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Thread: 22 Frets vs. 24 Frets: What are the advantages?

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    Junior Member Ampguy's Avatar
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    22 Frets vs. 24 Frets: What are the advantages?

    At the sake of showing my ignorance, I am asking: What are the advantages / disadvantages of one design over the other? Obviously, there are two more frets on a 24 fret model and the scale is different from a 22 fret. But am I missing anything else? I have three 22 fret PRS models and one 24 fret PRS model. I really don't notice much difference in playing them. I am more of an amp guy (obviously), so what don't I know about these two concepts? I think someone once told me that if you are a strat player, the 24 fret PRS is less of a challenge to switch over to. I am asking the guitar aficiandos out there to enlighten me and perhaps others out there. Thanks.

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    The scale isn't changed from 22 to 24 frets on a PRS, it is still 25" scale. The bridge moves slightly towards the neck on a 24 fret guitar and the neck joins the body at a higher fret. This results in more hand clearance when playing in the higher registers than on a 22 fret guitar. It also hangs a little different, the 24 fret will feel ever so slightly longer. I prefer 24 fret PRSi for the reasons that the bridge position feels more natural to my right hand and I am not so crowded when playing in higher registers, even if I rarely go above the 20th fret.

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    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Personally i get lost on a 24 fret guitar,so thats a disadvantage .I guess bass pickup closer to the bridge makes a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swede71 View Post
    Personally i get lost on a 24 fret guitar,so thats a disadvantage
    Can you explain this? I never understood this statement... is it simply because the neck joins at a different fret, or what?

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    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Im not sure what it is dantedayjob,i guess it is musclememory from having played only 22 fret guitars for so long. I would love to own a custom 24 though,customs my fav.
    Last edited by swede71; 07-15-2012 at 08:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swede71 View Post
    Im not sure what it is dantedayjob,i guess it is musclememory from having played only 22 fret guitars for so long.
    Interesting... I guess it's different for different people... what really screws me up is the size of the neck... if it is too thin or too thick I will get lost... or if I have been playing a Strat and then switch to a Gibson the shorter scale will mess me up... but having 2 more frets with a Cu24, or one less with a Strat doesn't seem to matter

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    Junior Member Ampguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dantedayjob View Post
    The scale isn't changed from 22 to 24 frets on a PRS, it is still 25" scale. The bridge moves slightly towards the neck on a 24 fret guitar and the neck joins the body at a higher fret. This results in more hand clearance when playing in the higher registers than on a 22 fret guitar. It also hangs a little different, the 24 fret will feel ever so slightly longer. I prefer 24 fret PRSi for the reasons that the bridge position feels more natural to my right hand and I am not so crowded when playing in higher registers, even if I rarely go above the 20th fret.
    Thanks for the info. I knew that someone out there knew more about guitars.

  8. #8
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    I have a hard time thinking in terms of advantages or disadvantages of one versus the other.
    Personally I favour the 22 fret because I like having more of the string vibrating over the body. This might be a bias developed from acoustics where I'm a big fan of a 12 fret which has half of the string over the body, but I have convinced myself that the tone of the 22 fret is a bit richer - meaning more of the mid range harmonics. This might be different if I didn't tend to play mostly between the 5th and 15th fret.
    I do have a 24 fret which I use maybe 20% of the time. Sometimes I just want access to those higher notes, especially when playing with a piano player mate who strongly believes that all the best songs are in the key of E - and it is convenient to have a full 4 octaves to duke it out with him.

  9. #9
    Carvin Striations cwhenke's Avatar
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    I agree with swede...I get lost on the 24-fretters. Everything is just in the wrong place...I know it's fractions of inches, but it makes a HUGE difference in the feel. And, by the time I get down to the first fret, it feels like I have to really stretch my arm out there.
    Too many and never enough...

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    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    I like the option of having two full octaves...but it's just that, it's an option, and I rarely take advantage of it.

    When I started getting back into playing again, I became obsessed with having 24 frets, read all of the Ed Roman stuff, etc. about how the pickups cannot possibly be placed in the right position on a 22 fret guitar. Now that I have both 22 and 24 fret American and Korean PRS's, I call shenanigans. I like both.

    I have short arms and I do find it easier to play the 22 fretters - my SE Santana and SE 245 are especially comfy because of the short scale length. I also find it easier to pull off artificial harmonics on the 22 fretters, maybe it's because of where I pick in relation to the pickup? Dunno...but I like that we have both.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by CantankerousCarl View Post
    When I started getting back into playing again, I became obsessed with having 24 frets, read all of the Ed Roman stuff, etc. about how the pickups cannot possibly be placed in the right position on a 22 fret guitar. Now that I have both 22 and 24 fret American and Korean PRS's, I call shenanigans. I like both.
    Yeah, Ed Roman thought he knew a lot...I always wondered about his medications...

