FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.


Apex Tube Matching

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Musician's Friend


Advertise here

Antique Electronics Supply

Guitar Center

WD Music

Amplified Parts

Jensen Loudspeakers

* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder



Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Stainless frets on a Strat?

Next 20 Messages  

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Jan 8th, 2016 11:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm considering getting a new Warmoth neck for my Strat, because I have fallen in love with compound radius! My custom Lipe has it, and I've recently been playing my guitar student's Tele Deluxe, which I love, and did not realize until recently it also has a compound radius.

I'm considering getting stainless steel frets, so they will last longer. Is there a significant tone difference? I'm guessing they may be a little brighter than nickel. I also want a rosewood neck instead of the maple I have now, so I wonder if that will mitigate any of the added brightness of the frets. Anything else I should know about stainless?

Also, for a modern neck, I should ask for Schaller size tuner holes, right?

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Jan 8th, 2016 11:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

SS is the way to go.
Tone is the total of the whole guitar.

Schaller size holes if that's what you're using.

Warmoth makes GREAT stuff.


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Jan 8th, 2016 11:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks. Yes, tone is the whole of the guitar, but is there a difference between SS and nickel?

And what I have is Fender locking tuners. The Warmoth site is a little unclear as to what tuner hole I should get....

(This message was last edited by gdw3 at 01:49 PM, Jan 8th, 2016)

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Jan 8th, 2016 12:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

Measure to be sure, but yes, it appears the Schaller sized hole is the way to go.

(Schaller probably made them for Fender anyway).

SS frets will last forever, a lifetime investment.

If you're a guy who wears out frets, then you should consider them.

Theoretically, the harder fret would sound brighter, but there's no real science to back it up, and a whole lot of Internet lore out there.

P.S. There's plenty of Nickel in Stainless Steel.

A Guy Who Works In A Steel Mill

External link

(This message was last edited by Pinetree at 02:36 PM, Jan 8th, 2016)


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Jan 8th, 2016 12:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Great! Thanks for the info.

Contributing Member

Subtropical Florida

Jan 8th, 2016 01:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm tempted to do stainless sometime, it's just that I usually go for the "in stock" offerings. I have heard reports all over the map as to the affect they have on tone. I believe Peegoo here is a big advocate. I don't know if it's still posted there, but I recall Tommy at USACG opining that he didn't like them even though he offered them.

Another intriguing offering from Warmoth is the Gibson scale conversion.

Contributing Member

Chain Smokin'

Gas Station Attendant
Jan 8th, 2016 03:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

Many makers don't like SS fret wire because it is extremely hard on tooling---even diamond grit files--and it takes a while to polish to a mirror shine. That translates to more hours of labor and increased costs, which reduces the market share of the product.

I happen to love SS frets. They don't sound too bright, like many people might have you believe.

And even if they did sound bright, your guitar has a tone control to roll off the highs anyway.

"Shame! Shame on you, stainless steel frets! Shame on you for making my guitar too bright and holding my tone control hostage!"

Contributing Member

Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Jan 8th, 2016 04:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

What Peegoo said, well not necessarily exactly like he said it. :-)

Whatever miniscule brightness the SS frets might add to the sound, you should be able to EQ it out pretty easily.

Contributing Member

Irishman in Paris

Forget Tone - go with Note Choice
Jan 9th, 2016 09:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

Most the people I know with SS frets say any tonal difference is no bigger than the random differences between any two otherwise similar guitars. Unless people are told before hand about the frets they are playing, they cannot tell the difference.

But the real experts can tell the difference and it has nothing to do with tone...

Clicky Herey

E.C. Strat


Woke up this mornin.....
Feb 23rd, 2016 05:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

I recently played a friends with SS & holy smoke 11's felt like 9's. Defo go that route if I was building the dream neck.

FDP Data Goon

When I sin

I sin real good
Feb 23rd, 2016 06:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

I can't tell the difference in sound on fret material on the guitars I've played.

Then again, I *like* stainless strings.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Feb 23rd, 2016 06:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like stainless steel frets so much that I had both necks on my CS Fenders refretted with stainless by Our Monsta Brutha wrnchbndr.

He is a *wizard* with this, and it would've been a bargain even if he had charged me twice what he charged to do the work.

Don't tell him I said that.

Contributing Member

Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Jul 26th, 2016 03:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

I was recently offered the option on a strat I'm having refretted and neck refinished but the cost was a bit prohibitive to me.

Contributing Member

United States

Jul 27th, 2016 09:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

I took a Strat in for an estimate on a stainless refret. I wanted them to keep the fingerboard finish (the guitar has sentimental value) and I was quoted $680 for the job. It can indeed be cost-prohibitive!


Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Jul 29th, 2016 05:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'd get another estimate on that fret job.

That's outrageous!

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

Jul 29th, 2016 09:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have had several of my acoustics refretted with SS frets and noticed zero change in tone. For me, it's the only way to go from here to the finish line.

My shop charged $100 extra to do the refrets in SS. Small premium to pay given the added longevity.


(This message was last edited by 6L6 at 11:20 AM, Jul 29th, 2016)


Charlotte, NC

Shiny dog
Aug 5th, 2016 12:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

My Warmoth partsocaster has SS frets, and I would never have it any other way. I've played the crap out of it for years and no wear whatsoever. As far as tonal differences I have no idea, but mine sounds great.

old time fender player

United States

Sep 22nd, 2016 11:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

the only issue with stainless frets is they are hard. this makes installation more difficult and leveling and dressing are a little more problematic.

old time fender player

United States

Sep 22nd, 2016 11:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

i do refrets on old fender necks quite often. 250 for a rosewood and 350 for maple. 50 extra for stainless frets. that 650 quote was a bit much.


Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Feb 17th, 2017 05:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

I can see it being more expensive on a maple neck strat where you have to protect or replace the finish during a refret, but yeah, 650 is an "I really don't want to do it" price..

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Stainless frets on a Strat?

Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:

Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2019 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved