What is True Temperament and How Does it Work?
Let’s begin by describing the issue with standard equal tempered frets; standard fret spacing is calculated from one single piece of information about the guitar, the scale length. This principle ignores that the frequency of a vibrating string is calculated by three factors: the mass of the string, the tension applied and the speaking length. All three of these factors are affected to different degrees each time a string is pressed down on a fret. The only way to correctly compensate for all three of these parameters is to adjust each string-to-fret connection point independently, until each note plays the correct frequency. This issue, which is impossible to solve with standard tempered frets, is what True Temperament solves.
The History of True Temperament
The True Temperament fretting system was created by Swedish inventor Anders Thidell, who spent over 15 years developing Dynamic Intonation and Curved Frets. Many years ago, Anders performed in a blues trio mixed with Indian and Arabian folk music and couldn´t get the tone he was trying to achieve from his guitar. Anders then realized that the guitar fretboard needed to be modified with curved frets to get the intonated positions in order to achieve the exact tone he was seeking to achieve.
So, in 2005, Anders collaborated with veteran guitar luthier Paul Guy – an international subject matter expert in the field of guitar tuning. Together Thidell and Guy created True Temperament into what the system is today: Feels natural, looks organic, and sounds heavenly!
Components of the True Temperament Fretting System
The True Temperament fretting system works by using Curved Frets™ (sometimes referred to as ‘squiggly line frets’), which is a significant advancement in guitar technology.
Curved Frets™ is a unique blend of cast silicon bronze. The fret fine-tunes the intonation of every single note on the guitar, without affecting playability. True Tempered frets are tuned in the same fashion a piano is tuned – one note at a time. Curved Frets™ play just like standard guitar frets and there is no need to modify playing technique. Bending is not affected.
Dynamic Intonation™ is the process of analyzing thousands exact physical measurements made on the guitar string, vibrating under normal playing conditions. As a result, the fret positions are not calculated mathematically, but in a very musical context.
.strandberg* guitars is now a certified True Temperament provider, having technical expertise in-house to create our guitars using this revolutionary guitar technology. It is possible to order True Temperament on the Per Nilsson signature Singularity model, on many of our custom shop models, and on our Made-to-Measure instruments. For additional info or questions on ordering True Temperament, please email [email protected]
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