We now have a new kind of fretboard with gently flattened stainless
The 90 degree pointed tips of these innovative frets
(patent number 6 369 306) are planed to a very straight and even
playing surface with very little material removed. The points are
then very slightly rounded in the polishing process. As a result,
several advantages are attained to a degree never before experienced
in stringed instrument manufacture.
See what our customers have to
say about our Rails™.
FEEL: The moderate 45 degree slopes of these pointed
frets provide sufficient sliding action for glissing and
"trilling" across frets. At the same time, the well defined
fet tops provide a more exact sensation of fret center to the
fingers, lending an overall feel of precision to the fretboard.
PITCH: These frets are fun to play on, and seem to
afford more space for the fingers. They also make it easier to
play without looking. They are now part of our instrument
production and can be special ordered.
ACTION: Because the pointed tips don't flatten much in
the process of sanding and filing an even plane along the fret
tops, the playing surface can be made very straight and the
playing action set extremely low. With low tapping action comes
all the other advantages that Stick players and tappers like -
speed, expression, expanded volume dynamics (starting from a very
light touch), ease of playing (fluency) and a fuller tone.
WEAR: Stainless steel is not worn down by guitar and
bass guitar strings, even after years of bending and vibratos.
In normal guitar craft, the softer German silver fret alloy
precludes any innovation in the direction of pointed frets, as
deep notches and irregularities would quickly be worn in. You
may ask, why is soft metal used in guitar fretboards? It allows
the frets to be hammered or punched into their slots without
rocking up and down from one end to the other. They lay into
place. Our Fret Rods™ and Rails™ slide into their
grooves from the the side of the board.
SEATING: Seen from the sides of the fingerboard, these
square stock stainless steel Rails are diamond shaped with the
bottom most corner of the square machined a bit flat. The
resulting five-sided structure can be seated in shallower
fingerboard grooves so as not to compromise neck strength. The
two outer corners (as seen from the sides) are submerged beneath
the wooden fingerboard surface and provide strong anchoring
against upward pressure. Unlike regular guitar frets, once these
frets are dressed they won't rise or move around.
Closeup of Rails
(click any image for slideshow)