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Cryogenically treated frets


jdgm

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Cryogenic freezing treatment apparently rearranges molecules...better. OK. Gibson now have cryogenically treated fretwire.

 

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/Why-Cryogenically-Treated-Frets-Are-Better.aspx

 

Now I don't quite believe in (EDIT) some of the claims made for cryogenics - but an audiophile friend swears it makes a difference to tubes.....and I say no, they heat up!

 

On the other hand we all know that freezing stuff makes it hard and brittle, and that metals can be harder or softer depending on the temperature treatment they have undergone (quenching etc).

 

Any takers?

 

Let me also say - DON'T FREEZE YOUR HEAD! It's NOT going to work!

 

Of course I'm sure no forum members were considering this, let alone putting their pickups in the freezer for a night or 2 just to see if that makes a difference.....

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Well I think at the very least that it wont make the frets any worse... so... whatever... If it actually works then cool, if not then its probably not much different to the normal frets..

 

I reckon anyway.

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...then its probably not much different to the normal frets..

 

That's what I reckon too but strictly speaking..."ye canna change the laws of physics Jim" there has to be a payback somewhere. Possibly the fretwire is brittle-r (ouch)....but must be well within tolerance so it doesn't matter anyway.

 

(Edit) This guy is persuasive about the effect on pickups -

 

http://www.callahamguitars.com/cryo_pu.htm

 

"Cryogenically treating our pickups has made such a difference that now I cannot listen to untreated pickups without it bothering me.....Overtones from untreated pickups are dissonant and create a beating that drives me crazy especially when playing overdriven."

 

Oh dear.

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some very high dollar rifle barrels are cryo treated......it supposedly aligns the molecular "strands" in parallel as opposed to "hurdi-gurdi"......started in the 90s and the jury still isn't convinced, BUT incorrectly cryo'd barrels WILL burst, and have a shorter lifespan than standard barrels.

 

apples and oranges? maybe...maybe not.....a LOT will depend on what company does the cryo work and how perfectly repeatable their batching is.

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"Cryogenically treating our pickups has made such a difference that now I cannot listen to untreated pickups without it bothering me.....Overtones from untreated pickups are dissonant and create a beating that drives me crazy especially when playing overdriven."

Now I understand why all those '58 - '60 'Bursts sound so crap.

 

P.

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If I'm not mistaken it's about uniform density.

 

Cryogenic treatment doesn't necessarily make something stronger or more or less brittle, the purpose is in the cooling process after the forging or heat treating, it super-cools which as we all know makes things contract. The more contraction the more dense the metal becomes and it becomes a more uniform density. If I'm not mistaken this also simply diminishes the microscopic voids and pores in the metal.

 

This technology has been being utilized in gun making for quite some time now. The most accurate varmint rifle barrels and sniper barrels are cryogenically treated after making in order to increase density, distribute a more uniform density, which allows for more surface area, more surface area allows for more cooling after firing as the more surface area the more heat transfer and the more uniform equal heat transfer. (I always mix up the convection/conduction properties but it's not really that important in the bigger picture of this discussion)

 

As the gun barrel heats up it transfers off heat faster and more uniformly creating more accurate follow-up shots and making the overall accuracy of the weapon greater vs a barrel that wasn't cryogenically treated where there are more and bigger microscopic voids and pores that foul the heat transfer cooling process by diminishing surface area...

 

The differences are measured in longevity and microscopic tolerances and performance. When minute of the angle accuracy shooting at say 1,000 yards; the effect of such microscopic differences can be measured in inches or even feet of accuracy...

 

I suspect that in guitars/frets the difference can be electronically measured in wavelength & shape to show longer sustain, more accurate cleaner tone, and longer fret life with better wear patterns due to the metal being more uniformly denser/truer...

 

At least that's my take on it...

 

Not sure it makes that much difference when even cheap Chinese guitars are sounding so good and performing so well these days...

 

As for tubes I suspect it makes them last longer and maintain a tighter tonal and/or output tolerance longer.

 

It would simply be an issue of a higher quality signature of higher end guitars/amps/tubes in my opinion...

 

Not sure even us tone freak musicians can really hear the difference, and I'm really certain the audience certainly can't, nor would they care...

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Now I understand why all those '58 - '60 'Bursts sound so crap.

 

P.

 

Ding ding ding...

 

Hold all calls please, we have a winner!

 

Making things more perfect and more uniform can make things lose their mojo...

 

It'll have its place, but it won't be the answer to all our prayers...

 

It's just another piece of pie to try.

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When metal is heat treat... brought up to critical temperature, then quenched, you are essentially "locking" the crystalline structture in a fixed position. This rearranges the molecular binding of steel and makes it stronger, or harder. Tempering brings it back to a usable hardness, taking away the brittleness... but not all things line up perfectly and there can be and are flaws in the structure. The key to good heat treated steel is to get the crystalline structure as small as possible without. Creating unwanted stress and large crystals. This is in lamens terms of course. We could get into dendritic formations, etc. Regardless, cryo is a super-freezing process that relieves these unwanted stresses and further shrinks and compacts the molecular structure of steel, supposedly making it tougher and more stable. In a nutshell. It is used in high grade knife blades, especially stainless steels and has a positive effect on stainless.

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Now I understand why all those '58 - '60 'Bursts sound so crap.

P.

