Stainless Steel Fret Convert

redir

Member
Messages
374
I can hear a difference on acoustic guitars so I use EVO now on acoustic guitars. On electric though after going through pedals and amps I don't hear it that much.

Having said that, the first electric guitar I built was in 1992 and it still has the same nickle frets with very little wear on them and it's been my main guitar for many years. Some people are just really hard on frets.
 

mike_m

Member
Messages
744
i guess i have a light touch i have never owned a guitar that needed a refret even after years of me playing it
Yeah I mean the luthier I took my guitar to for a level a few years ago said it had the softest fret wire he’d ever come across. It’s an import PRS SE so I’m not all that surprised that the fretwork was less than perfect lol.
 

geezberry

Member
Messages
909
If you do a lot of bends and vibrato it really wears frets down, regardless of touch. I tend to put the most wear on the treble strings around the 12th fret since I'm always doing bends around there.
i do plenty of bends believe me. i do use light guage strings though and play all over the neck. I dont press the strings down like an ape though
 

wraub

Member
Messages
2,158
My main Strat has amazingly flat frets and needs new ones. but I think I need to play a couple guitars with SS frets for comparison- haven't played any, so don't know pros/cons for myself. Otherwise I'll probably stay with trad fret material, I don't play that hard.
 

webby1

Member
Messages
113
Honestly people that claim to hear the difference between SS and NS are nuts. Zero or virtually zero difference. SS is a far superior material. Bends feel slicker on SS and lasts 1000x longer

EVH also scoffed at people saying the could hear that SS frets produced inferior tone. He is my favorite, but not many players built/build their own guitars, or participated at such a micro level when he had guitars built for him down the road.
 

Mindcrime

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
753
I just recently had BOTH of my Music Man Silhouette Specials refretted with SS frets along with the addition of a hand cut bone nut.

Needless to say, this certainly elevated both guitars on par with custom shop level instruments !!

For me, it was a wise decision. No regrets......:aok
 

Alan Wolf

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,098
I can understand the theory that harder fret material would cause faster string wear with softer wrapped alloy strings. But my experience proves (for me) otherwise. I find my pure nickel wrap strings (Pyramid or Pearse) last longer on guitars with SS frets. My common sense tells me that the “just polished” smoothness that makes bends so effortless is that much less abrasive than the tarnished and microscopically notched NS frets on my other guitars.
 

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,276
I had a Suhr Classic-T semi-hollow (no f-hole) w/SS frets and never heard any difference in the guitars tone, despite the old wives internet tales that circulate. They did feel very slinky on bends though (like freshly polished every day) and their near eternal long lasting quality makes them hard to ignore. For the small increase in overall cost at the builder cost level I'm kind of disappointed that more manufacturers have not switched over to a better quality part for their day-to-day production guitars. Seems to me to be an easy quality upgrade to market with to the buying public.
 

RLD

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,795
I have about 6 SS necks. With NS frets, I break strings at the bridge.
With SS frets they break over a fret, so in my experience SS frets wear strings faster...if you are an aggressive type player.
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
19,032
Just check the underside of your strings. Strings get dents eventually whether it's used with nickel or SS frets, but SS frets used with nickel wound strings should wear the strings out faster than with nickel frets. You usually notice it when it loses intonation.
BTW, if you use strings until they get oxidized, it's already dead completely.

A dent in my string doesn't bother me.
Oxidation starts on my strings after one hot summer 4-hour gig. Strings feel like crap after that.
On my guitars with SS frets the strings still feel great and I can use them for home playing until the next gig.
 

GibsonIsTrash

Member
Messages
29
i guess i have a light touch i have never owned a guitar that needed a refret even after years of me playing it
Out of curiosity... how many guitars do you regularly play? I find that if I play only one or two guitars for years on end, the frets go pretty quickly.
 

geezberry

Member
Messages
909
Out of curiosity... how many guitars do you regularly play? I find that if I play only one or two guitars for years on end, the frets go pretty quickly.
about 15. I generally pick one out and play it for a few months at a time. The strings on most of my guitars dont get changed for a long time like years. There are plenty of folks with vintage strats and les pauls with original frets. SS are just overkill imo. I like the Gold EVO frets though, harder than nickel
 

mike_m

Member
Messages
744
about 15. I generally pick one out and play it for a few months at a time. The strings on most of my guitars dont get changed for a long time like years. There are plenty of folks with vintage strats and les pauls with original frets. SS are just overkill imo. I like the Gold EVO frets though, harder than nickel
Idk, maybe I have bad luck with nickel and/or a real heavy hand. Actually I know I’ve had bad luck with nickel, the frets that came on my guitar were “the softest fret wire” the tech who leveled it had ever seen. So for the refret I decided to just go stainless and hopefully avoid having to even do a level again. Overkill? Quite possibly but time will tell. Either way when facing the cost of a refret my bad luck made me extra cautious about nickel frets.

Plus I only have 2 guitars. The both get played everyday so I feel that makes a difference for me personally. Totally get why others arrive at different conclusions though
 

mike_m

Member
Messages
744
It’s interesting reading through this thread. The overwhelming number of people who responded seem to have said that a switch to SS did not negatively impact the guitar. Some did, and some have said they have no reason to switch. This is far from scientific quality data but I find the trends interesting nonetheless!
 

Guitarwiz007

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,900
I refret every guitar in stainless - I'll never go back.
Me too. I have 2 EBMM LIII's that are (almost) perfect guitars for me. There's just one thing. They don't have SS frets. The will be converted soon. SS frets are the only way to go. The plinky-ness some people may or may not hear def doesn't get transferred to an amp. I have to admit that when I got my first guitar with SS frets, I could hear it a bit. I was a little taken aback by it but once I plugged it into my rig, it sounded like every other guitar so no biggie. Now, if I don't hear it upon picking up a guitar, chances are that it is NOT fretted with SS and I won't buy it. While the past was great no one can still live in it.
 

Grubbel

Member
Messages
36
It doesn't matter
Too much attention is being paid to such small things instead of actually playing
But OTOH, it's a part of the charisma )
I like SS frets just fine. In a comparison, tone wise would not probably be able to tell in a blind test
From player's perspective - as a material, they're far superior to nickel alloy frets
I paid enough attention to my playing to wear the frets off my 25 year old acoustic, and two electric guitars. The newest guitar I own, just recently purchased in fact, came equipped with stainless steel. I’ll never go back.
 

samdjr74

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,198
When I ordered my Kiesel last year, it came with SS frets stock. This is the first guitar I own with them, and I must say I like them very much. They feel better, they might even ring out better too, or it's just the guitar. Either way I would order another guitar with SS frets.
 




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