Stainless frets or Nickel Silver

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Husky, Nov 23, 2016.

What Fret material do YOU prefer ?

  1. I prefer Stainless

    59.9%
  2. I prefer Nickel Silver

    14.4%
  3. Either is fine with me

    19.6%
  4. I don't know the difference

    6.2%
  1. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    sounds like a cheap motel ... :D
    Rhino
     
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  2. Befuddled

    Befuddled Member

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    Gotta be beach themed, gross plastic flamingos everywhere, maybe a sketchy bar where they serve seafood even though it's landlocked in the Midwest
     
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  3. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    My body chemistry is probably not as bad as yours but yes, I do have issues with corrosion on my strings. It can get very bad during the summer, to the point where I had to use Gorgomyte on my frets every 3-4 gigs.

    Have NEVER had that happen with my SS fretted guitars. For the better part of a year I used my SS fretted Les Paul as my main gigging guitar. I have never cleaned the frets and they still look & feel like they just got polished.
     
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  4. stratamania

    stratamania Member

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    One thing not mentioned so far, is that some people have nickel allergies, so SS would be better for them.
     
  5. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    They are more difficult for the builder for sure, more wear on tools. We used to charge extra until we figured them out, after that it wasn't enough of a pain to have an extra charge anymore. I also like that they don't corrode in stores especially in salty humid areas with customers playing them like nickel can if not wiped down after every use.
     
  6. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    That looks like rift swn to me. the problem with rift and flat on a headstock with an angle is you are looking for a headstock snap. Most builders will shoot for 1/4swn on those types of builds to avoid a break along the grain line.

     
  7. dankayaker

    dankayaker Member

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    I have a Suhr Scott Henderson and the only thing I'd change is it would have SS frets. I miss the feel.
     
  8. sturge

    sturge Member

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    Thanks to those who provided input on cost. The other day I chatted with this guy...he stopped doing SS fret jobs due to wear on his tools. He said over the years he had done many...in fact his own 74 strat has SS frets and he is happy with them. So...I guess I will just do the NS frets again but I am contemplating going up a size.

    Question for strat players who do lots of leadwork (bending)...This '73 has always had vintage fretwire and a 7.25 radius maple fretboard.
    The Fender website lists the following for fretwire:
    - Vintage Style = 0.083 wide / 0.045 tall) and pre bent to 7.25 radius"
    - Standard (Med-Jumbo) = 0.103 wide / 0.046 tall and pre bent to 9.5" radius
    - Jumbo = 0.090 wide / 0.055 tall and pre bent to 12" radius

    Pretty sure my Am Std Tele has Med-Jumbo. I enjoy playing the tele during gigs too but this strat has always been my #1.
    Any input on going with beefier wire for the strat...benefits of bigger wire vs drawbacks for a lead player?
     
  9. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    In my experience it is individual. I had med jumbo put on my AV 62 RI strat. Loved em. When I was thinking about selling, a friend came over, tried it out and said the frets were like speed bumps to him and he hated it. Ultimately the reason he walked away. Good for me, bad for someone else.

    hunter
     
  10. bobbymack

    bobbymack Supporting Member

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    I have sold all my SS fretted guitars due to the plinky tone thing, 2 Suhrs and 2 Tuttles.

    I WANT to love them, and I do love the slinky feel. But I definitely have noticed the tonal and attack artifacts. Could be the way I play, I dunno but for now at least I love highly polished nickel silver.
     
  11. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    That's drastic when a refret would cure it for you.
     
  12. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    Personally if you go tall I like to go wide too. UNLESS it is a really round radius then I like tall and narrow. I really like our heavy which is one step smaller than a jumbo, maybe a hair lower than 6100
     
    bobbymack likes this.
  13. bobbymack

    bobbymack Supporting Member

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    True. If I still lived in NC where I had a first rate tech...

    I agree totally re the Suhr "heavy" frets (6150?)...my favorites. Love my older Suhrs with NS...
     
  14. jimbobaby

    jimbobaby Member

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    [​IMG]

    I just received my first neck with SS frets from USACG. Once I get the body next week and bolt them together, I will finally be able to make my mind up for myself and stop losing sleep reading this thread.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yeah, but aftermarket necks haven't been properly leveled; this might not be a fair test of ss frets, i wouldn't be surprised if it did sound plinky and buzzy until it was properly leveled and polished.
     
  16. jimbobaby

    jimbobaby Member

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    I'm getting that done. My last USACG neck didn't need much work, but the edges on this one are pretty rough in places.
     
  17. Bossanova

    Bossanova Silver Supporting Member

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    No need to lose sleep over this, either! But, I know how it is...

    What size frets did you get? Radius?
     
  18. jimbobaby

    jimbobaby Member

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    vintage frets, 7.25", "U" profile .92 to .97, dark indian rosewood, 21 frets, clay dots. pretty much as old skool as you can get, other than the stainless steel.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  19. Bossanova

    Bossanova Silver Supporting Member

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    This is why I asked. I have 10-16" compound radius and 6100SS jumbo frets. The fact they are both made of stainless steel probably won't be the most important in this equation...
     
  20. jman

    jman Supporting Member

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    I just bought a new guitar and one of the reasons was for its SS's-I had a Tele a few back that someone had put them on,and I was impressed at their feel and dramatic longevity.

    - don't they make heavier-duty luthiers tools for these now? I can understand their side of the story, but if I buy a new guitar with nickel frets i will visibly wear some down a bit within about 3-4ish months... I'm talking about Fenders though, and maybe they use a softer material than other manufacturers.

    ... I also use regular nickel alloy strings and really do not mind the prospect of changing them more often, even standard nickel frets start chewing through especially the D string for me pretty soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017

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