Jackson American Series

trem licking

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Ahhhh. Well Kiesel targets a largely different audience.

Honestly, I’ve never opted for or played stainless equipped Kiesels. Be it my own order, or otherwise. It’s an option, for sure, but I doubt most orders they get even pick it.
It's standard on all models
 

Tree

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It's standard on all models
Really? It’s been a while since I checked. Maybe I’m mixing it up with the Evo Gold. I don’t remember mine having stainless, though. They felt pretty standard.

Was this the case back with Carvin? I swear I don’t remember seeing stainless as the standard option always.
 

neptoess

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Quality usa built guitars all with stainless. Impeccable fret jobs
I'm not sure if something changed since the headstocks said Carvin on them, and I haven't played an American SL3, but a USA Select Jackson is markedly different from a Carvin/Kiesel. Maybe they improved, but they used to use super cheap pots and switches. I remember reading that you should budget to replace all the electronics if you buy a new Carvin, and this couldn't have been more than 10 years ago.
 

mastapimp

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You must not have read too far into stainless. Steve Morse wears through stainless enough to need refrets yearly. He needed refrets far more often with nickel silver, though, of course. You don’t need gorilla grip either. If you play a guitar for 100+ hours a month, the frets are going to wear. You level, crown, and dress when this happens, until they get low enough that you need new frets. Stainless doesn’t change this fact, it just lengthens the maintenance intervals. I personally seem to take years to wear nickel-silver to the point that I need to level, crown, and dress though, so one set of stainless frets could, in theory, last me the rest of my life.

As for the tradeoff in fretwork, it’s because stainless is a bitch to work compared to nickel-silver. When the material is almost as hard as your tools, you need to put a lot more oomph and/or time into it. And, on a production line, those are both a lot to ask for. Even with a Plek in the mix, you’re still going to wear through tooling faster, and someone still has to do a final polish by hand.
You're misremembering this Steve Morse tidbit. He claimed he upgraded to stainless BECAUSE he was refretting his main signature guitar every couple of years.
 

trem licking

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Really? It’s been a while since I checked. Maybe I’m mixing it up with the Evo Gold. I don’t remember mine have stainless, though. They felt pretty standard.
Yeah since like 2015-ish
 

neptoess

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You're misremembering this Steve Morse tidbit. He claimed he upgraded to stainless BECAUSE he was refretting his main signature guitar every couple of years.
Yeah I re-googled. He said his main guitar had been refretted 10 times. EVH said he switched to stainless because he needed to refret every few months. But I can't find info on either about how often they needed refrets after switching to stainless
 

neptoess

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Ok so even so, getting 100x the life out of them is far worth it
It's not 100x if you're comparing quality nickel-silver to quality stainless. Jescar, for example, seems to be the best of the best for both. I would believe they last 5x longer. If it were truly 100x, I don't think we'd have pictures of worn stainless steel frets.
 

mastapimp

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Yeah I re-googled. He said his main guitar had been refretted 10 times. EVH said he switched to stainless because he needed to refret every few months. But I can't find info on either about how often they needed refrets after switching to stainless
he discusses his switch to stainless in the first minute of this video:

Words right outta his mouth: "I've worn out 10 sets of frets already...infact, this is a new set of stainless frets that's hopefully gonna last longer."
 

trem licking

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It's not 100x if you're comparing quality nickel-silver to quality stainless. Jescar, for example, seems to be the best of the best for both. I would believe they last 5x longer. If it were truly 100x, I don't think we'd have pictures of worn stainless steel frets.
99% of guitar players would never have to worry about their frets again
 

neptoess

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Same with nickel-silver, honestly. 99% of guitar players will never wear through a set of nickel-silver frets.
Slight anecdote here. I just dropped off my 1985 Jackson at the shop today for fret level, crown, and dress, and detailing. This is a 37 year old guitar, and I just got it last week. Definitely needs fret leveling, because the 20th is so low that the note on 21st is what rings out.
The body is pretty beat, so it's definitely been played. I was suspecting that the frets had never been leveled, because I measured the 22nd fret, under the low E, at .045" H x .080" W. I told the shop owner I was worried I might need to refret this thing when I bought it, because it was so old, and I saw it still had its binding nibs, meaning the frets are original.
He looked at it and laughed. He said the guitar has never even had the frets leveled, and he'd put money on it. He didn't even feel a need to measure it.

So, anecdotal, sure, but my 37 year old nickel-silver frets are just now getting their first level & dress. At this rate, the guitar will be over 100 years old before it needs a refret, and I'll be dead lol.
 

Metaldestroyerdennis

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The only guitar I've ever worn through frets on was 14 when I got it and it took 2 years of the most consistent hours I've ever put in to get noticeably dented. During this time it was my only guitar.

Still strongly prefer stainless, but it's not a deal-breaker.
 

neptoess

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The only guitar I've ever worn through frets on was 14 when I got it and it took 2 years of the most consistent hours I've ever put in to get noticeably dented. During this time it was my only guitar.

Still strongly prefer stainless, but it's not a deal-breaker.
I've only personally worn a few guitars to the point that they needed fret work. It took 2-3 years (per guitar), and each guitar retailed for <$500, so I'm pretty sure the wire was whatever cheap, soft junk they could get their hands on
 

neptoess

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Point is, demand better from a "premium" instrument. That is all
Go to a shop and play some Gibson Custom stuff, and tell me it doesn't feel premium in every way, shape, and form. And we can all easily list off numerous "shortcomings" in its feature set. If Gibson isn't your cup of tea, do the same for a Fender Custom Shop, or a Jackson USA/Custom Select, or an -18 or higher series Martin.

Don't get obsessed with premium features. You rob yourself of some of the awesome experiences you can get from guitars with "lesser" features.
 


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