To Scallop or Not To Scallop?

jalbertochavez

Senior member
Messages
249
To Scallop or Not to Scallop? That is the question, for the moment. K, so I've got most of my 3rd Warmoth build planned out. Warmoth Pro Quartersawn Maple Neck (CBS Headstock/Maple fretboard), String-thru Solid Alder body, and Fender Custom Shop 1969 pickup set, but I keep feeling like I should do something more to really customize this guitar. So I've been considering a fully scalloped fretboard. I've got 2 complete Warmoths (a Strat w/standard thin neck & a Sololist w/Wizard neck) all with 6100 size frets. They both feel incredible. I'm pretty sure I'll never use anything other than 6100 (unless I can find bigger). I'm wondering if a scalloped fretboard would still be a far stretch to learn to play on after these necks. I've heard some people say once you go scallop you never go back and then I've heard other say it's not worth it and to just find bigger frets. What do y'all think?

For those of you who have scalloped fretboards, what was playing chords like at first? I'm imagining I'd press down a little too hard and go sharp for a while.

Also, are there any added advantages or disadvantages to scallopping? (aside from the advantages Warmoth lists on their page for the Scalloping option.)

Here's a side question. I know 250K is the value of most, if not all, Fender strat volume pots, but does anyone know what the effect of a 1Meg volume pot on pickups like the 1969s would be? I'm hopin' it won't just louden the hum.

:dontknow:
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
No comment on the scalloping.

but as far as the pots go:

the higher the value, the less of your signal "shorts" out to the ground, and thus, the purer your tone will be.

so basically, the higher your value, the brighter your sound.

are you looking for a bright tone, or a warm tone?
 

po_0784

Active member
Messages
88
jalbertochavez said:
For those of you who have scalloped fretboards, what was playing chords like at first? I'm imagining I'd press down a little too hard and go sharp for a while.
Also, are there any added advantages or disadvantages to scallopping? (aside from the advantages Warmoth lists on their page for the Scalloping option.)
:dontknow:

Hi, I got 2 guitar with scalloped neck.. and just got my first warmoth guitar with SS6100, so I guess I can give you an input there  :icon_thumright:. Im a BIG fan of scalloped neck. However, im lucky to be one who doesn't press hard on my string. So usually, fretwear on my guitars (regardless of the countless hours I put on shredding) is really minimal. I never sound "out of tune" by pressing too hard. Lol, one of my student press SO hard (just his style really) that his guitar with medium jumbo frets is already fretless  :laughing3:. My point is, if you do already play on 6100 and dont have any "tuning issue", you shouldn't get any problems using a scallop neck.

I really like my new warmoth guitar (with ss6100). But I still feel the difference with the scalloped neck. Its not "how it feels" because you feel nothing! Just the strings under your fingers. Make for real precise fingerings. But if you press hard, not only will you sound out of tune, you will ruin your fingers. I think that my next warmoth built might get a scallop neck with the SS6100, but since I really dig the SS6100 on a std neck, I may go with a std neck again. Im just one of those who think "higher, better". Scalloping is like getting to the infinite!

My old Godin used to have medium jumbo frets. Now they are vintage sized after 2 fret leveling and 20yrs of use from the last owner. No problem, the neck is scalloped so it always feel like 6000 superjumbos ;o). My discovery of home made "scalloping" was just a way to save cash on an expensive refretting. I ended up really liking it, so I bought a new guitar and modified it right away on the workbench  :headbang:.
 

jalbertochavez

Senior member
Messages
249
line6man said:
No comment on the scalloping.

but as far as the pots go:

the higher the value, the less of your signal "shorts" out to the ground, and thus, the purer your tone will be.

so basically, the higher your value, the brighter your sound.

are you looking for a bright tone, or a warm tone?

Thanks for the comment Line6man. I want this guitar to have a bright tone. I'm talkin' I want it to sparkle and sound like glass. I'm now thinkin' of using a 1Meg volume pot and not using any tone controls (unless I get some like Fender's No Load tone controls).
 

jalbertochavez

Senior member
Messages
249
po_0784 said:
jalbertochavez said:
For those of you who have scalloped fretboards, what was playing chords like at first? I'm imagining I'd press down a little too hard and go sharp for a while.
Also, are there any added advantages or disadvantages to scallopping? (aside from the advantages Warmoth lists on their page for the Scalloping option.)
:dontknow:

Hi, I got 2 guitar with scalloped neck.. and just got my first warmoth guitar with SS6100, so I guess I can give you an input there  :icon_thumright:. Im a BIG fan of scalloped neck. However, im lucky to be one who doesn't press hard on my string. So usually, fretwear on my guitars (regardless of the countless hours I put on shredding) is really minimal. I never sound "out of tune" by pressing too hard. Lol, one of my student press SO hard (just his style really) that his guitar with medium jumbo frets is already fretless  :laughing3:. My point is, if you do already play on 6100 and dont have any "tuning issue", you shouldn't get any problems using a scallop neck.

