Petillo frets

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Joe Harris, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Joe Harris

    Joe Harris Tele-Meister

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    Dr. Phil Petillo passed in 2010 however I understand that his son took over operations.

    I want to refret a '72 Tele Custom with the Petillo frets. Does anyone have any recent experience with the Petillo organization ? Price ranges, quality, wait time ?
    Thanks
     
  2. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    I haven't dealt with them, but I looked over at their webpage out of curiosity.
    Scrolling down, I saw this:
    Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at  Nov 26, 2015  3.0543PM.jpg
    It's not the frets that cause imperfect intonation, it's the limitations of even temperament. All keys are slightly off of perfect intonation on a guitar; changing to these frets will not be able to address that. Personally, when I see claims like this it seems to me they're trying to take advantage of people that don't know better and it makes me less likely to want to do business with them.
    The other issue I see is with that sharp crown the frets will wear out more quickly, and will do so less gracefully. As soon as it does, you have the same issue that this claims to cure.
     
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  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Bingo... if their statement were true, then there would be an obvious difference between the great tunes played originally and those played on the Super duper frets... I don't know 'bout you guys, but I like the originals juuuusssstttt fine...

    Ron Kirn
     
  4. 10thoufirst

    10thoufirst Tele-Holic

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    I'm pleased to agree with you two gentlemen. Where does this stuff (and by that I mean totally duff information) come from?
     
  5. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Stew-Mac carries, or use to carry their version of this fret
     
  6. bobk

    bobk Tele-Meister

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    Quality of workmanship have been maintained by his son,suggest a phone call to confirm $$ and time frame to complete
     
  7. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Both are issues, and they also say (on that same page) that they measure the fret slots to be sure they're in the right place, and they reposition the slots if need be. This is less of an issue today for the big manufacturers, but not an uncommon issue by any means.

    They also use stainless steel frets, so the potential wear issue is almost nonexistent.

    There's no snake oil here, folks.
     
  8. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Fret wear ? No

    String wear ? Think about it...
     
  9. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Except the area marked 'error' is in the wrong place. It should extend from the takeoff point backward, and really isn't an error at all, it's the area of string contact on the fret. As long as the bridge side of the fret falls away enough that the string doesn't buzz, the shape of the contact area isn't very important. If anything, I'd expect the chisel point to stretch the string more than a broader contact area would.
     
  10. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    I disagree. There's plenty of snake oil.
    So they redo the slots... That's sketchy at best. How do you prevent the old slots from caving in when you cut new ones? If it's only a few thou that the frets need to move, how do you ensure that the new wider slots line the frets up correctly? Just trading one problem for another.
    And again, the claim that you get "perfect" intonation... That isn't possible on an even-tempered instrument without choosing some keys you want to maintain tuning on and sacrificing the remainders.
     
  11. simond

    simond Tele-Meister

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    Try this for perfect intonation!
     

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  12. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, but then how do you bend?
     
  13. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I agree that the error label should have been placed on the other side of the fret's center, but that's still a long way from snake oil. But the shape of the fret absolutely does matter as far as how precisely a particular note intonates. We can disagree about how big of a problem that is, but that's not the same as snake oil.

    Have you ever filled and recut fret slots? From what you wrote here, it doesn't seem like you're familiar with the process.

    I guess I should say here that I'm not affiliated with Petillo in any way. I never met him (and didn't know that he died), and have never been in contact with anyone from the company. Just trying to help folks separate the wheat from the chaff.

    These frets may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no fraud being perpetrated on anyone. I know it's fun for folks to trot out some folksy rhetoric to put down stuff they don't understand. That's where the snake oil is.
     
  14. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Even if you had a computer, you couldn't get even one key to sound perfectly in tune for all the notes in the key. The just intonation scale uses the Pythagorean scale for the 5ths, but replaces the thirds of the triads, which are horrible in Pythagorean tunings, with pure major and minor thirds.

    The problem is that the Pythagorean major thirds are 21.51 cents (syntonic comma, or k) higher than a pure third, while minor thirds are a syntonic comma lower than a pure minor third.

    This can be a problem with ii-V patterns, since the note D is tuned to D-k in a D minor triad, while D is natural when it is the 5th of a G chord. So, when you go from a D minor to G in the key of C, does the note D go from -k to D Pythagorean, a change of + 21.51 cents.

    Hmm. If you already know just intonation theory, what I said should make sense as a shorthand, easy way to explain the problem. But if you don't know the just system, then I should have broadened my explanation a bit.

