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[Solved] True temperament fretboard. Is it a thing or just a gimmick?  


Topic starter

Well, as the title says. What do you think?

If anybody is not sure about "true temperament" it basically a special fretboard, intonated from note to note.

For a while now, I am playing with the thoughts to create my own version of it. I have a mini milling machine. If I cut up the fret wire and install it one by one for each note - instead of 1 whole bar - I might be able to make my own perfectly intonated fretboard. What do you think?

Actually, I have already got two fretboard blank. As soon as the neck ready, I would like to try it. If it doesn't work I will stick with the traditional fretboard.

The only thing I don't know if it's worth the effort? I mean my guitars have normal fretboard and to my ears they are just fine. If I create a perfectly intonated fretboard would be like...OMG! It's day and night! 


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Topic starter

To be honest, I have the same feeling about it. Too much hassle for little changes. But since I have a spare fretboard laying around I would like to try my theory nevertheless. Why? Because I am stupid and never listen to common senses even though I do agree with you.

Now, how would you make a fretboard swappable? The only thing I can think of is hot glue.


You ask whether it’s a thing, or a gimmick.


My money is on gimmick.  100%.

Ok, in theory, it’ll be more correct and accurate.  But, will anyone’s ears really hear it?  How perfectly do you have to tune each string to get the benefit of that accuracy?  And how many times *during* the song do you have to tune?

What happens when you bend a string?  Better not bend it into the join between the parts of each fret either ...

And that’s before we get into the practicalities of cutting fret slots, or crowning the frets!

Nope.  I’d rather do a decent job of fretting, levelling, crowning and polishing my “normal” frets.  That’d give me far more benefit than that gimmick!


All IMHO of course!!

Online guitar making courses –

Posted by: @mrdeer

Now, how would you make a fretboard swappable? The only thing I can think of is hot glue.


Difficult to make it swappable without the risk of damaging either the fretboard, or the neck, or both.

*BUT* if you're just doing it as an experiment, and want it to be easily reversible, then how about trying some double sided tape?  Mark swears by the NEC floor tape.  As long as you properly activate it, then might that have enough "stick" to keep the fretboard in place?  After all, there's not a lot of lateral pressure on the fretboard (unless you're trying some extreme string bends).

Alternatively, some little pins, or even some really small screws.  If you put 4 screws in, 2 at each end of the neck, countersink them, and then fill in the holes in the fretboard (sanding the board smooth where you've filled), might that also work?


I'm 100% surmising on both suggestion as I've never tried either!!

Online guitar making courses –

Thanks for the ideas. I have checked some other interchangeable fretboards and they actually use magnets. So, I think double sided tape would be efficient for a temporary experiment.

I am doing the scarf joint this weekend. So, I will come back with some update in a month or so.

Thanks for the input. Really appreciated.


There have been a few guitars with interchangeable microtonal fretboards over the years, mostly (all?) one offs.

Here is one 

As for True Temperament, the difference is subtle, but definitely there. It's not a gimmick in that it really makes a difference, whether that difference is worth the hassle in your particular situation is a personal call. 

Thanks. I have checked the video. They are using some magnet to make it interchangeable. Which makes me believe double sided tape would be sufficient for my experiment.

I am gonna try my own version in a month or so and come back with an update.

Thanks for your comment

I don't think much strength is needed (when you play you're pressing the fretboard onto the neck, not trying to pull it off), the key will be the precise and repeatable location

The placement, exactly. Imagine going through all the hassle with TT frets only to get the fretboard location off by a mm, d’oh!


Personally I think they look ugly and although I have never played a Guitar that has them but can’t see that they are comfy to use?

Most of our guitar hero’s used normal frets and it didn’t do them any harm.?

I have too many guitars...said no one in the world..ever!