Are Squire frets softer than vintage or new Fender frets ?

Is Squire fret wire softer or different than vintage or new Fender frets ?

  • Squire uses harder fret wire.

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    36

MrCoolGuy

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I've heard many people say that Squire frets wear out faster than Fender frets.
Maybe they use a different, softer metal...
What do you think?
(Warning... I have some new data to share after voting is complete.)
 

KokoTele

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It’s impossible to generalize this because they change suppliers regularly, and sometimes use different suppliers for different lines from the same manufacturer.

There’s at least one supplier that makes frets that look like they have a brushed finish rather than being shiny and smooth. They appear a lot on sub ~$200 guitars, but I’ve also seen them on guitars from the Gibson custom shop. Those are absolute garbage.
 

Ryan0594

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I cannot answer this question due to a lack of experience, however, I would like to point out that different strings can wear frets at rapidly different rates.

I used to use extremely cheap strings on my MiM Telecaster and in 6 months I did the same amount of wear as I did in 3 yrs after.
 

MrCoolGuy

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It’s impossible to generalize this because they change suppliers regularly, and sometimes use different suppliers for different lines from the same manufacturer.

There’s at least one supplier that makes frets that look like they have a brushed finish rather than being shiny and smooth. They appear a lot on sub ~$200 guitars, but I’ve also seen them on guitars from the Gibson custom shop. Those are absolute garbage.
Yeah, but I'll give you a hint... it appears that despite eras, batches and models... not aftint things much.
 

KokoTele

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...not aftint things much.
I have no idea what that means :)

But as someone who does a *lot* of fretwork on guitars from all brands and eras, I'm saying that the generalization you're looking for doesn't exist. Sometimes Fenders have good frets, sometimes they're really soft. Sometimes Squiers have good frets, and sometimes they're really soft. They're mostly similar.
 

RobRiggs

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I have a 1989 MIK Squier Strat that has deep grooves in the first 5 or 6 frets. It hasn’t been my most played guitar over the years but it’s the only one with grooved frets. I’d say quite a bit softer; at least this vintage of MIK guitars.
 

highwaycat

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I have a box of different Squier fretwire. That wire bends easily and conforms to the shape of the fingerboard. All those are softer.
I filed some fret ends hard to see in the picture but the hardest was jescars gold evo, then jescars nickle silver, then stumac fretwire, not as consistent and as hard as the jescars but it’s hard wire. Then various squier wire it files much easier. I used a 2nd cut swiss file.
 

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derekwarner

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This is a pretty good starting point to read & so to understand some of the variables....it will eliminate any of your unknowns or speculations, or rubbish that may come your way

 
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msalama

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I think it depends on the year and the supplier. My 2018 50's CV Tele's frets seem as tough as on any Fender I've ever owned, but then some folks wear out theirs in a half year. The luck of the draw at play, also how the guitar is set up and how hard you're spanking it etcetera...
 

MrCoolGuy

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Ok, so I intentionally havent mentioned anything other than Fender and Squire fret wire. Other brands and designs, I'm sure, are different. I just wanted to get a feel for where everyone stands before I post the results of the tests I ran. I tested several vintage Fender frets (pre and post CBS) and some newer ones. I also tested multiple samples of Squier fret wire from over the years. I did PMI (positive material identification) testing which gives me a breakdown of the elements used and type of metal. I also did hardness testing (Brinell Hardness).
Results may surprise you...
 

Boreas

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Ok, so I intentionally havent mentioned anything other than Fender and Squire fret wire. Other brands and designs, I'm sure, are different. I just wanted to get a feel for where everyone stands before I post the results of the tests I ran. I tested several vintage Fender frets (pre and post CBS) and some newer ones. I also tested multiple samples of Squier fret wire from over the years. I did PMI (positive material identification) testing which gives me a breakdown of the elements used and type of metal. I also did hardness testing (Brinell Hardness).
Results may surprise you...
Just waiting for the results...🥱
 




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