fret sprout

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by popthree, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    i went looking at tele's today.. i sort of have the fever for a new one right now. i played quite a few tele's... squier standards, some of the upscale squiers, mexico fenders, american made...

    the only ones that didn't have just awful fret sprout were the american made ones... the squier standards were horrendous, the upscale ones were not quite as bad, the mexican ones were about like the upscale squiers..maybe a little better, the american mades had no fret sprout at all.. even the new american special cheapo for 799...no fret sprout.

    if fret sprout is caused by humidity, why is it that only the cheaper lines were suffering from it?

    i think its also caused by crappy build processes..not just humidity.

    those guitars were unplayable in my opinion... it was just awful.
     
  2. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No guitar leaves the factory with fret sprout.

    Its caused by a too dry enviroment the wood shrinks the frets dont.

    Ive seen it happen on $200 guitars and $3000 guitars it all deoends on how long its been exposed to the dry air.
     
  3. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    i have a tough time buying that its all tied to dry air. it doesn't make sense. i played at least 10 guitars today and all the american series were immune to the problem.
     
  4. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    I think it also depends on the quality of the wood to begin with, and on how well seasoned it was. Certainly with my small collection of a dozen or so guitars, the imports suffer more with this than the domestic builds.
     
  5. chickenpickin

    chickenpickin TDPRI Member

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    There is no doubt that the quality of the wood and the seasoning process could make a difference, but, I can assure you that expensive guitars are just as vunerable to this as inexpensive. It is possible that the USA models have not been in the store as long. Fret sprout is a relatively easy fix. I wouldn't let that stop me from buying one. Make the store fix it so you can try it without the sprout before you buy. They shouldn't have a problem with that. If they do, go some where else.
     
  6. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    i bet there isn't a store in my town that would fix that issue before i purchased the guitar. and it is an issue, a big one..the guitars aren't playable like that.

    i'm not buying that the american guitar just haven't been in the store as long.. not likely.. heck they had an oldish highway one in there that i know has been on the pegs awhile... smooth as silk... and i played some of the new CV series squiers..they were sprouting like crazy.

    its crap wood and build processes in my view.
     
  7. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Wood shrinks and swells depending on the humidity.

    Some woods arent as affected as others are.

    Everytime it rains my front door swells up and its hard to close after the rain stops a couple days later its fine again.

    Any of those guitars with fret sprout will be just fine once they are in an enviroment with more humidity.

    In the cold winter months with dry forced air causes this.

    Go back to the same store in July-Aug and see how many have fret sprout.
     
  8. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    your front door is exposed to the elements.

    my guitars @ home don't suffer from fret sprout.


    if its the store environment only, the american series should have the problem too. its materials and/or build quality. they take more time getting things right on the american series guitars. the squiers and mim's are not massaged as well.

    if a guy is able to fix stuff like that himself i guess its ok, but it sure is tough to pick out a guitar when its poking sharp wire into your hand when you try and play it. really makes for a bad shopping experience....
     
  9. Texas T

    Texas T TDPRI Member

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    How exactly does "crap wood" create fret sprout? Does it react somehow differently to humidity levels?

    Are you asserting that overseas guitar factories just don't cut their frets to fit the necks?

    Pardon my skepticism of your theories, but I'm guessing it might it have something to do with the journey from country of origin to the USA, to the warehouse, to the store.
     
  10. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    i'll pardon your skepticism if you pardon my view that its crap wood. yeah the journey from china may have something to do with it... also probably some other things related to the build processes being employed... and crap wood.:lol:

    heck i could visually see the lack of polished fret ends on the cheaper guitars. its more than humidity, its finishing work. they don't do it as well (or in some cases, at all) on the cheap guitars.
     
  11. CDKopf

    CDKopf Tele-Holic

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    Well it seems none of the answers given, (which by the way are time-tested facts) are good enough for you. If you have already convinced yourself that its poor workmanship then poor workmanship it is. I have personally experienced that it does indeed have to do largely with humidity after moving from a damp climate to a dry one.
     
  12. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    well maybe they should think about building the guitar necks/fretboards with dry wood then.

    if they're really doing the fret dressing/finishing work in the squier plant, it's all for naught, the way it is now.

    i think its more a matter of, hey this is a cheap guitar, if you want dressed frets, buy the expensive one, or go pay someone to do it for you, or buy the tools and do it yourself.

    which is ok i guess, except that when a neck is sprouting frets like the 7 or 8 squier and mim tele's i played today, i can't even consider buying the guitar because i just can't play it like that.
     
  13. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    There's no doubt that a lack of humidity is the primary reason for fret sprout, but I do think there is crap wood out there too.

    It's not a matter of where my guitars were made as such, but the more expensive ones have more attractive, finer grained, better colored, smoother finished rosewood than one cheaper model I have whose fretboard ("allegedly" rosewood) is duller, less naturally oily, and has a more absorbent looking surface. As you can probably guess, the latter one is the only one I've ever had that showed fret sprout.
     
  14. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Friend of Leo's

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    Does crap wood have more snap than maple ? Or is it more like mahoghany ? Or more exotic like rosewood ? Would PRS use said "crap wood" on one of them $10,000 pieces of furniture ? Gotta know man, gotta know....this "crap wood" might be the next big thing !
     
  15. Broken Light

    Broken Light Tele-Meister

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    I had an MIM tele that I had for a few years before it "suddenly" developed fret sprout. Caught me by surprise, as I didn't know anything about it. It seems the longer I keep a guitar in this climate, the more likely it is to happen, humidifier or not. I've learned to take a fingernail file, the block ones, and knock it down. It's not a big deal, it's just maintenance.
     
  16. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    i think its humidity, crap wood, and poor finishing
     
  17. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    if your guitar has crap wood, you'll know it.. unless you are in denial
     
  18. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There is a $3000 Nocaster at the GC here with fret sprout right next to it is an MIM std which also has fret sprout which one has the crap wood?
     
  19. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    i'm calling bs but if you say so.

    i've played a half dozen nocasters in music stores and none ever had fret sprout.

    i'm not saying an american made can't have a bit of fret sprout but i think its rare.. and certainly its not going to be that nasty bunch of nails the squiers have jobbing out the sides of the neck.

    the american made guitars have polished/dressed frets ends... some of the squiers i played today looked like somebody took some side cutters and snipped the ends off and hit it with a file once....bad bad bad...

    yeah i can pay some tech 30-50 bucks to dress the frets for me... buy gutiar.... drop off with tech.. wait another week or more...pay more dough.. finally get guitar.

    squier should be doing a better job. MIM should be doing a better job.

    they want to move the price points up and the quality down. Leo would not approve.
     
  20. JeffsJeep04

    JeffsJeep04 Tele-Holic

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    My very nicely finished Jimmie Vaughn strat had fret sprout. My CV 50's tele didn't. The sprout on the JV went away after winter. If I'd have gotten it taken care of at it's worst point, it would have likely never been an issue again.
     
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