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Old 10-13-2014, 02:17 PM
Kent Chasson's Avatar
Kent Chasson Kent Chasson is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 911

Originally Posted by rogthefrog View Post
... Can some of the builders shed some light about why the floating fretboard isn't more common in flat tops? Is it tradition, cost, difficulty?
I can only guess but I do know that it can be hard to buck tradition.

Once you get it engineered, it is not significantly more costly. It's a bit more difficult and more time consuming but if it's part of an adjustable neck, that extra time is partly offset by time savings in the neck set and final setup. The biggest cost is in figuring out the engineering. There are some potential issues that aren't immediately obvious. I've heard from a few builders who gave up after their first attempt went bad.

Like the dovetail vs bolt-on argument, there are some who believe that a very solid neck joint with attached fingerboard is tonally important. I believe there can be tonal consequences of a floating fingerboard but they are generally positive.

If used with an adjustable neck, there are many benefits. One that is less obvious is that the saddle height and the action are independent of each other. That means that I can adjust the saddle height for the tone I want and keep it that way while the action is adjusted with the neck.

Another is that the player can easily make seasonal action adjustments and do so without removing the strings or messing with the saddle.

Many players find that fretting over the body is easier with the fingerboard elevated.
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