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Frets' metal strips (Fret wires)   You are logged in as Guest
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Asilova

Posts: 17
Joined: Apr. 26 2020
 

Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) 

Dear all,

I have noticed that my guitars have different types of metal strips (Fret wires). For example, my flamenco guitar's metal strips (fret wires) are thicker and stand high while the metal strips (fret wires) on my classical guitar are thinner and stand low.

Questions:
Does the type of metal strips (fret wires) affect the sound? How?
Does the type of metal strips (fret wires) affect the playability? How?


I have found some information here: https://www.12fret.com/news-and-reviews/how-to-choose-fretwire/

However, I would like to have your opinion.

Many thanks for your input.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 30 2020 11:36:19
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12671
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Asilova

1. No...unless there is a problem like unwanted buzzing.

2. No but basically tall frets are relatively closer to strings than lower frets (Tall frets=lower action, low or worn frets = higher action) if you were to change em out on the same guitar. Also if the neck/fingerboard shrinks due to dryness, then the frets will poke out and scrape the hand.

It should be noted that you don’t or shouldn’t touch the fingerboard much at all when playing. I never realized this fact until I played a scalloped neck classical guitar. So tall frets are approaching the scallop design.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 30 2020 13:42:09
 
Asilova

Posts: 17
Joined: Apr. 26 2020
 

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Ricardo

Thanks, Ricardo.

quote:

It should be noted that you don’t or shouldn’t touch the fingerboard much at all when playing.

Could you please elaborate more? What should I do instead?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 30 2020 15:18:25
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12671
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Asilova

quote:

ORIGINAL: Asilova

Thanks, Ricardo.

quote:

It should be noted that you don’t or shouldn’t touch the fingerboard much at all when playing.

Could you please elaborate more? What should I do instead?


Try pressing the strings down to touch the frets?

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 30 2020 18:57:18
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3013
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Asilova

A useful exercise:

Touch a left hand finger to a string above a fret, but don't push it down onto the fret.

Pluck the string with the right hand. Result: thunk!

Gradually start pressing down with the left hand while continuing to pluck with the right hand. Result: Thunk, thunk, thunk, rattle (when the string first touches the fret.)

Very gradually continue pressing down with the left hand until the note sounds clearly.

Don't ever press harder than that.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 30 2020 22:00:47
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2923
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Asilova

I like to use medium-high fret wire because it leaves a bit more room for fretwork to be done later on down the line (frets to be filed down), and I hate feeling the wood of the fingerboard when I fret the strings. I've only had one complaint about that, from a professional classical guitarist who felt higher frets hampered his glissando a bit.

_____________________________

Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 1 2020 3:32:23
 
Asilova

Posts: 17
Joined: Apr. 26 2020
 

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Try pressing the strings down to touch the frets?

Thanks!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 1 2020 11:56:45
 
singlechange

 

Posts: 28
Joined: May 13 2019
 

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Asilova

RJ's idea is clever. I wonder where he got it. He has said he was self taught at the very beginning because there was no guitar instructor in the area.
I tried it with finger on 5th fret.
I found it hard to get ''rattle.''
The effort is to teach your finger to sense the difference between feeling the ''rattle'' and clear sounding note.
Robert
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 1 2020 15:46:59
 
JasonM

Posts: 1565
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

I like to use medium-high fret wire because it leaves a bit more room for fretwork to be done later on down the line (frets to be filed down)


Have you ever used or encountered stainless or EVO frets on classical or flamenco guitars? I’ve never seen anything other than medium nickel silver. I would guess that nylon strings don’t really wear the frets to the point of stepping up to a harder wire?

And medium already feels low to me, can’t imagine going lower!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 1 2020 16:49:43
 
ernandez R

Posts: 351
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan

A useful exercise:

Touch a left hand finger to a string above a fret, but don't push it down onto the fret.

Pluck the string with the right hand. Result: thunk!

Gradually start pressing down with the left hand while continuing to pluck with the right hand. Result: Thunk, thunk, thunk, rattle (when the string first touches the fret.)

Very gradually continue pressing down with the left hand until the note sounds clearly.

Don't ever press harder than that.

RNJ



Richard,
I had dealt with left hand pain forever. I would get in a groove with a piece and play for a few weeks until I was crippled and couldn't play again for a month or more. I would get frustrated and the guitar would sit untouched for months; almost forty years of this.

A couple years ago I bumped into a thread on the Delcamp where a instructor advised this:

Fret a cord loosely so that all the strings buzz while strumming, then slowly increase tension until each string rings clear. Simple really but it takes some practice and attention to each string. It was also noted that one needs pay attention to each finger pressure as well as the whole hand. Now the last item was to cord lightly played passages and single note runs without touching the back of the neck with the thumb. It was surprising how little tension one needs to hold in the left hand to play clean.
One other item I picked up, as one increases the right hand power and volume it is nessasary to recalibrate the left hand as most tend to squeeze too hard with the left out of proportion. Again it usually takes less pressure then one thinks.

When I notice that familure ache in my hands I lighten up, get my strings buzzing, then just-enough-pressure.

