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What's better for a defret?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AudioDwebe, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. AudioDwebe

    AudioDwebe Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Thinking of getting one of my basses defretted. There are two somewhat local luthiers/techs (one quite famous the other not so much but has 30 years of experience). The prices are comparable.

    One uses maple wood to fill the slots and the other uses some sort of plastic compound. One says he prefers the wood (maple) as it ages well. The other likes plastic because it isn't affected by the seasons.

    So...what do you think? BTW, the neck is ebony, if that makes any difference.


  2. davens


    Jan 24, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Just quoting Alembic here:

    "For a lined fretless, we inlay maple fretlines for our lined fretless basses. If you want a lower contrast wood for the lines, we suggest koa. Lots of other companies use plastic for fretlines, but you wind up with little fret-like ridges as the wood shrinks and the plastic doesn’t."

    I think you'd want something that _is_ affected by the seasons.
  3. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    The plastic fretlines in mine are still flush, 20+ years later.
  4. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Personally, I prefer wood, but I don't think it's really going to be a big issue either way.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Plastic and wood should both wear about the same rate. Styrene will be more visible. Go with your personal preference.
  6. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    White, tan, reddish, purple, brown or black. The color you want your lines to be will dictate the best material for the job. ;)

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