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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / frett sprout

Previous 20 Messages  
Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 6th, 2019 04:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

It seems that nickel silver is mostly copper! How'd they manage to keep them looking silvery!?

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 6th, 2019 04:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

"In the 20s and 30s, brass fret wire was common because it was cheap and easy to draw through forming dies. They were quite soft and didn't last as long as modern nickel alloys."


Yea but, how about that brass TONE.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 06:59 PM, May 6th, 2019)

cedarchoper58

62 Strat Man

May 6th, 2019 05:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

do stainless fretts change the tone

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

May 6th, 2019 06:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don’t think I can hear a difference with SS frets. It’s the only thing I’ll order on a Warmoth neck these days.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 6th, 2019 07:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've been using stainless fretwire on all my builds for more than 10 years and I don't notice any 'spikiness' or other added highs like some players claim.

Heck--there's a tone control on the guitar, and there's even a backup tone control on the amp, so I have no idea what they're griping about.

Even if there were a tonal difference, the smooth, glassy feel and almost permanent longevity of the material make SS frets a no-brainer anyway.

Sharkie
Contributing Member
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North ON, Canada

May 6th, 2019 08:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have to agree with Leftee and PG. If you have a choice, go SS. Great feel, no change in tone and no maintenance.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

May 6th, 2019 09:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

It’s a *little* harder to level, crown and polish. But it isn’t that bad, really.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 6th, 2019 09:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Heck--there's a tone control on the guitar, and there's even a backup tone control on the amp, so I have no idea what they're griping about."

Just wait til you get asked to add 50 turns to a pickup to remedy this. How in the world did guitar players with only stock pickups in the 50s ever survive lol.

I can't say that I detect any appreciable difference in tone on the SS frets. That's not the same as saying it isn't there. But it is so subtle it gets lost in all the other more unique features of the guitar that have more affect on the tone anyway.

They are a bit harder to level, but darn they hold polish well.

That's one thing I noticed when I spent months working in a boutique guitar manufacturers shop and machine shop. The harder the material, the better it polishes, though it does take longer.

SS should really be the standard, honestly. They have to be done right, though because any chatter marks left in will basically never get played out like on nickel frets. One tiny, tiny scratch left in will feel like a mountain on SS frets.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
May 7th, 2019 11:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...one little scratch" yep.

I have a damaged, arthritic, and deformed index finger from exactly that. Luckily I have more fingers.

DrKev

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
May 7th, 2019 11:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

Warmoth have done a whole series of very cool tests on their YouTube channel including...

...stainless steel vs nickel silver on the same guitar and SAME NECK!

Yes, they recorded a guitar with nickel silver frets, refretted the same guitar neck with stainless and recorded again. (They even recorded the same guitar multiple times across different days to show you what day-to-day variatioon in playing sounds like).

So, nickel silver vs stainless...

There is possibly a very small extra brightness to stainless steel. But frankly if you need to refret the same neck and compare recordings to suspect that the effect is actually there, that difference is smaller than guitar-to guitar variation. In other words, too small to worry about!

And yes, stainless frets are awesome.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 7th, 2019 12:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I have a damaged, arthritic, and deformed index finger from exactly that. Luckily I have more fingers."

Arthritis sucks, man. Sorry. I've got plenty of issues myself from leaning over making pickups and working on guitars etc since I was a teenager.


Benefits of SS abound, another thing to consider is refrets per neck. Now, some of us may never need to refret a neck on a guitar because we don't bend a ton or play 8 hours a day and shows on weekends, but for many pros with vintage instruments, there is some consideration about the fretboard and slots. If the fingerboard needs leveling between refrets(which some techs swear by), you will be running out of material eventually. There were some round-lam 60s Fender necks that would come in to the guitar shop that had barely any rosewood left.

Stainless frets = not only less dressings, less refrets.

I rest my case.

DrKev - this is sort of what I suspected. Very cool videos that Warmoth does. I was surprised actually, how much I could hear between ash, alder and 'hogany bodies.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 02:20 PM, May 7th, 2019)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 7th, 2019 01:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

Years ago I asked wrnchbndr to refret both my CS Strat and CS Tele with SS fret wire. He is a freaking Yoda with fretwork and it was worth every penny.

