Does size affect performance?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Uncle Daddy, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm talking about fret size here! How, if at all, does the size of frets affect the tone? More height, or more width? Material? Profile?

    Discuss

    Nicely!
     
  2. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    This is not the thread I was expecting...
     
  3. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have a norlin era 70's SG it has the ebony fret board and low wide frets one of the nicest necks to play , gibson called it the fretless wonder, but this of course came at a time when guitars were set up at the factory and not shipped unfinished.


    P1011363.JPG

    yeah she was nuetered when I got her 100.00 cdn in '71 travelled 1/2 way around the world with me sold her 3 times and bought her back with out question , now she has a perminent home, till i die
     
  4. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I doubt it makes a shred of difference. It certainly makes no difference to me.
     
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  5. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I've got four Gibsons from the 60's with jumbo frets. They aren't any taller, but significantly wider. They do feel and sound differently.
     
  6. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Jumbo frets are the worst, because you may make a fretted note sharp, and they feel like buckteeth. It will take 2-3 yrs of playing to wear them down enough so the pain of playing and the sharp notes tend to disappear.

    The medium jumbo and tall & narrow frets are very comfortable right off from the start. Vintage frets (at least on a Fender) aren't bad, but expect more maintenance (level and crowning) sooner than the larger frets.

    I have no experience with stainless steel frets. But the chances of brighter fretted notes and less maintenance are rumored. But I think they might be harder than the nickel alloy strings we usually use, so who knows. I believe it won't matter in the long run.
     
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  7. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    I don't mind huge jumbos (.055 high) but I hate fretless wonder frets, or even vintage Fender frets. I prefer wide over narrow, and my favorite at the moment are 6150 stainless (.047 X .104). But everybody's different, it's just personal preference.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    In general, guys used to small frets will sound bad when suddenly given extra jumbo!

    Takes a while to learn how to handle frets that big, you need a more gentle approach of you'll end up damaging that which you love...

    But once you get the hand of the extra size you can make beautiful music!
    Basically you get more control, so you can manipulate the target toanz more effectively.
     
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  9. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    ditto. :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    What telemnemonics said.

    I never had a guitar with particularly big frets until teles. I like them for the fact that they taught me better left hand control; I can be ham-fisted. That said, my guitars vary in fret size and style, and I switch between them easily now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  11. suave eddie

    suave eddie Tele-Afflicted

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    What happened to that thing?!?! It looks like someone who was hideously disfigured in a fire.
     
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  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Realistically, the frets do nothing at all.
    Lots of players find they squeeze the strings out of tune when first playing a guitar with (actual taller than .050) jumbo frets.
    But rather than the frets being bad, what is happening is that the frets are showing the player that they use more force than needed to fret the strings. This reality means that jumbo frets can help teach a player to improve control, which both gains technique and also extends the usable life of the hands, by not running them at full throttle all the time because those little frets give no feedback WRT how much pressure is required to sound a clear note.

    And again, the feel that you describe as like buck teeth, AKA railroad ties, goes away once the player stops with the vice grip technique and learns to control LH pressure.
     
  13. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Holic

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    On my PRS McCarthy I’ve got frets that are basically 6150, and I find them most comfortable. I wish I had them on my Esquire (and it should be a very long time before it needs a refret because I do not wear frets much).
     
  14. Jerry_Mountains

    Jerry_Mountains Tele-Meister

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    I can adapt to any size but I prefer jumbos... wait what? :lol:
     
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  15. Slap Axe

    Slap Axe TDPRI Member

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    I have both vintage and jumbo frets on guitars. I don't know that fret size affects tone so much as it affects feel, just a preference thing.
     
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  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    How you play may change depending on what frets you have.

    Or it may not.

    Strangely I actually find that small vintage frets help me loosen my grip. That seems to be the opposite of most people.

    I also prefer bending on small frets. Again, seems to be different than many.

    Go figure.

    I mean in theory, if you are fretting just behind the fret with the least pressure required to sound the note, it may not matter what frets you have.
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    True about simply fretting, but once we apply vibrato the fret height does change the effect, and then bending is also different.
     
  18. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I lack much knowledge concerning frets. I'm sure I've owned guitars with varying fret sizes, but never recognized fret size as an issue with whether I liked them or not. I "believe" my PRS SE One has fairly low frets, and it plays fine. My #1 Tele has a Warmoth neck with 6150 frets.....took a little while for me to adjust, but I love them now. (is 6150 big, small, jumbo,etc?) My other Tele, which I built, has a Warmoth neck with 6105's. Again...feels just fine. My main concern with necks is "girth" (I like a FAT neck) width (wider the better) and fretboard radius. (pretty flat) Both Warmoths are their compound radius.
    Did I just muddy the waters?
     
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  19. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I worked for a seedy pawn shop when I was in university in '71 this was in the back just like it is I got her for 100.00 cdn but she sounds and plays beautifully , hold her tune etc
    I sold it 3 times and the last time I told the guy I get first options to buy it back , then a year later he chopped off his thumb with an axe , so I got her back the neck is the best design gibson ever came out with .
     
  20. suave eddie

    suave eddie Tele-Afflicted

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    Sure is ugly though.;):lol::eek:
     
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