Novax Guitars
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To our friends:
We're now in Eugene, Oregon, and we love it here!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Is it easy to get used to playing Fanned-Frets?

It’s actually quite easy, especially if you can play without looking at your fretting hand. Because of the ergonomics of Fanned-Frets, your fretting hand can be much more relaxed than on a parallel-fretted instrument, and playing can become much less physically stressful.

Can I play barre chords on a Fanned-Fret guitar?

Absolutely! You might well find it easier than on your current guitar.

How do I place an order?

Telephone us at 541-607-3999, anytime. If necessary, leave us a message, including your name and phone # at both the beginning and end of your message and good times for us to reach you, and we will return your call.

Why can’t I place an order on-line?

If you are buying a completed instrument from the “Showroom” and not having us build you one to your personal specifications, by speaking with you directly we can ensure that the instrument is set-up to your specs with the strings you desire. And, if we are building a custom instrument for you, Ralph Novak will need to have an extensive conversation with you to determine exactly what your specs are.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We take Visa and MasterCard, personal checks (domestic, with a brief wait until they’ve cleared,) certified checks, and International Money Orders.

May I reserve an instrument in the “Showroom” and pay over time?

Yes. If you can give us a reasonable deposit, we will gladly talk with you to try to work out a no interest “lay away” plan that is tailored to your needs.

Do you accept PayPal?


Do you ship internationally?

Yes, via UPS.

Are “lefty” versions of your instruments available?

Most of our instruments can be made “lefty” for an additional $500.

How long will I have to wait for my custom instrument once I’ve paid my deposit?

Generally about one year, sometimes less, sometimes longer if it’s a particularly complex instrument.

How much is the deposit for a custom instrument?

We ask for a 50% deposit before we begin building, with the balance due once the instrument is completed and before we ship. We are willing to discuss other payment plans with you that include multiple payments and full payment before we ship.

Can I find your instruments in my local music store?

Sorry, no. We’re a small, hand-building operation, creating a small number of high-quality instruments rather than mass-producing many instruments to offer in music stores. Keep an eye on our “Showroom” for instruments in stock, ready to ship. Also, check our “Pre-Owned” page for currently available instruments.

Where can I try out a Novax instrument before purchasing one?

See answer to previous question. We do have a small showroom here in Eugene, OR. You’re welcome to visit if you’re in the Eugene/Portland area. Please call first.

Do Fanned-Fret instruments require special strings?

No, but the Fanned-Fret concept can allow you to expand your choices of strings to really customize your tone.

Can I buy a pre-slotted fingerboard from you?

No. Specifications for custom instruments can vary so widely that it is better for the builder to prepare the fretboard for the specific instrument. For an article about slotting a Fanned-Fret fingerboard by luthier Mike Doolin, see

Do I need to pay a licensing fee to build a Fanned-Fret instrument?


Can I buy a used Novax instrument from you?

Yes. See our “Pre-Owned” page.

Do you offer a 5-string replacement bass neck?

We’re working on it! Replacement body and hardware specs vary wildly and widely.

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