Stainless Steel frets affect tone?? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2004, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

Ed Roman claims they affect the tone.

I didn't believe it until I looked at numerous other sources that stated the same thing???

My question is this do YOU think that the stainless steel frets affect tone? Or are these "other" sources just listening to what ed says?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2004, 12:41 PM
 
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Considering how few people out there have actually played the exact same guitar with nickel-silver frets and then compared it back-to-back with stainless, i'd say it's probably difficult to say for sure.

It wouldn't surprise me. Stainless steel is harder than the nickel alloy used for regular fretwire, so i'm sure it would sound a bit brighter. Personally, i think the benefit of stainless steel frets is more about the feel and longevity, not the tone.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2004, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darren wilson
Personally, i think the benefit of stainless steel frets is more about the feel and longevity, not the tone.
Thats what I was thinking, but I have never used any steel frets except some on a Parker. Which would be impossible to say it made it brighter due to the advanced constuction techniques used.

I think I am just goning to bite the bullet and put some stainless' on my 550 I need a fret change anywway, plus I don't like the shape too much.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2004, 02:31 PM
 
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I'll let you know.
I'm having a custom RG-550 modded with an ebony board and SS frets.
The one advantage, I think, is that the SS frets will retain their polish longer and you haven't the squeek when you do a wide vibrato that you get with a worn set of standard frets. I have always hated that feeling of the 2 metals grinding together, with the SS you don't have that as much.

Bamm
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2004, 06:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bammbamm
I have always hated that feeling of the 2 metals grinding together, with the SS you don't have that as much.

Bamm
I actually like that 'feeling'. It feels like you are evening out the darn fret with the string, and I like that.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2004, 10:14 AM
 
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According to John Suhr, there is little difference. Most people would never notice it. Just a tad brighter.

Most people who say that stainless is much brighter have probably never played them on anything but a Parker, which is a bright guitar to begin with. I will never play with anything but stainless.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 07:41 AM
 
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

This is my personal experience:

I have a Fender Stratocaster USA, Dave Gilmour's EMG DG20 equipped (extraordinary fat sounding).

After years of intense playing I changed the original maple/rosewood neck of this guitar for a Warmoth maple/maple custom-made, natural oil-finished (no lacquer) with jumbo SS frets on it.

I have to say the tonal change was spectacular in the same guitar. I was really surprised since I didn't expected it. The new tone has nothing to do with the previous one, now the guitar sounds REALLY bright and brittle. With kinda an extra definition in the super high frequencies that make it sounds a little bit "sterile" to me.

Maybe is a combination of several factors that made this happen, like the new maple fretboard, and the new unfinished raw wood neck... but I think the SS frets plays a Determinant Primary Role in this tonal change.

Regarding feeling, you get all the benefits from the SS. The feel is just unreal!: superclean bends and really pleasant to play. But I have to say I really prefer the previous tone, with the nickel frets. So my next neck probably would be equipped with regula jumbo frets, not SS.



SBL.-
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 08:02 AM
 
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaken Bends Legacy View Post
...like the new maple fretboard,...

SBL.-
I think that would be the main factor in tone change but that's just my opinion, I've heard that SS does and doesn't change tone.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 08:04 AM
 
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bammbamm View Post
I have always hated that feeling of the 2 metals grinding together, with the SS you don't have that as much.

Bamm
God even thinking about it makes me squirm, like scratching a knife on a plate...
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 05:07 AM
 
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

Tom Anderson and John Suhr are using exclusively SS frets on their guitars .
That's enough for me ,whatever Ed Romano might say , with all respect .
I will refret my 7 wvh with Jescar SS jumbo frets next year or so .
After only two years of (not so excessive ) playing , nickel ones frets are not in the best conditions , after two leveling and polishing .
Right now I am refretting my 25 years old hand made guitar with SS jumbo as well .

I did play Tom Anderson DT and Atom , and SS frets sound , feel and looks stunning !
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 05:42 PM
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

Even after four years (this thread) the debate still goes on...

Most builders will tell you that there is no difference in sound, but there will always be the people who claim they can tell what socks you are wearing by the "tone".
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 12:37 AM
 
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

Nice old thread bump...
The truth is that my Carvin DC400TA with SS frets is brighter sounding than my Ibbys, but I believe that Carvin guitars in general has a tendency to be bright anyway.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

Why does it matter if you get a slightly brighter tone? Just change something up in your rig/eq to get a less bright tone.

I'd rather have frets than last forever and feel great than frets that 'sound good'.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

Fitting stainless steel frets to my guitar was the best money I have spent in a long time. There is no down side to stainless steel for the player, it is the luthiers who donít like them as they take a little more effort to install.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 07:39 AM
 
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Re: Stainless Steel frets affect tone??

I wore the frets down on one of my 540's, had them dressed and wore them down again. I debated putting stainless on with my buddies at the local music shop and the tech who did the work. I got the same responses, the jury was still out. I had them done in stainless because it will be the last time I'll ever have to do them and that was worth the chance. I cannot hear any descernable difference in tone, but they play like a dream. All smooth and slippery. You'll want to vabratto all night.
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