Stew-Mac Wide vs Wide Pyramid Fret Wire

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Fender4Me, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. Fender4Me

    Fender4Me The Undertaker

    I see that Stew Mac offers a "wide pyramid" bass fret wire. Is there an advantage to using the pyramid shaped wire vs. standard wide wire?
  2. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    DFW Metro
    A narrower crown to the fret gives the string a specific and very small area of contact, which reduces buzz; flatter fret tops can rob sustain as the fret will rattle against the top of the fret. The frets will also feel smaller under your fingers because there's less volume to them compared to a trapezoidal fret, so the neck will feel smoother as you slide around.

    The tradeoff is that this narrower peak will wear faster, requiring a fret dressing sooner, and the typical methods for fret dressing will flatten the curve of the crown leaving you with a more normal fret profile. Overall I would expect a shorter lifespan of the frets with more maintenance in the meantime.

    If you can get this fretwire in stainless steel (and you have the tools to work with SS fretwire), it might be worth it, as the harder stainless steel will last much longer, virtually forever unless you use all-stainless strings as well. In nickel steel, personally I don't think it's worth it; you'll get a few years of advantage, then they'll be dressed down, and less metal in the fret means they'll stand up to fewer dressings.
    Fender4Me likes this.