Fret wire big vs little

PLAYLOUD

Member
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2,254
Many, many post I read everyone wants big frets, like 6100 or 6000. However, I've played vintage guitars with original fret wire like 6230, those just felt great and my next guitar will have them. My current guitar has 6100SS. I don't recall a distinct feel or tonal difference. What do you say? Bigger is better or vintage small is the way to go?
 

Shane Sanders

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1,564
I think the baseline is about what a player is used to, but my own feelings about it are that super jumbo stainless frets offer more long term value because you've got a lot of meat on them to re-crown if it ever even came to be needed and plus, they feel wonderfully smooth, continually look smooth once polished properly, and the taller varieties feel somewhat scalloped, so that you can really get some flesh around that string and wring a lot out of it.
 

DavidH

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2,367
I have 6100ss in my main guitars and find myself hankering after something lower at times. 6150 type of size has always felt like a good compromise to me- tall enough to get under but with enough contact with the board for the extra chord stability you get with lower frets (where tall stainless can feel a bit like you're slipping around on top of the frets with trickier fingerings). There's advantages to both though, really is a matter of preference, I like both for different reasons.
 

circle_o_5ths

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Messages
6,735
Depending on how hard you squeeze your fretting hand, taller frets can lead to playing sharp.

I prefer medium frets, otherwise sliding down a string feels like running over a series of speed bumps. Thankfully the advent of SS fret wire has eliminated the fear of more refrets if using shorter wire.
 

71strat

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9,259
I had a custom made LP 59 Burst made, using all of the old wood ect ect ecct.

1 of the criteria of the build was that it had to have Vintage 6230 frets. Deal Breaker if not available.

But it was no problem, and they also let me pick any profile from the Beauty of the Burst Book. I got a Fat .92-1.02 profile

Another nice fret that is only slightly larger than the 6230.... ( .080 x .043 ) comes from USA Custom Guitars.

It is 6125. .095 x .047. I like to have my guitars Pleked, and it basically gives a little extra metal to file down and be closer to 6230 height when finished.

If you Plek a 6230 it takes it down further.

I had USACG make a 12 Radius Strat neck with these frets a few yers ago. Great neck.frets for someone that likes more vintage.

But that's as far as I go. I don't like any other frets than these 2. Deal Breaker for me.

Also the Original LP from the 50s, up until Mid 59 had Vintage Frets. The LP Custom continued to use Vintage Frets
 

GGinMP

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,122
I'm not super picky, but the two Danocasters I have have great frets. He uses Jescar medium jumbos ("like a 6105 that's been dressed a few times...").
 

vintagelove

Member
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2,547
If your playing requires demanding technical work, imo, there's nothing worse than little vintage frets and vintage radius.

Despite that, many folks managed to make great music on them.


Second in awfulness are the old "low wide" railroad tie Gibson frets. It feels like you're playing in mud.
 

Chuckracer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,222
One of my guitars (of the two I own) has 6100's and I would love a lower fret. I think I'm going to have these ground down to .043 or so...would the fret width cause any problems? Or should I just have it re-fretted?
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,990
Many, many post I read everyone wants big frets, like 6100 or 6000. However, I've played vintage guitars with original fret wire like 6230, those just felt great and my next guitar will have them. My current guitar has 6100SS. I don't recall a distinct feel or tonal difference. What do you say? Bigger is better or vintage small is the way to go?
I think it's feel more than anything else. I grip hard, the bigger frets keep me from getting 'too much' board with my fingers..the way it feels anyway.
I seem to prefer a 6150 size..
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,975
It's a personal choice.
If your fingers absorb the string and you hit the board so that when you bend, esp in a sweaty stage condition, the string simply slides right out as your finger rides over it you NEED big ones.
Not your problem? No problem.
 

chinstrap

Member
Messages
1,072
6150 as suggested by big mike. Love em, lots of meat, great for bending for me, and still not a fret that feels too jumbo.
 

1radicalron

Member
Messages
2,056
6105 are my favorites as well. Lots of meat! Although I have a Tele with jumbo 6100's that plays and sounds incredible.
 

deejayen

Member
Messages
768
I'm not sure of the numbers, but I've played smaller frets with 7.25" radius fretboards for years. I wondered if I was missing out on something, so I recently bought a Gibson with shorter scale length, 12" radius fretboard, and large frets, and I really don't like it - the frets being my least favourite part of the package. At least I've satisfied myself that I'm more comfortable with what I've been playing!
 




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