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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JP Basses, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    I was looking at the Jim Dunlop site and wondering what you guys thought about different fretwire sizes.

    I've been using 6130 fretwire lately with good results but I'm looking forward to use narrower banjo or mandolin wire as I've heard nothing but good feedback about using it on basses....

    Comments, experience and feedback apreciated ! :D

    Peace, JP
  2. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Here is an excel file that I just made, summing Jim dunlop fretwire dimensions...it may be handy for some of us :D

    Peace, JP
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Here's your excel file, revised with a chart added to graphically show the size differences. Mind you, these are not the actual profiles, just a set of rough but proportionate curves to illustrate the general height-width relationships.
  4. DP Custom

    DP Custom DP Custom Basses

    Feb 7, 2001
    NC, USA
    Despite the current popularity, personally I don't like the thinner fretwires, and feel they inhibit sound transference into the fretboard compared to fatter frets...

    just my opinion

    Dave P.
  5. And here's the next revision. I added a picture of me looking at the approximate profiles of the frets.

  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I used to use narrower fretwire on my basses. It sure was easier to bend and cut.

    Someone told me that I could get a better setup with bigger fretwire, so I switched back to jumbo. My setups are getting better, but I don't believe it's from the fretwire.

    I may go back to a smaller wire, but probably not down to banjo small. I'd be more interested in checking out that brass wire than anything else.
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    How did that dinosaur get on Dave's head?



    Sorry, funny stuff.

    Dinosaurs find me attractive and flock to my slightly blonded hair. :D
  9. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    I like the smaller fretwire. But I don't like Dunlop wire. It is very inconsistently made. I have gotten 6105 that was very good and the next shipment is twisted and there's nothing you can do about it. 6100 is worse. It can be very difficult to get a good clean installation. One side will seat well and the other will look gappy.
    I also think that small fretwire leads to a faster feeling setup. Your fingers hit the fingerboard sooner and it feels like the action is very low. Also, I have read that small fretwire gives a more pure and accurate tone because of a smaller contact point with the fret, but I don't go for this. If a fret is properly crowned the contact point shouldn't be any smaller regardless of the size of wire.
    The tricky thing with smaller fretwire is that your fingerboard surface has to be very accurate. You have less material to grind out any problems in the frets. Mandolin wire leaves zero room for errors.
  10. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Thanks all for your replies!!

    I'm gonna stick with 6130 or try 6150 before going to mando frets :D


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