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Mixing Fretwires, Issues?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Will_White, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Thinking about a gold and chrome build and the thought crossed my mind of alternating Evo gold and stainless steel frets. Are there any issues with this?
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I've never tried it, but I can't see any reason why there would be a problem. They are different metal alloys, but their mechanical properties are in the same range.
  3. Randyt

    Randyt RAAPT Custom Wood Productions

    Jul 21, 2010
    Barrie, Canada
    i did try an experiment once...the colour variation between the two types of frets are minimal...therefore when installed it looks like a mistake...the variation is too subtle...
  4. guitarrophobe


    Mar 20, 2017
    I refretted a Sandberg with Evos - the remaining zero fret and the color difference annoyed me so much, that in eventually I replaced this one as well.

    My impression is that Evo is not as hard as stainless steel, though...
  5. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yes, that's true. In hardness/wear resistance, the Evo wire is about halfway between traditional Nickel-Silver wire and stainless steel wire. The Evo wire is an alloy of brass, in the bronze or "bell brass" zone. It is somewhat longer lasting than NS wire, but its main appeal is the gold color.

    Stainless fretwire typically lasts 3-4 times as long as NS wire. For most basses, that means decades of playing. But it's not forever. My friend Juan Perez is a very busy pro bassist, and his main player is one of my little SSB short scale basses. He's had it for about six years, and recently brought it in for some service. He'd actually started to wear some grooves in the stainless frets, and that's with Chromes flatwounds! That's a lot of playing. And I think it was the original set of Chromes, so the Chromes were wearing the frets.

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