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Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by soliloquy, Jan 5, 2018.
Chapman (Pro models)
How? Is Your sweat THAT acidic? I have guitars with nickel frets for many years with no problems.
Skervesen makes all guitars with SS frets.
How often do you play these guitars? I need a fret polish every 6 months on high quality nickel frets (PRS for instance) if I use the guitar every day for about 2-3 hours and then refret every 18 months, approximately. Otherwise, small dents, wear and tear. I bought a mex strat once and frets were almost gone in 3 months (gig/practice daily for 3-4 hours).
My hands virtually don't sweat and I have super light touch on my fretting hand (I pick quite hard tho).
Everyone I know who plays their guitar frequently has the same "issue". it's not really an issue tho, it's just nickel.
Refret done by top luthier in the UK is about £300. Not cheap by any means. It also takes 4-6 weeks with wait.. major pain in the butt.
I've put SS frets on 2 guitars now, Evo Gold (it isn't gold, just gold coloured) on another and will never go back. I only keep nickel frets on very specific guitars I don't want to change in even slightest way.
Btw, Mayonez Duvells Pro all have SS frets.
I play 2-4 hours a day. For over 25 years I have yet to face Your issues. I mostly played Ibbys and Jacksons. Now i have 3 Skervesens with SS frets and i love the smoothness of them. But i still play Ibbys A LOT and no issues at all.
looks like this threat wont let me edit my first post to add other names onto it....
i actually dont play the guitar all that often. partly due to fear of refretting guitars. some of my guitars in the past had binding on them. refretting to a stainless steel fret would destroy the binding (as far as i know?).
but i notice this when i borrow my friends PRS guitars for a few weeks/months at a time. they have had them since 2001 and 2005. they bought them new. they play them maybe an hour or two a day? their frets look shiny and smooth. flat at the top, as expected, but no grooves. and its minimal wear. i pick it up, and play it maybe, 3 hours a week? maybe a little less? and after a while. i start seeing grooves that were not there previously.
likewise, on my carvin i've had since 2013. play it the same amount. no issues.
an edwards i got last year. brand new. already grooves in some of the frets.
same strings. same thickness. same tuning. same environment i play it in (my room, or around the house). not gigging, thus not sweating more than the usual amount.
on a side note, you'd think that if my sweat is that acidic, my saliva would be too. dentist has no issues with my teeth... :S
i dont know what i'm doing wrong.
If the luthier knows what he's doing, he should be able to install them without damaging the binding. It's just harder on the tools, but the procedure should be the same. In the last year I've had four guitars refretted with SS and EVO frets. I made a post about two of them last summer. Three of them have bindings and the last one has nicely filled fret ends, that my luthier didn't even break through, when he replaced the frets with SS frets.
You need to seek out a man named Charles Xavier. He will know how to help you.
After having refretted a guitar I am building with my old man recently (a very old Japanese Strat knockoff by Cheri - we're only keeping the neck - the rest is being done from scratch and different), I would say that this falls into the realm of things that you pay for time mostly if you have it done.
A set of fret files, the appropriate clippers and a small fret hammer should cost less than the job itself, and once you learn how to do it (and honestly, that takes all of 15 minutes to grasp the basics), you realise that this is a great DIY project, and not really all that hard.
Fret wire costs next to nothing, a good fret level and crown will change a cheap guitar into a decent one, and the fact that you can do it yourself means you score if you DIY it.
Unrelated, but I fully expect Ibanez to release a black guitar with brown frets.
A nice alternative in Europe is to buy whatever entry or mid-range guitar you want an have it "Pleked" with stainless steel frets
Not sure if it counts but they made a trans black guitar with Evo Gold frets.
The above price is only for level, crown, polish, dress of already installed SS frets. If you also want your guitar refrettet with SS frets, the price is a tad higher:
My bad, this seemed too good to be true
How the hell do you go through frets that fast?!?
I honestly can't imagine having to refret any guitar I own. I was playing for 6 hours a day for a couple years and my frets are perfect...
It depends on the quality of fret wire used on the guitar. I've had Schecters that wore down far too quickly while my early 2000 ibbys lasted much longer.
I've only ever had to have frets recrowned, although My RG7620 probably needs new frets, since there's little left of the factory frets.
I have a few guitars with SS frets. I love how they feel, and I love the zero-maintenance aspect of it, not because I hate maintenance in general, but I do hate that I only ever notice I need maintenance with frets at the worst possible time, for some reason.
Note, though, not all stainless steels are equal. In fact, there are hundreds of different types/grades of stainless steel and they all have different properties. I strongly suspect that the stainless steel alloys used by different fret manufacturers are also vastly different types.
I've also seen weird things happen to nickel silver frets. I've seen them turn green and I've seen the rust. I've seen some wear down very quickly and others take years of abuse with only a small amount of wear. Nickel itself is easily corroded by organic acids. Copper is generally more corrosion resistant against such chemicals, so, if it really is your sweat eating through those frets, gold frets (which are actually copper alloys) will probably work much better for you, but I am dubious, since I don't think I sweat different amounts of acidity depending on which guitar I'm playing, and I've seen such wildly varying things happen to my frets. I have plenty of nickel silver fret guitars that I've played outside a lot during hot summer shows and seem fine. I have noted that fret corrosion seems to happen to me almost exclusively on budget guitars, like my Dean AV7 (which cost me $79 brand new and the frets actually rusted a sandpapery brown crud) or my Samick POS7 (which cost me $119 and the frets turned green about two months after I bought it, even though I treated the fretboard with double boiled linseed oil, just like all of my other guitars at the time).
I recommend stainless, because it feels great, sounds great, and seems to hold up very well, but I warn that there is almost certainly some variability that we, on this board, seem to almost always gloss over.
All Tom Anderson guitars use only stainless steel.
My PRS Custom 24 (USA) frets had dings and wear after about 10 months of use, 2-10 hours daily - I guess they are good quality frets, I do bend/slide/play hard funk a lot, I usually have to change strings every 3-5 days. I don't know what it depends on, I'll say that again I don't know anyone personally who would have a different experience with nickel, assuming they play their guitars and don't have 5-6 of them in constant rotation.
Fender doesn't come with them, obviously, but its super easy to get replacement necks for them and a lot of them offer stainless steel frets as an option.
If you wanna get technical.
Tom Anderson has been using them for over a decade as standard.