Joscho's Volkert Fan fret?

billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10

I just saw this youtube link that Joscho sent out of him and Olli Soikkeli playing "Made for Wesley." Beautiful rendition but I also noticed what looks like a fan fret guitar in Joscho's hands. Is it indeed? I can tell it is a Volkert and, while I do read rudimentary German, I wasn't able to find such a model on the Volkert website. The Joscho model pictures there do not seem to show fan frets.

I know other luthiers (e.g. Michael Dunn) have tried the fan fret thing before, but this time the bridge seems very subtle. A simple moustache bridge angled. I like the doesn't make a big deal out of the fact. Anyone seen this instrument used before or know anything about it?

vanmalmsteenBill Da Costa WilliamsBuco


  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Paris swing, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    Posts: 258

    I’m assuming it would increase the scale length of the base side and perhaps shorten the scale on the skinny strings? would be interesting to see how it effects the string tension

  • rudolfo.christrudolfo.christ Worms, GermanyNew Dupont MD-100
    Posts: 45

    I’ve played a 7-string Gypsy Guitar made by Volkert that also had fan frets. You can order every model as 7-string, so I guess the same applies to fan frets. Although the website doesn’t mention it explicitly.

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 757

    It looks like very slight fan fretting job. Unlike this one built by UK luthier Alex Bishop.

    always learning
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 144

    Whoa! Does it have a different sound? What is the scale length for the 1st string? The 6th string? What strings work for it? Is it difficult to play?

  • geese_comgeese_com Madison, WINew Martin Tremblay Grand Modèle Busato
    Posts: 224

    I used to own a couple fan fret Strandberg electric guitars and they were great. It only took a couple hours to get used to the fan frets. It would be interesting to play a GJ guitar with fan frets. I would imagine that with the longer scale length on the bass string that they would play and sound "tighter".

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    edited September 5 Posts: 757

    To be honest I only heard it played once by Stochelo Rosenberg. If memory serves me correctly it didn't sound that different from a standard guitar. I think Stochelo was a bit perplexed by it and, with absolutely no disrespect to Alex Bishop, I suspect it might just be a bit of a stretch - pardon the pun - for most of us to adapt to.

    As for scale lengths I have no idea but I do know that the internal structure, i.e. the bracing, has been adjusted to cope with design and change in tensions.

    always learning
  • Here's a rather more subtle fanned fret guitar I made last year. The fanning is less on this guitar but it's still not an instrument for the light hearted! This guitar is getting pretty far removed from the original Selmer guitars, but it's an ongoing evolution of design for me.

    As both a player and a maker I really like fanned fret guitars. The original thinking behind the idea of fanned frets came about centuries ago when string technology was limited, so it allowed for a broader range of pitches (check out an English lute called the 'Orpharion'). These days with string technology allowing us to take tunings very low on a guitar scale length, the fanning is more about aesthetics, and getting a different tone from a usual set of strings.

    I suspect the subtle fanning on that Volker guitar doesn't change the bracing but makes for something that feels a little more comfortable than the typical instrument. I like it!

    billyshakesBill Da Costa Williams
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 331


    Thanks for your comments! The aesthetics of your instruments are really great. That sound hole "rosette" on the earlier guitar posted is really funky and fun. Very much in character with the extreme fanned frets and general look of the guitar. The chevron-ed back and sides on the guitar you posted are reminiscent to me of the old "Dazzle" camouflage scheme they used on some of the WWI ships. I also like how you angled the top grain to be perpendicular to the bridge angle.

    Bill Da Costa Williams
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