#1
Almost all guitars you see advertised with fret sizes are "jumbo" be it medium jumbo or sometimes even "extra jumbo".

What guitars are there out there which don't have jumbo frets?
what do they feel like to play?
What's the relative advantages/disadvantages?

EDIT: jumbo is one of those words which becomes totally ridiculous if you say it in your head/out loud too many times :p
#2
I heard that jumbo frets feel like scalloped frets. I don't know though.
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#3
Jumbo frets and a flatter radius makes it easier to do those five fret bends ala EVH. Old guitars typically have tiny frets by comparisons and a rounder fretboard.
#5
Quote by FERRITofDOOM
Jumbo frets have more room between strings. For fat fingers I guess.



Dude... WTF are you talking about?
#6
jumbo frets are often found on shred guitars to mimic scalloping.
basically, the wood is further from your fingers and bending is easier.
though you need a lighter touch as you can press too hard and the string will go out of pitch.

older guitars and les pauls have smaller frets.
#8
Talk in thousandths, Not just "Jumbo" "Medium" or "Small". A tall fret would be 48 thousandths tall or in that neighborhood. A small one would be under 35 thousandths. The fret width also goes in play. I keep forgetting about the general widths of frets though. But here's the differences...

Tall frets - Easier to bend on and they last longer (And can be dressed more before a refret). Preferable for people who play heavy strings and like to bend a lot. Not preferable for players of lighter strings because they make it hard to slide unless you play with a very light touch.

Short frets: Easier for the string to hit the fretboard, Giving it some tone. These can be bent on just as easily as taller frets provided that you're using lighter string gauges. Easier to slide on with lighter strings.

Wide frets: They sound fatter and muddier.

Thin frets: They sound crisper and the notes sound more precise.

There it is. You decide what is best for you, consider your preferred string gauge.
Always tin your strings.

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#9
Thanks gargoyle - that's just the kind of know how i was looking for
#10
You're welcome. Here's a bit more about fret width:

Small: 80 thousandths and thinner.

Medium: between 80 and 100 thousandths.

Large: 100 thousandths and wider.
Always tin your strings.

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#11
stainless steel frets are the best right? i hear you only find those on higher end guitars. what are they normally made out of?


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#12
Quote by SYLrules88
stainless steel frets are the best right? i hear you only find those on higher end guitars. what are they normally made out of?



Don't they use stainless on almost all guitar? I know on my Squier their stainless. But I guess if there not then they are some kind of Tin and iron mix.
#14
Quote by ethan_hanus
Don't they use stainless on almost all guitar? I know on my Squier their stainless. But I guess if there not then they are some kind of Tin and iron mix.


No, Stainless steel frets are a fairly new thing to the market. The majority of frets are made out of a mix of zinc, copper and nickel. No stainless steel or silver. Also, I don't think I played stainless frets yet but they're extremely slippery so I hear and they're also very hard on tools when someone is putting them in a guitar. They differ tone wise too.
Always tin your strings.

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Last edited by Gargoyle2500 at Dec 28, 2009,
#15
Quote by Gargoyle2500
No, Stainless steel frets are a fairly new thing to the market. The majority of frets are made out of a mix of zinc, copper and nickel. No stainless steel or silver. Also, I don't think I played stainless frets yet but they're extremely slippery so I hear and they're also very hard on tools when someone is putting them in a guitar. They differ tone wise too.


Sweet! I think when I refret my Squier I'll put some stainless steel jumbo frets in there. This has been a very informative thread, I'm impressed.
#16
Gibson uses 20/80 Silver/Nickel frets. Thats 20% silver, 80% nickel, I believe. And apparently those add sustain and clarity.

I'm a big fan of jumbo frets. My hands are on the bigger side, so it's nice. However, I haven't noticed a difference between extra-jumbo and jumbo frets, so It can't be that big of a difference.

I could go on the website, but I'm in a hurry to go back to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Relfex.

Also, a re-fret is pretty spendy. Probably the same price as the Squier. It's not really worth it on a budget guitar, unless you really, REALLY like it.
Last edited by r0ckth3d34n at Dec 28, 2009,
#17
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
Also, a re-fret is pretty spendy. Probably the same price as the Squier. It's not really worth it on a budget guitar, unless you really, REALLY like it.


You can say that again in neon lights. I wouldn't pay to refret a Squier, It costs $200 or more at GC. If I liked a cheap guitar's body and it resonated well then I'd get a whole new neck first, At least to get a better truss rod. But if anyone reading this feels like refretting their guitars themselves (And doing it right) Then by all means do it. Just make sure you read about it a lot first. And I can't stress that enough, There's a lot of work in a refret even for professionals. I have tools to refret guitars now but haven't popped a fret in a neck yet because I want to make sure I'm ready. I could probably try messing around with my First Act guitar...
Always tin your strings.

