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Thread: stainless steel vs nickel

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    Tone Member Sruffie777's Avatar
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    Default stainless steel vs nickel

    I'm having a neck built by Warmoth is there much in tone difference between stainless steel frets from nickel/silver frets?
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    Asshatologist
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    You are gonna here a bunch of internet hearsay. Sosomething had Stainless steel frets.

    He reports the stereotypical issue with it. Some don't. I trust him.

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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by grumptruck View Post
    You are gonna here a bunch of internet hearsay. Sosomething had Stainless steel frets.

    He reports the stereotypical issue with it. Some don't. I trust him.
    and that would be?

    I would think it would never need a refret

    some say they are slicker when bending but I wouldn't know

    If I built one, thats a $20 option I would like to try
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    Super Toneologist longcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by ehdwuld View Post
    and that would be?

    I would think it would never need a refret

    some say they are slicker when bending but I wouldn't know

    If I built one, thats a $20 option I would like to try
    i was wondering the same thing, but i thought it was just because i'm new, lol. i've also heard they can be a bit brighter, but obviously can't back it up one way or the other.
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    Vintageologist crusty philtrum's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    I built a guitar last year with a neck from Warmoth and i opted for the gold frets, which are apparently harder than nickel but not as hard as stainless. They do seem to be a little brighter than regular frets, but i have only heard the gold frets on the guitar in question, it wasn't a re-fret. I'd imagine that s/s would be a little brighter again.
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    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by Sruffie777 View Post
    I'm having a neck built by Warmoth is there much in tone difference between stainless steel frets from nickel/silver frets?
    Acoustically? Sure. Through the pickups? Nah. If anything the fret size (weight) plays a role.

    However, the truss rod that Warmoth puts in there (they have 3 or 4 variants) will have a major impact. I advise caution.

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    Mojo's Minions BloodRose's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    The only guitar I have with Stainless frets also has other features that makes it hard to tell how much of a diff the SS frets make. (has a fiberglass composite board and SS frets) Mine has a bright, (not in a bad way)crisp tone. bends and stuff is ungodly easy on this guitar. Due to both the slick frets and the SLICK board. I love that the frets will almost never wear out and I dont see anything that would deter me from doing SS frets in the future..
    Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now.

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    Mojo's Minions KeeperOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    I also only have one SS-fretted guitar which however is also my favorite guitar. They feel absolutely amazing, just like normal nickel/silver frets feel immediately after a good polish, but always!

    I cannot comment about their effect in tone but I can tell you this guitar is not lacking in mids and definitely doesn't have too much highs.

    Personally if there was the possibility I'd have them on all of my guitars...
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    Super Toneologist masta' c's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    I've had a lot of experience with stainless frets (Parker Fly, Parker NiteFly x 2, Carvin custom order, SoulMate custom neck-through, Anthem WRT-30) and have many non-stainless guitars, as well.

    I like the smoothness and resistance to wear of the stainless, but, tonally, particularly through an amp, the difference is negligible.

    Pick type, hand position, playing attack, body woods, pickups, bridge type and even fret size have more impact on your sound than the fret material does! Not saying there is no difference...just saying it's not significant enough to be a concern.

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    Riffologist Extraordinaire Tor's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    I've got a Parker Nitefly with SS frets, and I absolutely love it.

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    Li'l Junior Member MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    HUGE difference. They are super bright. They also transfer more energy for more sustain and more beef in the low mids. Frets bend like buttah, but probably wear strings faster.
    Biggest surprise was how bright they are compared tp nickel. I had to re-eq the amp.
    Not bad per -se, just different. IMO, it'd be best to have them spec'd by a Luthier for a particular instrument.

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    Super Toneologist JordanM82's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by KeeperOS View Post
    I also only have one SS-fretted guitar which however is also my favorite guitar. They feel absolutely amazing, just like normal nickel/silver frets feel immediately after a good polish, but always!

    I cannot comment about their effect in tone but I can tell you this guitar is not lacking in mids and definitely doesn't have too much highs.

    Personally if there was the possibility I'd have them on all of my guitars...
    Same exact situation for me, same exact perspective... I would put em on all my guitars if I could...
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    Toneologist J E C's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    I am curios, some of you guys mention fret size having an effect on tone. In what way?

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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    I cannot confirm that but I do have a theory about it.
    My guitar has tall-thin/medium frets. I am guessing most that order SS frets also order them Jumbo which means more metal to make contact with the strings, less contact with the fretboard wood thus, a more metallic-sounding tone which many would perceive as "bright".

    Perhaps that's where many of these testimonies stem from, rather than the actual fret material.

    Like I said however, I have never actually heard both N/S and SS frets on the EXACT same instrument to be able to A/B but the one that does have them makes me wanna put them in all of the rest...
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Fingers_Jay View Post
    I prefer cheaper guitars, nothing is as cool as a cheap guitar that sounds awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by That90'sGuy View Post
    Not all guitars are created equal, so make sure it sings and if it does, you'd be silly to pass it up.

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    Li'l Junior Member MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by KeeperOS View Post
    I cannot confirm that but I do have a theory about it.
    My guitar has tall-thin/medium frets.
    Ive seen your guitars. Why on gods green earht would you put tall medium frets on them??
    Thats beyond bizarre! Its like putting All season radials on a car that calls for fat ass racing tires.
    Your guitars need 6000's. If not, your really missing the boat.

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    Stratoblaster Tone Meister STRATDELUXER97's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Can't speak tonally about the ss frets,but I'm sure they would last longer...The height and width of the frets and not just the material,also affect tone...To me..thin vintage style frets like used on a strat,make for a more articulate note sound compared to a medium jumbo..
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    Stratoblaster Tone Meister STRATDELUXER97's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalManiac View Post
    Ive seen your guitars. Why on gods green earht would you put tall medium frets on them??
    Thats beyond bizarre! Its like putting All season radials on a car that calls for fat ass racing tires.
    Your guitars need 6000's. If not, your really missing the boat.
    Different strokes...
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    Li'l Junior Member MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by STRATDELUXER97 View Post
    ..To me..thin vintage style frets like used on a strat,make for a more articulate note sound compared to a medium jumbo..
    I actually do nOT understand this. IMO its not a matter of taste , style, tone or playability. The thin crap went out with tech progress. Theres no need for that sH*t any longer. Its obsolete , and serves no legitimate purpose.
    Fender went to at LEASTto medium Jumbos, and thats progress.

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    Fuzzy. Guitars the guy who invented fire's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    I had one neck with SS frets and I'll never ever have one again.

    I hated the way they sounded and felt.

    FWIW on the fret size thing go with whatever feels good...I actually like vintage style frets on some of my guitars...
    Proudly Klon free!

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    Stratoblaster Tone Meister STRATDELUXER97's Avatar
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    Default Re: stainless steel vs nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalManiac View Post
    I actually do nOT understand this. IMO its not a matter of taste or style, The thin crap went out with tech progress. Theres no need for that sH*t any longer. Its obsolete , and serves no legitimate purpose.
    Fender went to at LEASTto medium Jumbos, and thats progress.
    Read my post and get the info I put out there....I'm saying a thinner fret gives a guitar an overall cleaner tone compared to a larger fret...I'm not saying I prefer the thinner frets...Why the attitude?
    Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

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