In your opinion, which strings "eat" frets faster?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by piloto117, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. piloto117

    piloto117 Member

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    I'm kind of curious to know if not only the material of which the strings are made of (nickel, steel, etc), but also gauge (thinner cuts more?) and string core shape (hex, round) plays a significant role in fretwear.
    What's your take?
     
  2. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I think they're all about the same with the exception of nylon. I mean it's metal on metal.
     
  3. snowblind56

    snowblind56 Member

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    I found Dean Markley Blue Steels to wear my frets faster.
     
  4. Dev...in

    Dev...in Low Voltage Silver Supporting Member

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    steel is harder, and wears frets faster than pure nickel. It does depend on other factors. The best way i think to avoid unecessary fretwear is to change strings somewhat frequently (at least 4 times a year imo) depending on use. Polished clean frets will last longer. Also there are various grades and inconsistancies in fretwire which determine how soft or hard the material is.

    fwiw: I used to use GHS boomers, these were harder on my frets than the pure nickles i use now.
     
  5. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    Aren't "pure nickel" strings just nickel wrapped steel on the wound strings?
     
  6. Dev...in

    Dev...in Low Voltage Silver Supporting Member

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    "nickel wound" is nickel wrap. In short yes. But if you buy a slightly more fancy "pure nickel" set the plains are nickel coated or contain some nickel. The string industry is very murky about this. Mostly because the proportion of specific mentioned alloys is the secret formula. Whatever the case may be some really bright strings even use stainless on the wrap, which is still harder than most frets and therefore sorta bad for your frets. YMMV. Live fast play, hard and don't worry about your frets.

    but please change your strings! all the worst looking frets i have ever seen belonged to guitarists who say "oh i only change strings when i break one"
     
  7. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    ^^^ cool, thanks for the info!
     
  8. GAD

    GAD Wrinkled Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Change them before they rust and your frets will last forever.

    edit - yup - what he said. :)
     
  9. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Member

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    Stainless steel strings will wear your frets out faster.
     
  10. tracye

    tracye New Member

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    Great sounding strings and that they are fret eaters is nonsenseRotosounds will also eat through your frets.your fingers will be more relaxed, and you can play faster, cleaner and more effortless all at the same time.
     
  11. RocksOff

    RocksOff Member

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    Stainless steel will eat softer frets faster. Basic science.
     
  12. straycat113

    straycat113 Member

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    I change my strings at least once a month.A few small but important issues come into play when it comes to the life of your frets. First off if you are a blues based player and do a lot of bending your frets are going to wear out faster than someone playing shred or jazz where they are not bending anywhere near as much. Second and the most simple but neglected rule- wipe down your strings after each session. I see a lot of guys just wipe down the top of their strings-big mistake! Grab each string separately holding the top and bottom and slide up and down from the bridge to the nut. What happens is that all that crut on the bottom gets hard and starts cutting into your frets. The coolest little gadget I have come across in the last few years is the -Tone Gear String Cleaner Tool, which clamps down on all 6 strings and cleans both top and bottom evenly.-
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...XGB&ZYXSEM=0&gclid=CJSoyp6Ayq4CFUHf4Aodmwtr_Q
     
  13. omfg51

    omfg51 Member

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    I literally MUST change my strings every 2 weeks at the longest. They die so quickly. I have pure acid hands :D
     
  14. RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Member

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    IMO... the strings that "eat" frets the fastest are the ones that get played the most.
    If you play a lot you're going to wear out the frets on your guitar, the type of strings used doesn't matter.
     
  15. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Gold Supporting Member

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    Bending strings has nothin to do with it...playin the same chords over and over does. I play all over the board which means I'm putting little pressure on each fret for limited amounts of time - people who stick to "cowboy chords" tend to wear out the first 3-4 frets first. Blues players who play around E mostly wear out the first few and around the 12th fret.

    As someone who performs MANY times a year and plays everyday, changing your strings on a regular basis and cleaning your frets is key. A simple wipe down and/or light polish of your frets will do wonders, regardless of which strings you're using.

    I'm always saddened when I buy a "new" nice guitar from someone on here and the strings are rusty and the frets are dull...it's like changing the oil in your car!
     
  16. piloto117

    piloto117 Member

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    What about gauge? Does anyone believe that thinner gauges wear frets faster?
     
  17. flathead

    flathead Member

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    What about phosphor bronze strings versus bronze strings?
    Don't know if its true, but I was told the phosphor bronze strings wear out frets faster
     
  18. vanguard

    vanguard Member

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    i want to know about cobalt. sounds interesting, but seems like it would kick some nickel-fret ass.
     
  19. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Silver Supporting Member

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    My GHS Boomers 11s destroy everything. Three and half year old 6100 fret wire is already in need of repair. My 19 year old SRV Strat needs a refret like crazy.
     
  20. piloto117

    piloto117 Member

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    I guess it's basic physics. If one surface is harder that the other, during friction the surface with the softer material will wear down faster. But I'm not too sure about the gauge because on one side you might say that a heavier gauge string is harder, has more mass and more contact with the fret; but on the other hand a lighter/thinner string gauge has more "penetration". I don't know exactly how to decribe this last concept any better except that a thinner wire can cut easier than a thicker wire; like a knife or a saw.
    The other factor I'd like to see discussed is the core. Your opinions on hex core vs round core?
     

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