Fret wear on USA PRS's?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Ascension, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Also some string types - stainless steel wound strings come to mind - wear the frets much harder than, say, pure nickel.
     
  2. Proxmax

    Proxmax New Member

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    what about stainless steel frets?
    they should last for a lifetime.
     
  3. imaradiostar

    imaradiostar New Member

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    Just chiming in- my HBI has pretty badly worn frets. It was my main guitar for 5 or 6 years. I've often wondered if stainless steel would be an upgrade.

    Jamie
     
  4. Tag

    Tag New Member

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    Just a warning to anyone considering SS frets. They do not wear. It seems to me like they would last forever, at least with my touch. HOWEVER, they change the tone of the guitar in a major way. They make it much brighter and more metallic sounding. I would NOT want them on any more of my guitars. Much better to have a re-fret every now and then. YMMV, to my ear, and all of that.
     
  5. Jazzedout

    Jazzedout More Guitars than Time...

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    I have to agree. MY carvin DC400TA with SS frets was like that. Bright and metallic sounding. It was the only guitar I did not like having new strings on. Of course it is now sold.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. CoffeeDude

    CoffeeDude New Member

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    I can attest to that. Played nickel all this while: Not much fret wear.

    Tried some stainless steel strings: Frets worn a lot after a few sessions of playing. Plus I did not like the sound anyways (of those strings). Back to nickel wound it is.
     
  7. HighGain510

    HighGain510 Just one more...

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    That's actually highly-debatable, and as someone who has owned a RIDICULOUS amount of guitars both that came stock with SS fretwire and those I've had modified with SS fretwire, I have to say I disagree. There is some "ping" you can hear unplugged, but unless it's an acoustic, you're not going to hear that coming through in the plugged in tone, IMHO. I've done the A/B (obviously not on the same day) with guitars I've sent to Philtone for SS fret and PLEK and plugged in, they do not sound metallic/tinny/etc. like a lot of people claim after they've played one or two guitars with SS frets. Different strokes I guess, but I've had a LOT of experience with SS fretwire and I love both SS and nickel-silver, I only prefer SS because it lasts forever. ;)


    That might not have just been the fretwire, Carvin DC's in general tend to sound on the bright/trebly side. I've owned at least 2-3 dozen Carvins (no joke haha) at this point, many of them early on were DC models and the majority of them had a weird frequency thing going on with the highs and high-mids that had them tending to sound a bit harsh/metallic. Sometimes pickup swaps helped depending on what they came with stock, but I have other guitars that I held onto (like my Carvin HF2 Fatboy) that have SS frets stock from Carvin that don't have an overly bright or metallic tone. It does jazz pretty darn convincingly actually as you would imagine since it's a full hollowbody! ;) Hard to make sweeping generalizations about stuff like that and tone can be subjective, but with enough experience with DC models including those before Carvin even offered SS fretwire as an option, I can say that the DC model in general typically sounded on the brighter side and I think it has a lot to do with their construction (at least more-so than the fretwire haha).
     
  8. HighGain510

    HighGain510 Just one more...

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    Also oddly enough I'm still wondering if the OP was trolling a bit, especially once he started pushing the whole "I'm going Carvin!" thing... :flute: Not a Carvin hater by any means (like I said, I still have one in the arsenal because it plays and sounds great and have cycled through TONS of them over the years, probably about 4-5 in the last year alone!), but based on the whole swoop in and bashing of the stock PRS fretwire deal and then the "not acceptable on a working player guitar and I will buy a CARVIN next time!" line he dropped and then disappeared, I'm thinking we may have heard the last of Mr. Ascension. The user name sounds familiar too, I'm pretty sure I remember that name from other forums tied to Carvin threads actually... :rofl:
     
  9. HANGAR18

    HANGAR18 What Would Evel Knievel Do?

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    Simple solution. Buy a whole bunch of PRS guitars and rotate through them regularly and you won't notice any fret wear because you are distributing the wear across a lot of guitars.
     
  10. HANGAR18

    HANGAR18 What Would Evel Knievel Do?

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    But seriously, the kind of strings used should also be a consideration. For example, I have heard that these new Cobalt strings sound really good but Cobalt is a very hard metal and thus they would cause softer frets to wear more quickly.
     
  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I've always liked nickel wrapped strings for the way they feel and sound, but it's nice that they cause a bit less fret wear!
     
  12. blaren

    blaren New Member

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    This is the official PRS forum so I guess it's kind of understandable/expected but...ahh I won't go on about it again. I guess that's why God gave us several forums. If we find one to be a defensive angry one-sided love-fest, we are free to scoot off to a more neutral/unbiased one.
    And no need to quote that and get MAD because I insinuated that some posts in this thread seem angry or heated. Whatever.

    This isn't the first time this subject has risen regarding the newer PRS wire.
    I have a metallurgical background. I was a machinist for a couple of decades and when I went to school metallurgy was part of the curriculum. As soon as I completed the apprenticeship, metallurgy was removed from the course studies and replaced by CNC machining. Silly if you ask me.
    Anyway, I know the Vickers scale exists but I have never seen it referred to in the real world before this. We always just used and were given Rockwell and Brinell hardness data.

    Stainless steels (other than the exotic "super-stainlesses") are generally SOFT metals. Their benefits include resistance to corrosion/oxidization and that it work hardens. You'd think that a hard stainless alloy would be great for fretwire and would almost never wear since the more you "wear" it, the harder it becomes.

    Hey, if PRS has NOT changed the wire alloy and if the hardness has remained the same in the last 25+ years....uhhhh...STRINGS? Obviously, if the strings are harder than the wire...but with stainless wire, unless strings are carbide coated..or ceramic coated..or anodized...they shouldn't be able to TOUCH work hardened stainless.
    If you've ever turned an HSS drill too fast or didn't grind enough relief when you sharpened it, you've seen a HSS drill turn red and molten trying to cut the work hardened stainless.

