Fret wire comparison, what do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by TBIRD Phil, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. TBIRD Phil

    TBIRD Phil Member

    Jan 25, 2009
    San Pedro, CA
    I was wondering what the size difference of fret wire has on a guitar. What are the advantages/disadvantages of having say med jumbo frets over something smaller. Is there a style of music that leans towards a certain size?
  2. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    The Twilight Zone
    Big frets mean better grip on the strings allowing you to wring every nuance out of every phrase you play ,6100 is the size you should try.
    Larry Carlton ,Roben Ford, SRV, Scott Henderson, Allan Holdsworth (even bigger 6000) and many others rely on them for control.
    Very few players still use (suffer) 6230 . Many die hard vintage players use 6105 (same hight) because the couldn't quit make the switch to 6100 in one go and SS is only a matter of time.
    So come and join us ,get a better grip and play better.
  3. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2002
    Trenton, NJ
    6105s are "it" for me, as they have good height, but aren't as wide as jumbos, which, after a couple of dressings get even "wider" as they flatten-out, and don't hold their crown as well. That leads to intonation problems, in my experience.
  4. mslugano

    mslugano Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    So Cal and Texas
    One of the MANY reasons to switch to the dark side, Luke...STAINLESS STEEL! SS frets allow you to go with any size/shape you want without making any compromise in playability, tuning or, yes, tone.

    These days, I cannot think of any good reason not to do SS. They are simply superior in every way. And just to be clear, I do not have SS on all my guitars. I have lots of both and can speak from direct daily experience that the SS are better.

    I actually have nickel on my Number One (a Suhr strat with Anderson pickups) but I KNOW that it is only a matter of time before I switch to SS on this guitar. When I do switch, it will be to SS 6115 which is a little bigger than 6150 but not as monstrous as 6100. As a result, I will get all the advantages of bigger frets (grip/playability, especially controlled bending) but with none of the disadvantages of nickel frets (they DO wear down and DO cause tuning problems!)
  5. Power Freak

    Power Freak Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    London, UK
    That's my wire of choice... I even whacked some on gibson...

    To me it makes the guitar feel "natural" with big frets I feel like I'm "fighting" to get the sounds/notes I want.

    Of course its a personal thing though; you'll only find what you like by trying lots of different types.
  6. thilton59

    thilton59 Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    6105's are the business, in my opinion.
  7. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Senior Member

    May 28, 2005
    When I'm soloing, the bigger frets help with that, but oh man, soloing is so damn 'been there, done that' to me these days.

    Something well below .055, but at least .042 puts it in that 'comfortable old shoes' feel for me when playing rhythm.

    Although, I'll let the tone of the guitar help me make the choice. Like on my Basswood strat, I got monster frets that have now been releveled so many times, they need to be replaced, and I think I'll put the biggest size back on there, to bring a little brightness back to the tone.

    Now on my Alder strat, I got .040 high frets on there, and would rather not change the tone at all. My fingertips making a lot of contact to the fret-board wood are probably part of the tone I like on that guitar.
  8. Mike Fleming

    Mike Fleming Member

    May 10, 2005
    I've gone from 6230 (vintage fender) to 6105s on everything too. bending instantly felt easier due to being up off the board more, and although sliding was weird at first (kind of speed bump-y), and so were high-e string pulloffs, i quickly adjusted to those too. I'm definitely glad i made the change. And I can get a few levels out of them before they need to be replaced.
  9. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Hong Kong, China
    I don't like the finger tips come into contact with the fretboard. So, Jescar 6100 SS frets with or without slight fretboard scalloping.

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