Cocobolo/Englemann fan fret


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While fanned fret guitars have a unique aesthetic design that lends an intriguing shape and appearance to the guitar, the design's primary benefits are performance enhancements. The slanted frets lengthens the lower strings of the guitar and shortens the higher pitched ones. This is achieved by placing the bridge of the guitar at an opposite angle to the nut. Thus, the distance between the nut and bridge on the side of the fretboard for the low E string is longer than it is on the side of the high E string. This follows the design logic of the piano and the harp: the higher the pitch, the shorter the string.

This fanned fret arrangement allows for more precise tuning and better tone. Other advantages over a traditionally fretted guitar include more uniform string tension across the neck of the guitar, easier adaptability to seriously altered tunings (such as DADGAD, dropped C and dropped D), the ability to tune strings up as well as down, enhanced definition of harmonics, and the elimination of non-harmonic overtones and unwanted noise. All the strings sound somewhat clearer and cleaner than traditionally built guitars. The B string, in particular, sounds lighter and more distinct than it would on non-fanned models. On a traditional guitar, the G string sometimes feels like it has a higher tension than the other strings; on fanned fret guitars the G string retains normal tension and has a somewhat warmer tone.


The best set of Cocobolo in my stash of tonewood

All the parts collected and ready to start building


Sides bent

Cutting recess for rosette



Back breaces in the GoBar deck

Back and top bracing voiced and ready to joined to the rim







Armrest area before shaping and binding

Armrest bevel shaped and ready for veneer




Armrest detail

All the pieces ready for final sanding and finish


Epoxy pore fill completed ready for spray booth


Butt splice inlay detail