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Another Stainless vs Nickel thread....

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by SachaPlusDeluxe, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Ok, ok, ok, I know, another one of "these" threads, sorry but I had to lol

    I have a custom made Stonewolf guitar with 25.5 scale length with a Fender 50's pickup in the neck position and it's got, you guessed it, stainless frets. So I'm having fun trying to tame the brightness of this guitar which I thought was partially down to the maple body with campfer burl and the stainless frets but I wasn't sure how much of each contributed. I know the pickup is a bright vintage style pup but I was surprised by how much brighter it was in this guitar. I'll be experimenting with different caps and pots (went from 500k pots to 250k pots) and caps on the pickup itself BUT the following video IMO really indicates the distinct difference in the sound of stainless frets to nickel and is exactly what I am seeing with my Stonewolf....

    Stonewolf.jpg

     
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  2. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    I''ll be getting SS on my EC in the near future. Why not? It's only 50 bucks extra lol...
     
  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    I recently got a USACG neck with SS frets. I do hear a difference, but it shows up only when the strings are not perfectly fretted and buzz slightly immediately after picking. Like when fingering a chord that forces you to not have every finger right next to its fret, and when strummed hard there is a brief buzz that you normally may not even notice. In that case the buzz is zingier than with old brass fret guitars. I say brass because "nickel silver" is really brass with enough nickel to make the color appear silver, around 18% nickel.

    I am very impressed by SS frets and will never buy anything else again. After six weeks of about 2 hours/day of playing, I can't see any signs of fret wear. My other guitars definitely showed fret wear in that time. The smoother feel is obvious too.

    USACG charged me only $30 extra. Warmoth may be less than that, I don't remember.
     
  4. Nick-O

    Nick-O Strat-O-Master

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    Yup, Warmoth is $20. All of mine are SS now, and I have adjusted to the smoother feel and crisper note articulation. Def hooked on them now.
     
  5. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    The OP, @SachaPlusDeluxe didn't mention the fretboard material, which can affect brightness. Stainless frets has some difference, but not very drastic, on they're own. @Triple Jim really nailed the description. My words describe the stainless difference as having a slightly more aggressive/pronounced attack. Same idea, different words/perspective.
    Just Sayin'
    Gene
     
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  6. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

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    So when you play the open strings, the guitar is no longer bright?

    That test would tell you that the frets are to blame.
     
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  7. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah, but, but, but.............? :eek: Then we run into the questions about nut material, etc, etc, ad nauseam! :p Suffice to say that many great players, as well as hordes of not so great players, :whistling: have voiced the opinion that there is definitely a mildly discernible tonal difference that is not dramatic enough to make players want to give up the dramatically extended life and smoothness of long lasting polish jobs that stainless frets bring to the table! :cool:

    Just My $.02 & Likely Worth A Whole Lot Less! :D
    Gene
     
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  8. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    Got SS on my Rosewood board. I am in total agreement with that assessment as demonstrated on this vid.
     
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  9. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

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    When using 2 such dissimilar pickups, one might be inclined to use 2 separate tone controls to manage them.
     
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  10. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    @SachaPlusDeluxe and all,

    What a great "A vs B" video! One the the best formats I've seen for direct comparisons. The player keeps the playing dead simple with cliche licks/phrases/tones/techniques that we all use every time we pick up a guitar! And while this guitarist may not be showing off his prowess in complicating licks, he shows his real skill of "consistency" in his playing, from one performance to another. That's one of the real marks of a great player! ;)

    Thanx 4 Sharon,
    Gene
     
  11. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Well, I got it sorted...

    - 0.1mf capacitor on the tone pot replacing the 0.022mf one

    - Disconnected the bridge pickup from the tone to keep the bite there

    - 0.0068mf capacitor added to the live side of the neck pickup to tame the inherent brightness

    Works well

    EB51E3B4-5593-4753-A6C9-6092C04CFDFB.jpeg
     
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  12. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    Update appreciated. :)

    That capacitor lead is darned close to the pot housing in that photo.
     
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  13. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i completely fill in the slots underneath my frets with superglue, i drizzle it in one side and stop when it comes out the other like prs does and i do not have the zingy thingy with my stainless frets i put in my '91 prs.

    i have had the guitar for at least 20 years so i am sure i would have noticed if it had the fizzle, my shizzle.
     
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  14. Raimonds

    Raimonds Senior Stratmaster

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    I remember a luthier re-fretted one his guitars with both SS and conventional frets in mixed order and offered to play the guitar to anyone and tell which frets are SS and which ones are Nickel. So far no one has been able to tell the correct answer.
    I have re-fretted all my guitars with SS and I cant tell that any difference in sound popped up - they all sound the same to me - like guitars :D
     
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