What is the True True Temperament neck? We take a look at this interesting feature championed by Steve Vai.
The True Temperament fret was created by Swedish inventor Anders Thidell and developed in collaboration with veteran guitar luthier Paul Guy.
Brands like Strandberg and the team at Guitar Guys have taken this to new levels - but Steve vai was one of the first people to champion this type of neck.
So what is a True Temperament neck?
In summary a true Temperament fret has been developed to ensure the string is in tune across the entire fretboard. Fret positions are calculated in a musical context, not mathematically. This means you can play any note anywhere and it's in 'almost' perfect tuning.
Watch as Steve Vai Explains how a True Temperament neck works.
Do True Temperament necks fit regular guitar bodies?
The necks fit bodies with neck pocket and bridge position adhering to industry standard Fender Stratocaster specifications, with no modifications. (They will also fit a “T” style body, but will leave small gaps in the corners of the neck pocket. These are hidden by the extended fingerboard.)
What's this about curved frets?
Curved Frets fine-tune the intonation of every single note on the guitar, without affecting playability.
This is the way a piano is tuned - one note at a time. This is impossible with one-piece, straight frets.
Curved Frets play just like standard frets. You do not need to modify your playing technique. Bending is not affected.
What's dynamic intonation?
Dynamic Intonation fret positions are NOT calculated mathematically. They are derived from analysis of thousands upon thousands of exacting physical measurements made on real-world strings, vibrating under real-world conditions.
This process is called Dynamic Intonation and is used by Strandberg guitars and the team at Guy Guitars.
Each unique Curved Frets pattern is designed to specifications derived from exacting Dynamic Intonation process. Every note is adjusted and fine-adjusted, and then re-checked and re-adjusted dozens of times, until it produces the required pitch, measured both by ear and with a sensitive strobe tuner.
This is repeated with new strings until we have unequivocal and stable results. This requires enormous patience and concentration.
Each unique Curved Frets pattern is designed to specifications derived from the exacting Dynamic Intonation™ process.
Benefits of Curved Frets
What’s wrong with straight frets? Standard equal tempered fret spacing is calculated from one single piece of information about the instrument - the scale length (the theoretical speaking length of the open strings).
A divisor constant is used to determine the locations of the frets. The scale length divided by the constant gives the position of the first fret.
The remaining length after subtracting the first fret, divided by the same constant, gives the position of the second fret, and so on. Just intonation is not linear- there are no even differences between tones.
In a simplified way, you could just say that it is very difficult to create instruments that can render this scale in a large variety of keys.
Therefore, the scale of equal temperament is used instead, which is a pragmatic compromise. The advantage is that it does not favour any tones harmonic-wise.
No half notes are perfectly in tune when compared to just intonation, but they are equally out of tune throughout the whole scale, which makes it possible to play all intervals in all keys with the same relative accuracy.
True Temperament produces a guitar for the equal temperament scaled which is called 12-tone Equal Temperament.
This guitar has 56 Frets is a long-scale (30”) guitar
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