Are these frets worn away or is it how they were back then ? super low

West 8th ST NyC

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My 73 plays great , sounds great with NO buzzing or rattles . Im used to huge 6100 frets from my fender strat , and these old gibson frets feel tiny ....are they worn out , or is it how they were back in the early 70s super low ?
 

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JIGZAT

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I have a 70's Univox with somewhat similarly very low frets, I think that's how they were made. Mine has clear string wear in the first two frets so the wear is not in the whole fret but under the string itself.
 

nuance97

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My buddy has a ‘56, and the frets (original) are super low & narrow. I measured them, and if I recall they were something around .070” wide x .022” tall. I assume this is what people call the “fretless wonder.” If it were mine I’d have to refret it. The width is fine, but the height doesn’t work for me
 

West 8th ST NyC

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Google ”fretless wonder”.

I bought a ‘74 like that. I had it refretted before I learned how to appreciate it. I wish I had left it alone.
I was just reading all about them , it seems some people love them and others dont ..my frets now are about .050..so im torn , they are ok now , but if they wear dont at all im in fretless wonder land ..
 

sws1

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My buddy has a ‘56, and the frets (original) are super low & narrow. I measured them, and if I recall they were something around .070” wide x .022” tall. I assume this is what people call the “fretless wonder.” If it were mine I’d have to refret it. The width is fine, but the height doesn’t work for me

Skinny 50s frets are not fretless wonders. FWs came on the customs, and are wider.
Originally those skinny frets would have been .070 x approx .025

FW:
1648891862725.jpeg
 

nuance97

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Skinny 50s frets are not fretless wonders. FWs came on the customs, and are wider.
Originally those skinny frets would have been .070 x approx .025

FW:
View attachment 600605
Well…fretless wonder or not .025” are too low for my liking. I can’t imagine frets lower than that.

What height were the frets on a fretless wonder? .015”… .010”??
 

sws1

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Well…fretless wonder or not .025” are too low for my liking. I can’t imagine frets lower than that.

What height were the frets on a fretless wonder? .015”… .010”??

I think they were about the same height as skinny frets.
 

nuance97

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I think they were about the same height as skinny frets.
Fret width is irrelevant to me…jumbo, skinny, medium are all fine, but they need to be somewhere in the .040” or taller range. I don’t like my fingertips mushed up against the fretboard wood
 

West 8th ST NyC

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Fret width is irrelevant to me…jumbo, skinny, medium are all fine, but they need to be somewhere in the .040” or taller range. I don’t like my fingertips mushed up against the fretboard wood
you bring up a good point , ..what does fret width even matter?
 

Dilver

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So, are you saying you like these low frets? Or are you saying you’d prefer the feel of 6100s? I have a 72 Deluxe that had these super flat Norlin-era frets. Had it refretted many years ago and it was like breathing new life into the guitar. I would 1000% recommend getting it refretted. Unless you’re one of these guys who happen to like super small low frets, you will not be disappointed and it is well worth the money.
 

West 8th ST NyC

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So, are you saying you like these low frets? Or are you saying you’d prefer the feel of 6100s? I have a 72 Deluxe that had these super flat Norlin-era frets. Had it refretted many years ago and it was like breathing new life into the guitar. I would 1000% recommend getting it refretted. Unless you’re one of these guys who happen to like super small low frets, you will not be disappointed and it is well worth the money.
Its funny i thought i loved 6100 , untill i strated playing lower frets , now im thinking a good med height fret is the way to go
 

Liam

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you bring up a good point , ..what does fret width even matter?
Rate at which they wear is much faster with skinny than with wider frets, because the string pressure is greater for the same finger force. It's a shame, because I really like the "skinny" 50's frets. They feel really different from the '59 onwards profile.

You have to work a little harder, but anything else on a pre-59 Les Paul Junior, Special or standard just feels wrong to me. I made the mistake of getting my '55 LP Junior refretted with medium jumbo, but fortunately a friend was willing to reshape some fret wire to original size and shape. It kind of played itself with the big frets, but that's not what those guitars are all about (I have a '59 LP Junior for general hooliganism ;) ).

I'll try to remember to take some measurements. My late friend and I got pretty intense about getting exact measurements from the "unworn" portions of mid-50s Gibson fingerboards that hadn't had the frets re-levelled. Pretty sure they started life taller than 0.025". The width was a few thou' out from anything available nowadays. I wasn't sure it mattered that much, but he really wanted to go to town and get it exactly right.

Liam
 

nuance97

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Yeah .075” is the closest I’ve found…it’s much taller than .025” but could obviously be dressed down to whatever height.
Rate at which they wear is much faster with skinny than with wider frets, because the string pressure is greater for the same finger force. It's a shame, because I really like the "skinny" 50's frets. They feel really different from the '59 onwards profile.

You have to work a little harder, but anything else on a pre-59 Les Paul Junior, Special or standard just feels wrong to me. I made the mistake of getting my '55 LP Junior refretted with medium jumbo, but fortunately a friend was willing to reshape some fret wire to original size and shape. It kind of played itself with the big frets, but that's not what those guitars are all about (I have a '59 LP Junior for general hooliganism ;) ).

I'll try to remember to take some measurements. My late friend and I got pretty intense about getting exact measurements from the "unworn" portions of mid-50s Gibson fingerboards that hadn't had the frets re-levelled. Pretty sure they started life taller than 0.025". The width was a few thou' out from anything available nowadays. I wasn't sure it mattered that much, but he really wanted to go to town and get it exactly right.

Liam
 

Uncle Vinnie

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If they're not buzzing, leave it alone and enjoy the low action, it's an LP signature trait.

If they do start to buzz I'd do a re-crown, but they look good for original frets.
 

LtDave32

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*Mod Note*

Norlin-era (1970-1985) and posts concerning them belong in the Norln Years section.

Nothing wrong with Norlin-era Gibsons. We need to keep this place organized for accuracy and reference.

To the OP; I've moved several of your threads so far. Let's try and keep it squared-up, please.

If you've got threads, questions, issues concerning Gibsons of 1952 - 1969, then by all means post in the vintage section.
 

West 8th ST NyC

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If they're not buzzing, leave it alone and enjoy the low action, it's an LP signature trait.

If they do start to buzz I'd do a re-crown, but they look good for original frets.
Thanks for the input , im so used to huge frets , then when i picked up this 73 , i thought they were worn away to nothing . But it seems alot of older LP came stock with low frets . The best part that im loving , is , that i play alot of blues and sliding into notes is super easy . My EVH USA has stainless low frets and makes sliding a breeze too
 

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