24 Fret guitars: not just for shred

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Blingdogg, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Blingdogg

    Blingdogg Member

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    I'll admit it. I've stayed away from 24-fret guitars because I associate them with metal and shredders, and since that's not my musical style (I'm a classic rock, blues guy) I never bothered trying too many of them. Never gave them a chance.

    But lately I'm getting some GAS for a few models, especially the super-strat types....

    Am I wrong in thinking 24-fret guitars are just for metal and shred? Any of you guys use one just for other styles of music? I know any guitar can play any music, but would there be any disadvantage you can think of?
     
  2. LarryOM

    LarryOM Guest

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    The only small disadvantage that I can see is the position of the neck pickup.
     
  3. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    both my PRS Custom 24 and Rickenbacker 330 have 24 frets. i don't shred and the neck pickup position has never been a thought.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    My old 1978 Ibanez Musician - my main gigging guitar in my band days - was a 24 fretter. This was way before shred...
     
  5. Maxer

    Maxer Member

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    I have four or five 24 fret guitars and have never been interested in shredding. I just like to be able to go up an octave for a particular chord or chord progression - or even just to access those high uppermost notes.

    As for perceived disadvantages, some will tell you that a 24 fret configuration means you lose some kind of tonal 'sweet spot' with your pickups. Perhaps that's so - I just don't know - although my ears have never missed it. But I should add that 24 frets are not crucial to me - I like all sorts of guitars and enjoy the many differences.

    Play what you like, how you like. There are many nice 24 fret guitars out there. Mine are either hard tail to begin with or they've been converted to that. You can play the hell out of a 24 fret guitar and not be a metal guy or dive bomber. That said, a 24 fretter with a floating bridge can be crazy fun, too.

    Play what you like, how you like.
     
  6. Tonekat

    Tonekat Supporting Member

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    My '98 LP double cutaway Standard has 24 frets.
     
  7. strumminsix

    strumminsix Member

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    I'd call that the advantage :) I have 3 electrics with that setup and love it!
     
  8. s2y

    s2y Member

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    In the grand scheme of things, I don't think that the small change in pickup location plays a huge role. Naturally, most of the time 22 vs. 24 fret guitars are compared, they're very different guitars, which makes the difference more pronounced, but it's seldom an apples to apples comparison.
     
  9. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    I,ve owned a number of 24 fret guitars and have always gone back to 22 frets because of the neck pick up. You lose that bell like quality that lies under the 24th fret harmonics. The best 24 fret guitar that almost workrd was a Parker Fly Classic, at least for me.
     
  10. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

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    This is the one thing I hate about my MM JP6. You lose that big fat sweet spot and gain a tighter but more mid rangy tone. Not to mention that I use those upper 2 frets a total of less than half of one percent of the time. Frankly, since a 24 fret and 22 fret have the same sclae, a 24 fret has less room above the 14the fret.
     
  11. alfaphlex

    alfaphlex Member

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    I can clearly hear the difference between neck pickups on a 22 vs. 24 fret guitar, but the harmonics explanation never made sense to me. The 24th fret is a harmonic of the open string, so as soon as you play any other fret, the corresponding harmonic moves as well.

    Can anyone explain this to me?:huh

    To me, the sound of a neck pickup is more determined by the distance from the bridge than the harmonic of the open string. (i.e. the closer you move the pickup towards the bridge, the brighter and snappier the sound gets).
     
  12. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    FWIW, nobody complains about the neck pickup placement on SGs.
     
  13. s2y

    s2y Member

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    This is true.
     
  14. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    It's pretty noticeable to me. I don't like the sound at all when the neck pickup is moved closer to bridge. Loses all the throaty, deep tone.
     
  15. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    Yeah- most say it's minimal and I used to get warm sounds out of a BC Rich Mockingbird Koa neck '59 pickup BUT - I'd still prefer 22 fret sinse I do a lot of solo and chord work using or mixing in the warmth of the neck PU, single coil or Humbucker.

    But I like it pretty warm and fat- like Jimi's tone on" Watchtower" intro- I use a very similar tone for Fusion and I wonder on 24 fret if that would be difficult to achieve ......

    I don't subscribe to the "Harmonics" theory since the 2 octave node is only on open strings @ 24th fret- just that the neck pickup is closer to the bridge on a 24 fret instrument.

