Stainless Steel Frets

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by VerLaTele, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. VerLaTele

    VerLaTele TDPRI Member

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    Do stainless steel frets ever show where? I've got what I thought were stainless steel frets and they have pits in them after 4 years of playing. I thought the whole point of these was that they didn't do this.
     
  2. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    got pictures?

    SS isn't invincible... but it's far, far harder than the nickel strings sliding across them. I've got them on all my guitars... some as old as ten years old since install... and they all feel like brand new.
     
  3. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    I have no firsthand experience with stainless steel frets. I know they're supposed to be harder and more difficult to level and crown because of that so I've avoided them. But just because they're harder they still have to wear eventually, right?
     
  4. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    i used to need a level and crown on my number one almost yearly because of the divots in my frets. i haven't needed any servicing since switching to stainless. it should last the lifetime of a guitar... the OP's experience is pretty strange
     
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  5. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I used to need a fret level on at least one guitar every 6 months. Now, the ones which have stainless on them are going on 7 years, and zero signs of wear. None.

    My tech told me about a busy mandolin player who played his frets down to paper thin repeatedly, gigging 5 nights a week. Said tech put stainless, and didn't see that mando for a decade. And even then, no wear.

    I like it as much for the feel as the longevity. It's like playing on ice.
     
  6. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yes it is.

    Unless:

    1.the frets aren't SS to begin with
    2.He uses SS strings.

    I have SS in one of my guitars and after 10 years they are still brand new with zero marks.
     
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  7. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    3. he has stainless steel fingers.
     
  8. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    There should not be such wear after 4 years with SS frets unless you run SS strings and grip like a gorrilla. Either they lied to you about the frets being SS or else they were a very bad grade of stainless like the stuff used in mufflers (grade 409).
     
  9. VerLaTele

    VerLaTele TDPRI Member

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    I use Ernie Ball Power Slinky's. The wear isn't crazy but the pits are there in a few spots.
     

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  10. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    yeah that's not normal. that looks like what i got on my old nickel frets. I'm not saying they effed up and gave you nickel frets on accident or something... but that shouldn't be happening on SS frets with slinkies
     
  11. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I love my Squier CV50s tele but the frets wore down in no time.
    Thought about buying a replacement neck, thing is , I love that neck so much, and to get another CV50s one for the same feel, I figured it'd wear just as quick, so I had stainless installed for the first five frets instead.

    Most of us don't need em past the cowboy chord zone
     
  12. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's

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    I don't mean to pry but the way the OP was worded, "...thought", suggests that you're not sure if they're actually stainless. Why aren't you sure? Just a hunch that's where the answer may lie.:)
     
  13. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Holic

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    This sounds terrible to do... But you can solder to nickel silver, not stainless (at workable temps.).
     
  14. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Meister

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    Those aren't stainless steel.

    Soldering on a fret? Not advised, although silver solder would work on nickel, but not while the frets are in the guitar. It would cook the wood because the metal has to approach cherry red for silver solder to melt.

    There's a guy on Youtube (Dave's World of Fun Stuff) who swears the frets don't wear--they "dent." He thinks the metal doesn't wear away from nickel fret wire. His assertion is that pressure causes the metal to displace and move. The problem with that hypothesis is the wood would compress before any metal deforms. Other than that goofiness, he's a pretty good tech and a damn fine bass player.
     
  15. VerLaTele

    VerLaTele TDPRI Member

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    I had the neck built by Musikcraft and opted for the stainless steel fret upgrade.
     
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  16. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

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    I've been dreading this situation with my CV 50s necks.

    do you have pictures of the neck after partial refret?
     
  17. hotpot

    hotpot Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had SS frets in my LP for over five years and played the bejesus outta that guitar & there's zero fret wear on them. Never had to polish them in all that time either :eek: They're still as shiny as the day they were installed.
     
  18. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    I agree that frets do wear, but are you are saying that frets don't dent?
     
  19. skradlee

    skradlee TDPRI Member

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    I've only had my SS frets since March, so I can't say what they'll look like in 4 years, but they feel great.
     
  20. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Meister

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    If a fret takes a hit, sure...it can dent. But the kind of wear you see on older frets, especially in the 'cowboy chord' zone--that's metal wearing away from string abrasion. It's what turns the fingers black.
     
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