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Bell fretwire?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Razor, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Anyone know where to get the brass type bell fretwire like Warwick uses on their necks? Looking to get a custom neck made and I'm searching for an aftermarket dealer that sells just the fretwire. Vintage size is ideal.
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    You can buy brass fretwire from Dunlop, here: http://www.jimdunlop.com/products/maintenance/frets/chart.html

    Warmoth sells necks fretted with gold fretwire, which they may sell separately, not sure, you'll have to check.

    This has come up before, but a few points to be made:
    - All fretwire (except the new stainless, and possibly Warmoth's gold-colored) is brass. The normal stuff, common name "nickel silver" or "German silver", is a white brass. And it contains no silver.
    - when this came up before, I was not able to find any alloy that was specifically referred to in any industry as "bell brass". It could be out there and I might not have found it. However, since bells are cast, and frets are extruded and then cold formed, it is unlikely (although possible) that fretwire could be made of an alloy that is actually used to make bells. Most casting alloys are too brittle for extrusion and subsequent working (think of the cracked Liberty Bell).
  3. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    They likely just refer to it as Bell Brass to indicate that it is indeed yellow colored brass, to distinguish from the white brass commonly used as Pilotjones said.
  4. A few years back you could buy Warwick fretwire from, well, Warwick. Send them an email and see if that's still a possibility. I can't see why it wouldn't.
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Warwick dealers and repairmen get those frets from Warwick. maybe you can ask a W repairsman to have your bass refretted with it, of if you can buy fret material from them.

    Warwick's Bell Brass is a silver/bronze alloy.

    Read it here:
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    They do say that on the site as you noted, very interesting. Silver is uncommon in brasses. Bronze generally refers to copper alloys with higher copper content, while brass generally refers to copper alloys with lower copper content. No hard definitions, though.
  7. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Thanks very much for the help/info guys...I will be contacting Warwick.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    ..and I will be moving this to Setup.
    comatosedragon likes this.
  9. warwick sells th stuff. 26 pieces for a price i dont remember, i dont think it was thatmuch like 35 or 40 bucks...
  10. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    A bit high - Dunlop is $11-16 a set. But I guess that's to be expected.
  11. Bump for a thread over a year old. Would Warwick dealers still be able to fret a non-warwick bass with their specail fretwire? If so, how much would something like this run me?
  12. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Try finding a repairman who works on Warwicks as well as other brands. If he can get the actual Warwick fret wire, there should be no problem for him to use it on a different brand.

    Personally, I don't see any sonic advantage with using the Warwick fret wire over other types.
  13. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make, but I'd be willing do drop a bit of cash into it to find out. Not on any of my basses now, but I have an idea for a Warmoth floating around in my head, and this fretwire is part of it. Thanks for the help man. Peace.