    Only Ed knew how to make a guitar. That's why his name is a household word among guitarists, why a Roman guitar is such a classic instrument, etc. I don't know what-all we were thinking playing anything but a Roman electric for the past 60 years. How could all those 22 fret guitars Gibson, PRS and even Fender made over the years possibly be any good?

    If you studied what was known about aerodynamics at one time, you'd learn that a bumblebee couldn't fly, too.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 07-16-2012 at 10:09 PM.

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    Have and play both 22 & 24 fret PRSi and in different scale length and can understand many of the comments above, I have on occasion in the middle of an improvised solo glance down and jumped to the 15th instead of the 12th fret when playing me Santana ( I tend to play 22 fret most of the time recently) but there are other things to take into consideration, how often do you use the extra 2 frets, the position of the neck pickup can make certain harmonics easier or harder (different on 22 and 24 neither better just different). Allegedly the 22 fret neck was supposed to give better neck body connection and sustain (my Santana & CU24 do not seem to understand this rule :-) ) So for me the differences are subtle and as I now play various guitars it does not effect me too much but I know back in the day when I had only one guitar that I played for hours a day I could play practically any note or chord blindfold the slight differences between my guitars has robbed me of that ability.
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  13. #13
    I had both 24 and 22 fret guitars. I prefer 22 frets because of the way the neck pickup sounds. To me, it sounds more "vintagey", more pleasant to the ear. True, the neck pickup will sometimes sound muddier on the 22 fret guitar, but if you have a decent pickup adjusted to the right height it should be fine.

    And I read that stuff on Roman's website as well and tbh, I couldn't care less even if the scientists at CERN would prove to me that 24 frets leads to a better pickup position.
    Alex

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    An advantage with a CU24 is that you can tune down a whole step and still be able to play every note as you would on a 22 fret guitar tuned to standard. I've read people say that they get lost on 24 frets. I find the opposite. Given the extra fret marker I find it easier to relate everything I do on the first 12 frets to the next 12. I guess it's all what you're used to. I know the neck pickup doesn't sound the same because of the placement but when I turn my tone knob down to five and play some leads I think the neck pickup (59/09's) sounds amazing! I own a Les Paul and find it very hard to reach the 22nd fret comfortably. With my CU24 the 22nd fret is no problem! Still I always wondered why PRS made so many 22 fret guitar models. Is it because they are better than 24 frets? (Can't be, look how many CU24's they sell.) Or simply is there just a higher demand for them because majority of the population grew up on 22 frets and that's what most people want. Or is it because the CU24 is so bad ass that they don't need any more 24 fret models. I've always been curious.

  15. #15
    Searching for the sound tdarian's Avatar
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    I prefer 22 frets on a honkin big neck.
    If I Told You All That Went Down It Would Burn Off Both Of Your Ears

  16. #16
    Senior Member AP515's Avatar
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    It takes me about 10 minutes to switch between a 22 or 24. After that my fingers remember where they are. The neck pups do sound different but I like both. The neck pup on my Cu24 turned down to about 7 is bliss clean. The 57/08 in my Cu22 is PAF heaven dimed. Different sounds but both tasty. Enchaladas one night, pasta the next...
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  17. #17
    Having just gotten my first 24 fret, I have been getting used to it over the past few weeks. First thing I notice is where my right hand rests in relation to the bridge. There's less room for my hand then my 22 fret guitars. This has forced me to relearn where my hand should be for muting strings and pinch harmonics and stuff. Some Van Halen stuff requires me to mute the E string but strum the rest and I find that the less room requires me to adjust my technique. As for the neck and getting up high, like others have said, even if you do not need the 2 extra frets, its just nice to be able to reach the 22nd fret so much easier.

    There's defintely some "muscle memory" things going on too forcing me to look down more often. It's all little things really, and switching between the 22 and 24 only really takes a few mins to adjust. I'm no pro by any means, actually I probably suck, so if I can do it, anyone can. I do love my Custom 24 so far, just a gorgeous instrument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodicus View Post
    .. I've read people say that they get lost on 24 frets. I find the opposite. Given the extra fret marker I find it easier to relate everything I do on the first 12 frets to the next 12.
    Me too.

  19. #19
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    24 fret necks with birds get an owl. 22 fretters don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    24 fret necks with birds get an owl. 22 fretters don't.

    OWL FTW!

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