SS frets!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 316ms, Jul 17, 2021.

  1. 316ms

    316ms New Member

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    Typical PRS self righteous making excuses garbage.
    So I have been an PRS owner since 1994 and currently own 4 prs guitars. I have stood by them even tho I have seen and own guitars that the finish flakes off on and does not stop. I have seen how frets ware down at an exceptional rate( with my playing) and mentioned SS frets. I got slammed for it and PRS said we will never use or support SS frets. Here comes Joe Walsh and all of a sudden it's the grail of PRS tones just south of 7000 dollars.
    Thankfully I did not listen to anyone including PRS and had SS frets installed on my 2001 10top RW neck McCart,y done by the greatest Luther in the world, it plays and sounds better than any PRS I've ever played or owned. If the frets were not so soft and I did not play guitar at the rate of at least 3 hours every day then maybe it wouldn't matter. For me and my experience with PRS the frets wear exceptionally fast. For me the SS frets is a no brainer, and it didn't cost 7000 dollars. Greed inspired for the ss frets on a 594, why isn't this offered at entry level core models?
    Yes I probably grip on the firm side, oh well I like playing guitar. YMMV
     
  2. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

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    SS frets eat tools and take longer to install. If the market doesn't support the cost increase of moving to that material, why would they go to that trouble?

    I also played for a guy who refretted everything with SS. Be cause he played rhythm cowboy chords his frets should've worn more slowly than mine even with the same material and I never had to do a refret or even a fret dress playing 4 hour shows 2-6 times a week for 3 years on guitars without SS frets and probably a softer material than PRS uses.

    The other guy had a dent in one of his SS frets from where his guitar fell over and it was a hassle to fix.
     
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  3. Drew

    Drew New Member

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    Oh boy...prepare for the kick back on this one. Been there with my own stainless steel arguments here.

    The market is moving to stainless. Fender just introduced them on their first production level guitars. Music Man just transitioned the Axis (old EVH) to stainless for regular models, which had been unchanged for 30 years. Ibanez now has numerous models with stainless. When you start to see Fender do it, that is when you take notice that it's not a matter of if but when the majority of mid to upper range guitars are fretted with stainless. PRS would be wise to be the next domino to fall in that regard because their pricing demands it at this point. I can get any number of Music Man guitars from the 2500 to 3700 range with stainless frets and those guitars are every bit the guitars that PRS makes yet they can find a way to control costs to use stainless and produce a cheaper guitar.
     
  4. SinSir

    SinSir Mad Scientist

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    Helluva rant but yes thee are many of us that would prefer SS at this price point. On the flip side I'm the third owner on my 10 yr old core cu24 and there's no need for a fret job yet. I'd still prefer stainless given a choice,
     
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  5. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Every time I see SS frets, my brain says Silver Sky frets.
    Is it just me?:eek::p
     
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  6. DISTORT6

    DISTORT6 NJ Devil

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    Depends if you’re into muscle cars and/or WWII…:D
     
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  7. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Bwahahahahahaha!!!
     
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  8. Screamingdaisy

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    Are you really this insecure in your decision making that you need our validation for what you do to your guitar?
     
  9. Simon Says

    Simon Says New Member

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    Good for you :)
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Without getting into an argument over whether PRS' use of bronze (nickel-silver is actually mostly nickel-copper, a form of bronze) frets vs stainless is a result of anything other than Paul Smith's tone preference to use more traditional materials, the question of desirability of stainless frets is going to depend on the player, both in terms of tone preference and wear.

    When it comes to guitars, every materials choice has its tradeoffs. First, let's end the controversy over the tone of stainless vs nickel frets; it's quite clear that they sound different. Want proof? Here it is.

    Warmoth did a test recording one guitar body, one set of pickups, one amp, same everything, with two necks cut from the same piece of wood, one with stainless steel frets, one with bronze. This is about as scientific a test as you're going to find in guitar-land.

    Clearly, the two types of frets sound different, as the video posted below demonstrates. The stainless frets are indeed 'zingier'. That can be good, or it can create a tone you don't care for. That's up to you, the player:



    In general, my preference is not to have quite the level harmonic overtones the stainless frets add. You may feel that the added zing of the stainless frets improves the tone. Personal choice, right? There are no right or wrong answers to this stuff.

    On the topic of wear, by virtue of our anatomical differences and individual playing styles, and perhaps the number of guitars we play, we're all going to wear frets differently.

    I have a light touch, and have owned a 1965 SG special since 1967. It was my only electric guitar for a long time, though it got most of its play time before 1991, when I got into PRSes. The frets show some wear, and could use a good leveling and polishing, but the guitar doesn't need a refret after 56 years.