_____

Don't be afraid to be honest.
#18
I've owned two Gibson Les Paul Studios in the past; I now own a MIM Strat. I liked the LPs smaller frets more, but the Strat's smaller neck more. When my frets wear out, it'll probably be cheaper to just buy a new neck. I'll try to get the same neck shape, with Gibson-style frets.

As far as maintenance and repair goes, bolt-ons are great for poor people like me.
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#19
Quote by Sunn_O)))
I've owned two Gibson Les Paul Studios in the past; I now own a MIM Strat. I liked the LPs smaller frets more, but the Strat's smaller neck more. When my frets wear out, it'll probably be cheaper to just buy a new neck. I'll try to get the same neck shape, with Gibson-style frets.

As far as maintenance and repair goes, bolt-ons are great for poor people like me.


A bit off topic but bolt ons have another advantage: If you put stainless screw inserts in the neck (Replacing the screw holes) And it's done right then you can take the neck on and off and not have to worry about it wearing out. Great if you want a good travel guitar.
Always tin your strings.

_____

Don't be afraid to be honest.
#20
Quote by Gargoyle2500
You can say that again in neon lights. I wouldn't pay to refret a Squier, It costs $200 or more at GC. If I liked a cheap guitar's body and it resonated well then I'd get a whole new neck first, At least to get a better truss rod. But if anyone reading this feels like refretting their guitars themselves (And doing it right) Then by all means do it. Just make sure you read about it a lot first. And I can't stress that enough, There's a lot of work in a refret even for professionals. I have tools to refret guitars now but haven't popped a fret in a neck yet because I want to make sure I'm ready. I could probably try messing around with my First Act guitar...


Well, I've already put $400+ in my Squier, so I might as well refret the thing, there not quiet worn out, but getting there, the neck on that guitar is the most solid neck I've ever known, it dosent budge an inch, I've never had to adjust the truss rod, its so weird. But I'm going to do it myself, and it can't be that hard, rebuilding an automatic transmission is harder than refreting a guitar neck. I also need to change out the trem plate and sustain block, and the trem claw screws. I have alot of work to do still.
#21
Hold up on that! Don't refret it yourself, You don't know what you're doing. If you do it wrong you could ruin the neck stiffness and believe me, It's easy to mess it up! (Look up Fret Compression) If you put too small of frets in the neck won't be stiff enough and if you put too big of ones in you'll back bow the neck. It's a VERY sensitive thing. If you're serious about refretting it practice on a lot of other guitars first.
Always tin your strings.

_____

Don't be afraid to be honest.
#22
^ yeah, but I can buy 3 Squier guitars with the exact same neck for $150 off craigs list, or buy a professional neck for $150, but then I wont get that thin neck profile that everybody loves with Squiers, not to mention if a standard Fender neck would fit a Squier. If I do refret I'll only do one at a time, and it'll prolly be the exact same fret wire, but taller, and made out of stainless. I've put this neck through so much hell I'm suprised it hasent broken yet. I've smashed it on my desk I dont know how many times, I've beaten some punk kids down using it as a club, I've changed string guages and tunings so many times and never had to adjust the truss rod, its freakish. I bet it will handle a refreting with no problem.

I will be very carful, and I will read up extensively on it.
#23
Stainless Steel frets are VERY hard. This means it doesn't bend like nickel frets will and frets need to be bent in order to conform to the fingerboard radius. (They're actualy over-curved in some cases and flaten out as they're pressed into the slots. Some of the guitars I've read about seem to have the SS frets glued on as opposed to pressed or hammered in which makes sense if you think about it! The tools to trim and shape would be different too, can you imagine trimming stainless steel as opposed to the softer nickel alloy frets? Probably the SS ones would wreck your nippers. If you want to learn to refret, I would seriously rethink starting with stainless steel.
Moving on.....
#24
I prefer big frets because they make bending, vibrato, hammer-ons and pull-offs easier. I usually get my guitars refretted with either 6100 fret wire (big), or 6000 fretwire (HUGE). I got used to the feel because I've had a couple of necks that were scalloped.

Both Jackson and Ibanez use pretty big fret wire. So maybe check some of their guitars out and see if you like it.

As for stainless steel frets, I'm pretty sure that Suhr and Tom Anderson use them. A lot of repairmen won't mess with stainless steel because it's so hard that it destroys their tools.
I know for sure that Suhr will refret any neck, regardless of the maker. So if you want to have stainless installed, I'd recommend them.
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