I really like my new warmoth guitar (with ss6100). But I still feel the difference with the scalloped neck. Its not "how it feels" because you feel nothing! Just the strings under your fingers. Make for real precise fingerings. But if you press hard, not only will you sound out of tune, you will ruin your fingers. I think that my next warmoth built might get a scallop neck with the SS6100, but since I really dig the SS6100 on a std neck, I may go with a std neck again. Im just one of those who think "higher, better". Scalloping is like getting to the infinite!

My old Godin used to have medium jumbo frets. Now they are vintage sized after 2 fret leveling and 20yrs of use from the last owner. No problem, the neck is scalloped so it always feel like 6000 superjumbos ;o). My discovery of home made "scalloping" was just a way to save cash on an expensive refretting. I ended up really liking it, so I bought a new guitar and modified it right away on the workbench  :headbang:.

Thanks for the insight po_0784. I'm now wonderin' how it might feel to play a scalloped fretboard on the higher strings. When I play the low strings on my 6100 fretted necks I don't really feel the fretboard, but I do feel it on the high strings. I'm gonna try to find a scalloped neck somewhere to play on before makin' my decision.
 
K

kreig

Guest
Go scallop . . . All my next builds will be !
It plays, feels "Cleaner" . . . i .e. your fingertips never "rub" against  the fretboard and thus free's up your string bending , vibrato technique ! ! !
Tapping "EXPLODES"
notes sound brighter , cleaner
you can make one note sing or make it sting with the greatest of ease . . .
It's ONLY metal against metal

The hype is" pressing chords up a minor 3rd" or something like that . . . Good Luck .

Mine is with a free floating recessed route FR . So pitch control is crucial . Playing overly excited ,might cause you to press in harder and consequently go sharp . You'll have to totally master mute palming the strings at the bridge . Play light and even , and you've mastered the scallop 99% of the time . You can pound some mustard into your playing , but always be aware of your pitch as it MAY stray a bit .

I'm a HUGE Jumbo fan , yet , Scallop IS One Step Closer to the Great Beyond . . . IMO ! I've heard people go "whooppie - doo " - I would question their level of ability .

Hunt down the Yngwie Strat at a local guitar store and test drive one yourself . Or ask if they would consider stocking one .

Kreig

I would consider tattooing "Give Me Scalloped or Give Me Death" somewhere on myself . . . btw
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,233
Wow - I'm glad there are a bunch of folks out there with such a light touch!

I could never do it - I'm way too heavy handed with my left hand to get away with a scalloped neck.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
jalbertochavez said:
line6man said:
No comment on the scalloping.

but as far as the pots go:

the higher the value, the less of your signal "shorts" out to the ground, and thus, the purer your tone will be.

so basically, the higher your value, the brighter your sound.

are you looking for a bright tone, or a warm tone?


Thanks for the comment Line6man. I want this guitar to have a bright tone. I'm talkin' I want it to sparkle and sound like glass. I'm now thinkin' of using a 1Meg volume pot and not using any tone controls (unless I get some like Fender's No Load tone controls).

i set up my fretless jazz to be as bright as possible, however, its also very important for me to have a tone control in there, because sometimes it can be too bright.
i would definatly recommend that you have a tone control in there, so you can "tame it down" if it gets too bright.
i wired up a push pull pot so that when its pulled up, the tone control is bypassed.
its the same concept as the fender no-loads, but just with a push pull instead of a little click switch on the end of the pot rotation.
the no-loads are only available as 250K, so the push pull thing is a better option if you want 1M controls.

here is a schematic
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
My #1 Telecaster has a scalloped, extra-wide boatneck with 6100s and I love it. I use 10's - 50's and I don't have intonation problems. I can play with a light touch. (now...) However, I do like to have a non-scalloped guitar, set up with lighter strings, to work stuff out on. I practice a lot - six hours a day sometimes, and unlike some, I like to have all my guitars be as different from one another as possible. I use a 24" scale hardtail "Mustang" with good pickups to do a lot of the scale work & picking exercises, just to keep the fatigue down. I'm not sure I'd want a "Warmoth standard thin" scalloped - they take out a large amount of wood, maybe a Clapton or SRV contour would work if you don't want to go to a full boat. I trust Warmoth's truss rod... sort of.... it's warranteed at least. I would've got my seven-string scalloped if I could have had any option other than standard thin - and if they'd scallop sevens.

