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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / SS6150 fret wire on a 7.25" radius and related matters

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Jul 6th, 2019 10:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

My #1 guitar has vintage specs. The neck is an un-extraordinary Allparts 1 PC maple light Vee that I believe is an integral part of this guitar's magic. I would like to keep this guitar for the rest of my life and think a refret is in order. Instead of going with vintage wire I'm thinking SS6150 wire. I have 6150s on one Warmoth neck and like it. An additional consideration is a 7.25 to 9.5 compound re-radius.

So questions: do the compounds transition gradually from 7.25 to 9.5 or is it a straight up transition after a particular fret?

Also, this may be a "ship the neck to a guy" adventure, leaving me with a few things I'm willing to take on (refin, level, crown, etc.).

Ballpark costs?

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Jul 6th, 2019 10:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

Compounds are conical so they transition the entire time. Dan E found many vintage refet guitars to have ended up 9.5" to 12" compound.

7.25" to 9.5" would work and probably help the higher fret bends a bit, but is a fairly subtle compound.

As far as costs, I have no idea.



littleuch
Contributing Member
**********
********

Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Jul 6th, 2019 10:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah I was aware that the 10-16 compounds are conical, wasn't sure of such a slight transition. Makes me wonder if it would be an unnecessary process with larger fret wire that can facilitate the 9.5 radius higher up.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
*********

U.S. - Virginia

Jul 6th, 2019 10:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

That is true, you can probably get that subtle change in the fretwire itself if they are big enough without touching the fretboard.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Jul 6th, 2019 06:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Ballpark is around $7 to $12 per fret (depending on where you live)...installed, leveled, crowned, and polished.

wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jul 7th, 2019 07:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

Many vintage radius guitars have had their upper fret regions flattened to enable bending at a lower string height. Its just a thing -- an older tech trick that provides a little help. Its non technical and sort of a shot in the dark that tends to work most of the time. I've done it lots of times. But you loose fretmeat.

There is a feel to a vintage radius neck but usually the vintage small frets are also part of the feel.

If you've played this guitar to the point that you've worn out the frets, you've obviously played it a lot and I would suggest that you simply refret it as is. A good refret will be better than it originally was because of attention to detail.

littleuch
Contributing Member
**********
********

Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Jul 7th, 2019 10:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

This neck was attended to by a guy in Detroit renowned for his skills. He told me years ago "I stayed up pretty late with this one, I think you'll be ready for a re-fret next time". It still plays well actually and you can tell the upper frets are radiused flatter. I've since gotten into more advanced ventures like leveling and crowning and realized there is very little crown on these frets. They are mostly filed flat. While its stark contrast moving to this guitar from one with bigger wire, I still love the feel of my clumsy finger meat hitting that much fretboard. Do they make vintage wire in stainless steel?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Jul 7th, 2019 10:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes they do.

Look

here.

ejm

usa

Jul 7th, 2019 10:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Also, this may be a "ship the neck to a guy" adventure, leaving me with a few things I'm willing to take on (refin, level, crown, etc.)."

I'm having trouble determining what you want the guy to do.
It sounds like remove the old frets, maybe add the compound radius, and put the new ones in.
Then you do the rest?

One comment on the SS frets.
I have heard that they are difficult to "work" (file, radius, level, etc.).
Do you have the tools, skill set, and patience?

How old are you?
Do you plan on outliving the guitar or the frets?
If not, I'd go with what another poster said.
Refret it with standard nickel silver frets and be done with it.

PS- It's just me, but I'm a big fan of the 7.25 radius.
I recently picked up a beat Warmoth neck, 7.5" (measured), fat/boat carve, with slightly smaller frets.
I'm loving it.
For barre chords, especially on the lower frets, that radius with that back shape, it's the cat's pajamas.
I'm also starting to think that the smaller frets might help with better intonation, depending on a couple of other things.
I also have a Clapton that is 9.5 radius and refretted with 6105 frets that I like, but the Warmoth beater may give it a run for its money.


Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jul 7th, 2019 10:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...Do they make vintage wire in stainless steel?..."

Sure.

Warmoth SS6230 .080"x.043"
Jescar 43080-S .080"x.043"
StewMac 0148 .084"x.039"

littleuch
Contributing Member
**********
********

Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Jul 7th, 2019 11:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I'm having trouble determining what you want the guy to do."

My initial thought was a I'd do a total prep for refret (pull old, sand and refin), leaving the refret for the tech. But the SS option could complicate things as I've only leveled/crowned nickel.

At almost 60 and not currently gigging, maybe I shouldn't worry about it. I wouldn't mind taking the maple back to wood as the original finish (done by Gregg Rogers) has turned into an "exuberant orange".

Achase4u
Contributing Member
*********

U.S. - Virginia

Jul 7th, 2019 01:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'd still go stainless if the doc told me I had 6 months to live.

It holds its polish better than nickel, and any annoying wear that you have to live with because it isn't enough to constitute a dressing just isn't going to happen on stainless for a long time.

wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jul 8th, 2019 08:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

Don't fix it if it ain't broke. I have a client with an early '70s hardtail strat with frets so low and worn they look like strips of crinkled tinfoil. Yet the guitar plays great and he plays out a few times a week. I know that the frets have been like this for at least ten years. I do my best to put mojo in a guitar with precision leveling, hyper tidy crowns and flawless mirror finish polishing and this abomination of fretwork is a slap in the face. I don't want to do the refret for this guy because the guitar has unnatural mojo that I do not understand.

littleuch
Contributing Member
**********
********

Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Jul 8th, 2019 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I don't want to do the refret for this guy because the guitar has unnatural mojo that I do not understand."

I suspect this could be the case with this guitar. Light 2 pc alder body cut by Gregg Rogers in the PNW back when he was on the builder map. A slightly flamey maple Allparts neck that just feels right. A nut that I initially started to cut and was finished off by someone else who said "it's really low but doesn't buzz, let me know if you want me to replace it". Even the saddles and bridge are unbranded aftermarket stuff that I'm afraid contributes to the whole. Fralin Real 54's that are beautiful in this guitar and another set in another guitar left me going "ehh".

I just might be trying to fix something that ain't broke. Hmmm.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / SS6150 fret wire on a 7.25" radius and related matters




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