Micro-Fret Bass

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by wes, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. wes

    wes Tele-Meister

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    I just acquired a 70's Micro-Fret bass. I need to replace the frets and I have no idea what size fret wire to order. Does anyone know what these basses had in them originally?
    Thanks
     
  2. erratick

    erratick Tele-Holic

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    Never heard of them. You can probably measure if you have a caliper.

    http://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Necks/FretSizePop.aspx

    Has some measurements. Probably nickle silver was what was in use back then:

    Item Number Width X Height Description Used By
    6230 .080" X .037" This is the smallest fret wire Vintage Fender necks
    6130 .106" X .036" Often referred to as "Medium Jumbo" Many Gibson necks
    6105 .095" X .045" Narrow and tall Most popular choice
    6150 .103" X .046" The standard "Jumbo," it is about the same width as the 6130 but a bit taller Modern Fender American necks
    6100 .118" X .058" Huge! This is big stuff for an almost scalloped feel Common on Ibanez necks



    You can probably figure it out by just measuring the width.

    http://www.warmoth.com/bass/necks/FretSize.aspx
     
  3. TheFullMonty

    TheFullMonty Tele-Holic

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    My guess: micro.
     
  4. Lowbassnotes

    Lowbassnotes Friend of Leo's

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    Which one did you get? I've wanted to try a Microfrets guitar ever since my buddy told me about them, they sure have a cool space-age Jetsons look to them. No idea the wire size, never even seen one except in photos.
     
  5. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    You might want to do a google search for "micro-fret bass". Lots of tidbits of info available and someone is currently resurrecting the micro-fret line.
     
  6. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah I'm familiar with them, very familiar.
    I am good friends with the son of
    Ralph Jones, the man who designed, created and founded the Micro-Frets corporation in Frederick, Maryland starting in the '60's.

    He had a dirty business partner who had destroyed the company by '74, then
    Mr. Jones died of a stress-induced heart attack in '76.

    That was the end of Micro-Frets, the current company out there calling themselves Micro-Frets are the same in name only, they have nothing to do with the Jones family or the original company, and the guitars are completely different in design and quality.

    I will ask Mr. Jones what they used, in fact he has some of the original fret wire stashed away in the archives.
    I will let you know.....
     
  7. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey Wes, they all used the same fret wire but I'm just curious, which model do you have?

    A "Signature"...

    image-1845662655.jpg


    A "Stage II"...

    image-860742396.jpg

    Or a "Thundermaster"?

    image-1205323425.jpg


    These are from an original Micro-Frets sales pamphlet...

    image-1047437337.jpg
     
  8. wes

    wes Tele-Meister

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    THANKS!
     
  9. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    Wes: sorry it's taken me time but I haven't forgotten you, I get excited about restoring things haha.
    I just talked to Mr. Jones, here's the story:

    His father, Ralph Jones, was tooling up to start production of Micro-Frets and discovered that another guitar company was going out of business. This company had made solid bodies for a short time, the owner had rode the wave of popularity and when earnings started to decline he sold out and ended up making a ton of money. He can not remember that company's name at the moment.
    So Mr. Jones Sr. went and talked to the guy and bought out allot of his inventory, including several huge coiled rolls of fret wire, and that is what was used in all the Micro-Frets. Mr. Jones Jr. still has some of that wire but the bulk of it was sold at the auction when Micro-Frets sold out.

    So he is not sure exactly what size it is, but he is going to get out the Micrometer and Calipers and I will send you the dimensions when he gets them to me.

    I can tell you that it is a nickel silver wire.
     
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