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Standard Gibson Fretwire?


Rambler

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Here you go:

 

In their raw state, the frets that go on the LP Custom are slightly higher and thinner than what goes on the Reissues. All Reissue models have "reissue frets". In their raw state, they are all the same regardless of the model. However, the frets are filed differently depending on the model.

Reissue Frets are 1.00 thousandths high by 1.00 thousandths wide in their raw state.

Gibson USA is 0.090" wide and 0.055" tall nickel/silver alloy

Narrow frets were used until 1959. In mid 1959, wider frets were used. These "Fretless Wonder" frets were used until the mid 1970s.

Also: for acoustics and electrics: the medium/medium ones which are shown on the following webpage:

 

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Stewart-MacDonald_Fretwire/Medium_Fretwire.html

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According to Gibson tech support, it's .080 w and .043 H, case anyone wants to know.

 

 

Well, Rambler, you got my curiosity goin' on this one, so I pulled out some of my guitars and measured frets:

 

Words of caution:

 

1) it is not easy to measure fret width accurately once the wire is installed, even using a digital caliper.

 

2) it is not practical to measure crown height and actual sectional shape with accuracy once the frets are installed.

 

Here's what I found. Note that these widths are the average of a number of readings on each guitar, and as such have an inherent error that may be as much as .002" in some cases.

 

Guitar Fret Width

 

L-OO Legend (2010): .098"

1948 J-45 (1968 re-fret): .101

1947 L-7 (originals): .078

ES 335 '59 Historic(2009): .099

1968 ES 335-12 (originals): .102

Martin 000-28 EC (2007): .080

 

 

It may just be because I'm used to them, but I really like the wider frets on my old J-45, the L-00, and of course, the electrics. The crown height may or may not be the same on these, as it isn't practical to measure accurately. The frets on the Legend, and on the old J-45, feel very, very similar, which may be why I like those two so much right now. Note how similar the two sets of 1968 frets are in width, even though one is acoustic, the other electric. The crown height feels slightly higher on the acoustic compared to the electric.

 

I find it more difficult to play the L-7 and the EC when I first pick them up. The frets sometimes seem to "get in the way", and my finger tips almost hang up on them. Guess that means I need to lift them off the board a bit more, but it's hard to change a lifetime of habit.

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Here's the deal, Nick. I'm noticing a 'speed bump" with the frets on my new '45 when I slide into a note. What you about the L7 sounds like what Im experiencing. Don't care for that a'tall. I dont recall having that the AJ or BK I used to have. Made me wonder if that was the original fretwire.

 

Do you or anyone else listening experience speed bumps on your Gibs? Any opinion on whether a fret dressing could take some of the edge off without taking away from anything*?

 

 

 

 

*what I dont know about acoustic guitars is a lot

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I'm noticing a 'speed bump" with the frets on my new '45 when I slide into a note.

 

*what I dont know about acoustic guitars is a lot

 

 

That's exactly what I'm talking about. I was surprised to hear that the new J-45 wire is as narrow as it is, but I don't think it's just the narrowness of the wire. It's a combination of the wire width, crown height, and the sectional shape of the fret itself.

 

I play with a lot of slides, and the fret profile definitely makes a difference. It's interesting that the frets I like most seem to be more similar to electric fret dimensions and shapes than to a lot of acoustic ones.

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That's exactly what I'm talking about. I was surprised to hear that the new J-45 wire is as narrow as it is.I play with a lot of slides, and the fret profile definitely makes a difference.

 

So that would appear to be standard, then? Ugh. Any take on having them crowned?

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I suspect crowning would help, but of course it accelerates the time when the guitar requires a re-fret, as it can remove a fair amount of material. Crown height of .043" is not particularly high, when reading the Stewmac specs for all their fret wires.

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If the frets are a hindrance and you can’t get use to them,get them worked on, if the funds are there. Concerning ware, it just gets you that muchcloser to getting the frets you want. Back in the day when I got my bass, I had alot of setup and fret work done on it. The tech was frustrated but I ended upwith a bass that played what I wanted it to. Would crowning do the job? I don’tknow but if not too price it would be worth the try. The luthier you take it to should be able to give you some good advice.

 

chasAK

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