I've been playing pain free for a couple years now, two to three hour sessions, with my blue collar grease under my nails well worked fifty five year all hands.

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 1 2020 18:53:55
 
ernandez R

Posts: 351
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to JasonM

quote:

ORIGINAL: JasonM

quote:

I like to use medium-high fret wire because it leaves a bit more room for fretwork to be done later on down the line (frets to be filed down)


Have you ever used or encountered stainless or EVO frets on classical or flamenco guitars? I’ve never seen anything other than medium nickel silver. I would guess that nylon strings don’t really wear the frets to the point of stepping up to a harder wire?

And medium already feels low to me, can’t imagine going lower!



Jason,
I noticed a few stunning classical guitars with fat tall frets and inquired: jasco EVO

I ordered up a few sticks of the standard and gold EVO more for esthetics then anything else. What I discovered was the thicker/stiffer wire was much easier to set in the fret groove clean. Of course I was on my tenth or so fret job so I was coming around the bend of the learning curve.

Another plus was I found fretting cords and bar cards to easier with my tired worn hands. Of course there can be intonation issues if you squeeze too hard. See my post above.

Afterwards I had come across a few builder histories that noted Flamenco frets are lower then standard but nothing in my mind could rationalize it? Could be I'm missing something?

I had refret my first build a couple times as my standard for quality had grown, means my first few jobs were fugly, and that last one was with the EVO gold. I play her almost every day and I can't see a reason to go back to "short skinny little" frets.

As for the EVO material and longevity, guessing they might last a long long time...

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 1 2020 19:06:50
 
Asilova

Posts: 17
Joined: Apr. 26 2020
 

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Thank you, Richard!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 1 2020 19:34:47
 
JasonM

Posts: 1565
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to ernandez R

quote:

I had refret my first build a couple times as my standard for quality had grown, means my first few jobs were fugly, and that last one was with the EVO gold. I play her almost every day and I can't see a reason to go back to "short skinny little" frets.

As for the EVO material and longevity, guessing they might last a long long time...

HR


So by saying your not going back to short and skinny, you mean the EVO is wider and taller than the ye ol medium nickel silver wire? Or you went with a bigger size + evo?

Now that I own all the fret work tools I planned on refretting My 96 Sanchis. It has frets that are indented in areas from many years of playing but it doesn’t seem to effect playability surprisingly. So I guess don’t fix it if it’s not broken.. with medium size fret wire, I would think that you could only do one light level job before they are too low. New medium frets are slightly less than 1mm I think.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 1 2020 23:14:03
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2923
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to JasonM

quote:

Have you ever used or encountered stainless or EVO frets on classical or flamenco guitars? I’ve never seen anything other than medium nickel silver. I would guess that nylon strings don’t really wear the frets to the point of stepping up to a harder wire?


I've used both EVO and stainless. Stainless I think is overkill but some players like the EVO gold, for looks if nothing else.

_____________________________

Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2020 3:03:18
 
ernandez R

Posts: 351
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to JasonM

Jason,

I first I went with the taller/wider then standard EVO first because I thought it looked cool. But found I could cord and bar cord easier with the fatty frets.

They seemed to install with less issues then the thinner frets. With care a was able to fret my last two guitars with only a few taps here and there to true them up, with zero filing after the fact.

I do need to take my fret work to the next level like adding relief and perhaps making that first fret next to the nut just that few thousandths of an inch taller...

Fretwork is an art like a headstock detail or rosette only it's more critical.

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2020 4:21:59
 
Asilova

Posts: 17
Joined: Apr. 26 2020
 

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to ernandez R

quote:

I could cord and bar cord easier with the fatty frets.

I agree. It feels more comfortable to bar chords with fat and tall frets. Besides, I (as a beginner) can create better sound in hammer-ons and pull-off with the fat/tall frets.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2020 11:17:54
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12671
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Frets' metal strips (Fret wires) (in reply to Asilova

quote:

ORIGINAL: Asilova

quote:

I could cord and bar cord easier with the fatty frets.

I agree. It feels more comfortable to bar chords with fat and tall frets. Besides, I (as a beginner) can create better sound in hammer-ons and pull-off with the fat/tall frets.


Again, this is because of the action not the frets necessarily. You can have a very tall fretted guitar that has a neck angle such that the action is stiff because the distance from string to fret is a big number (at 12th fret I think bigger than 4mm is considered high action for sure).

About finger pressure and using minimum required, well, one practical problem is you need a bit more pressure applied for louder right hand dynamics. This is often OVER done and people complain about the left hand getting tired. So an exercise along the same lines is this. Fret a chord as described earlier with soft pressure so you get a buzz, then increase until the chords is clean sounding, but do the right hand strum very soft the whole time. Once you have that clear sound, increase the power of the right hand strum and release the pressure to the buzzing sound then increase again until you get the clean chord sound with continuous loud strumming.

The idea is to only apply the required squeeze as the dynamics change as well. Tricky as the tendency is to squeeze harder and harder as the volume goes up.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2020 15:29:48
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