Novax Guitars
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Why Fanned-Fret®?

The "fanning" of the frets results from manipulating the scale length of the bass side of the neck relative to the treble side: the fret spacing is wider for the long scale and closer for the short scale.

Looking inside a grand piano, or at a harp, we see that the string lengths vary with the pitches of the strings. But fretted instruments are traditionally constructed to a single scale length, negating the benefits of scale length relative to pitch. Since there are relatively few strings on most stringed instruments, compromises are made and string gauges are manipulated for workable results. Players, accustomed to the compromises of single scale-length construction, are often pleasantly surprised by the richness and clarity of Fanned-Fret® instruments. When the fanned-fret concept is applied to the six-string guitar, the resulting instrument has a "focused" sound - clear, articulate and balanced. Some players say "more in tune" or "more accurate."

An exclusive Novax option is our XR (extended range) neck; no other guitar can claim this! The Fanned-Fret system allows us to create an instrument capable of tunings that extend both above the usual range in the treble and below the usual range in the bass, simultaneously! Not only can you explore the world of altered tunings without the hassles of “flabby” string tension, but in standard tuning you get a tone that is rich and “huge” sounding - the biggest, clearest, most articulate tone you’ve heard from a guitar. It can double as a baritone guitar with the addition of heavier strings, and it can accommodate “Fripp tuning” easily. The treble scale length is in the “normal” range so the instrument feels natural and note bending, fret reach, and string tension are familiar.

One of the real advantages of the Fanned-Fret® concept lies in its application to instruments like the seven-string guitar, eight-string guitar, five-string bass, six-string bass, baritone guitar, and mandolin. The range of tunings and number of strings force compromises that make these instruments poor performers or even impractical when constructed with the traditional single scale-length. The fanned-fret concept addresses those problems and makes these instruments playable and practical.


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