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Fret Life using Roundwounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ZenG, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    How long can you expect to get out of a fretted neck if you use nothing but Roundwounds on it?
  2. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    You're gonna get a lot of different responses on this from "I've used rounds for 10 years and haven't even had a fret dress" to "Rotosound Swing Bass 66 ate my frets beyond a fret dress in less than a year". That said, some general observations:

    Stainless steel is a harder metal than nickelplated or pure nickel. Depending on your playing style, it has the ability to wear frets quicker.

    Playing style can be a bigger factor than metal type. Heavy fretting, string bending, and other aggressive styles can wear frets quicker.

    Choose strings based on what what you want to sound like and consider fret wear part of maintaining your instrument, kinda like tires on a car.
  3. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    Good advice....but I'm not looking forward to the day I have to get my neck re-fretted.......:crying:
  4. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    ZenG, what kind of tone are you after? Maybe I can make some suggestions.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Meh. They make frets so that you can replace them for a reason. Play the strings you like. Use the technique you like. Get a fret job done when needed. No problem.
  6. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    How involved is a fret job....

    and what's the average cost?

    GK Growl:- right now I have an Ibby SR500 that has , I believe, nickel Elixir Roundwounds on it......

    Previously I had an SR300 with D'addario half Rounds on it.

    At first the 1/2's sounded good but it didn't take long before they went south.

    I like the sound of the Elixirs....and I'm prone to the soft, lush sweet sound rather than the punchy twangy tone (although I have the amp and the guitar tweaked all to heck to dial out the twang on these strings)......

    I tend to fingerpick most of the time because I like that sound better than picked.

    I am somewhat apprehensive of putting 1/2's on the 500......and for some reason I think I may be disappointed if I go to Flats.......

    So right now I'll stick with the Elixirs........but I was wondering about fret longevity with these is why I asked......
  7. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Maybe consider a compressed outer like a GHS pressure wound.

    If you have a light touch you will see longer fret life, regardless of string type.
  8. If worried, consider the new Elixir steel wounds. Best of both worlds in my opinion. You get some fret protection as coated and increased brightness compared to nickels. Last a long time too!

  9. i know both of my basses - each around 13 years old, have only had stainless strings on them since day 1. they've seen a lot of work and have only been owned bro professional players.

    i wouldn't worry about it.
  10. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Much of the myth of fretwear has to do with vintage frets, which were much smaller. Even then, the instrument itself had to become vintage after near constant use. In the age of the 'medium jumbo' fret? Don't waste a brain cell on this non issue.