    If there's wear on my PRS frets (my oldest one has been here for about eight years), I can't see, hear or feel it. Doesn't mean, of course, that you aren't frustrated by fret wear. But for me, the tone disadvantage I feel comes with stainless frets outweighs the convenience of the longer wear.
     
    #10 LSchefman, Jul 17, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
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  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I'd like to mention one more thing in connection with all this, especially in connection with celebrity-spec'd instruments:

    Just because [insert name of celebrity player] likes a particular combination of gear or parts, that doesn't mean it will work for you. I have a longtime friend whose shop sells guitars and amps made by an excellent company that has a prominent internet demo-er/touring pro among its endorsers. There are several pieces of gear they make that are his signature models. All are of high quality.

    I love this guy's playing. He's brilliant, the playing is beyond wonderful, his part writing and melodies are awesome. His tone? Doesn't work for me. I use 5 of this company's pedals, by the way, and they sound great. I've just never dug their guitars and amps.

    My friend emailed one day to tell me that this company came out with an amp spec'd by this endorser that would be great for my studio use. I wrote back and explained that this particular endorser's tone doesn't work for me, and enclosed a clip I did of one of my PRSes and one of my PRS amps that represents the kind of tone I'm after. I never heard from my friend again - come to think of it, maybe he's pissed, because we go back as friends long before he became a guitar dealer. Oh well.

    When the Joe Walsh model came up from PRS, I realized it wasn't going to work for me because of the fret material. However, I can see it working beautifully for someone who's after a brighter tone!

    Just pointing out one of the ways that we're all different.

    Should PRS offer the choice? Beats me. Maybe. Do what works for you. In any case, when PRS the person says SS frets sound different, and everything that touches the strings matters, he's not making sh!t up.

    PRSes are beautiful, but I've always bought them because I love the way they sound. I don't think I'd want to mess with that. YMMV.

    "But Les, even Fender now makes SS fretted guitars!"

    "There's a reason I don't buy Fender guitars; I don't like how they sound. I like a fat, warm tone. So that's hardly an argument I find persuasive."
     
    #11 LSchefman, Jul 17, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
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  12. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Jake

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    My guitar student brought in a Suhr I played one note and asked if it had stainless frets. He said it did and asked how I knew. I told him I can hear the difference in the sound which sounded crazy at the time until I explained what I heard.
     
  13. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Options are simple: refret with stainless on a PRS, buy a guitar that comes with stainless frets. No one seems upset when they decide to change pickups to a $500-600 set they prefer, so what’s the difference? Make it how you want it, and you’re all good.

    The Walsh guitar is a Limited Edition, a signature model for which the Signature guy wanted stainless. It costs what it does because it is what it is. If I want Joe’s blessing, signature, and frets, there it is. Like the Silver Sky… it doesn’t come with my choices, it comes with John’s choices.

    Make yourself happy. You can only control your choices.
     
  14. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    I just want to know who the best luthier in the world is.

    I probably won’t ever need a fret job, but I like to know these things anyway.
     
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  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    According to the OP, his name's Luther.


    (just kidding, OP, I realize it's a typo).
     
  16. RC Mike

    RC Mike New Member

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    Doing what you want to do with your guitar will stick it to the man, for sure.
     
  17. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    A thousand times this. I love John 5. I really like the sound of a good Tele. When the first John 5 Tele came out, I figured I was in (this was the black one with the extended headstock). Found one in a store.

    As soon as I lifted it from the hanger, I was 90% certain it was not for me. After 10 seconds of playing, I was 99% certain. I kept playing it for a while, trying to convince myself that maybe I just hadn't adjusted to it yet (it's been known to happen), but nope - definitely not for me. It felt like it weighed 20 pounds - one of the heaviest guitars I've ever held in my life, including a double-neck I tried once. The three humbuckers left nowhere to pick that they didn't interfere. It worked great for John 5 - not so much for me. So I moved on.

    Maybe he's a luthier named Luther, and he's the best Luther there is while also being a great luthier. (I assume that's of the current Luthers - Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Luther Perkins were pretty damn good Luthers.)
     
  18. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    You forgot Lex
     
  19. Huggy B

    Huggy B Space is the place

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    All I can say is I'm a Jazz head and "zingy" tone is a no no in this game, but I have SS frets and have no probs whatsoever getting a smooth rich Jazz tone.
    I feel the difference between SS & Nickel sonically is so overblown it's becoming a myth to me.

    I also feel the benefits (durability & smooth feel) vastly overshadow the minute sound difference.
     
  20. Screamingdaisy

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    I have guitars with nickel and guitars with stainless. When I comes to things I really care about, fret material isn’t one of them.

    Would I refret a nickel guitar with SS? No.

    Would I refret a SS guitar with nickle? Also no.

    If it ain’t broke….
     

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