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Old September 29th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fret wear

Hi folks. I've had my '52 Tele reissue since January and I'm seeing more fret wear than I would have expected. Mostly frets 2-4 on B & G ('cowboy chords'). I don't play alot below the fifth fret and I dont' think I have a death grip on the neck, yet a fair bit of wear as described. No buzzing as yet so that's good. Just wondering if theres such a thing as premature fret wear, causes, solutions (change type of strings?).

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Dave

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Old September 29th, 2012, 10:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What type strings are you using.. Pure nickel or nickel wound strings won't do as much damage to frets as does stainless steel. All the 52 reissues have smallish fret wire that will wear faster than med. jumbo or jumbo, obviously.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 05:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Rod; using D'Addario nickel wound super lights. That makes sense re: smaller fret wire but it's still alot more than I would have expected. What are you using string-wise?
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Old October 1st, 2012, 05:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Probably just the finish wearing off the frets, pretty common.. don't sweat it, the frets themselves are fine..
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Old October 1st, 2012, 06:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I noticed the same with my MIM 60s Classic. I've been playing her for half a year and I'm worried with unexpected fret wear. No significant buzz, but many frets have flat tops, which sometimes gets in the way while sliding a finger up a string. I think I'm gonna have the frets refiled, but the next time I notice heavy wear I'll think of a complete refret to something like medium jumbo. Half a year and frets visibly worn!
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Old October 1st, 2012, 06:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hi Rod; using D'Addario nickel wound super lights. That makes sense re: smaller fret wire but it's still alot more than I would have expected. What are you using string-wise?
I use D'Addario nickel wound # 10s. But I have an old Warmoth neck with 6105 frets. They had worn a little faster than I thought they would and I just had the 1st 12 frets replaced. They didn't have to be replaced, but the nut split and with a new nut refitted, it was recommended to have the frets replaced. But this neck has been played for years and years... it's from '94. There were still no buzzes 'till the nut broke. I have often wondered about various hardness's of different fret wires. Stainless steel=very hard..... Nickel-silver= some harder than others??
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 03:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey xtrajerry; the wear is double the rate of my acoustic (Martin 28) so I'm now thinking a thicker fret next time around. Thanks for the input.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 04:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Rod; I was considering steel frets on my Martin a year ago but the trade-off is the string wear & breakage is alot higher with steel (so they say). Anyway; I'll keep an eye on it. I'll do some research into fret makes, types etc; better to learn it now before I need to have any work done.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 04:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jimmyjoe; that's exactly what I'm seeing. On the G, 2nd fret especiialy, it looks like a trench. I'll have a look at fret options; maybe the 'steel rails' SRV used on his strat.
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 05:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dave, could you tell some more on these SRV frets? I'm not afraid of thick frets! I used to play a LP clone with kind of jumbo frets. The first time I had them refiled was after 25 years of playing! Of course I should have done it sooner, but sure not after 1/2 year of playing. So now I'm not tied to vintage frets and looking for options. Maybe somebody knows what kind of frets Albert Collins used?
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 09:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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SRV used bass frets on #1
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Old October 2nd, 2012, 10:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dave, could you tell some more on these SRV frets? I'm not afraid of thick frets! I used to play a LP clone with kind of jumbo frets. The first time I had them refiled was after 25 years of playing! Of course I should have done it sooner, but sure not after 1/2 year of playing. So now I'm not tied to vintage frets and looking for options. Maybe somebody knows what kind of frets Albert Collins used?
both SRV and AC used dunlop 6100 aka "jumbo" frets
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 05:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hey jimmyjoe; not much I can tell you other than I know Stevie Ray Vaughan (i.e "SRV") used a thicker fret on his guitars, supposedly because it increased the sustain on bends. Someone suggested that my fretwear issue was due to the '52 vintage reissue having much thinner frets than you normally see so I was kinda thinkin out loud whether going to the thick frets might be the answer. By far I am no expert but I'll be doing a little research on frets. Any advice is welcome.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 05:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If it is not affecting playability...forget about it. The stock frets Fender uses on some models are softer than others. I drill thru the stock frets pretty quickly. I normally refret everything I buy anyway but if you are playing cowboy chords you probably are fine.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 06:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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ive got some 'dents' in a few frets on my 52RI as well, you can see here. right under the G string bottom fret
if that is what the op is describing he could get them recrowned.

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Old October 3rd, 2012, 06:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Be careful not to get stainless steel strings. They'll wear your frets quicker than nickel or bronze-wound strings.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'll just keep following the fret wear and get 'em redressed sometime down the road. Thanks everyone for your input; much appreciated.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Some folks are harder on frets than others. I hammer the cowboy chord frets, and they would wear quickly. I switched over to stainless steell frets, and have yet to see any fret wear.

As some have said before, some frets are softer than others. I have carved grooves in new frets bending the low E the first time I picked a particular instrument.
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