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21 frets: why?


Brainfertilizer

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Well, if you don't want the overhang on your Strat, that's the only real difference. Not much of one, really. I like having the extra room around 15th position that a 24 -fret neck allows, though I rarely ever play all the way up to the 24th fret on me SE Custom 24.

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I understand the trade-offs between 22 and 24 frets: deeper neck tone from p/u being farther from bridge vs wanting two extra frets.


But what is the advantage of 21 frets? Or more accurately: what are the trade-offs between 21 and 22 frets?

 

 

I believe that's why Leo went with 21 frets...ideal pickup placement for a 25.5" scale neck. 22-fret necks are usually 24.75"

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I believe that's why Leo went with 21 frets...ideal pickup placement for a 25.5" scale neck. 22-fret necks are
usually
24.75"

 

 

Really? It seems a whole pile of the Fender-made Strats are 22 fret and they are all 25.5. American standard, American deluxe, Highway One, a lot of the customs. A fair number of the Teles are too. The MIMs and classics are 21. My Yamaha is 22/25.5 as well

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Really? It seems a whole pile of the Fender-made Strats are 22 fret and they are all 25.5. American standard, American deluxe, Highway One, a lot of the customs. A fair number of the Teles are too. The MIMs and classics are 21. My Yamaha is 22/25.5 as well

 

 

 

Yeah, those are more recent models though (well after Leo). Up till the 80s they rocked 21 frets.

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On Rickenbackers I like 21 Fret necks better on most of their guitars except for the 350s. On those I like the 24 Fret version better because it preserves the original pickup spacing of the 3/4 body

 

24 fret 350

 

p1_up12aytlf_so-3-1-1-1.jpg

 

21 fret 350

1509rick350v63.jpg

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For me, it's pure aesthetics. It's not a deal breaker of course, but I really don't care for the overhang. It's that simple. I rarely if ever play about the fifteenth fret, so there is no practical benefit either way for me. Strat scale length is the same whichever - the 22nd fret is actually an extension to the neck, so it doesn't make any difference there. If you want to argue that that tiny little extra bit of wood and steel makes a sonic difference, well.... I'm sure it can, everything does. Less so than the difference between any two pieces of wood, though, IMO.

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I made the huge mistake of buying a Jaguar instead of a Jazzmaster cuz of that 1 stupid fret. There was 1 song that my band played that required that extra fret but then we broke up and I just couldnt hang with the Jags neck.

 

I hate overhangs on Teles-they are supposed to have 21 frets as per Leos genius, you want more play a Gibson.

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I don't think the pickup placement's that big an issue.

 

 

Agreed. It's a fraction of an inch worth of difference. The "24th fret harmonic node" thing is total BS -- because that harmonic node is only in that spot on an open string, and it's in a different place at every fret position.

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You'll notice, though, that when Leo designed the Jaguar neck, and no longer was bound by backwards compatibility, he made a 22-fret 24" scale neck, no overhang. I think if he could go back and redo everything, he would have made all his necks 22-fret necks without overhang and made them sit deeper in the body.

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I think musically speaking, 24 makes the most sense. I don't think you need any more than that, but 24 frets is definitely the right number. That way you have a 4 octave instrument, it's like a 49-key keyboard in your hand!

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I don't understand why people are talking about a different tone. If I replace the 22 fret neck on my strat with a 21 fret neck it doesn't change the pickups' position at all.
:freak:

 

Exactly. The only real difference the 22-fret overhang makes is in pickguard removal. Easy-peasy on 21-fret necks, distinctly more troublesome on 22-fret necks.

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