View Full Version : 22 or 24
07-08-2002, 02:15 PM
which guitar is better to buy. a 22 fret or a 24 fret? does it really make a difference. can yoou play more songs?
07-08-2002, 02:24 PM
Neither is "better". Most songs that you'll ever play can be done on either one. I own several 24 fret guitars and personally don't find much use for the last 2 frets. I guess if you're soloing in Gb and wanted to hit the really high root note, the 24th fret would come in handy....
Having 24 frets does make it a little easier to get to the 22nd fret though.
07-08-2002, 03:36 PM
What I believe is a more important question -- or rather, one which must be asked hand in hand with the 22 vs 24 fret question -- is, what is the scale length of the instrument?
Both parameters (# of frets and scale length) have a marginal effect on playability...though that's arguable, as total neck length, and access to the higher frets will be determined by these parameters.
But more critical is how # of frets and scale length affect pickup placement...and this is extremely crucial to tone. Look at a Gibson Les Paul Custom vs a PRS Custom 24. Both instruments have the same scale length, but the Gibson has 22 frets and the PRS obviously has 24. Since the neck pickup is mounted right at the end of the fingerboard, what this means is that the location of the neck pickup's polepieces will be in a different position relative to the vibrating string's length: On the Gibson they happen to be directly under the antinode (the harmonic). Believe me, this has a tremendous effect on the tone of the guitar. On the 24 fret PRS, the polepieces do not line up with the string's antinode, because that's where the 24th fret has to go (by definition). Therefore it is IMPOSSIBLE for a 24 fret PRS to get a similar tone as a Les Paul neck p.u.
(If you don't like the Gibson vs PRS slant of this thought experiment, simply compare a 22 vs 24 fret PRS.)
It is axiomatic to say that the part of the vibrating string "seen" by the pickup's polepieces determines timbre. Unless the instruments have different scale lengths, a 22 fret instrument can have pickups seeing parts of the string that are physically impossible for 24 fret guitars to access. And if they *do* have different scale lengths, that affects timbre AND feel in yet another way!
07-08-2002, 03:54 PM
that is a really good point Ed...I've never thought about it to that degree scientifically..but I've noticed a thicker sound from the neck pickup of 22 fret guitars as opposed to 24 fret models
07-09-2002, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by Ed Belknap
Unless the instruments have different scale lengths, a 22 fret instrument can have pickups seeing parts of the string that are physically impossible for 24 fret guitars to access.
Let me clarify that point: *NO* 24 fret guitar can have the neck pickup polepieces under the string's antinode (harmonic), regardless of scale length.
07-09-2002, 07:35 AM
I think the extra 2 frets are needless....actually you can still play those notes without the frets.....just use your fingernails on top of the strings and keep going up if you so desire...with a little practice, this is a cool technique...I use this technique on East Wes by Eric Johnson, in the second pass of the "bridge"...not sure how EJ does it...but I use my fingernails/ root position roughly above the neck pick-up.
07-10-2002, 06:11 PM
-Just remember, Stevie Ray Vaughan's Strats only had 21 frets! So did Jimi Hendrix's.
Ed, that's a really great explanation there. I've heard this question come up before and never really thought it through on a technical/sonic level, but now that you've articulated things it seems so obvious.
Given that you've posted it here I assume you intend it for public consumption. My intent, unless you object, is to run slightly paraphrased version of your two responses as one of our Technical Tip of the Day entries for our inSync column (referencing this thread of course).
It will probably show up in the July 16th issue.
10-05-2006, 01:37 PM
Okay so I just found this thread and I'm 4 years late.
I have been wondering about where the neck PUP should be with a Warmoth 24fret neck - the answer is that it can be anywhere but where the Stratocaster pickguard puts it!
Technically - in the original position, under the 24th fret, puts it exactly where the 5th fret harmonic node appears so the harmonics are very weak.
I got a Strat body with a 'universal' route and engineered a mechanism for putting a pickup anywhere from the neck end to the bridge and tried all the harmonics. Only when the pickup was in the usual neck-PUP position did the harmonics get weak or go away.
In any other position, the harmonics, all of them, were strong.:)
So my suggestion is this: put the pickup anywhere BUT in the usual place for good harmonics around the 5th fret.:D
Okay so Jimi and others used the usual position - they probably hardly ever used the 5th harmonic. Do their tunes involve sounding-out ALL the harmonics? In most cases, they never stayed on one note long enough for you to hear it!
Mostly, the only times Jimi sounded a single note for a long time was when he was using feedback!;)
I bought a set of Joh Lang's remarkable pickups (See www.langaster.com) and the tones are superb. He sends them through the post on a 'cheap' pickguard to hold everything pre-wired in place. I don't know what guitar this pickguard was based on but it wasn't a Fender Strat!. The pickups don't line-up with the routes - the neck PUP is about 1/8" - 3mm nearer the bridge than usual for example. Now whoever designed this pickguard knew what they were doing for with a 25.5" / 650mm scale the harmonics are all strong. Just 3mm makes all the difference - it move the pickup's field away from the node where the string isn't vibrating (with the 5th harmonic) which picks up the string movement better.:) All the other harmonics ring out louder too.
Of course, you could just switch to the middle or neck+middle PUP(s) and get all the Harmonics anyway;)
10-05-2006, 02:50 PM
I bought a set of Joh Lang's remarkable pickups (See www.langaster.com) and the tones are superb.
Could you double check that URL? It came up as a dead link for me.
12-30-2007, 12:46 AM
Well I found this thread a year or more late.
I just want to add that my hands measure 6" exactly from base of palm to tip of middle finger, and I can play a guitar with a 24.75" scale and 24 frets with a little creativity and imagination... but forget a 25.5" scale guitar, and a 24.75" scale with 22 frets is also unenjoyable.
I've found anything with 24.75" scale and 24 frets is doable for my size... so unfortunately some of us have to sacrifice the optimum pickup position under the strings for actual playability.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.