Frets - what alloy mix

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by StratUp, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    If there's a good discussion or dissertation on this, feel free to point me.

    What alloy mixes are used, and were used in the earlier days, for frets? I found a lot of generic reference material on line i.e. "a little brass and copper mixed with a lot of steel/iron" but little on actual percentages in a typical mix. I'm doubtful that there's as much steel in there as suggested in view of the amount/speed of fret wear, but who knows.

    I'm thinking of vintage Fenders and Gibsons, but curious about any related info.

    Note that I'm ignoring stainless steel. I think I know what they are made of and don't really need to know what mix they are.
     
  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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  3. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    Nickel, I know they use nickel in there, but I don't know the recipe.

    Of course there are stainless steel frets, which I haven't tried yet, and there's evo gold. Idk what's in those.
     
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  4. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Any idea of the evolution of fret materials on Fender & Gibson? I'm guessing the later ones that look less pure-brassy are probably nickel-silver, but is there any timeline? Must be a fairly abrupt cutoff on the mass production lines. Maybe the custom shops kept up brass for authenticity for longer?
     
  5. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    I wasn't aware of any Fender or Gibson guitars having brass frets (without nickel), but I'm not a historian.
     
  6. henderman

    henderman Dr. Stratster

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    i'm pretty sure there is some titanium in the evo.
     
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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Just refret your guitar with stainless steel frets so you don't have to worry about refretting ever again.

    There is no tone impact. Those who think there is played old strings on the original frets and new strings on the stainless frets then complain the guitar sounds different now. It's just the old-dead vs shiny new strings they are listening to.

    .
     
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  8. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    Not sure the purpose of determining what frets are made of. But you are correct with the SS comment. I had 3 Strats recently refretted with SS and find no differences from the original stock frets.
     
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  9. rake6978

    rake6978 Strat-Talker

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    I've got a 1918 "The Gibson" A1 mandolin in for a restoration and the frets are brass bar style frets.
    0606212117_0001.jpg

    The old guitars had them too.
     
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  10. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Brass frets were copper and zinc. Modern frets are nickel silver, which is actually copper, nickel and zinc. Evo Gold is copper, tin, iron and titanium.
     
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