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Do Rotosounds really eat frets?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Lumpy_Bass, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. I just ordered my first set of Rotosound SM665 Bass Strings based on all the rave reviews they receive. The only thing that concerns me is this fret eating complaint that I often see associated with them. I will be stringing my 2002 Fender Jazz V. Any and all input is appreciated.
  2. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    My Alembic Spoiler has had swing bass strings used on it since 1983. So far no fret issues. ;) I suppose if you had a gorilla grip you may see more wear:bawl:

    Attached Files:

    villis likes this.
  3. knowing you are comfortable stringing an Alembic with them give me more confidence in them.
  4. Been using rotos since early 2008 on my Ibanez, No fret damage at all.

    villis likes this.
  5. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I think that's an old urban legend that has been floating around. I think Roto's were really the first SS strings of any populatity.
    And being SS and frets being nickle-ish, the deduction was made that they will tear the frets up.

    Throw them on and have no worries.
    villis likes this.
  6. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    That's an old "Wife's tale" from back in the day. When Fender was using very soft metal for their frets, they didn't do well with *any* stainless steel strings, including rotos.

    Anymore, frets are stronger and there are LOTS of stainless strings out there.
    villis likes this.
  7. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    Using Rotos on my '59 P bass from 1971 through '73, I had to have it refretted after about 10 months of playing three nights a week. Used Rotos on my '72 Rick 4001 and it showed some wear, but not nearly as much as the Fender, so I agree that Fender probably used softer fret wire way back when. I haven't used Rotos enough lately to comment on how they affect frets on newer basses.
  8. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    They sure eat my fingers.
  9. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    they kill my fingers. it feels like i have rubber pads on the tips of my fingers when i play anything with those strings. but i don't know about frets
  10. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    it's weird you say that, rotos don't eat my fingers at all, but flats do...:confused:
  11. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    Only for breakfast.
  12. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Rotosounds never gave me finger or fret problems, and I used them for 10 years.
  13. Mike Yocum

    Mike Yocum

    Feb 12, 2008
    It's not an old wive's tale. Rotosound Swing Bass strings tore up the frets and fingerboard of my 1973 Rickenbacker 4001 during a 1975-76 tour. Perhaps Rickenbacker uses harder fretwire these days, but that bass was a scary mess at the end of that tour.

  14. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Used rotosounds swing 66 since the mid 1970's as main string brand, never had any significant fret wear. Those who are very heavy handed with their fretting and who grind the strings into frets and who use basses with soft frets may have sig fret wear over time with any roundwound stainless strings though. Significant fretboard wear would show up first though imo. Again mainly from heavy handed fretting and pressing strings into fretboard in a grinding fashion.
  15. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    Same here! I had 2 70's Ric's and a mid-60's Jazz that all needed re-fretting within a relatively short period :rollno:
  16. willg95


    Jul 7, 2007
    Spring Lake, MI
    Those and pretty much any stainless steel strings eat frets a bit. Personally I think your action has a lot to do with it, too. Having lower action causes them to bend on the frets more. My friend's Squier was unplayable after a year of using stainless steels in a metal band. (Ha.. Get it?):p
  17. EZ9R


    Oct 28, 2008
    Rotosound was the first round wound string and the story goes that Chris Squire influenced a lot of bassist to use Rotosounds and Rickenbacker 4001 basses. But, the early 4001 basses had soft material for frets and a lot of people were sending their Ricks back to Rickenbacker for repairs. Squire said when he finally went to the Rickenbacker plant, they took him to the repair room and showed him like 100 basses that need refretting. This was in Bass Player Mag. a few years back.

    But stainless steel round wounds are a little harder on your frets than flatwounds people were using 40 some years ago.
    I don't think Rotos eat frets more than any other ss string and I've been using them for years with no problems.
    villis likes this.
  18. yes, they eat frets.... with a fine Chianti and some Fava beans.....FAFAFAFAFAFAF!!!
  19. Just realized today that i forgot to subscribe to this thread after I posted it and missed all this great input after my third post so I just wanted to say thanks to all that commented after me.
  20. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    NO... I've used NOTHING but roundwound Rotosounds on my early 67 P bass for MORE than 30 years - my bass has never needed refretting, and the action is fabulous.

    After decades of HEAVY use I recommend them without any reservation!!!!
    villis likes this.
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