    As to no difference in sound- if you have a Humbucker in the neck and coil cut it to the outside coil nearest the fingerboard- you get a slightly different tone than when you coil cut to the coil further from the fingerboard- about the same difference a 22 VS 24 fret neck would make.

    Or - picture trying to get the neck position sound on a 24 fret Strat- slight difference, possibly very slight on some guitars.

    Some prefer the slightly tighter sound of neck pickups on 24 fret PRS VS 22 though, for example.

    BUT- a lot of Progressive and Fusion and Modern Jazz, Neo Classical, Metal , guys like the symmetry of 24 frets so not just for shredders and of course some shredders are killer players who play other styles also......
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  16. Dopey Trout

    Dopey Trout Member

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    Uh no, no it doesn't. Perhaps in your experience 24 fretters have had a longer scale length compared to 22 fretters, but I can guarantee that two guitars with the same overall scale length (say 25.5") will have the same distances between the frets, just the 24 fretter has two more of them
     
  17. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    Last statement first. Because a 24 fret and a 22 fret have the same scale, a 24 fret has exactly the same amount of room above the 14th fret. You don't crowd the frets closer together. You just get two more frets tacked onto the end of the fretboard.

    Using the upper frets less than half of one percent of the time is often not the point. A 24 fret guitar that has all 24 frets free of the body will usually have far better upper fret access than one that has the 22nd fret meeting the body at the same point. That 22nd fret (on the 24 fret guitar) is now fully out in the wind and much more available. For example, this 24-fret Les Paul type guitar has the same scale as a standard 22 fret Les Paul, but the 24th fret is up where the 22nd fret would normally be, roughly even with the bottom of the cutaway. Getting that arranged necessitated moving the nut about 3/4" further away from the body (extending the neck) and moving the bridge and bridge pickup *toward* the neck pickup about the same distance:

    [​IMG]

    One other thing -- I have guitars that have both 22 frets and 24 frets but that are virtually identical otherwise, and I don't hear the amount of change in the sound of the neck pickup that a few of you claim exists. Certainly if the guitars and pickups themselves are different, you'll hear differences, but if you have the same guitar with the neck pickup in a slightly different spot, you're unlikely to hear much difference.

    I've actually heard people make this stuff up on occasion -- the SG, early in its history, had the neck pickup moved toward the bridge pickup because of neck strength issues. It's been a 22 fret guitar for most of its life, but there have been a couple of times where Gibson (and others) have simply filled in the gap between the end of the fretboard and the neck pickup with a couple of frets, producing a 24-fret guitar. NOTHING ELSE MOVED on the guitar. The neck pickup stays right where it always was. And yet I hear yahoos who talk about the "harmonic sweet spot" and all that and who claim that there are obvious differences between them because one guitar has 24 frets and the other has 22. Oy.
     
  18. scolfax

    scolfax Member

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    This has always bugged me too. I've never heard a good rebuttal.
     
  19. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    The first Gibson guitar that ever had 24 frets was the gibson L6S in the early '70's. Nothing particularly "metal" or "shred" about that guitar (even though mine is black, these were most often sold as a natural maple body and neck). Santana was one of the early endorsers. Some Keith guy from the Rolling Stones used one for a while. It showed up with the Doobie Brothers now and again. And so on. It also had Gibson's first "hot" pickups, but it never was a big deal with metal/shred folks. In fact, there are those who think it may be an "ultimate blues guitar."

    [​IMG]

    Most Carvin "plank" guitars (the non-carved-top neck-through guitars) are 24 fret with a 25" scale. Certainly they showed up with shredders and metal players (Marty Friedman, Jason Becker and others) in the late '80's, but that was mostly confined to the super strat and star-type bodies like the V220. Other body styles were the double-cutaway DC-150, which looks more like a double-cut DC, the SC-90 (a single-cut LP type), the TL-60 (a Tele clone) and the ST-300 (standard strat type body but in a neck-through construction guitar, etc. Those non-super-strat guitars simply aren't all that "shreddy."

    In the end, there are simply some guitarists that like a full two-octave fretboard, or that like enhanced upper fret access. There's no particular genre that owns 24-fret guitars.
     
  20. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    yep, check it out:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    no change in pickup position.
     

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