So - YES! as long as you've got another guitar too - how else are you ever going to know?
It does take a few "surprising" nights to get used to playing a scalloped neck live - your overstimulation has to be re-directed, let's say.... :guitarplayer2: :party07: :blob7:
 

Sinner

New member
Messages
21
I like to practice with my scalopped Strat copy but I have never played it live. I like it when I can be very precise & am concetrating but live there's too much other stuff going on. That's me though. Aside from that there's no other adjustment. My left hand it pretty light. I use 9-42 strings on it.
 

Sixbender

Active member
Messages
67
My most recent build features a full-scallop. I opted for it having never played one, based on a few assumptions.

1. I have a lighter touch, so it shouldn't be a problem
2. I thought I could bend notes farther/easier, bending minor chords to major, etc.
3. I though that the finish on the maple fretboard might not wear or scuff.

All turned out to be true. Plus, vibrato, tapping, just playing the electric guitar in general is easier. After getting used to the scalloped neck, my other low-action necks feel a little "clunky" with the fretboard feel under the fingertips.

I think all "hot rod" guitars, or all electric guitars for the advanced player, should have a scalloped option. I'll use the scalloped neck on most, if not all, of my future builds when I'm not going for an old-school vibe.

I'd love to get a scalloped neck with a solid-color painted fretboard (though the fret dressing would be a chore).

To look at the scalloped neck on my last build, see "golden boy" in the Strat gallery.
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
The only real concern I have with scalloping is the long term effect on the neck.  I get my buddies Yngwie model every few months to readjust the truss rod.  It just seems to want to upbow more than any other American Fender I've ever worked on, and he plays on .009's.  I honestly can't say I've  worked on a scalloped W neck though.
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
I don't have any problem with my scalloped boatneck, I haven't adjusted it it at least two years since the last fret level. But I'm not sure why both Warmoth and Fender take out so much wood on the scallops, they could be half as deep and still have the exact same function. Even with the warranty, that standard thin is... thin.... :eek:

(if I wanted my money back instead of the guitar, I wouldna sent the money in the first place :icon_scratch:)

http://www.guitars.greenbuddha.de/index_b.php?mod=gittler&lang=en
 

Sinner

New member
Messages
21
I thought they didn't take out enough wood on the lower frets at least. I have stan. thin also. It had been years since I adjusted the rod on mine. I have had it since 1994 and live in Minnesota so seasonal truss adjustments are usually required. I finally did adjust it this year but only because I wanted it a little more straight.
 
K

kreig

Guest
I got to see the first Warmoth scallop prototype , many, many years ago .  I'd bet Ken would be embarrassed looking back on it .
Vastly improved . Yes , I used the"V" word . . . it goes to show that the more you build ,the better you get .
 
K

kreig

Guest
Thanx stubhead,
for that Youtube ,
It reminds me of some sound-a-like stuff  I did on a non-scallop.

I have'nt checked , but what is this guys tuning?
 

zeroshredder24

New member
Messages
1
I dont know how old this post is so sorry if its old. My opinion is to scallop, but make it a progressive scallop like Ritchie Blackmore. Ritchie was the first to scallop an electric guitar, and yngwie malmsteen saw it from him. Ritchie was malmsteens biggest influence, and then when ritchie said he disliked yngwies music, yngwie denied that he took the scallop idea from ritchie. anyways, I would say get it scaloped barely from frets 1 - 5 and then more and more higher down the neck, so you can chord easier. Just try and find a picture of ritchies strat. the scallop is not hard to get used to and I find it very helpful. Dont worry about the change in pitch. it barely happens. My friend tried to play a scalloped guitar but he couldnt get used to it and if you push too hard it makes it very difficult to slide and it hurts your fingers. So once again you should try it first.
 
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