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Crystal Frets?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by VTheHTyphoon, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. VTheHTyphoon


    May 4, 2010
    Ok so I didn't see a thread about this here, but I picked up this month's BP mag (the one about Bass Player Live). I saw a very interesting little section about Crystal Frets. Apparently you can get them to re-fret your guitar or bass with quartz frets for a hefty price and they claim it has tons of advantages over steel/nickel frets.

    So far I've seen people claiming it is snakeoil, but the only videos I've found thus far have me wondering. Apparently only diamonds can polish quartz, so metal won't cause any wear. ergo, no fretwear. Also, in one video the guy claims theres some weird awesome effect the crystals have on tone. Something about chorus and all that. I think the tone will be affected but the chorus claim could be crap. Anybody heard of these or thought of getting them?
  2. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    At 1500$ for a fret job I think ill pass. I do like the idea of never having to refret ever again.
  3. Psycho


    Jun 24, 2008
    I wonder if the note will be clearer as well? I remember reading about agate picks, and since the are harder than the strings they pluck they resonate them more fully.

    Maybe this will have a similar effect?
  4. Quartz frets? Sounds like they'd be rather brittle. Wouldn't they shatter easily?

    Also, if you had any fret sprout, could probably give you some nasty cuts.
  5. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Maybe it's the beer in me, but I totally read the thread title as crystal meth lol.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    When I have an insrument that exhibits a "chorus" sound I check to see if the pickups are too close to the strings or there is a problem with the witness point or saddle. Chorusing is not somehting I want from an instrument, maybe from an effect but definitely not from an instrument.
  7. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Skip the quartz and go straight to UNOBTANIUM! Not only will it create a chorus effect on plucked notes, but slapping will generate an auto wah that will surpass your funkiest daydreams!

    Not to mention, the unobtanium emits a special radiation that keeps your strings clean FOREVER! (Warning - radiation also cleans your body of white blood cells and hemoglobin, resulting in death if exposed for a prolonged amount of time.)

    What are you waiting for? Make the switch today! Full refret for the special one-time price of $99,999,999.99! (Hey, we had to kill a lot of blue people to get this stuff...)
  8. My frets are treated unicorn horn
  9. but seriously even if they did sound slighty better i dont think it would be worth the price of having another guitar.
  10. boyet


    May 15, 2007
    Adamantium is lot safer.
  11. What about Unstable Molecules? it conforms to your abilities.
  12. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009

    My opinion: Snake oil.

    There is definitely a wear advantage to something as hard as quartz. But it's very brittle. It's basically glass and glass in thin rods even backed by wood is not so great. Let that bass fall over against something hard and that fret job is history.

    Which leads to my second point which is that my experience with frets tells me that hard frets would give you lots of buzzy sounds as you push the string down. A soft fret tends to sort let the string "dig into it" just a tiny bit and sort of locks the string to the fret to give a proper anchor at that point. A harder fret (even stainless steel) tends to do that less and lets the string "bounce" giving that so-called "chorus" effect. The bad news of soft frets is eventually all the string "digging" wears a dip in the fret at that point.

    People here "buying" the sales pitch are assuming (with no justification) that this "chorus" effect is a sound you'd want. I'm assuming (with a little bit of justification) that it's a sound you don't want!
  13. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Banned Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    Wouldn't try 'em for a bass. For a normal guitar, definitely would have advantages with wear, and accordingly keep slightly better intonation over time. But not worth $1500.

    Unless, of course, you are a millionaire....
  14. I think Jens Ritter is looking into using this technology. At the NoVa GTG he spoke to us via Skype and he seemed pretty geeked about it, but as much from the aesthetic perspective as from the tonal perspective. Not to say he wasn't geeked about the tonal perspective. I think since quartz is reportedly harder (surface hardness) than stainless steel, it should allow more high-frequency energy to remain in the string- so more high-end zing in your tone.

    Hey, if money is no problem...
  15. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Seems a bit silly when stainless steel frets are readily available, only slightly more expensive than normal frets, and nearly wear free.
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
  17. JonahTheAmazing


    Dec 19, 2010
    I'm not sure about the durability. It seems too good to be true, there would have to be some downfall to it, besides the price. That is a ton of money for a feature that, for most basses, is unnecessary.
  18. JayBassD


    Aug 5, 2011
    Family Member: JayDee Custom Guitars
    Surely you'd have to put them in a neck that doesn't move? Frets move with the neck and it seems like it'd be harder to sort out with Quartz than steel.
  19. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    This is all fantasy. I am going to switch my frets with cheese sandwiches.

    It's a unique sound, and if you get hungry...
  20. regular frets can last a life (in my case, with nickel strings)...., stainless steel even more, why you would spend 1500 in that?

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