 

[lol][lol]=D>=D>

 

Oh yes, CDs....did anyone ever put their CDs in the fridge overnight? That was another thing supposed to improve the sound.

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...

(Edit) This guy is persuasive about the effect on pickups -

 

http://www.callahamguitars.com/cryo_pu.htm

 

"Cryogenically treating our pickups has made such a difference that now I cannot listen to untreated pickups without it bothering me.....Overtones from untreated pickups are dissonant and create a beating that drives me crazy especially when playing overdriven."

 

Oh dear.

 

 

Now I understand why all those '58 - '60 'Bursts sound so crap.

 

P.

 

I guess it's a little different. The degradation of old timbers causes cancelling out of the beating harmonics. Therefore poor tone woods and inferior pickups create what some people call a great sound, even when using new strings. [scared]

 

[lol] [lol] [lol]

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When metal is heat treat... brought up to critical temperature, then quenched, you are essentially "locking" the crystalline structture in a fixed position. This rearranges the molecular binding of steel and makes it stronger, or harder. Tempering brings it back to a usable hardness, taking away the brittleness... but not all things line up perfectly and there can be and are flaws in the structure. The key to good heat treated steel is to get the crystalline structure as small as possible without. Creating unwanted stress and large crystals. This is in lamens terms of course. We could get into dendritic formations, etc. Regardless, cryo is a super-freezing process that relieves these unwanted stresses and further shrinks and compacts the molecular structure of steel, supposedly making it tougher and more stable. In a nutshell. It is used in high grade knife blades, especially stainless steels and has a positive effect on stainless.

 

case hardening would be better for frets than cryo.....just my opinion....cost a lot less too

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I did a fair amount of experimenting with cryogenically treated tubes for stereos and it tightens up the sound a bit but like I said, you probably wouldn't notice the difference if you don't have really revealing speakers. I was using either Magnepan 3.7 or 20.7s at the time.

 

According to the vendor (Cryoset), if won't do anything to improve tube life.

 

We even did a cryo treated CD tour and yeah, it sounds different than a normal CD. Better, well, that's all subjective but you could pick it out of the batch.

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some very high dollar rifle barrels are cryo treated BUT incorrectly cryo'd barrels WILL burst

 

And I would not fancy being on the butt end of a rifle when that happened! [scared]

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case hardening would be better for frets than cryo.....just my opinion....cost a lot less too

Researched for that and found out that fret wire can't be case hardened. It should be hardenable only by drawing under combined tension and compression. Perhaps cryogenical hardening means that they cool down the material during the process in order to keep it from growing warm through it? [confused]

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I guess it still is much more likely to break a string than a fret wire through playing... [rolleyes]

 

And in that simple statement Herr Cap my friend, you have summed it up.

 

I'd also like to thank Bender, Tulle and JimiMac for their very informative contributions to this thread (gun accurizing is an amazing subject - I never knew) and Pippy for his wonderful withering comment which (as Jimi pointed out) reveals a lot...

 

I think, having read quite a bit about this in the last 48 hours, that cryogenics works and has useful applications, however in the case of fretwire it's not really needed - fretted instruments have done pretty good without it so far. Sure the claims for cryogenic treatment sound good but is it really an improvement for frets and pickups and is it going to improve/change your tone? Considering (as well) all the other factors in the signal chain?

 

Not really at the present stage of development.

 

Technology is wonderful but....I now understand cryogenics can work, but it's not entirely clear where and how it will will relate to musical instrument manufacture just yet.

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Researched for that and found out that fret wire can't be case hardened. It should be hardenable only by drawing under combined tension and compression. Perhaps cryogenical hardening means that they cool down the material during the process in order to keep it from growing warm through it? [confused]

 

granted, it would make them file resistant, but once bent to radius, 8 hrs at 400F packed in Casenite wouldn't do it?

I used to case harden hammers, triggers, pins, and other small parts....perhaps it's the fretwire metal its self?

I also used to do "fire bluing" "Bath blueing" and "Color case hardening".....CCH is heating white metal cherry red & dropping it in a can of oil.......what a smoky mess !!

made some beautiful purple/green/blue/red/straw combo parts though.

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granted, it would make them file resistant, but once bent to radius, 8 hrs at 400F packed in Casenite wouldn't do it?

I used to case harden hammers, triggers, pins, and other small parts....perhaps it's the fretwire metal its self?

I also used to do "fire bluing" "Bath blueing" and "Color case hardening".....CCH is heating white metal cherry red & dropping it in a can of oil.......what a smoky mess !!

made some beautiful purple/green/blue/red/straw combo parts though.

 

There's nothing quite like a case hardened Cimarron Arms Colt Navy or Colt Single Action Army revolver!

 

They are spectacular!

 

I also would think case hardened fretwire would look the bomb with the more spectacular "multi-color" inlays!

 

That would be an interesting look on a guitar for sure!!!

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There's nothing quite like a case hardened Cimarron Arms Colt Navy or Colt Single Action Army revolver!

 

They are spectacular!

 

I also would think case hardened fretwire would look the bomb with the more spectacular "multi-color" inlays!

 

That would be an interesting look on a guitar for sure!!!

 

the biggest color casing job I ever did was a big battle helmet for a Renaissance reinactor that wanted the "Black Knights" helmet made the origional way........

almost died from monoxia that day, but it turned out halfway between Cobalt and Black depending on the sunlight !!

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