Whats up with giant jumbo frets on high end guitars?

lpfan1980

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Not to sound like Jerry Seinfeld i just got my 2012 US Strat adjusted it plays wonderfully, but it has these huge ass frets. Same with my 2006 Gibson my two best guitars are perfect except for these walls! iIwas playING my first 1997 mim Fender and its gOt little vintage frets [so nice] ilove my LPpand Strat and will keep them as is, but how did big frets come about anyway? 1950s or medium for me.
 

stringbender11

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I've wondered too why many guitars come with jumbos. Changing trends I guess..
 

jvin248

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.

Jumbos came about for two trends:
-more space to the fretboard so more like a scalloped neck for deep bends. It also adds a little neck thickness.
-longer wear life when using softer fret wire

When I started installing stainless steel frets I used medium wire and my install time for stainless is shorter than conventional jumbo wire because I spend a whole lot less time crowning.

.
 

Dilver

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Most people who like to bend strings and do hammer-ons and pull offs when playing blues and rock (myself included) find playing on larger frets easier. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I find it easier to play faster with bigger frets... and bigger necks.

Besides, it’s real easy to lower the profile of frets and recrown if you don’t like big frets. You can’t “add” to a low fret and refretting guitars requires more skill, time and cost.
 

hbucker

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Generally, I see large frets as a modern feature. Lower profile frets are more of a vintage feature. Just like neck profiles, pickups and strings, these things are all up to personal preference.
 

lpfan1980

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It takes all sorts to make a world.
Oh i know, ive got little fingers and they stub against the frets- its juat a minor whiny complaint .Some like them I prefer small ones. Im just curious how they came about ,my Gibson is still superb and I love it jumbo frets and all :D BEST SOUNDING GUITAR IVE EVER PLAYED [just like butter] its putting my USA Strat to shame.
 

Bud Stoner

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I loooooooove my Charvel San Dimas. It came stock with jumbos, and is so easy and fun to play. Whenever I get a refret, I always go jumbos.

My other gripe with techs is that look and hesitant shoulder roll you get when you ask for stainless. The "Weeeelllll, we do it, but it's tougher....." BS. Techs need to get out of the dark ages and embrace the stainless and quit whining about it.

It would be great for once when you ask about stainless frets and you get a "We totally do stainless! In fact, we love doing those, and then they tell you about how you'll fall in love all over again with your guitar" kind of conversation. That would be great.

But jumbo SS frets, installed, crowned and polished to perfection.....sublime!
 

MooCheng

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they do feel good playing bendy stuff and they seem to last forever.

it might be just me, up the neck when the frets are closer together they do feel a little like.....


 

artis_xe

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the frets on my St Vincent are a dream . tall and narrow . they do make me play with a lighter touch . something to get used to __ if you do a lot of sliding . super easy bending though

have to say that the profile is my new favorite though . not sure if I could get used to the extra jumbos that are as wide as bass frets
 

indeedido

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Not to sound like Jerry Seinfeld i just got my 2012 US Strat adjusted it plays wonderfully, but it has these huge ass frets. Same with my 2006 Gibson my two best guitars are perfect except for these walls! iIwas playING my first 1997 mim Fender and its gOt little vintage frets [so nice] ilove my LPpand Strat and will keep them as is, but how did big frets come about anyway? 1950s or medium for me.
Seinfeld loves big frets! lol And what's the deal with Ovaltine? It's not oval, it's round. Why don't they call it Roundtine?
 

rabidhamster

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I loooooooove my Charvel San Dimas. It came stock with jumbos, and is so easy and fun to play. Whenever I get a refret, I always go jumbos.

My other gripe with techs is that look and hesitant shoulder roll you get when you ask for stainless. The "Weeeelllll, we do it, but it's tougher....." BS. Techs need to get out of the dark ages and embrace the stainless and quit whining about it.

It would be great for once when you ask about stainless frets and you get a "We totally do stainless! In fact, we love doing those, and then they tell you about how you'll fall in love all over again with your guitar" kind of conversation. That would be great.

But jumbo SS frets, installed, crowned and polished to perfection.....sublime!
They’ve got to charge extra and make you aware it’s harder and may have downsides, because SS is more work and kills tools very quickly. If you use your nickel silver fret end nippers on SS they’re nearly instant trash.
A lot of people also wouldnt be happy with the resulting SS fretjob. I certainly wouldn’t - SS frets sound too bright and pingy, no matter how hard people who like them try to convince me otherwise.
 

Bud Stoner

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They’ve got to charge extra and make you aware it’s harder and may have downsides, because SS is more work and kills tools very quickly. If you use your nickel silver fret end nippers on SS they’re nearly instant trash.
A lot of people also wouldn't be happy with the resulting SS fret job. I certainly wouldn’t - SS frets sound too bright and pingy, no matter how hard people who like them try to convince me otherwise.
I realize all your points, but buying and upgrading tools when you're in a trade of any kind is par for the course. Your files and nippers wear out faster? Ok, get better files and hardened nippers next time. And an upcharge fee is ok also.

And for those who don't like the tone of stainless, you have nickel silver.

My gripe was the rather generic response you get when you ask about SS fret wire.
 

rabidhamster

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I realize all your points, but buying and upgrading tools when you're in a trade of any kind is par for the course. Your files and nippers wear out faster? Ok, get better files and hardened nippers next time. And an upcharge fee is ok also.

And for those who don't like the tone of stainless, you have nickel silver.

My gripe was the rather generic response you get when you ask about SS fret wire.
By faster I mean you won’t finish 1 fret job without chipping your nippers. You have to have a more expensive, separate set of tools. Those “hardened, upgraded tools” still wear out much faster than the cheaper tools did on nickel silver. But it is a worthwhile service to offer with the appropriate upcharge. If it were my shop, the upcharge would be a few hundred bucks and then who cares about replacing tools. The pricing would do the discouraging for me, so I could be positive when someone wanted it.
 

dspelman

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Oh i know, ive got little fingers and they stub against the frets- its juat a minor whiny complaint .Some like them I prefer small ones. Im just curious how they came about ,my Gibson is still superb and I love it jumbo frets and all :D BEST SOUNDING GUITAR IVE EVER PLAYED [just like butter] its putting my USA Strat to shame.
The tiny frets you like allowed jazz players to move up and down the neck with no impedance. I have three of the mid-50's Customs ("fretless wonders"), and while they're just fine for jazz chord changes, they're really not preferable for a modern guitar-playing idiom. In fact, one of the reasons that the '58/'59/'60 LPs were sought after was that they had larger frets than previous models.

If you play with a light touch, your fingers shouldn't "stub" against the frets. Most of the guitars I've purchased recently have jumbo frets, but all of them are properly crowned. I hate the "squared off" tops on some Gibson frets.
 

Jeremiah

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jumbo strings? JUMBO STRINGS? Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one? /seinfeldbass
 




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