Why did Steve stopped using the weird frets - Page 2 - Jemsite
Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models For discussion of Ibanez JEM, Universe and JS (Satriani) guitars only.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2021, 12:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Severance, CO
Posts: 1,268
Re: Why did Steve stopped using the weird frets

Originally Posted by Ashurbanipal View Post
Well, Steve is experimenting with and trying out stuff like most of us are, whether it's pickups, wiring or squiggly frets, don't know what's so controversial about that. I suspect he went back to normal frets for the most part because in a live situation, unless everyone else you're playing with uses the compensated frets, it would make everyone with normal frets sound out of tune, and vice versa. If you're just alone in the studio, then it's fine, as you're in full control of the musical situation. He probably felt that, for himself, there were ultimately more trade-offs in using TT frets than regular ones for most musical situations. Maybe the practicalities of the system and getting it done were also factors, as mentioned in the thread.

People complain about how much the Jem and Pia cost these days, well, can you imagine if Ibanez released one with TT frets? It's a pretty labour intensive process to make/install these compared to straight frets, the mark-up on a production guitar would've been significant. As an example, Matthias Eklundh's Caparison is over 6k.

The TT frets are just one out of several possible ways of subdividing intervals in the octave to allow certain ones to sound more in-tune when playing combinations of notes. In the Renaissance and Baroque periods, lutes had tied on gut frets so players could adjust them according to the keys of particular pieces. So if you're playing in major, for example, you could tweak the frets to make major thirds sound more consonant etc. Bowed instruments, being fretless, don't have to deal with this, as it's down to the player's sense of intonation and finger placement.

Conventional frets on a guitar are a kind of averaged out compromise, so we can play in all keys and it sounds ok. This also applies to the piano, the strings of which are tuned to allow all keys to sound pretty good. It's an interesting concept for guitar and has been around for a long time, going in and out of fashion in the mainstream. Personally, I don't think it's a gimmick, it's just another facet of the guitar which is available to folks who want it and can pay for it, and it's cool that that's an option. It just shows that it's a great time to be a guitarist – lots of choice in gear at different price points.
Excellent explanation!

But some people do not believe in compromise...or price points...

Formerly Given To Fly is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2021, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 476
Re: Why did Steve stopped using the weird frets

^^ Indeed. I've seen that one before, it reminds me of the guitars Floyd Rose (the dude) designed for Kramer back in the 80s, they're pretty rare. No idea what kind of temperament that uses – tree root variety, hehe. You'd get some wild effects with that!

In classical circles, the use of tempered fretting is more common. There have been luthiers over the decades who have built special guitars with segmented frets you can slide back and forth to adjust the tuning, or even interchangeable fingerboards. The Turkish player Tolgahan Çoğulu has been a strong proponent of these methods for some 15 years, also because it allows for playing of eastern music, which makes liberal use of 1/4 tones etc. Lots of cool sounds and possibilities.
Ashurbanipal is offline  
post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 08:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 19
Re: Why did Steve stopped using the weird frets

People are free to choose how best they set up their guitars, how much they pay, and what sounds best to them.

But it's worth remembering that there is a lot of psychology in music. If something feels better, it "sounds" better. If I pay a lot for something, then yes it "sounds" better. I remember upgrading from an RG7620 to my UV777 and thinking that my playing had transformed. It hadn't really, but because I thought it had (or perhaps wanted), everything sounded better to me.

90% of tone is in the hands (which includes tuning because we press the strings). 5% is the hardware/gear, and the remaining 5% is in your head, which of course no one can hear except you.
Jamiecrain is offline  
post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-03-2021, 08:45 PM
Super Moderator
jono's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: England
Posts: 7,253
Reviews: 1
Re: Why did Steve stopped using the weird frets

If you think 90% of the tone is in your hands, turn of the amp and see if you want to reconsider.

But that’s probably a different discussion for a different thread
WMerkert and Algiman like this.
jono is online  
post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Indy, IN
Posts: 1,989
Reviews: 4
Re: Why did Steve stopped using the weird frets

Originally Posted by JsXLine6 View Post
He's also become a much better person than he used to be. He used to have arrogance seeping from every pour back in the and 90's and 2000's. I think he has come to be a pretty laid back genuinely nice guy. If anything I think possibly having Guthrie Govan on tour with him and Satriani for G3 humbled him a bit. That's when I noticed a big change in how he presented himself in his demeanor.
Wow. Differences of perception, I guess. I've met Steve 8 times and he hasn't seemed arrogant to me.

Even in the good old days where the bands would sign by the bus after the long show, Steve always showed kindness and patience, even to drunk jerky fans. Especially on the Ultra Zone tour in 99 here in Indy, the whole band hung out by the bus for WAY over an hour, just being chill humans and sharing laughs and taking pics.

That was Dave Weiner's first tour.... 21 years ago. Crazy.
Ekim is offline  
post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 109
Re: Why did Steve stopped using the weird frets

Originally Posted by Ekim View Post

That was Dave Weiner's first tour.... 21 years ago. Crazy.
bob493 is online  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome