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Would fret size be a deal breaker for you?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nikoubis, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Nikoubis


    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
    Note that this is not a vintage vs jumbo frets thread. :D

    I recently played a MIM Classic 50's P (not the Road Worn model) and really liked how it played and sounded. Pretty much the only issue I had is that I generally prefer larger frets and the Classic Series basses have small vintage ones. Even so, I got used to the feel pretty fast (the bass was well set up, plus I liked the chunky neck) and I suppose that I would have no problems playing if I ended up owning it. Still I cannot help but feel that the bass would feel more like "home" to me if it came with larger frets. Or perhaps I am looking for an excuse NOT to buy another bass, as I do not need one right now.

    So, would you pass on an instrument that you otherwise liked if the fret size was not quite right for you? Refretting is kind of expensive...
  2. LowEZ

    LowEZ Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Central NJ
    Yes definitely. I too prefer frets of the (minimally) medium-jumbo variety and would have no problem passing on a bass I really liked other than fret size.
  3. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Vintage fret fan here... I've had all varieties, but haven't (yet) graduated to mandolin frets, like one of my favs, Leland Sklar.
  4. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    YES! It's absolutely a deal breaker for me. I love almost everything about the Squier CV line, but I won't own one because of the narrow 'vintage' frets.
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    No. While I prefer vintage frets, I have no problems with medium jumbo. So if I really liked the bass, I would get it either way.

    I tend to practice on vintage frets, my main gigging bass has vintage frets, but the bass I use for band practices and some gigs has medium jumbo frets.
  6. Jason Brown

    Jason Brown

    May 1, 2000
    SLC, UT
    It's not a dealbreaker for me. I used to think I preferred one size over the other because the bass I was playing at the time had them, but I now find I couldn't care less what size the fret wire is.
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If I like the way a bass plays, that means that I like the way it plays.

    I prefer very fat and low frets, but if I were to play a new bass and like it, I would assume fret size wasn't an issue.
  8. BassBob1


    Dec 21, 2010
    I don't think I would pass because of fret size. My jazz has medium jumbos but I am a fan of vintage sized frets.
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    To me, fret size is like boob size. I might have a range of preference, but the only deal-breakers would be if they were freakishly huge, or in very bad shape. :p
  10. rocknrollmouse


    Jan 2, 2012
    If the frets make the bass uncomfortable to play, then yes pass I'd pass it by.

    However that said, I'd look closely and see if its the frets themselves or if a good dress would sort them out - in the latter case it becomes a haggling issue with the price = bass I want for less £$£$ :)
  11. No, not important to me, I never really feel any difference.
  12. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    Fret size is a big deal to me, it was a huge part in picking a Squier VM over the CV, I can't stand the small frets and I'll never own a bass with them.
  13. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    A bass feels right or it doesn't. If you don't read spec sheets you can often be surprised by what instruments then work and which don't.
  14. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Yes I would pass on a bass that used small vintage size frets, or even worse, banjo size frets. Theres too many great basses with jumbo frets and even mediums. So, Ive no reason to even concider a otherwise great bass that has the little vintage or banjo stye frets. That fender has started making basses with larger frets is a real step forward for them to me. Lol.
  15. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    No, could care less. I take the bass by it's own merrits, it either plays/sounds right or it doesn't.
  16. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    not a deal breaker for me either.
  17. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I want the biggest frets I get for one reason, and that's longevity. Nothing else matters.

    Correction, recrowning, wear, loss of work-hardened layer and the acceleration of wear that causes...all make frets go away. With some horror like stainless rounds, it's downright scary.

    That said, with flatwounds it's not a huge problem. I like my '54RI/Sting and the wear is not significant after a lot of play -- but I would have preferred larger frets.

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