Nickel vs stainless steel frets

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by carvincrazy, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. carvincrazy

    carvincrazy carvincrazy

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    just trying to gauge the opinion of the general population, as I'm personally unsure... do you guys prefer nickel or stainless steel frets, and why?
     
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  2. wookie606

    wookie606 Telecaster Fetish

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    Stainless steel, it never wears down.
    Nickels good too.
     
  3. skisgaar

    skisgaar Master-debatur

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    Stainless steel. They just never break or wear down, it's fucking ridiculous. Plus, they're really shiny and big :3
     
  4. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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    I've never worn through nickel frets even in guitars I've owned 10 years, and I've owned plenty of 20+ year old guitars with original frets that are just starting to get pitted, however that SS frets don't wear is true and some people do seem to be able to chew their way through nickel frets like they're made out of wet poo.

    So it depends on you. They do sound different too.
     
  5. Timelesseer

    Timelesseer SS.org Regular

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    I noticed the difference with stainless steel frets on my Carvin immediately the day I got it. It's amazing how much smoother they make the fretboard feel. The fact that they won't wear is a nice added bonus.
     
  6. JoeyBTL

    JoeyBTL SS.org Regular

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    I love them. To me the sound difference isn't extremely audible but it's more of a feel thing to me. It seems like the notes snap or pop out much easier. Plus bends and vibrato are silky smooth. With companies like EBMM being able to offer them on the bare bones JP6 that only cost $1575 it's dissappointing when some companies (looking at you ibanez) can't offer them on any of their higher end models.
     
  7. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    Stainless Steel for sure. I've tried them a couple times on some JP models but don't own any guitars with them.

    I'd like to get them put on my SL2H but since it's such a major customization and costs a few $$ I'd like to be sure a shop has a immaculate reputation at doing this stuff first. Wouldn't want someone ruining my baby...
     
  8. Khoi

    Khoi SS.org Regular

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    Stainless steel. I don't think I'd ever go back to nickel if I could help it.

    It just feels incredibly smooth when bending, very effortless, and you don't get that "scratching" noise against the strings from worn frets
     
  9. Panacea224

    Panacea224 SS.org Regular

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    I prefer stainless steel. I never used a guitar with stainless steel frets until I got my Jackson Chris Broderick and I love how smooth and easy bends are, plus moving up and down the board just feels easier with them.
     
  10. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    This.


    When I recieved my carvin I was blown away.
     
  11. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    They feel very smooth. Some say they can sound "pingy" or bright. Very hard to say because you'd have to a/b different frets on the same guitar.
     
  12. Steve_U1S

    Steve_U1S SS.org Regular

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    I've become quite convinced of SS frets based on my experience these past few months with my Suhr GG Antique Modern.
    Not only do they start off super-smooth ... they stay that way.
    Normally by now I'd be polishing my nickel frets to smooth them out and such... these just seem super consistent.

    Sound-wise I have to think they're imprating their own tendencies onto the sound - but I don't have a test-bed comparison; I'd have to have the same guitar with the different frets, or something along those lines, to truly understand the nature of the tonal variation.
    I would expect a little more 'snap' from the stainless, though...

    Based on this, though, I'd love to try out something like my typical Ibanez RG7-style with stainless steel frets sitting on rosewood... just to see what it did to the sound...
     
  13. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    They only offer it because JP now chooses to use them instead. It isn't an available option on any other guitar sadly.

    It would be nice, but it's not something companies offer since it wears their machinery down and takes much longer to work with.

    By that logic, I wish Fender would on their high end guitars and even their select guitar series. But don't expect other companies to follow in EBMM's direction, they likely won't offer it unless you go Custom Shop.

    On the topic of stainless steel, it is the best IMO. Take a look at a 90's Parker Nitefly, their frets look practically new decades later. It's just insane.
     
  14. Danukenator

    Danukenator Kane's Bane

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    Man, after a couple minutes on them I was sold. It just feels like playing on glass.
     
  15. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    I've read this many times but have never understood it. Why not upgrade the machinery with harder cutting mechanisms? Steel is used everywhere in products all throughout the world just fine. Knives are cut and polished, beams for buildings, pots and pans, bicycle parts, etc. WTF makes frets so much more of an issue to deal with? - not asking you specifically, just saying overall I don't get why it's such an issue.

    And yeah I know there's fret levelling and crowning etc, but I think that can probably be mostly automated as well.

    Got stainless frets coming on my custom Jackson, but have not owned any guitars so far that I know of with stainless frets. But if they last that much longer it's certainly worth paying the difference than having to pay for fret dressings then later a refret to keep an instrument going no?


    Rev.
     
  16. JoeyBTL

    JoeyBTL SS.org Regular

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    Oh I know that. But its just the point that they can offer put them on a guitar at that price point but companies that have guitars for twice that amount don't have them. Its just unfortunate there aren't as many out there.
     
  17. Philligan

    Philligan The White-Knuckler Contributor

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    You're almost definitely gonna love them :yesway: I have them on my Warmoth Strat, and my dad has them on his Strat and his Parkers. It's a huge factor in deciding what guitars I get now - if I can get something comparable to what I'm looking at but with stainless frets then I will. AKA basically Carvins right now :lol:

    I don't notice any difference in how they sound, and they feel so much better. My dad had a Nitefly for 10 or 15 years and never touched the frets once, and they still looked brand new.
     
  18. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    Yeah agreed, I totally wish the J Custom Line had them, at that price range it's quite a lot for something that you can get on a 3-4000 Level Prestige guitar. Definitely unfortunate that we have to go out and refret them ourselves.

    Trust me Rev, you'll love them. They feel so smooth and butter to play on, there's nothing quite like them out there in my opinion. I've yet to try EVO frets or anything like that, but you'll be playing that Jackson for decades to come before you need to replace any frets on it I'm sure! :shred:

    I never understood it either, but that's the response I get from multiple techs and company Reps. I told my tech I would pay the extra charge to just get a stainless steel refret and he's cool with it. It only made sense, he charges a very reasonable price for fret leveling (80$), and a regular refret is (250$), the upcharge to get the stainless steel frets is 25$, so for 275$ I can get frets that might wear in a couple years from now. Or I can can level my frets 3 times for the same cost once per year.

    Years /Level/Refret, and then leveling
    1 year . 80 . 275
    2 year . 80
    3 year . 80
    4 year . 80
    5 year . 80
    6 year . 80
    7 year . 80
    8 year . 80 . 80

    You could spent 80 a year leveling, with the eventual refret which will cost you quite a bit once your frets are almost gone. Or you can get it early on, for a small price increase in my case, and have them last quite awhile before you need to invest in a fret leveling. And much longer before you need to replace the frets haha.

    My tech agreed that it's the best way to move forward with this. That's why he's refreting all of my keepers for me.
     
  19. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    I got my first SS fret guitar 5 or 6 motnhs ago and I love it

    they say they never wear which is alsome but they also feel great to play . really smooth to bend
     
  20. samthebrutal

    samthebrutal What is happening?

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    Stainless all the way, ultra smooth.
     

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