TT Texas History
Guitarist and inventor Anders Thidell spent 15 years developing Curved Frets™ and Dynamic Intonation™.
Anders’s original goal was to make a guitar that would play in true Just Intonation. Unhappy with the dissonances and beating inherent in the standard 12-tone Equal Tempered tuning, Anders began investigating alternative temperaments. He soon started experimenting with adding extra frets, and shifting the positions of others, in an effort to improve the sound and tuning of his guitar.
Many years, and tens of thousands of hours of hard work later, Anders achieved his goal – with a guitar with 56 individually curved and dynamically intonated frets. This long-scale (30”) guitar plays beautifully in Just Intonation, and has received many accolades at music shows in Sweden and Germany. But the instrument was too costly, not to mention difficult to master, to generate enough interest to justify putting it into full production. Anders’ inventions lay fallow for a while, but then he got an order to build a one-off custom guitar for one of the brave souls willing to face the prospect of learning to use all those 56 frets. No longer having the facilities to build it, he teamed up with a long-time friend, guitar technician Paul Guy. Paul has been playing guitar since 1959, and has worked as a guitar builder and repairer in his own workshop in Stockholm since 1980. He is an internationally acknowledged authority in the field of guitar tuning, and a scholar of tuning history and the “forgotten temperaments”, as he likes to call them. Paul and Anders share a common, burning interest in tuning and temperament as it applies to the guitar, and they had had many long discussions about their individual ideas over the years, little realizing that their paths were inexorably converging.
Paul (“Finally!”, he says) saw the inherent potential of Anders’ inventions as applied to a guitar with a “normal” number of frets – not only to optimize the tuning of the 12-tone equal tempered scale to an unprecedented degree, but also to free the guitar from the straitjacket of Equal Temperament entirely, without making it more difficult to play.
In 2010, full time Austinite Anders Nilsson, former president of the Swedish/American chamber of commerce in Austin, and part time Austinite Ola Melzig, world renown Technical Director for Mega Events, decided to team up and investigate the possibilities of bringing the Swedish invention True Temperament Fretting System to the United States and The Americas.
They spent the first two years learning everything there was to know about the product, and the procedures, investigating the market, and searching for potential partners in the Austin area.
True Temperament USA LLC was registered in November 2011, with three owners: Anders Nilsson, Ola Melzig & the inventor himself, Anders Thidell.
There was a license agreement signed between the company and True Temperament AB Sweden, that holds the world wide patent for True Temperament Fretting System: US# 772 8210.
There were also Confidentiality Agreements prepared and signed between True Temperament USA LLC, True Temperament AB Sweden, and local suppliers in the Austin area.
But it was not until fall of 2012 they had completed all the groundwork and were ready to push the GO button. On January 2nd of 2013, Anders Thidell traveled to Austin to train the local partners, and on January 10, the first retrofitted neck was made at the Austin facilities in The United States.
In March 2013, a close cooperation with the German brand VGS Guitars was established. VGS manufactures three different guitars that are equipped with True Temperament Fretting System directly from the factory, and the company became dealers for these two models for The Americas.
The company changed its name to TT TEXAS Guitars LLC in July of 2013. The reasons were that a name with stronger connection to Texas and The United States was desired, but it was also a way to distinguish the company from True Temperament AB in Sweden to avoid confusion on the market.