Something I noticed about 08' Am.Stnd.Fender Fret wire

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chiplexic, Feb 10, 2009.


  1. chiplexic

    chiplexic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Massachusetts
    I was playing an 08' American Standard Fender Jazz the other day at a music store and noticed they had filed the fret ends. Probably to smooth the winter sprouting.
    But what I noticed was there seemed to be an inner metal bar or wire that was different than the outer fret metal. The inner metal was sort of brass in color. It had a very defined squared off shape to it (actually more rectangular) from this smooth filed end view.

    I thought frets were a consistant solid wire? Is this normal or a cheapy wire?

    Looking at a bunch of fret wire suppliers web sites I've yet to find anything like it.
     
  2. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Are you talking about the fret tang? (the part hanging down in the image below)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. chiplexic

    chiplexic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Massachusetts
    No it wasn't the tang. It was the actual meat of the fret that sits on the surface of the fret board. The inner differing metal was covered up by a flap of outer surface metal on the frets ends that didn't get filed. But when this flapped over piece of metal was filed off it exposed this (what I thought) unusual differing inner metal core.

    It looks as if the shiny outer surface is just a thin walled casing. I just wasn't sure if this is more often the case lately with fret manufacturing. I always thought they were solid wires.

    Their has to be some luthier/techies out there that can shed some light on this.
     
  4. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Curiouser and curiouser.

    I've never seen anything like that, the idea of covering the ends with a "flap of outer surface metal" seems kind of odd since frets are cut from a continuous coil of fretwire so there's no flap.

    I've often seen frets that have a coat of finish on them. Are you sure you didn't just file off some tinted finsh that was on the frets?
     
  5. I noticed that they seem soft compared to other fenders or other brands, my 08 Jazz is showing some fret wear after a year and it not been played half as much as my G&L SB2 or my 66 jazz, i use nickel strings in all of them, and the frets of the 08 just seem to get eaten really fast!
     
  6. chiplexic

    chiplexic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Massachusetts
    I agree that it is a bit weird. Since as you say (and I understood to be the case) frets come off a main length of wire.

    I looked at it for a while trying to figure just what the situation was . On a few frets I could almost get my finger under the fret end and bend the flap up (didn't want to really try). On others it was partially attached from minimal filing. And as I say,on the well filed frets you could see a perfect cross section. Made up of two different pieces and types of metal.
     
  7. Someone should email Fender and ask...
     
  8. chiplexic

    chiplexic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Massachusetts
    I called Fender.

    The guy answering the phone said " well they're a mixture of nickel and alloy."

    I asked if they had a distinct inner core that is encased by the shiny outer finished surface.

    He took my email address and is suppose to look into it.
     
  9. mixture of nickel and alloy, eh? that's funny
     
  10. Jo6Pak

    Jo6Pak

    May 2, 2007
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  11. chiplexic

    chiplexic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Massachusetts
    Well I've considered pulling the trigger on a few American Standard deals as of late and I figured I'd check back and ask how your Am.Std frets have worn during your time with your bass?
     
  12. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Frets are often made of "nickel silver" aka "German silver" which is an alloy of copper and nickel. A common alloy for frets contains 18% nickel.
     
  13. chiplexic

    chiplexic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Massachusetts
    OK...So since this is an older topic...my intent is to get an update from owner/users.
    As I said above,I am interested in pulling the trigger on one of the Am.Stnd. bass deals in my area and would like to know after being out for over a year now, how the new fret material is wearing ?? Some say quickly ,some say normal...what's the update now?
     
  14. you just killed the funny....
     
  15. sub'd
     
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