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So what's the deal with 24 fret guitars

skolacki

Inspired
My PRS Studio and SE245 both have 22. The other two both have 24. Generally speaking, I like neck humbuckers better on 24 fret guitars, or on SGs, where there is more space between the 22nd fret and the pickup. It seems to help a neck humbucker to have the extra brightness from being located there....
Conversely I like that some guitars push the bridge pickup a little farther from the bridge. Especially good with P90s. Like the Reverends and Hamers. Warms it up a bit.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
Conversely I like that some guitars push the bridge pickup a little farther from the bridge. Especially good with P90s. Like the Reverends and Hamers. Warms it up a bit.

Yeah, the bridge pickup location is critical for getting a good blend of bite and beef. I had a $99 blowout special HLK Tele from an early batch where the bridge pickup was about a 1\4" or 3/8" inch closer to the bridge saddles than normal. Eventually stuffed the humbuckers from an HLK Explorer copy (another $99 blowout special - the ones after that had an extra angle - probably got a nastygram from Gibson) which had been sitting in a drawer since I had upgraded it to Lawrence L90s....
 

Morphine

Inspired
As a young dipshit metalhead I was very much, "It has to have 24 frets or forget it!!!"

These days, as a much older debatably slightly wiser dipshit, how many frets a guitar has is rarely a consideration for me. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't currently own one with 24 frets.

But if you need to hit those sacred grapefruit notes fairly often, it seems like a no brainer.
 

Hellbat

Fractal Fanatic
This guitar made me want a 24 fret guitar.

SV11-01.jpg


In 1987 I saved up all my summer job money and picked up a Charvel Model 5 that I still own today.
 

Andy Eagle

Power User
I got a white soloist that year for the same reason but I couldn't get one with a Floyd and dots like I wanted so I ended up with shark tooth inlay.
In 87 he would only fit a Kahler and Jackson pickups on a new one so no. I waited to find a S/H one.
 

fcs101

Experienced
This is so weird. This popped up on YT and I took a listen because the song title sounded familiar. That's neither here nor there, go to about the :15 mark and check out what the guitarist is playing!

 

fcs101

Experienced
I love watching Tim Pierce interview folks, love his good nurtured attitude! Any how just saw this interview with Phil X and he does a segment at around 12:00 where it sounds as if he (Phil) removes the neck p/u in 24-fret guitars b/c he doesn't like the way they sound. That jives with some comments I saw researching 24-fret guitars and seems to be relevant to this thread. BTW, it seems like he prefers to remove all neck p/u's, but I still found the comment interesting.

 

fcs101

Experienced
The same people don't seem to complain about the position of the neck PU in an SG which is in the exact same spot as a 24 fret guitar.
I don't think anyone is complaining. It's just that it's been noted that it makes a difference. Might be something to consider before buying one.

EDIT: Might also be a clue as to exactly how/why the 21- and 22-fret format is the defacto standard.
 
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Andy Eagle

Power User
Blame Gibson. Fender's 21 fret only became unfashionable when people started to bend up to E and fender caved in under the pressure. D is fine but C# is a bit of a restriction. EVH certainly helped to make that 22nd fret standard.
 

Tonedeaf

Experienced
I had a couple of U.S. Masters guitars a while ago that had 23 frets. Great guitars, but I think the 23 frets was just to make them different.
 

Justmc

Inspired
My favorite guitars I use are Carvin DC127's .. Have 2 of them for over 20 yrs. 24 fret , ebony fingerboards, neck through body . Awesome players .
 

Dr. Dipwad

Experienced
If I had my 'druthers (as they say), all my guitars would have 23 frets, plus a fretboard end-plate that functionally serves as a 24th fret, just like Jeffrey Earle Terwilliger's guitars did. (He retired, and the various brands calling themselves JET Guitars are not the same guy.)

Basically, I like the "bell" tone of Strat-style neck pickups. Part of that is positioning the pickup where Strats have it...which happens to put the pole-pieces where a 24th fret would be on a 24-fret guitar (give or take a millimeter or two).

But I also like having 24 frets, at least on the 1st and 2nd strings. (I never play higher than the 21st fret on the 3rd and 4th strings, and I top out at about the 18th fret on the 5th and 6th strings.)

So there's an obvious physical contradiction between those two "likes."

The Jeffrey Earle Terwilliger solution was to have 23 frets, and then put a little brass plate on the heel end of the neck where some necks have their truss-rod adjustment nut. (His truss rods adjusted elsewhere.) The plate would stick up just past the wood of the fingerboard and form a ridge which served as a 24th fret. This allowed his guitars to have 24 "frets" without requiring extra fingerboard wood on both sides of the 24th fret.

That, in turn, allowed him to move his neck pickups much closer to the traditional Strat location than he otherwise could have done.

It always seemed like a great solution, to me, and I wish he'd have licensed it out to other builders.
 
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