Fret slots cut too deep?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by jtwang, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. jtwang

    jtwang Member

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    I got a Allparts SRO-C neck today. Besides it having really sharp fret ends (easy fix) I noticed that the fret slots seem to be cut considerably deeper than the height of the fret's tang. I can't recall seeing this on any other neck except ultra cheap Chinese toy guitars.

    I'm not sure what's my play here. Will these (too) deep fret slots be a problem? Is this common? Should I return the neck?
     
  2. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    It may have gone unnoticed before because they are usually filled at the ends, but that's pretty much the norm, whether on a cheap or expensive guitar. Nothing to worry about.
     
  3. Gris

    Gris Member

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    I've gotten em both ways from Allparts. Erlewine says it's a tone sucker and the slots should be filled under the frets. Seems obssessive and difficult to accomplish to me, but he might be right - who knows. My #1 and best sounding partscaster has NO room under the fret tangs. They probably can find you one with no space...
     
  4. jtwang

    jtwang Member

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    Thanks for replies, guys.

    So fret slots and tangs not measuring exactly the same is standard and this is usually touched up by filling the ends? Cool info, I didn't know that. What are they using for this job? Grain filler?

    Edit: After posting this, I looked up close on a MIM 60's Classic. It shows exactly the same "too" deep fret slots, however it is barely noticeable - I never noticed it before - because the ends under the frets are filled.
     
  5. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Remember that the frets are not dressed on kit necks and deeper slots is not an issue.
     
  6. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    I can see filling existing fret slots as being a pain. But it's simple enough for the manufacturer to cut to the right depth on new boards.
     
  7. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    Pet peeve of mine for years.

    I've often wondered just how difficult it is for manufacturers to keep this dimension within an acceptable spec. I think the tone aspect has to do with maximizing the amount of fret material that is in contact with the wood, and yes, I believe that it matters.

    I am pretty anal about this when I refret, and I feel it pays off in a more resonant instrument.

    And I have the same problem with about half of the Allparts necks I get, but as I refret most all of them with bigger (and longer tang) wire, it doesn't make me too terribly nutty, I live with it...
     
  8. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Seems to me that a couple extra thou under the fret tang helps ensure full seating against the fretboard, and that is more important that a hair or two of space. (maybe I'm missing something, again.)

    Tonesuckers? Doesn't Parker glue on the frets? Is that the ultimate way to prevent tone loss? I suspect there are more much important considerations.
     
  9. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    The reason for the gap under the fret is clearly to allow for manufacturing errors, as it's all but impossible to maintain that close a tolerance unless you are hand-building everything. My niggle is simply the amount of a gap I see on some instruments - sometimes it's as much as an 1/8th" on some cheaper models.

    I admit some of this stuff borders on the way-too-anal, but this is one area where I'd like to see the mfgrs. try to hold some tighter tolerances.

    Funny thing about the Parkers - I have one in my shop at the moment because the frets are falling off of it, and I've had to get real creative in re-installing them as there is no tang on the frets, because there are no fret slots! :AOK
     
  10. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    The frets only fall off Parkers when there owners decide to clean the fingerboards with solvents.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    or when the owner gigs in the steamier regions of central and south america, as one guy i ran into whose parker had several detached frets does.

    how have you guys fixed them? superglue didn't want to hold very well for me.
     
  12. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    You need to get the glue from Parker .
     
  13. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    Good call Walter! (or didja just look at my address?)

    Parker hasn't responded to my emails, and I'm reduced to using cyno in the meantime. The guitar came to me before, and I refused it due to the fact that I couldn't come up with a clever way to re-affix them.

    Funny thing is the adhesive they use isn't hard, (like cyanoacrylate) and I wonder if that's how it's supposed to be, or if it degrades to this state because of, well, our steamier region down here.:cool:

    It came back, and I took pity on the guy - now I'm commited (or should be):huh

    Sorry about el derailo!
     
  14. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    There is a kit that contains fret spacers (tiny beads that space the fret exactly right and leave a glue gap, this also sets the hight of the fret to not require any fret work)and glue . Try the Parker Forum.
     
  15. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that - I'm gonna see if I can't scare one of those up, as it is exactly what I need.
     
  16. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    likewise!
     

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