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Who makes an 18mm spaced 6 string bass with stainless steel frets?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HalfManHalfBass, May 6, 2019.


  1. HalfManHalfBass

    HalfManHalfBass

    Jan 21, 2003
    Hi guys & gals,

    As in the title: who makes an 18mm spaced 6 string bass with stainless steel frets? The only other requirement is that is must not have a zero fret......

    Maybe a Carvin / Kiesel? I can't think of any others......

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggbassplayer.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    I’m intrigued by your requirement for no zero fret? You insist it have a nut, it can’t have a zero fret, just curious about that.
     
    Keger Jupit and Gigglingbuns like this.
  3. HalfManHalfBass

    HalfManHalfBass

    Jan 21, 2003
    Yes, I just don't like them.

    They wear down very quickly (what with being always in contact with the open strings) and cause little troughs in which the thinner strings 'ping' in and out of when string bending. Even if in theory stainless steel shouldn't wear down!
     
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    If you can tolerate a zero fret, I'd recommend an MTD kingston AG6.
     
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Interesting! Perhaps a little leveling of the zero fret would fix that?
     
  6. UNICORN BASS

    UNICORN BASS

    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Does Warwick have anything like that?
     
  7. HalfManHalfBass

    HalfManHalfBass

    Jan 21, 2003
    Even if stainless steel doesn't wear down and create these little troughs / divots due to its increased hardness, I'd rather just avoid them completely.

    I can easily replace / recut a new nut if the slots wear down, but refretting a zero fret isn't my idea of fun.
     
  8. Swingin

    Swingin

    Apr 29, 2018
    I think Ibanez BTBs are 18mm. Unsure if any come with stainless steel
    Frets though.
     
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The sixes are 17mm.
     
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The second generation Yamaha TRB6 is 18mm, I am pretty sure it does not have a zero fret. These turn up pretty often on eBay.
     
  11. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    If you make the zero nut with a taller stainless fretwire (taller than the other frets), it'll last a REALLY long time before you need to change it. Decades, maybe a lifetime.
     
    Keger Jupit likes this.
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I'm not aware of any widely distributed brand (ie not boutique) coming stock with stainless steel frets.
    It certainly restricts your options. You need to find a builder willing to work with stainless steel frets and agree on a 6 string model.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  13. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
  14. If you go to pretty much any notable luthier and provide your specs, they'll build whatever you want.
     
  15. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Dingwall six string basses are exceptional. Light weight, awesome sound, extremely playable. 18mm string spacing.

    Dingwall uses a very hard mandolin or banjo size fret wire.

    The fanned fret multi scale (37”-34”) really shines with the six string. Both the B and C strings are clear and present, super balanced volume and string tension.
     
    Nephilymbass and HalfManHalfBass like this.
  16. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Commercial User

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars
    Refretting an instrument is routine work for any competent luthier or tech.
    Therefore, I would strongly suggest finding a bass that suits all your other parameters (looks, weight, feel, tone, price point etc.)
    and then get it refretted with your choice of fretwire. A good refret on a relatively clean/new instrument shouldn't break the bank.
    This approach will substantially open up your options - as noted above, very few production instruments are made with stainless frets at the moment.
    A custom builder could certainly make one for you, but why dramatically limit your choices with such a specific parameter when it can be retrofitted later on?

    Cheers,
    Martin
     
  17. jnuts1

    jnuts1

    Nov 13, 2007
    I find this suspect. my MTD was my main bass for 15 years and played hundreds of gigs and played for hours a day even when not gigging and have zero wear. it is static, you are not pressing on it or moving it in any way.
     
  18. HalfManHalfBass

    HalfManHalfBass

    Jan 21, 2003
    Thank you all very much for the suggestions, but as I thought: there really doesn't seem to be any 'off the shelf' models that fit the bill and I can't afford to spend out loads for a custom model.

    Where I live I wouldn't trust any 'luthier' to refret a new instrument with stainless steel fretwire and could probably do a better and cleaner job myself -except I really don't want to have to invest the time and effort in doing that.

    I had hoped Warmoth offered a suitable 6 string bass, but it would appear their Gecko model is only available in narrow spacing.

    Oh well, maybe it's for the best. I just got bitten by the idea of being able to fill out a three piece band by adding some chord work above the root notes....
     
  19. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Nino Valenti offers stainless... and has made a 6-string or two before. Reach out to him.
     
    Jim Carr likes this.
  20. HalfManHalfBass

    HalfManHalfBass

    Jan 21, 2003
    Sorry, my reply was a little unclear.

    I wasn't saying that this has happened on a stainless steel zero fret. It had happened on a standard fret wire zero fret, but I just don't want to chance it and would rather avoid zero frets.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Feb 27, 2021

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