    My only complaint is that the Petillo method does not produce perfect intonation in any key. Nothing can produce perfect intonation, as it is a logical problem.
     
  15. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Oh, boy. I slipped into 70s speak, with "Even if you had a computer..." I remember on cop shows when they used to say, "Let's run this through the computer..."

    Actually, I studied tuning with a fellow who actually did use a mainframe computer for his tuning experiments.
     
  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The “fraud” is perpetrated by virtue of withholding full disclosure…

    As has been stated, it’s impossible to achieve perfect intonation with any fret or by incorporating any fretting method. Since were all different, any tuning anomalies resulting from any aspect relative to the physical makeup of the guitar will be manifest to varying degrees simply due to the differences that exist within all guitarists’ techniques.

    That has been explained adequately enough above, thus redundant explanations aren’t necessary.

    But one simple, basic and unavoidable variable has been over looked… the pressure required to fret the string… “you” press at a different force than someone else.. and every time you fret a note… you do so at a different pressure.

    Extremely small variations can cause rather extreme swings in the tuning… as an experiment… simply lay the guitar on a flat surface, with the neck freely suspended. Hook up your tuner…. pluck a note.. watch the readout… then touch the neck.

    It really doesn’t matter how hard, or lightly you press on the neck you will see the indicator “drift”. If such light pressure can create that kind of variation, consider what the pressure required to fret the string can do, particularly during the "heat" of an onstage performance.

    When you press a string to the fret.. the distance the string travels requires that the string be stretched… that causes the note to go sharp.. it may only be .5 cent, but it’s still a tuning anomaly.

    Since different people hear such anomalies to a different degree… even though it's slight, it can still represent an extreme bit of discord to those with more acute hearing. Thus if the crown width were a real factor, there would be many, constantly decrying the tuning inaccuracies... some would even be unable to play because they heard such discord at such pronounced extreme.

    Such imprecision on the pressure required and the inability of even the most renowned guitarists to maintain consistent fretting pressure will cause tuning anomalies far and above those produced by the difference in crown width occurring with the Petillo frets and/or any other you may choose.

    While the word “fraud” suggests a willing attempt to mislead, the culpable negligence prolific on that site is criminal enough.

    You don’t need “wiggly” frets, you don’t need pointy sharp frets, what ya need is the ability to play the guitar.

    Were the “new” frets as dramatically superior… it would be easy to compare a tune played on “old” style frets and the same tune played on the “new” design…the tuning accuracy should be overwhelming and immediately apparent… It wouldn't be a subjective thing, it would be obviously empirically noticeable. Anyone care to prepare a demo track? Don’t bother.. it’ll be a royal waste of time.

    I’ll say it again.. it’s not the gear, it’s never gonna be the gear,, it is 100% you.

    If “you” suck, your music, tone, tuning, and performance sux too.. and a refret isn’t gonna change that… Practice, however . . .


    But... the frets aren't gonna hurt anything... and the psychological factor may well contribute to your situation, resulting at an improvement at some level... , Merry Christmas to all...

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  17. stogie d

    stogie d NEW MEMBER!

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    Hey all - new here & always searching for info. I feel the need to chime in. Concerning the drawing a few posts back of the fret profiles. The drawing is exaggerated. The Petillo frets may come to a "point" when new but are still leveled & crowned as would be with any other fret. What you end up with is a much smaller crown area, but still rounded. I have a Petillo fretted instrument. (Kramer DMZ 2000) I will say it takes a few minutes to acclimate to them compared to "normal" frets but 15 minutes on it feels pretty normal - - The super light touch needed to fret the string is what takes getting used to & I mean a light touch. I have a couple pretty decent guitars set up very well & none of them physically play like that one. As far as intonation goes, I think he was just making sure the fret slots were as dead on as possible because the fret crowns are so much smaller. (that's just my theory on that) String wear? I don't see that as an issue considering it takes so little pressure to fret the string. If you can't get away from the death grip, then maybe. The point is, the frets are not "pointed" once leveled, crowned & polished. Maybe this will lessen the mystery a bit.
    D.
     
  18. cleanheadsteve

    cleanheadsteve Tele-Meister

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    i had a guitar with action so low that i had to lean forward when recording so that gravity would pull the strings away from the neck. if i leaned back in my chair, i would have lots of fret buzz. this is no joke. in my opinion, perfection isn't achievable nor is it necessary.
     
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