tips on taming treble from SS frets?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by soldierkahn, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. soldierkahn

    soldierkahn BAD MAMMA-JAMMA Contributor

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    Without having much experience with stainless steel frets, I was wondering if we had anybody who has been able to tame the extra treble being thrown into the EQ mix from SS frets? My only experience Ive had with them were on the RGA6UCS I bought earlier this year, but I ended up trading it off rather quickly for the RGD2120Z.

    As Im nearing the halfway point of my 30day trial run of the 2027XLS, Im trying to find reasons to convince me to hang onto it instead of trading it off for a DCM100. I thought the thinner neck profile (of the XLS) was going to make it easy to hate, but she hasnt caused me any wrist or hand fatigue issues so far. The Lundgren BHs far exceeded my expectations as well, but they are naturally bright sounding pickups (at least they are in my RG970XL) that mesh perfectly with basswood, but the extra treble from the SS frets is becoming a challenge to mitigate. Cut my highs too much and i start losing clarity; dont cut them enough, and itll make your ears feel like theyre bleeding. Ive yet to really find the sweet spot with them.

    So far, the treble issue with the tone is the absolute only negative beef I have with the guitar.. Ive contemplated talking to Nick @ AP to see if I could trade the XLS for a stock XL with my pickups in them, but theres risks with that gamble.

    -Its very possible that the extra treble im hearing is coming from the ebony FB and not the frets (since im comparing to an RG1077XL, which had a rosewood FB), so switching to a model without them might not even fix my issue.

    -If I send the XLS back for an XL, it would be much harder to use the stock XL to trade for a DCM100 if the switch doesnt cure the treble trouble.
     
  2. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    I also notice that thing in my guitars, they are 27 scale, modern high gain ceramic pups and through a 5153 50w.... trebblefest. But you might get used to it. I don't care very much anymore
     
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  3. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    I reckon you could be on to something here, maybe you could persuade amp manufacturers to put some sort of "knob" on the front of their amps.
     
  4. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    In my experience after getting two guitars that I had for a long time re-fretted with SS frets there was zero tonal change because of the frets themselves.

    Lundgrens have a sharp high end that’s noticeable on all their pickups, same way BkPs have a mid spike and dimarzios can have a cocked wah/fuzzy mid range. Pair them with a 27” scale and an ebony fretboard it’s no wonder you are finding the highs too much. Basswood can vary a lot too and you could have gotten a bright sounding piece. Unfortunately it’s the guitar and the sum of its parts. You could try different pickups again to try tame it but sometimes it can be a losing battle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  5. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    The SS frets extra brightness is real. This is gonna be the modern timber debate probably but I don't care. If most people agree that the material of the nut affect on the tone on open strings then the material of the fret affect on fretted notes. And I can hear the extra brightness of the SS frets and I hate it.

    Maybe it is much more noticeable with a 27" scale guitar (like the one I had) and with DiMarzio pickups it was horrible but with BKPs that become even worse, I couldn't even resist the sound with the guitar unplugged so if I was playing at "home volume" I could hear the strings and I just couldn't stand by the guitar and playing from the distance is something I haven't managed to do yet.

    So I sold the guitar. The new owner is really amazed by the "extra clarity and snappy sound", "the guitar has so much clarity and definition" and all that things... But I prefer my ole nickel frets.

    I don't know which pickups can tame those frequencies if there are any but I really doubt it... Maybe only a very nice parametric EQ and find the right Freq to turn down.

    It's a shame because that ibby is a beauty.
     
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  6. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @soldierkahn Have you already messed with the presence (if there is anything like that in your setup)? I've been finding that there's a delicate balance between the treble and presence settings in order to find the tone I'm looking for. It's easy to over do things because it's what the pro's do, but they don't have the gear you have. If you're using tube amps, tubes can have a dramatic effect on the overall tone.

    Other than that, why don't you start where it all starts: the STRINGS... get some mellower strings for a change. Besides changing the rig settings, it's the cheaper thing to do, way less expensive than to swap pickups in/out (if you don't have them already)...
     
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  7. GXPO

    GXPO SS.org Regular

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    I can wear in sets of strings for you over the course a month to help? At around 2 hours of practice a day at a universal living wage of $15 an hour, they'll only come in at $900 a set.
     
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  8. xzacx

    xzacx SS.org Regular

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    Unless you had the guitar refretted, how would you know it’s the stainless frets to attribute it to? I have had a guitar with nickel frets refretted with stainless and there was zero tonal impact. I’d guess the pickups have a lot more to do with it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  9. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I've refretted about a dozen or so guitars from nickel silver to stainless steel, and I haven't noticed any significant change. There's some change from going from dead low worn frets to giant new ones, but it's not drastic and very, very easy to compensate for.
     
  10. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    Low pass filter at around 6k-7k, season to taste.
     
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  11. Fred the Shred

    Fred the Shred Shrederick

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    This, pretty much - generally speaking, in my experience at least, the added brightness was quite subtle and quite likely to be more related to the previous set of frets having been on their death throes than to the material of the new ones. Adjusting to that was incredibly simple, as all it took was bringing either presence or treble down a hair on the amp / model itself when I even bothered to do anything at all.
     
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  12. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    There's always a "knob" or two in front of their amps

    The general public tends to call them "guitarists"
     
  13. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    I have two customs with stainless frets, one production guitar with nickel frets, a bass with nickel frets, and have used nickel frets for just about all my guitar playing life. I can't tell any significant tonal difference. And if there is it's very very slight and nothing a little treble/presence eq'ing couldn't rectify. If you're experiencing such a problem with this it's almost certainly not the frets but something else like the pickups or even the guitar itself! I had a Carvin DC800 made out of all koa wood (body & neck) and the thing was just so incredibly bright. I changed the pickups to EMG 808's to only a slight improvement but still way too bright. Sold it and got a mahogany DC800 and it's perfect. And I have never been a believer in tone woods, still really am not much a believer in it but I have no way else to explain why that koa DC800 was so bright, and outside of woods all specs were the same.


    Rev.
     
  14. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    A guitar's electrical components have a tolerance, too, from piece to piece. Even if it were only 5% (in reality it's usually higher), by the time you compound that tolerance from the cap, the pots, and the pickups themselves, even two "identical" guitars from the same production run can have tone different than another.

    Although, while I haven't been able to experiment much, both Eddie van Halen and Andy James both say they don't like the "tone" of stainless frets. So...take that for what you will.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  15. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Long scale, lundgrens. No wonder its bright.
     
  16. MikeH

    MikeH Bring the gain

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    If you’re used to playing standard scale, there’s going to be a noticeable difference in treble and presence with a baritone. While I don’t have much experience with SS frets, it doesn’t seem like that’s your issue.
     
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  17. fproject

    fproject Member

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    I have SS frets on most of my guitars. I can't tell that they are more trebly. They're a breeze to play on though. All refrets on my guitars are SS now.

    Your extra high end issue is not from the frets. Listen to the guitar acoustically first and compare it to others. Check your pickups after that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  18. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    I've got 13 different guitars here, 6 with SS frets and I can't say I notice the SS equipped guitars being particularly brighter than the ones with nickel frets. :2c:
     
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  19. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    ... and still no one else mentions the strings...
     
  20. Soya

    Soya Poor person

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    Because us guitarists generally don't use the most obvious logic.
     

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