    Hey, if dude has several guitars, puts about the same time into them using the same strings and one guitar's frets are wearing way faster than his other guitars....it isnt HIS FAULT. We shouldn't aim flamethrowers at the poor guy.
    Do any of you have several brands of electrics including a PRS, and play them a LOT...you know..do gigs where you play hard for 3 or 4 hours per night for months on end? How are you finding your new PRS wire to be faring compared to your other guitars...and older PRSs?
    I put lots of hard hours on my electric guitars but they're all PRSs these days. I no longer have comparison guitars but I feel that my PRSs' (even my old ones) fretwires seem to wear faster than I expected them to. Maybe I'm just a lot stronger than I was in my prime?

    Hey like Shawn said...inconsistencies in "batches" of metals can be common. Not only from lot to lot but even within that lot. For some applications, materials are very vigorously tested (aircraft components for example) but for things like fretwire...well no one is gonna die of a section of wire is a little more brittle or "soft" than it should be.

    Look, I guess all I'm saying is that I believe Ascension and his photos. Maybe he is using tungsten carbide strings on his PRS only?...but he CLEARLY is experiencing some serious wear on his PRS that is NOT happening on his other guitars. I doubt he has an axe to grind (pun intended) with PRS and is just trolling or making this-up and photoshopping his pics. IIRC, he was just stating his observations and asking of anyone else was sharing his (bad) experience. We don't have to get mad or take it personally. Hey, if he switches to Carvin...that shouldn't hurt OUR feelers. It IS though the OFFICIAL PRS forum and, not saying it's a bad or unexpected thing to be a little less open to criticism "against" the brand. It's all good I guess.
    But in the spirit of transparency and not wanting to mislead future PRS family members...ahhh..now I'M seeming troll-ish. Sorry. NOT my intent.
    All I'm trying to say is that instead of getting all defensive and aggressive towards the guy, maybe we should be more open-minded and rather than go LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING LA LA LA...you're an idiot TROLL LA LA LA LA (not what anyone said, I know), maybe we should all take a good look at oursel....I mean at our fretwire and see if we notice an unusual amount of wear.
    If NONE of us are, well either dude is using diamond plated hacksawbades for strings, he's a liar...or maybe there are a few feet of softer wire on a batch or two or more?

    I think my PRS fretwires are all doing relatively well.
    If you're playing your PRS enough to wear the frets down...well that's a GOOD sign. If your other guitars were as good and awesome to play maybe THEIR wires would be worn too?
    Nice save right?
    From what I've been reading on the subject in the last month or two...there MIGHT be something TO this.
     
  13. Aeetus

    Aeetus New Member

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    Hopefully Ascension has not given up on his PRS and this forum. I for one know that he is not a troll. I have followed his love of his PRS on the S.D forum since he bought it and he has had nothing but praise for that guitar, he knows his stuff and has some great gear. He's a stand up guy who makes valid posts and contributions to that forum, I'd say he is clearly upset that his main guitar has this issue. I for one hope he can get to the bottom of it.
     
  14. Tag

    Tag New Member

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    Yes, I have and have had a lot of different guitars and brands, and put TONS of hours on many of them. My PRS wear no faster (or slower) than my other guitars. (Mostly Gibsons and fenders) My 2006 has very little fret wear for the hours that are on it. The guitar that had the fastest fret wear was a CS fender relic strat that was sold several years ago. For some reason or another, that one wore faster than any other guitar I have owned, including other relic strats. :iamconfused:
     
  15. guitarman001

    guitarman001 New Member

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    Was this ever "resolved"?
    How long until this sort of thing happens usually?
    I was considering a Suhr Pro with SS frets... also have two 2013/2014 PRS CU24s and would hope this wouldn't be an issue for about a decade...! I'd definitely want PRS to do fret work but the cost.... (I live in Scotland)...
     
  16. HighGain510

    HighGain510 Just one more...

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    Have you noticed much fretwear on your non-PRS guitars? If not, then no, you likely won't have an issue with the frets on your PRS wearing any faster than normal. If you play with a heavy hand or used heavy strings and typically wear frets out on your other guitars, the PRS fret material isn't exactly "softer" than anything found on typical production guitars by any means so it would wear about the same, I'm sure. I play all my PRS but haven't noticed much fret wear at all, but I've seen guys demolish frets regardless of the guitar brand, so I think it has more to do with your touch than anything.

    Also regarding "resolution", I don't think there was anything to "resolve" really. As I pointed out previously, the OP is a known Carvin fan who posts (or used to post) a lot on their boards, I think he just came on here to troll and rile folks up while simultaneously trying to promote Carvin because they use Stainless Steel frets as an option for their guitars and it seems he tends to play with a heavier touch which will lead to fret wear on nickel silver fretwire with time. :dontknow:
     
  17. swede71

    swede71 Tja ba!L├Ąget?

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  18. guitarman001

    guitarman001 New Member

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    Good reply, HighGain510!
     
  19. henryr

    henryr New Member

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    I think a few members need to be less defensive/suspicious. We are only talking about guitars, not nuclear treaties. I also suggest they consider Aeetus' well thought out response and backup info.
     
  20. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    I just has new frets put in on my 2009 HB I which I have played a lot and a fret dress done on my 2005 CU24 (which I did not play as often as the HB I). I had never had a fret dress done on the HB I (maybe I should have???) In any case, I don't think that the wear was anything out of the ordinary.

    I now subscribe to the "own many PRS guitars" theory as a way of keeping maintenance costs down. I just hope that they don't all eventually need work done at the same time in the "distant" future:biggrin:.
     

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