Stainless Steel Frets

Guitar Stainless Steel Frets

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Abstract Rockingbird

The most beautiful of all modern metal style guitars
You can order it with Nickel Silver, Brass, & Stainless Steel Frets
Also Gold Adamantium Frets

 I think stainless steel frets are nothing more than a sales gimmick for the uninformed players. 

Personally I would never recommend stainless steel frets.
(If a customer wants them, of course we will do them)

Ok, Ok, Ed, Tell Me, How Do You Really Feel About Stainless Steel Frets?

I used to say "Nothing sounds as good as pure old fashioned Nickel Silver Frets!!!"  Stainless frets make your guitar sound less than natural.  The stainless is extremely hard and makes the guitar sound brassy, too bright & in many cases will result in serious listening fatigue. 

Today we now have Gold Tone Adamantium Frets which hold up like the stainless steel frets and sound as good as the Nickel Silver. Unfortunately the cost of Gold and Titanium makes these frets costlier than the old tried & true Nickel Silver. But they are actually less expensive than stainless steel.  I have been recommending them since mid 2008.

Parker guitars use stainless frets and is the only company I know that actually glues their frets onto the fingerboard. They don't use a "fret tang." Many people object to that Parker sound as being way too bright. In fact, Parker actually upgraded their pickups to compensate for the stainless steel frets. They used to use Dimarzio's and now they finally offer a model with Seymour Duncan pickups. The Duncan's help about 85%, but I would sure like to see Parker go to an old fashioned softer nickel silver fret.

Stainless frets on a Strat or PRS styled guitar sound like one of those old Parker guitars before they changed from Dimarzio to Duncan: screechy & bright.  I even talked to numerous country pickers who traditionally use a very bright tone. The guitarists I talked to all agreed that the stainless was way too hard and so was the resulting sound.

Nothing will ruin your tools as quickly as a stainless steel frets.  Even though they may last longer they cost triple to replace when they do wear out, so I see no monetary savings.

In closing I must say that if you insist on stainless steel frets I will be glad to install them on your guitar. I will require payment in full for the job at the time we start. I will not allow any cancellations unless of course you are willing to pay in full for the work.

I will get some additional testimonials from other builders and guitarists and post them on this page.

Ed Roman - 11/21/03


Stainless Steel Vs Nickel Silver Frets

A certain main stream neck manufacturer, has recently been actively pushing stainless steel frets as the be all, end all for guitar necks.  Stainless frets have been around for quite some time now, and there is a reason why this longer lasting fret material is not used more often.
Tone quality is one reason why stainless steel frets have not become more widely used. Another reason is the cost. A stainless steel fret job can cost as much as three times as much as the same work on nickel silver frets. Stainless steel frets wear longer, yes, but at what cost?

The Parker Fly guitars have stainless frets, They feel good because of the way they are attached to the neck.  I think the Parker is ahead of it's time (that's a good thing). 

Most guitarists will agree, they are too bright and too tinny, for anything other than sounding like one of those overly bright Taylor acoustic guitars.  A Taylor is a bolt on neck guitar, Not a good thing on an Acoustic, It will never mellow with age and it will always sound too bright. My own experience is they play easy but they sound horrid and they are impossible to record with if you are looking for a sweet acoustic tone.

Parker has compensated somewhat by switching to Duncan pickups and hard mounting them. I wish they would go back to offering a hardtail.  Those were the best ones.


 


Larry Albert
Occupation Pro Musician
Guitar of Choice Ed Roman Quicksilver Guitar
Larry has one of the very first Quicksilvers made.


Gold Tone Adamantium Frets

Wear & Tear Versus Tone & Quality

Tonally, stainless steel frets sound bright, very, very bright. So bright in fact, that they sterilize much of the dark to medium tonality gained from using quality tone-woods. If although, you have your heart set on stainless steel frets, Ed Roman can and will build your guitar with stainless steel frets.

Addressing the issue of wear: sure, stainless steel frets last longer, but who wants a guitar with extra long lasting frets if the frets makes the instrument sounds like crap?

“If it's left up to me, I don't accept stainless steel fret jobs. Stainless steel frets are much too hard. They [stainless frets] also wear out strings faster than conventional nickel silver frets and their sound is incredibly brittle. I actually have to throw away my tools and buy new ones after performing a stainless steel fret job.”

The new Gold Tone Adamantium frets are available only by special order on  Rick Turner Guitars, JET Guitars, Quicksilver Guitars, Abstract Guitars, J Frog Guitars,  Mosrite USA Made guitars, Scorpion Guitars, LSR Guitars, Veillette Guitars, Centurion Guitars, Bolin Guitars

Call Ed Roman
702-875-4552


 

Come to beautiful Las Vegas, Come out and meet with Ed Roman personally, spend a week or a weekend, I will personally meet with any one who wants a custom made guitar !!!!

Ed

 

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