Stainless Steel Frets on a Les Paul?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by HoboMan, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Thinking about having my Les Paul Standard DC refretted.
    Thinking about Stainless Steel so that I won't have to worry about them for a LONG time.

    Anybody done this and what are your opinions?
    I know there are other threads about this but I'm curious as to how it may have affected the tone of Les Paul in particular.
     
  2. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    Funny you asked, but I recently tried a Les Paul Supreme that has a fretwire called Gold EVO and it's in between Stainless and Nickel in hardness but many luthiers feel it wears nearly as long as stainless.

    I think the only complaint anyone will have about this wire is the color.

    I haven't played enough Guitars with Stainless yet to be sure about it, but the Jescar Stainless is best and you can't go wrong with the Jescar Gold EVO in my opinion if you don't mind the pale gold color.

    I was surprised that the size of the frets on the LPs I tried was smaller than the the 47/104 medium jumbos I prefer.( are they like 40/80 ? )

    I think you should play the exact size and type of wire first to be sure, doesn't have to be the exact guitar or type of guitar, but you will live with the frets a long time so make sure before you install if you play a lot.
     
  3. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks.

    The gold color doesn't bother me at all. I'll take a look into it.
    I already know the size of the fret wire that I want.

    I recently had a Les Paul plek'd. I really like the frets on this particular guitar so I had the Luthier measure them before he Plek'd it.
    I have the measurements saved on file.
     
  4. theaxedoctor

    theaxedoctor Member

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    Stainless Steel replacement frets are usually a fair amount more expensive than standard frets, because they're a pain to crown and they wear out your tools quickly. I've never felt a need to go stainless myself. How often do you need to dress/ change the frets on your instrument?
     
  5. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    I had this one refretted with Stainless Steel 6100 frets by Michael Tuttle. I can not recommend Michael's fret work highly enough.

    Some close ups of the frets to show Michael's attention to detail:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. cshelton

    cshelton Member

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    That refret looks amazing! I have stainless frets on one of my strat necks and i love it. They show no wear and the string bends are like butter.
     
  7. shoe

    shoe Member

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    Don't think that stainless can't wear out. I've worn out the stainless 6105's on my #1 Suhr Standard. It might take longer, but it can, and will happen. I have a heavy touch so I'm certain that's a factor. For the record, I wouldn't think twice about re-fretting with stainless, even on a Les Paul. I absolutely love the feel and playability of Stainless.
     
  8. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Did you notice any tone difference after the refret?
    Did the tone get brighter as everyone says that it will?
     
  9. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    No I didn't notice a tone difference after the refret. I've owned the guitar since I bought it new in '88, had it refretted in '08, so I have some history with the guitar.
     
  10. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    A few people do say they hear brighter, etc with SS. Most of what I have read, heard and experienced is that the tone difference is so small if any the it is pretty undiscernable. I'm not saying some can't hear it. Most can't though. David Collins talks about a guitar that was fretted every other fret with SS & virtually no one could tell which was which.
    There are many threads here on the subject.

    If a luthier has experience with SS and can do a good job I would chose it every time. The feel is a new world.
     
  11. TattooedCarrot

    TattooedCarrot Supporting Member

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    My '81 Les Paul was also done by Michael Tuttle of Best Frets, best playing guitar I've ever owned.

    Look at that, work of art :)


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Demioblue

    Demioblue Member

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    Not as fancy as the Michael Tuttle stuff, but my guitar wasn't build based on fretwork demand, but overall playability, quality and tone, which is fantastic:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Not quite a Les Paul, but built with 59' specs, as in: top carve, body thickness, neck angle, etc etc... Just slight tweaks to the hardware. This sounds like the best Les Paul I've ever heard and played.

    The SS frets are great. I wish I could have had them on all my guitars!
     
  13. Samsun19

    Samsun19 Member

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    I put the Jescar Gold EVO wire on a strat.... 2 years in, it's LOVE...
     
  14. mslugano

    mslugano Supporting Member

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    Any guitar that I buy and intend to keep with nickel originally gets refretted with SS as soon as they need to be recrowned. I recently refretted an old Suhr S Classic with SS and there was no change in tone but the playability was dramatically improved.

    If I owned a LP that I liked, I would refret with SS...no question.
     
  15. bluffalo

    bluffalo Member

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    After owning a SS fretted guitar - from now on all of my guitars will be refretted with SS when the time comes.
     
  16. B Money

    B Money Member

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    no pics, but I did have my Edwards LP refretted with SS by Nate @ Fingerlakes Guitar Repair. He did a fantasic job, the guitar plays like butter now. I haven't noticed any change in tone at all.

    I highly recommed going stainless. When my Wolfgang needs a refret, I'm going to have SS frets installed. So smooth.....
     
  17. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    That fret job looks incredible...... wow.
     
  18. Deathmonkey

    Deathmonkey Member

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    Yup. I got 2 SGs and 2 LPs that are headed to the shop as soon as I can afford it. Having SS frets on my Carvins has spoiled me :D
     
  19. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    I have 2 custom Kolls and will take possession of a 3rd one very soon... *all* with stainless steal frets. I think that say's it all regarding my opinion of them.
     
  20. robertkoa

    robertkoa Member

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    I found on one stainless fret Guitar I could not get the "fret ring" where the note rings or sustains near full volume from finger vibrato*

    *Could have been just this one Guitar or strings but there was so much less friction on the Stainless- it didn't work as well.

    With the Gold EVO I got the same response as Nickel.

    Samsun- how is the wear on the EVO Gold ? It sounded and felt just like polished Nickel to me.Do you like it better than Stainless ?
     

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