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Fretboards

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 309
PostPosted: 01/07/2009 at 9:04 AM    Post subject: Fretboards link

I'm so bored with the Real Names thread I felt compelled to start something different.

I'm interested in peoples thoughts and opinions about the Bean fretboard.

1) Flat vs. radius - my Bean has a flat board and I gather many (most?) of them do. It took some getting used to, but now it feels comfortable. Why did Bean go with a flat board to begin with and why did he change to a radius style at the end?

2) 1 piece vs. 2 piece fretboard - Later Beans were built with a two piece fretboard which was thinner and the pieces were glued to an 3/32 flat piece of aluminum and then attached to the neck. Has this design held up comparably to the original one piece? Are there pros and cons?

3) Refretting - How do you know when it's time to re-fret a guitar? My Bean's frets are fine, but my Martin acoustic has some divots after 22 years of music.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Peter

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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 01/07/2009 at 9:27 AM    Post subject: RE:Fretboards link

Hello BoulderBean!

The 2 piece question is pretty interesting. The first beans had a single fingerboard glued directly on the neck. The necks were hollow with a center spine down the middle. Basically this gave 3 narrow points of contact for glue to adhere to the fingerboard. One of the problems there were experiencing were the fingerboards would sometimes pop up for customers and they would repair the necks since they had lifetime warranties.

Later they wanted to see if they could address this problem. They brought in some engineers from 3M to see if they could come up with a better plan for the fingerboard issue. What they ended up doing was milling a piece of the spine down, which made the neck lighter, which as another issue that was always brought up, and adhering a piece of aluminum plate, which they called alumi-board to the outer edges of neck. I think they experimented with the spine, so I'm sure there are a few necks with the spine all the way to the top with the alumi-board. They used a special adhesive that involved baking the necks to make the glue react and bond. This glue was super strong and was often used for aircraft manufacturing. With the alumi-board in place, they had much more surface area and could add standard epoxy to affix the fingerboard without worrying about the fingerboards popping off now. The problem they faced was the fact that the alumi-board was thick so they compensated by making the fingerboard thinner.. real thin.

The guys at the shop had to create home made oven to bake the pairs of necks together. The partially milled necks were paired and clamped together alumi-board to alumi-board. This is before the lathe stage.

admin


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holmes

Joined:
29 Feb 2008
Posts: 182
PostPosted: 01/07/2009 at 9:40 AM    Post subject: RE:Fretboards link


1) probably the whole initial getting-used-to-it thing of the flat board put people off a bit - hence the change to an EVER so slight radius, in order make the guitar more appealing to guitarists used to more traditional guitar construction.

2) i cant really think of any real disadvantages to the guitars performance, other than the fact that its economic advantages gained by bean from its intoduction probably might affect price willing to be paid by collectors for the later beans. vincent gallo might be the best one to answer this though - his collection and experience with these guitars is encyclopedic. interestingly though, i own bean standard 1770 and that has a single piece board and the changed neck construction, which must mean some still made it out with single piece boards.

3) when it sounds like rattle-y scrapy shit and wont play anymore.











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rlrlrl

Joined:
24 Dec 2007
Posts: 260
PostPosted: 01/07/2009 at 9:48 AM    Post subject: RE:Fretboards link

While I've personally never taken a guitar to be refretted before, good condition frets are essential to playing in tune. If there's a divot, it will throw off the intonation for that fret. Also the physical architecture of the crown of the fret will do the same thing.

My Artist #1233 has low frets that are really flat and long, and I keep thinking that they are preventing the guitar from living up to its full potential. I'd like to learn more about frets, the details, because in a sense they're the most important part of the guitar, them and the bridge.

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Somnambulist

Joined:
27 Sep 2006
Posts: 21
PostPosted: 01/07/2009 at 1:54 PM    Post subject: RE:Fretboards link

I have to say the flat fretboard is hard for me even though I learned to play on a Classical guitar. I definitely prefer a radiused fretboard given the choice. Does anyone have or has anyone played one of the EGC's with a radiused fretboard? I hope to own one eventually and will be going that route.

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 309
PostPosted: 01/07/2009 at 2:06 PM    Post subject: RE:Fretboards link

I have an EGC with a radiused fretboard and a Bean 1000S with a flat fretboard. It's almost silly to compare the two since the neck profiles are so different, and for me that is the far more significant factor that the fretboard radius. The EGC neck is super thin. The Bean neck has a similar profile to my Martin acoustic. Switching from one to the other is weird. The Bean feels like a bat in in my hand after playing the EGC.

I have relatively small hands, but since I got used to the Bean I haven't had any issues with the flat fretboard. I really like the EGC, but when it comes time to choose between the two guitars I gravitate towards the Bean.

There are others here how play both a Bean and an EGC. I'm interested in their perspective.

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ClausRudolf

Joined:
30 Nov 2008
Posts: 30
PostPosted: 01/07/2009 at 3:12 PM    Post subject: RE:Fretboards link

interesting discussion. I just bought a nice TB standard three months ago ( my first bean ), and it was love at first sight. never played such a well manufactured and good sounding axe in 28 years of guitar strumming... the only thing that needs a little attention is getting used to that flat fretboard. I never played an acoustic guitar for a long time, so this is kind of strange - but - it`s part of the character of those beans, I would say. the flat construction is perfect for bending strings even in the highest positions - try this with other guitars ! and I play a lot jazz chords with it. never did this before on any other guitar - and I own a old gibson es 355 !!! after reading a lot about the beautiful EGC guitars here on the forum, I just ordered a black custom guitar from kevin with a 12` fretboard and a thicker neck ( cause I have huge hands ). looking forward to play an alu-neck guitar with a "modern" shaped board ! but - like I said before - this flat bean neck pulls out so many different tunes and moods of my playing, canĀ“t wait to discover more of it !!! claus

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holmes

Joined:
29 Feb 2008
Posts: 182
PostPosted: 01/09/2009 at 10:20 AM    Post subject: RE:Fretboards link

well i own an early c500 egc and, pretty great guitar and all, but i can honestly say that it isnt very nice to play to compared to some my other favourites. i certainly dont get in and rush over to it, reminiscing on its wonderful playability and action. its got a radius neck which apparantly everybody prefers. doesnt bother me really. beans are much nicer to play - if a tb500 had an even so slightly less tapered neck it would be the best playing neck ever in my opinion. radius or not. order your egc from kevin with a thicker neck, thats my advice. why he went for those super thin necks AS STANDARD is beyond me. people just naturally prefer neck which sit nice in your hands. i presonally dont care with the neck has a radius or not so long as its not to chunky. a tele deluxe from the 70's is a nice neck. ovation gp's had beautiful feeling necks,

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