Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Fret Wear

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    1,738

    Default Fret Wear

    My frets are looking like ski slopes where the strings make contact but still no buzzing ! When do you know when you need a re-fret ?
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain

  2. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York and Washington DC area
    Posts
    16,294
    Blog Entries
    24

    Default Re: Fret Wear

    I was just surprised by this myself. I was inspecting my mandolin and saw in what bad shape the first several frets were, and I was surprised by how well it plays without any issues.

    I guess I am not going to do anything unless and until there is some buzzing or intonation problems. I don't see how it could hurt anything, or be any be any harder to do it more clearly needs it.


    Its like removal of your wisdom teeth just in case - huh?
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'
    We cannot put off living until we are ready. -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

    The entire staff
    funny....

  3. #3
    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Neosho, Mo
    Posts
    1,982

    Default Re: Fret Wear

    Funny how deeply rutted my frets can get. I don't recall ever having any buzzing, just gets to feeling like I'm using too much pressure to fret cleanly. It'll be the 4th set and, although I only need the first 5 or 7, I may just pop for the Jescar EVO stuff this time. I HATE buying fret jobs.
    Mike Snyder

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    1,738

    Default Re: Fret Wear

    My new mandolin will have EVO gold
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Needs Improvement Tobin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bandera, TX
    Posts
    1,375

    Default Re: Fret Wear

    When to get a re-fret? Good question! I'll be starting to wonder about it myself soon, as the fret wear on my mandolin is starting to concern me. What's funny is that I'm actively choosing to play on the higher frets now, just to even things out and give my lower frets some more time.

    But I do wonder when is the magic moment that requires a re-fret. Buzzing would be one clue. Does the intonation change ever get bad enough on the width of a worn fret to make a difference?

  6. #6
    Robert Fear Folkmusician.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,046

    Default Re: Fret Wear

    If you are not noticing any ill effects, then I wouldn't worry about it. A worn fret can change the intonation enough to be audible. A lot of fret issues go unnoticed unless the action is lowered. For players that like low action, even minor fret issues can set off buzzing.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  7. #7
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    12,307

    Default Re: Fret Wear

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Its like removal of your wisdom teeth just in case - huh?
    More like needing glasses. You don't notice because it comes on so slowly, but then you take an eye test, get glasses and see all those things you were missing!
    You don't realize how much harder you are working to get clean notes with badly worn frets until you do something about them (mill and re-crown or re-fret). Then suddenly the instruments is so easy to play that you say "why didn't I get those frets fixed before this!".

    Take it to a good luthier and have the frets looked at. A good luthier will know whether they need work or not (and of coarse there's always the chance that an unscrupulous luthier will see an opportunity to make some money and tell you they need work even if they don't, but if you go to a good luthier that shouldn't happen). A $50 (give or take) mill and re-crown doesn't cost too much, and it can make the instrument "play like butter" while doing no harm (other than the +/- $50, that is).

  8. The following members say thank you to sunburst for this post:


  9. #8
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    2,574

    Default Re: Fret Wear

    +1 on what John says: think of it as annual (or whatever) maintenance to keep the instrument in tip-top playing condition, it might not sound any better after the work, but it sure will feel better.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •