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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's time for a refret for my early 2000's Jem 7vwh.
I've been deep in thought and need to make my decision rather quickly.

I'm considering upgrading to stainless steel frets.
do you all think this is a good idea?
Ive heard good things, but I've never played a stainless.

Please let me know your thoughts / experiences! What do I need to know before I do this?
Thanks so much in advance
Dave
 

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The Pia come with stainless, not the jem (afaik and observed on both, playing them at home)

Well, just the basics for stainless frets. They are way harder. If you need to file them for whatever reason, good luck.

And therefore, you'll have to change your strings a bit more often.

It's nothing much really, but it can be a real pain if you play a lot or if a fret suddenly pops a tenth of a millimeter (you all know how annoying that is, don't lie) when the wood retreats.

Big plus, won't oxidize and turn greenish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Pia come with stainless, not the jem (afaik and observed on both, playing them at home)

Well, just the basics for stainless frets. They are way harder. If you need to file them for whatever reason, good luck.

And therefore, you'll have to change your strings a bit more often.

It's nothing much really, but it can be a real pain if you play a lot or if a fret suddenly pops a tenth of a millimeter (you all know how annoying that is, don't lie) when the wood retreats.

Big plus, won't oxidize and turn greenish.
Thanks for the reply! Are they super hard on your guitar strings? Oddly enough everyone compliments how smooth it feels to bend and move around the neck. I don't want my strings to be mangled every other day though. Lol
 

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On an early 2000s Japanese guitar your worry about frets moving after the neck shrinks etc just be relatively low risk. Unless you live in some crazy climate or leave the guitar by the heater...

You've already got some well seasoned wood that's had 20 years to acclimatize. This isn't some fresh off the boat Indo...

When the time finally comes to do my FP I'll probably go SS. It basically being the last refret on a guitar I'll keep for decades is an attractive idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On an early 2000s Japanese guitar your worry about frets moving after the neck shrinks etc just be relatively low risk. Unless you live in some crazy climate or leave the guitar by the heater...

You've already got some well seasoned wood that's had 20 years to acclimatize. This isn't some fresh off the boat Indo...

When the time finally comes to do my FP I'll probably go SS. It basically being the last refret on a guitar I'll keep for decades is an attractive idea.
That's an excellent observation I hadn't thought about the state of the neck and further movement to it. I understand a refret is always a bit of a trauma to the neck. But it seems like I have a good candidate for the upgrade
 

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My 7V has stainless steel, they look nicer because they never go dull, they feel smoother (a bit like perfectly polished nickel frets) and they don't wear. As far as I'm concerned there are a number of advantages and zero disadvantages because the guitar sounds exactly the same.
 

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I have SS frets in my ‘98 7VWH and in a custom jem I made myself out from a 555BK. I recommend using Jescar fretwire, but notice that measures for 6105 are not the same as Dunlops’ which are the nickel frets that Ibanez uses.

They feel and look way better than nickel frets, BUT THEY DO CHANGE THE SOUND. Unplugged the guitar sounds weaker, trebbly and losses resonance to me. Plugged it is not that bad, people and luthiers say that when plugged thise frets are neutral regarding to the tone, but I do notice the guitar sounds crispy clear, higher frequencies resonate more and there is bottom end loss. Did see any Steve Vai live concert from The Story of Light onwards? That cutting edge sound is what I refer to, but is something you have to hear for yourself. Is like the out of phase sound, if you have never heard it, you can’t identify it, but once you know what you are hearing, you know what it is.

Bottom line is, after years using SS frets, I tend to prefer nickel nowadays regarding to the sound (but SS are also good for other reasons).
 

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I have 2 540r's both with the same aftermarket manufacturer necks... One with maple/rosewood 6105... and the other with roasted maple/rosewood...One with stainless one without... Same bridge pickups. I can't tell the difference in sound. If it's a change it's meniscial. And they're no louder than one another unplugged. Not to say yours didn't change... But then again neither of these necks have been refretted. It may have more to do with a refret than the frets themselves.
Musical instrument Guitar String instrument String instrument String instrument accessory
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have SS frets in my ‘98 7VWH and in a custom jem I made myself out from a 555BK. I recommend using Jescar fretwire, but notice that measures for 6105 are not the same as Dunlops’ which are the nickel frets that Ibanez uses.

They feel and look way better than nickel frets, BUT THEY DO CHANGE THE SOUND. Unplugged the guitar sounds weaker, trebbly and losses resonance to me. Plugged it is not that bad, people and luthiers say that when plugged thise frets are neutral regarding to the tone, but I do notice the guitar sounds crispy clear, higher frequencies resonate more and there is bottom end loss. Did see any Steve Vai live concert from The Story of Light onwards? That cutting edge sound is what I refer to, but is something you have to hear for yourself. Is like the out of phase sound, if you have never heard it, you can’t identify it, but once you know what you are hearing, you know what it is.

Bottom line is, after years using SS frets, I tend to prefer nickel nowadays regarding to the sound (but SS are also good for other reasons).
What size SS did you use from Jescar?
 

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My new AZ 2204 has SS frets, one of the reasons I bought it. They are incredible.

I also have an S type with a roasted maple neck with SS frets.

I am sold, SS frets are a big improvement. I haven't noticed any increase in string wear.

Jeff
 
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