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daveinspain

Heavy handed? I may have the answer...

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I destroy frets... Seems I still press down on the frets way too much even though I am making a conscious effort not to. I came up with a temporary fix a while back using silver solder to fill the divots which worked fairly well. The guitar I fixed is still very playable even though some of the divots are coming back but not nearly as bad. Now I have a friend who is a jeweler and has a shop were he designs and makes jewelry. He wants to make me some solid silver frets which should last a life time even for me. Can anyone tell me a reason why solid silver frets are not a good idea?

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Not sure - at one time my idea was that stainless steel frets would be a good direction, but it was explained to me that it wasn't. Guess there are folks here who have more of a background, and I'm looking forward to hearing from them on this one, too!

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Hey Dave,

 

here's a longish video about Stainless Steel frets. I didn't have time to get through it all but it seems like it maybe a reasonable one to look over.

 

I know a local luthier that swears by them. They will last longer, I think there is a matter of preference involved, but if you have a really heavy fret hand, this might be something to look into for you.

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Hey Dave,

 

here's a longish video about Stainless Steel frets.

 

they will last longer.

 

I didn't have time to get through it all but it seems like it maybe a reasonable one to look over.

 

Did you forget to include the link?

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Here is some copied & pasted info from a site describing the Moh's Scale of Hardness; based on this, it appears Silver would be a poor choice for fret material -

 

 

The Moh’s Scale of Hardness ranks minerals, materials, metals and Gemstones on a scale of 1-10. 10 being the best and the most durable… Diamond is a 10.

 

Gold and Silver on the other hand are only a 2.5 – 3 on the Moh’s Scale. They are fairly easy to work with (Jewelers love it) because they are so malleable. But, this also makes them bend, wear down and break easily. Not good! Especially since it’s holding in your Diamonds and Gems.

 

This is why most Jewelry found on the market is mixed with other Alloys that help strengthen the Metal.

 

14k Gold is 14 parts Gold and 10 parts Alloy. 10k Gold is 10 parts Gold and 14 parts Alloy. Even Platinum isn’t exactly pure. It’s 99.5% pure…

 

Base Metals and Alloys

 

Base Metals are a mix of various Metals that are used for Alloys. They are usually made up of small percentages of Metals like Nickel, Silver, Copper and Zinc.

 

Almost all Metals used in Jewelry are mixed with some Alloys to make them stronger and easier to work with.

 

Some Metals, like White Gold, are then Rhodium Plated (Durable White Metal) that makes it even more durable and whiter at the same time.

 

Take a look below and see the various metals like Platinum, Palladium, Titanium, Tungsten, Brass, Steel, Copper, Gold and Silver to see how they stack up to each other in terms of hardness.

 

Keep in mind, this chart shows how strong the Metals are in their Pure State… Which means, when they are mixed with stronger Alloys, they will actually be much more durable. (Tungsten Carbide is already mixed)

 

The Metals Scale of Hardness

 

 

Lead – 1.5

Tin – 1.5

Zinc – 2.5

Gold – 2.5 – 3

Silver – 2.5 – 3

Aluminum – 2.5 – 3

Copper – 3

Brass – 3

Bronze – 3

Nickel – 4

Platinum – 4 – 4.5

Steel – 4 – 4.5

Iron – 4.5

Palladium – 4.75

Rhodium – 6

Titanium – 6

Hardened Steel – 7 – 8

Tungsten – 7.5

Tungsten Carbide – 8.5 – 9

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Wow! Great stuff so far! Another fine example of the forum as an excellent learning experience👍👍

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Changing frets to a metal that no other guitar player uses is not a good way to overcome what is obviously a technique problem. You need to relax and relearn.

 

rct

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Did you forget to include the link?

 

 

check it again, it's there, I think I did save before I added it the first time.

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Changing frets to a metal that no other guitar player uses is not a good way to overcome what is obviously a technique problem. You need to relax and relearn.

 

rct

 

 

actually, - quite a number of people I've come across in my years are Stainless Steel fret disciples.

 

I don't think they would work for me, but everyone has a different touch.

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i'm heavy handed too. use heavier strings, and buy more guitars to have in your rotation. will take longer to wear frets out if you're playing more guitars. (my wife doesn't seem to subscribe to that theory).

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actually, - quite a number of people I've come across in my years are Stainless Steel fret disciples.

 

I don't think they would work for me, but everyone has a different touch.

 

Stainless has been around a long time and used on guitars a long time. Wear out nickel frets or wear out strings on stainless frets, that's always been the choice. If you are filling divots with solder you need to do something else. I've never known anyone that has to do that, so there is pretty much something wrong it seems. Silver will just turn to mush, stainless or even monel is about all you could put in there and then you'll just break strings all the time if you are pushing that hard.

