Microtonal Guitars/Necks



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Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby MrNovember » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:53 pm

So this isn't new news, but I want a microtonal guitar. I'm really just posting this to argue with myself/think out loud, but feel free to comment/let me know of other options :idk:

Obligatory King Gizzard reference:


Anyways, I see a few options in front of me:
1) Buy one of these: https://www.revelationguitars.co.uk/gui ... rter-tone/
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Pros: rather inexpensive ($599 CAD), local shop stocks them (expected to be in stock in September), name is on the wait list, would be able to try before I buy
Cons: rather inexpensive, microtonal frets only go up to 14th fret

2) Buy one of these: https://eastwoodguitars.com/products/hi ... hase-iv-mt
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Pros: I've got a few Eastwood instruments and like them quite a bit, frets go all the way up the fretboard
Cons: expensive ($1215 CAD), wouldn't be able to try it before I buy

3) Buy one of these: http://metatonalmusic.com/Necks.html
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And put it on this guy:
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Pros: microtonal frets all the way up the fretboard, customizable, would work well on my Jazzmaster
Cons: rather expensive (~$395 USD), wouldn't have a baritone for awhile/would have to build a new baritone, turn around time for the neck is 3 months plus shipping

4) Build a new Partscaster with a Metatonal Music neck
Pros: wouldn't be taking apart the baritone
Cons: have to find a body/electronics first, overall cost likely to come close to the Eastwood

5) Find an electric Saz/Baglama
Pros: more authentic, totally different than a guitar
Cons: don't even have the slightest idea where to find a good quality one?
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby MrNovember » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:55 pm

Honestly, I think typing that up helped out a bit. I was starting to think I should just order one of the Metatonal necks and figure out what guitar to put it on later, but now I'm definitely just going to wait until I can try out the Marrakesh
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby backwardsvoyager » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:09 pm

Do you know any skilled luthiers in your area who could do a microtonal refret on an existing neck? Or build you one to spec?
Might cost a bit but you'd probably get a better result and would be supporting local business etc.

I'm sure the Revelation and Eastwood aren't bad guitars but personally I would just find a cheap old Greco or Yamaha or something and get someone to go nuts on it.
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby MrNovember » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:33 pm

backwardsvoyager wrote:Do you know any skilled luthiers in your area who could do a microtonal refret on an existing neck? Or build you one to spec?
Might cost a bit but you'd probably get a better result and would be supporting local business etc.

I'm sure the Revelation and Eastwood aren't bad guitars but personally I would just find a cheap old Greco or Yamaha or something and get someone to go nuts on it.

Hadn't thought about looking into local luthiers, but I really like that idea. I don't know of any reputable ones, but I am sure there's got to be some in Toronto.

I did a quick search and found a guy that does repairs, but also teaches classes on building guitars. The cost is surprisingly reasonable considering you get to take home an instrument at the end. I am tempted...
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:04 am

I am interested in the revelation... But I think first I am going to buy some frets and go to town on my old guitar that I never play. One of these days...

I think it's a fun way to do it without spending a bunch of money
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby backwardsvoyager » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:39 am

All of the pros out there using MT guitars are just having stuff customized or DIY'ing it, anyway.

One idea i'd love to try is adding brass or gold frets to a nickel/stainless fretted neck as microintervals, so they're visually distinguishable and maybe produce a slightly different timbre.
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:07 am

Oh that would look so cool! might think about that. First I need to collect the guitar from my parents and research the procedure though.
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby MrNovember » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:44 am

That is a really cool idea. Unfortunately, I don't really have any extra guitars and I wouldn't really want to mod my Jag. Especially not with the shorter scale length and my large fingers
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby Paul_C » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:14 am

I've not had much free time to play my Westone yet, but I have been thinking about ways to make the extra frets more obvious.

I think it's going to take a while (for me at least) to get it to make cool sounds, so far it just sounds weird (which isn't a problem, I like weird).

The other option is to go fretless, which I plan to do with something at some point (probably a cheap Squier) which means you can get very microtonal indeed ;)
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby MrNovember » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:13 am

Yeah I have a fretless bass that I like quite a bit, but it is a very different feel. One major concern I'd have with a fretless guitar is chords. I've heard it is very difficult to play consistent chords on a fretless guitar.
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:18 pm

Yeah my alternative option for this old guitar (or maybe the fallback when I fuck up adding frets) is rip them out. I like playing fretless bass and double bass so I figure guitar will be ok. Chords will be tricky for sure but good practice! I can play chords ok on fretless bass but the lower registers are a little more forgiving for exact pitch.

I actually wrote a riff today involving microtonal bending for one of my bands. Just a reminder that if you're committed the extra frets are the fingers you had along the way.


Or something
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby Phosphene Audio » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:56 am

The Lavta is a pretty neat instrument with a bunch of extra frets. Cankaya music has a decent reputation, or so I have read. I am currently waiting on a lute from them.

https://www.cankayamuzikevi.com/lavtalar

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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby voerking » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:40 am

i have a Revelation Marrakesh. i don't miss having extra frets above the 14th, but i have big hands, so i would have trouble playing them accurately if they were there.
build quality is surprisingly good & the pickups are way better than i was expecting.
i'm no expert in playing microtonal music, but it's really fun to have around.
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby adamajah » Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:18 pm

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Fretlet(.com) looks interesting. A noncommittal way to add some microtones
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Re: Microtonal Guitars/Necks

Postby Phosphene Audio » Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:51 am

adamajah wrote:Image

Fretlet(.com) looks interesting. A noncommittal way to add some microtones



I've tried to order those, but never gotten a response to an email.
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