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Fret choices

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by secretdonkey, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I tried asking about this in the 'Luthier's Corner' forum but since I haven't gotten much response, I'll try it here...

    What are the choices and differences in various types of fret wire that I might have my Jbass refretted with? I've seen rounder v. squarer frets and fatter v. smaller.

    Any explanation of how each affects playability would be appreciated.
  2. jani_bjorklund


    May 22, 2002
    I bought a roll of "Jumbo" fret from Stew.Mac some years ago and I have naturally fretted all the basses I have built (5 fretted) with the same wire.
    I don't even remember what brand, maby it was Dunlop?
    Anyway most modern basses are fitted with "jumbo", the biggest frets. Actually I don't think the size of the frets matter that much on a bass. The string tension on a bass is severe and prevents you from pressing the strings all the way down to the wood anyway. If you have "jumbo" frets on a guitar and play hard you can easily create a fasle note just by pressing the strings to the wood but that just won't happen on a bass.
    I guess this didn't help you very much! If it's a vintage instrument, try to put on the same size of frets it had in the first place, and if it's not put what ever your luthier suggests. As I said the frets don't affect the playability on a bass very much!
  3. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Thanks :)
  4. I have a Dingwall bass and they use either mandolin or banjo height/size frets, these are tiny but allow for perfect intonation and it feels different. Very fast
    looks like this
    mando frets on the right, banjo on the left

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