ago said everyone that worked in the shop played the guitar and agreed that it was the most intune guitar..not just electric that they had ever played and they all wanted one.

    and yep. i did have a good nut already in my strat.

    john mclaughlin also uses these on his godin electric guitars.

    i will trust steve vai's and john mclaughlins ears before i will claptons. even though i love eric and he is 1 of my main influences.

    people can call it snake oil all they want but it without question they do work. as does the buzz feiten system.

    just not to the extent of the frets.

    this upgrade to me is one of the best ( also most expensive ) things you can do for improving sustain without effects.

    all of the overtones will be in much more harmony = better sustain because the overtones are not fighting each other.

    its to bad if some people cannot hear that their guitar is not in tune. especially if they change keys alot.

    many many people cannot her the very few percent of difference that these make but for many it does make a huge difference.... and the quirks of guitar intonation is well known.

    also there are different temperments for different styles of music.

    just because some cannot hear it does not mean the problem does not exist.

    also many great guitar players do struggle with intonation. most are good enough to even slightly bend strings on the fly to make them seemingly play in tune better. i can do it so i know they can and many do and it is not as critical if you are playing more leads. but if you are trying to play clean no effects ect. with nothing blaring and overdriven you will really appreiciate how in tune even the earvana makes it.

    truetemperment is a very good system especially if you are playing with horns and or an orchestra.

    the frets are not hard to bend on. they look different but it is a quick adjustment from what ive read.

    truetemperment, buzz feiten and earvana all do a good job but the frets are more exacting. all are great for hitting chords high up on the neck and then also having open strings ringing and doing it in many keys with no adjustment and also being in harmony with horn players and the like.

    this was before he had his guitars modified.

    Steve Vai - True Temperament - YouTube
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012

  8. Vintage59

    Vintage59 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Lost Angeles
    I'm sure it makes a fret level & dress a breeze...

  9. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    Henry Kiaser has these...... Nuff said!

  10. Kasporr

    Kasporr Strat-Talk Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    From what I've manage to read out of the little information there is about true temperament, it does not affect the bending at all. How, I'm not really sure, but I guess it has to do with the amount of pressure you bend with and that it's relative to where you are on the neck. For example, you'll need a lot less pressure put on a sting to bend a whole step if you are close to the middle of the neck. This transcribes to you'll bend enough to make the note sound right.

    What you gain is absolute tone precision over the whole neck and supposedly sustain (S' Ray says so, at least).

    I don't see how any update on your guitar is worth the while with that attitude. Why change pick-ups when the stock seem to sound just find? I mean, why convert your own money into someone else's?

    I think you get the picture despite the fact that I perhaps took it a bit far. What I'm trying to say is that you change things to make a different. My question was simply; will it make a significant different?

    On the other hand, where I live we have a bit different view of money. Everything here is way more expensive. I mean, you won't even find an American Special new for under $1200 which, if I'm not mistaken is quite a lot more that you guys in the states would pay? This transcribes into that $1000 isn't really that extremely much in music context here at least. Still, it is quite expensive I have to say.

  11. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    But its fixxing a problem that doesn't really need fixing.

    Mr. Kirn will correct me if I am wrong, but most guitars that are properly set up, have perfect intonation as it is.

  12. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    Seems like dressing these or recrowning these would be a nightmare!

  13. spirit

    spirit Strat-Talker

    Sep 1, 2010
    I really am interested in the compensated nut- I have done some reading and think its probably worth doing- you can hear the differance I am sure- much prefer that to bent up wires!

  14. Tele like it is

    Tele like it is Left is right! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 2, 2010
    Los Angeles
    +1000 on the "problem that doesn't exist". Yes, the traditional frets are a best average, and no they don't play to perfect intonation even with the guitar setup perfectly, but we mere mortals are generally not able to hear the subtleties, and the minuses FAr outweigh the pluses.

    And bending and fret dresses are out the freaking window. But hey, it's your money, so if you FEEL like this is for you, then spend freely! It's good for the econemy.

  15. borismcorpheus

    borismcorpheus Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 31, 2010
    Ithaca, NY
    A heavy fretting hand or slight flaws in tuning stability will automatically cancel out any benefits to tempered frets.

    That said, I think I've seen a vid of Vai playing a neck with tempered frets. The tempered ones were mainly higher up on the neck where you wouldn't be playing too many chords and such anyways.

  16. stratomaster96

    stratomaster96 Banned

    May 28, 2011
    Connecticut, USA
    +1. I agree that the negatives outweigh the positives and we have had straight frets for hundreds of years and have gotten along fine with them.

  17. madmat

    madmat But I digress Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 13, 2010
    Allatoona Landing
    You're taking a $1000 (here) guitar and putting a $1000 neck on it which will do nothing to help resale value. In 10-15 years time, when you're moving on to a new set of guitars and decide to thin the herd, you've got a guitar that you'll be lucky to sell. Simply put, one person in a thousand will see it as anything but an oddity.

  18. michaell

    michaell Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 6, 2011
    on the bus
    Thanks for posting. I had seen this before. Now I wish I could play that one time just to see what it feels and sounds like!

  19. Kasporr

    Kasporr Strat-Talk Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    Well of course you wouldn't be fitting a $1000 neck on a guitar that isn't something special. The guitar I used in my previous post was just an example to show of the price difference in Sweden and U.S.A. :)

  20. jeremy blaze

    jeremy blaze Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 29, 2009
    New Washington, IN
    What would be a sp[ecial guitar deserving of a $1000 neck?