Both guitars play and sound just like they did when I got the necks back. No wear; not even any marks on the frets' tops. Springtime fresh--just like the day they were born.

Bigfoot
Contributing Member
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Indy

When I get older, losing my hair...
May 21st, 2019 10:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

I bought my 1978 Tele Deluxe from Cowtown in Las Vegas via the Internet. Certainly a gamble not being able to play it but the pictures they sent and discussions eased my fears. I live in Indiana with humidity running between about 50-90 year round. When the Tele arrived it had severe fret sprout. Fortunately I waited 1 month and the problem went away. I am glad I didn't get the file out.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
May 22nd, 2019 07:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

More often than I should, I'll get a client in the shop with a brand new guitar and wanting a setup. I'll get to the point eventually....
My first thought is that they shouldn't have purchased the instrument if they didn't absolutely love it. I could really rant about this but its pointless and mostly the perspective of a grumpy geezer who resisted getting a cell phone for an inappropriate number of years. I don't believe people should buy guitars on the internet but the fact remains that they do. I buy a lot of stuff online and mostly do okay so I gotta get over it.

I ask these people who buy these less than lovable guitars to wait three to six months before they bring me the guitar for a setup. I'll happily do a trussrod adjustment and tweek the saddles to make the guitar playable if needed and I'll pronounce a verdict if I find something that would qualify as a warranty return or deal breaker issue.

I've probably addressed a few hundred instances of fret sprout and uncomfortable sharp fret ends. I have yet to encounter a problem or any client complaint of issues related to the fretboard becoming re-humidified. I think its a good idea to hold off a little and let the guitar settle but if you do address fret sprout on an overly dry guitar, I don't believe that there will be problems later.

Steve Dallman

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Jun 2nd, 2019 07:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

I lived in Appleton WI for over 30 years. Around 10 years ago, I was in Guitar Center and found the worst fret sprout I've ever seen on a new Fender. Out of curiosity, I spent the next hour checking unbound neck guitars for fret sprout.

EVERY Fender and Squier in the store had it, from the cheapest Squier to the most expensive Custom Shops and signature models.

On the other hand, no Ibanez, Epiphone, Yamaha, or brand unbound necks had it.

The Line 6 Variax 5 string bass I bought there around the same time did.

That GC ended up hiring a guitar tech friend of mine to go through all the Fenders and take care of the fret sprout. He also came in weekly for an hour or two to take care of customers' guitars purchased there.

The store had monitored humidity levels. Fret sprout is an issue in Wisconsin with our cold, dry winters. BUT take care of it during the dry cold season and it's done for good.

FWIW, I worked in a Green Bay music store repairing amps. We had a large collection of 60's cheap Japanese guitars on the upper walls. Just for fun, I checked them on day. None had been set up at all, and all had been there for years. They were just for decoration.

Not one had any fret sprout.

We had a particularly brutal winter. I had to touch up a couple of my guitars that had been OK. I started using a "Musician's Glove" due to a sweating condition I developed that kills my strings, but usually only with bass. The glove catches on fret ends that I can't feel with my bare hands, so a bit of fret end touch up is needed.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 2nd, 2019 11:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'll confirm, never on an Ibanez or a Yamaha. Only a few times on an Epiphone but these were certainly entry level.

Bubbalou
Contributing Member
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Jun 3rd, 2019 05:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have both the Stewmac and Fretzero versions and like slightly like the fret zero version better for removing fret sprout.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 3rd, 2019 10:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...Fretzero..."

Fretzero? We do not know this Fretzero. Perhaps FretGuru you meant?

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 12:14 PM, Jun 4th, 2019)

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 3rd, 2019 10:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

I do not know Fretzero either.

I do not like zero frets - Sam I am.

Bubbalou
Contributing Member
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Jun 6th, 2019 03:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

Te 52, you are correct, I meant Fret Guru. Thanks for bringing that up ;)

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / frett sprout




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