SG Supreme refret questions

Discussion in 'Other Gibsons' started by 74Evan, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. 74Evan

    74Evan Senior Member

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    I have an SG Supreme that I want to get refretted. I want the absolute tallest fret wire possible for bending and doing vibrato as I like wide vibrato. I'm going to refret with either Jescar 58118 (.58 high by .118 wide) stainless steel or Jescar 57110 (.57 high by .110 wide) stainless steel. On a 22 fret model the 58118 should be good however the SG supreme having 24 frets could the 58118 be too wide? Will it leave no room for the 23rd and 24th fret? I've seen pictures of this fretwire on regular Gibson's and it looks okay up top but with 24 frets I'm unsure which I should go with. Will .57 vs .58 matter when they crown the frets? I know they shave off material to level and crown them. Will I be able to tell between .57 and .58 or are they so close it's impossible to feel a difference? What will .110 vs .118 feel like? I've never played either of these frets but I'm very excited to try them out.
    My SG supreme is a 2000 model. Does anybody know the stock Gibson fretwire measurements or size from that era?
    Thank you.
     
  2. 74Evan

    74Evan Senior Member

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    These are the frets on my Les Paul and SG
    IMAG3321-20181207-104849709-20181207-105108284.jpg IMAG3322-20181207-104848622-20181207-10510860.jpg IMAG3324-20181207-104847479-20181207-105107747.jpg
     
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  3. Les Paul John

    Les Paul John Senior Member

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    If I may, why are you looking to refret? They look pretty meaty still, a nice recrown/dressing would make those like new.

    Just wondering, not criticizing. I realize some folk just want a change, they do look good though from what’s shown.

    Just asking because I do this kind of thing myself. I did a Chiquita travel guitar recently that looked like the frets were worn to the nub and saved the original frets. It was an original late 70s early 80s (whatever year this one was) if I remember correctly. I did snap a couple of pictures because I don’t see many. I do remember this was a difficult guitar to intonate with a Badass bridge and the short scale length with large string gauge.

    The point being I talked them out of a refret because original is original and this was doable.

    FBF555EC-71BC-4174-8BE0-2AD1520890B2.jpeg 4FB25B83-1E7A-4D02-B76F-0E5568593824.jpeg 3718583C-2FE7-4391-9E8B-124476F65A5B.jpeg
     
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  4. 74Evan

    74Evan Senior Member

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    I want to refret because I want much taller frets and I want stainless steel as they feel much smoother for bending. I also want to eliminate the nibs. I just can't decide between the .058 x .118 frets or the .057 x .110 frets. I want the tallest possible but I wonder if the .118 width will cause problems at the higher frets. Although I wouldn't be playing up there all THAT much, maybe 40% of the time if that.
     
  5. Les Paul John

    Les Paul John Senior Member

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    Gotcha.
     
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  6. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    I've done a "hybrid" refret on a 24-fret guitar: the really fat (6100 I think) on frets 1-12 and the slightly narrower (6105?) from there up. Works really well, and does give you a bit more space between the upper frets!
     
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  7. Les Paul John

    Les Paul John Senior Member

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    I like that! I've never done that .... *filed away in memory cabinet*
     
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  8. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    The frets on the SG look all over the place in terms of crowning. Some are almost Fretless Wonder flat, and some are rounded. It looks like someone did a leveling job with a file on a fretboard/frets that were not level enough to begin with, thereby removing the rounded tops from some but not all. Thus, some of the nibs are semi-circular and others way flat on top, following the fret contours. The crown shape appears to vary pretty incredibly. If something plays OK, I don't mess with it, but if you're having playability issues, I'd get the whole thing looked at and refretted. They hybrid fretting (2 sizes) is not something I have tried but it sure makes sense on paper, particularly for those seeking clean, articulate speed.
     
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  9. 74Evan

    74Evan Senior Member

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    I went with the larger 58118 Stainless frets. My Luthier told me that the difference between both fret choices I was looking at were so small that they'd feel pretty much the same. So I just went with the larger one.
     
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  10. 74Evan

    74Evan Senior Member

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    I've heard this is how Gibson PLEKs their guitars. They don't plane the fretboard but rather plane the frets. So you end up with frets with different heights because the machine grinds the frets down until they're all even. Is this true?
     
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  11. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Good question, 74Evan. I was wondering the same thing myself, but do not know the answer. Taking off the top of frets ought to be the last, final aspect of completing a job, not the starting point. It's like using a belt sander instead of adjusting the truss rod, or previously, leveling the fretboard before fretting.
     
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  12. 74Evan

    74Evan Senior Member

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    Yes I agree. I was looking to possibly have a custom built guitar made through Gibson's made to measure program , however, if this is how they plek they're guitar I would rather have someone do it by hand instead of have it PLEKed.
     
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  13. drpietrzak

    drpietrzak Senior Member

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    I have used 6100, or a SS version of it, and a narrow wire that is essentially the same height on several of my short scale guitars. I have come to prefer the narrower wire. I used it to develop a lighter left hand as well. I rarely get near the fretboard in any real sense these days (save my SGs). All the guitars I have done this with have been 22 fret though but I really don't think it would impact the playability for me at all. This said, both my 2014 and 2017 SG standards appears to have smaller wire (lower profile) than my earlier Gibsons. I am not sure what that transition too place, but my 2013 Studio does not have as low a profile. It will be one of the things I look forward to changing when I need a refret of the SG's. I REALLy wish Gibson has a taller fret option these days.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018 at 10:57 PM
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  14. PierM

    PierM Certified Naysayer Premium Member

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    That SG on the pictures doesn't really look like been plek'd. I see no trace of the plek pass, which is completely different.

    This on the picture looks like an aggressive manual leveling, using the "lazy way", which is mostly done with a radius sanding beam, and then a bit of crown on the fret edges.

    The plek machine just remove the very top material, along the fret wire, to create an ideal path that gives you a constant clearance under the strings. That's of course just a "photo" of the guitar, for the way it was, at the time it was plek'ed. Means that if you move away from its original setup (relief, action, string gauge/tension/pitch) you probably need a good fret dress to be done. In general, a plek from Gibson, just does remove 0.005" from the top of the fret, without making them flat like you have there.

    Plek is no magics, but usually it's a great starting point...but again, that SG doesn't look has ever been plek'ed. (imho)

    This is the typical look of a plek'ed fret from Gibson. You have that shiny line on top, where they did removed the material, but as you see, most of the fret it's there (they do not buff them after plek);

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018 at 6:28 PM
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  15. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    PLEK is about the frets.....fullstop
    As PLEK is a type of fret levelling, by definition it never involves the fretboard no matter who does it. Fretboards are made by a machine that makes them straight and level all the way along. Once they are inlayed and fretted they don't get touched no matter who is making them.
     
  16. drpietrzak

    drpietrzak Senior Member

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    I would perhaps agree for a new build. A refret includes leveling the board before new wire is installed.



    "I’ll go into more detail of the how-to at some point in the future but, for now, know that a good refret isn’t just a matter of pulling old frets and hammering in new ones. That’s certainly part of it but, done properly a refret is a chance to assess and address any problems with the condition of the neck and fingerboard themselves. Relief problems, unevenness, radius issues, inlay, fret slots, binding, and more can be handled before new frets are installed.." https://hazeguitars.com/blog/fret-levels-and-refrets-redux
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018 at 6:37 AM

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