Getting Stainless Steel Frets Installed on My Florentine LP.

Discussion in 'Epiphone Les Pauls' started by Rocco Crocco, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    I used to own a Carvin with stainless frets... loved the way they felt. They take much longer to wear, don't need polishing, and bends feel unbelievably smooth.

    My Florentine is only a couple years old, but already has some significant fret-wear. I could have had the stock frets leveled, but I decided to just go with stainless. I'll probably never have to worry about the frets again.

    Can't wait to get my hands on it. It should be ready early next week.
     
  2. Dilver

    Dilver Senior Member

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    I'll be curious to hear if you hear any tonal difference. I've heard that stainless can make a guitar brighter...
     
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  3. 07rogersg

    07rogersg Senior Member

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    If there is a tonal difference, I can't hear it.
     
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  4. Barnaby

    Barnaby Premium Member

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    I've refretted a bunch of guitars, both with nickel and stainless. The latter is now my go-to wire for builds.

    My opinion, for what it's worth, is that, when you have freshly-crowned and polished frets of any standard material (nickel, stainless, EVO), they feel considerably smoother for bends and sound a bit brighter. Stainless frets simply retain that 'new fretjob' feel for longer. There's no other difference in sound or feel as far as I can tell.
     
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  5. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

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    IMO, stainless is the only way to go if you have the option.

    Refretting to stainless can be pricey though. And some techs won't even do it. Stainless wears out their tools quicker than traditional.
     
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  6. NotScott

    NotScott Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    I have had a few of my Fenders refretted with SS. They do sound a hair brighter but play much nicer now. I wouldn't dream of going back to nickel silver frets.
     
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  7. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    To get my LP refretted with nickel frets would be $210.... stainless is $250.
     
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  8. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    I would be more concerned about choosing the wire best fir you, and having someone who can in fact do an excellent fret job. As other comments indicate, the nonsense about SS has settled down and the consensus is that great durability and the ability to hold a fine surface much longer are the pluses, and there is no tonal difference. Frankly, a good fret job and smooth frets, regardless of material, are the biggest pluses when it comes to tone. By far.
     
  9. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    I picked up my freshly refretted guitar yesterday. The frets are the same size as stock, so that part is good.

    The fret ends are nice.... not sticking out, but the fret surface is a bit rough. I called the repair guy after I got it home and had a chance to play it. I told him I was expecting the frets to feel smoother.

    He said the roughness is caused by some residual buffing compound that was left on the fretboard, and to give it some time for the compound to wear off the frets. Seems reasonable. If after a couple days it's not better, he said to bring it back and he'll clean it up while I wait. We shall see.
     
  10. lancpudn

    lancpudn Senior Member

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    I had my 96 Epi LP fitted with stainless steel frets around 9 years ago, there is ZERO wear on them after all this time, as has been said They never need polishing, just a quick wipe, string bending is really smooth & I never detected any tonal difference either.

    I wish I had the money to put stainless steel frets on all my guitars.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Troy McClure

    Troy McClure Senior Member

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    Buffing compound is just a fine powder and should be simple to wipe off, you should really be able to do that yourself not need a tech .

    If the frets have been crowned and polished properly they should be like a mirror, if it feels rough and gritty he probably hasn't polished it fine enough or gone thru the grits properly. Stainless steel isn't some wonder fret that'll solve all problems it's just a lot harder material and when done badly any blemishes will take a long time to smooth out by just playing it. Like Barnaby said a decent fret job is all down to the person doing it, stainless just retains that initial feel for a lot longer, good or bad.
     
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  12. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    I just put on some reading glasses and looked at the frets. There are chatter marks on them... not cool. I called the guy up and he said to bring it in so he can fix it. Don't people check their work before releasing an item to a customer?
     
  13. Troy McClure

    Troy McClure Senior Member

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    Good to see he's gonna fix it, you'll notice a real difference once the frets are smooth and the stainless frets mean that feeling is gonna last a long long time. Had to smile at the reading glasses bit, I went for a check up a week ago for the first time in about 6 years, seeing things thru the proper prescription showed up so many blemishes in things I never knew where there :) Was almost like using a microscope.
     
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  14. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    That's rarely an issue among the better techs these days. I would have expected to hear something like this about 10 years ago, but I haven't heard that from a tech for a long time.
     
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  15. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    Just got the guitar back and it's perfect. The guy was very apologetic.

    The frets are shiny and feel great.
     
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  16. LeftyF2003

    LeftyF2003 Premium Member

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    I'm doing stainless on all my guitars going forward. I bend A LOT and tear my frets to shreds. I've gotten good at doing my own leveling and polishing but I'd love to not have to do all that work on a regular basis, especially on my live guitars.
     
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  17. Fuelish

    Fuelish Senior Member

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    I have a guitar with a vibrato/whammy/whatever ya wanna call it, and with a zero fret. The main frets are still fine, but the zero fret is showing wear, considering getting it replaced with a SS. Would a good tech turn down a one fret job? Don't get the zero fret thang, really....it also has a nut further up that only serves as a string guide. Love this guitar much, just didn't expect wear that quickly on the zero, I mean, I don't use the bar that much.
     
  18. Troy McClure

    Troy McClure Senior Member

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    I've always like zero frets dunno why more people don't use them as it takes cutting a decent nut out of the equation and how well a nut is cut makes such a difference. Zero frets make the guitar a dream to play a bit like playing with a capo. Why not try replacing it yourself there's plenty of youtube videos on how to refret a guitar so surely one fret cant be too hard to mess up :) I guess they wear quick because they're always in contact with the string , even simple things like tuning up would have the string sawing back and to over the fret. Replacing it with SS would be a good move imo and decent techs rarely turn down work especially the easy jobs.
     
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  19. truckermde

    truckermde Senior Member

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    Lolz!!

    Yeah, I love/hate my reading glasses...:laugh2:
     
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  20. Fuelish

    Fuelish Senior Member

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    It's not that I dislike it, and agree with your reasons...just don't like how fast it's wearing. The other frets are fine, and yeah, like you said, the strings are always on it....and it doesn't help that it has a Wilkinson "trem" adding even MORE saw-like action with the light gauge strings that are on it. It's not to the point that it's annoying yet (not deep enough for the strings to ping outta the worn spots). Having that one fret be SS would make my day. Now, to find someone to do it in these parts...
     

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