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fret inlays


(@td3201)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 12
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Anyone have any logic to why they prefer dot inlays vs. trapezoid? Certainly these don't matter much for experienced guitarists but for a beginner, what helps most? The only thing I see that would help with dots is the double inlay on the 12th fret but that's all I see outside of cosmetics. Thoughts?


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Because dots are easier to do in mass production - all you need is a drill bit to cut the recess. Since trapezoids have corners, they require hand finishing of the recess - and machine work is cheaper than manual labor (even in China and Indonesia)

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(@td3201)
Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 12
Topic starter  

Thanks for your reply. Ya, I read that too. From a user/player perspective, any differences?


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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None at all if they're used as fret markers. But if they're fancier, yeah - I knew a guy who played a custom build by Dana Bougeois with an elaborate ivy leaf fretboard inlay. Once when we jammed we switched guitars, and he had a lot of trouble following me - because he couldn't tell where my hands were going.

It didn't make any difference to me which guitar he used when I followed him, because I play all day for a living - so I follow with my ears more than my eyes. But if you need the visual reinforcement, you want to play with people who have traditional markers, whatever the shape.

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(@blue-jay)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Thanks for your reply. Ya, I read that too. From a user/player perspective, any differences?

I bend strings a lot. I love trapezoids, but not the sound they make if you bend hard and scrape the string across it.

Wood sort of muffles that infrequently-made and unusual sound. But the sound, and it may be also the feel (if we hear the music instead) of the pearl inlay getting scratched seems a bit gross to me, like a screech or something, or that sound of scraping fingers on a chalkboard, whatever exactly that is? I like the bright tone of trapezoids on acoustics, but that's an elusive and possibly subjective sound as well - and better, yet harder to explain if with ebony fretboard.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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