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Hi all!

I'm intrested in buying a 3 octave guitar. Are there any manufacturers that make guitars with that many frets or would one have to get one custom built?
 

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why do you want to buy one? the frets would be virtually impossible to play, you can only have one pickup and it'll probably cost a fortune
 

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Nope, the 36-fret EC36 and the 29-fret EC29 were only made for a few years on the late 80s / early 90s. IIRC they made maybe 1500 total between the 2 models with most being EC29s. The 36-fret version appears for sale on occasion and usually fetches from $750 - 1500.

The Hamer Virtuoso is even worse as perhaps something like two dozen exist. One sold on the 'bay a few months back for $4k (in only a few hours IIRC). A second was offered @ $6k immediately thereafter but I don't believe that one sold. If you see one of these and are tempted to buy it remember that it has a 26 1/4" scale and may therefore feel a bit strange.

I believe that Ibanez at one time may have also produced a 36-fret guitar but I don't offhand know anything about it. Other less-known builders have also produced 3-octave guitars from time-to-time, probably the most well known of these is Auerswald (http://www.auerswald-instruments.com/instruments/guitars.html) who may in fact still produce such a beast (though it's likely to be very $pendy and Auerswald's aren't exactly to everyone's taste). 17th Street Guitars is doing a limited run of Uli Roth's Sky Guitar (http://www.17thstreetguitars.com/skyseries.html) but it's a bit of an oddball in that the frets beyond 30 progress in whole steps. That one's also quite spendy with the 6-string going for something like $15k & the 7-string something like $18k.

Contrary to the opinion usually expressed by people who've never actually touched much less played a 3-octave guitar, they're quite playable. I don't have small fingers at all and had no problem playing to around the 30th fret on my 25 1/2" scale EC36 the first time I picked it up. With a bit of practice it's quite possible to utilize all of the frets.

That said these instruments aren't without their problems. For example, the EC36:




Suffers in that it crams 3 octaves onto a 25 1/2" scale which leaves very little room between the bridge and the end of the fretboard. For those of us not blessed with light, even, and super clean right hand technique this often results in whacking the pick into the edge of the fretboard at about the 33rd fret while playing palm muted passages, etc.

If you're serious about a 3-octave guitar the EC36 is probably the best combination of cheap & available though it may take you a while to find one. I've been kicking around the idea of taking my own design to a custom builder for a few years now but I don't want another one badly enough (and the EC36 doesn't suffer from enough readily apparent and easily correctable flaws) to shell out the $3k+ that would run. If you go the custom route, spend a lot of time thinking about your right hand technique, scale lengths, access to the upper frets, pups with good response in the 3rd octave, etc.
 

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Captain DB... Savvy ?
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doesn't the apple horn mattias eklundh axe have quite a few frets ? its kinda pointless though unless you have incredibly skinny fingers .. you really won't be able to fret it right man ... up to you though lol .
 

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Captain DB... Savvy ?
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lol stig .. if you count the harmonics .. then most guitars if not all .. are 3 octaves lol . thats not what he means . but you picked up on a good point there man
 

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hehe thanks danny ,

ohhhh

does he mean 3 octaves per string ? .. i prolly should've picked that up :dunno:
 
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