 

Technique. Something is up there. I wear my frets pretty good, I have a fairly strong grab and I push harder than average. I have fairly even wear on my tele, nice mushroom-y frets all the way up the neck. Les Paul is 17, it's pretty evenly worn too, both could probably stand a re-fret in a few years. But divots in the frets filled with solder? No way. Something is up.

 

rct

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Stainless has been around a long time and used on guitars a long time. Wear out nickel frets or wear out strings on stainless frets, that's always been the choice. If you are filling divots with solder you need to do something else. I've never known anyone that has to do that, so there is pretty much something wrong it seems. Silver will just turn to mush, stainless or even monel is about all you could put in there and then you'll just break strings all the time if you are pushing that hard.

 

Technique. Something is up there. I wear my frets pretty good, I have a fairly strong grab and I push harder than average. I have fairly even wear on my tele, nice mushroom-y frets all the way up the neck. Les Paul is 17, it's pretty evenly worn too, both could probably stand a re-fret in a few years. But divots in the frets filled with solder? No way. Something is up.

 

rct

 

yea man, technique is definitely at play and Dave readily admits that he does try to stay aware of it.

 

my 95 LP has been played hard, and those frets to this day are still 100% usable. (there is wear, of course, but not to the point where I need to think about maintenance. so for me 20+ years, and I'm still good.

 

check the link I added, in one mans opinion, the problem he had was similar to daves, and solved with SS frets.

 

The luthier in town here has put SS frets on a number of guitars, and claims the same as the guy in that YT vid, the string life and tone doesn't seem different in their view,

(I've heard they tend to be very bright as well) but the frets indeed last much longer.

 

For most of us, nickle frets or death! but everyone has a different technique and touch. If SS frets solve HIS problem, and and he's a happy boy, no harm there.

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rct is correct, I know its me, I am very rough on my guitars. Several people have told me so as well. I do like the idea of stainless steel frets though because it's much easier and less expensive to change the strings than changing the frets. At least until I can lighten up one my playing. I'm like John Bonham on guitar... Hahah I was a drummer before I was a guitar player... [rolleyes]

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one of my good friends is a general contractor, has built houses for a living, plays drums, always circling around a guitar, gave him lessons, he bought a pretty nice acoustic and worked the lessons every day. he has hands like concrete... In 6 months, the first three frets on his guitar were TOAST!

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I know its me, I am very rough on my guitars.

 

Probably not as rough as Steve Morse - listen to what he has to say from 0:36 - 1:22, as it pertains to your dilemma...

 

 

(can't embed vids anymore? I musta missed the memo...)

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I watched all of the Truth Guitar vid. I found it quite convincing.

I also came across this one where the guy has ss up to the 12th fret & nickle upstairs. Big volume difference there.

 

I have a light touch, and I worked hard to develop an even lighter touch. Its worth adopting, but if you cant or just enjoy playing hard I think ss is worth a try. I would be happy to try them on any on my HB guitars.

 

I've been playing for 47 years and have never needed a refret on any guitar, and I have always played every day.

 

For roughly 20 years I used just 2 e-guitars exclusively . The good guitar was only used for gigs. The cheap one was used for practice. The practice guitar needed a fret dress after about 6 years because it was used a lot more. The good gig guitar lasted more than twice as long before any leveling was needed. I wear out fingerboards faster than I wear out frets.

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Not sure - at one time my idea was that stainless steel frets would be a good direction, but it was explained to me that it wasn't. Guess there are folks here who have more of a background, and I'm looking forward to hearing from them on this one, too!

 

i've had s.s. frets on several guitars. i love them, because they're pretty much forever. anyone who says they hear a difference has a vivid imagination. it is 100% in their mind. no audience member in the entire history of rock and roll ever said "gee those guys really rock but their stainless frets sound terrible".

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no audience member in the entire history of rock and roll ever said "gee those guys really rock but their stainless frets sound terrible".

 

I think you are correct on your assumption... I wouldn't be worried about trying them on my electrics at all. I can see where they could affect the sound of and acoustic but I do like bright over dull any day. You can roll off top end all day long but try and add it where it doesn't exist is pretty hard to do...

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no audience member in the entire history of rock and roll ever said "gee those guys really rock but their stainless frets sound terrible".

 

most of em wouldn't know a Telecaster from a chain saw...

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most of em wouldn't know a Telecaster from a chain saw...

 

 

that's true. in some places if you don't play sweet home abalama, you're not getting a 2nd gig there. hahahahaha

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