Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: well, that was fast...

  1. #1
    Registered User Bad Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    178

    Default well, that was fast...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	thumbnail_IMG_20170424_135721645_HDR.jpg 
Views:	218 
Size:	32.7 KB 
ID:	156430

    I've been playing this mandolin (Eastman 614) since last september, gigging pretty much 4-8 gigs a month. I probably play mandolin on 30-40% of the time during those gigs. I was a little surprised by the amount of fret wear already. Guess the smaller than guitar fretwire really gets beat up a lot faster. Only makes sense I guess but I was hoping to get more than a year or so out of 'em. I suppose the fret wire may not be exactly premium stuff but it seems to be wearing down pretty fast. I'm not having any issues at all with it at this point, just a little surprised at the wear when I changed strings this afternoon.

  2. #2
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Palmer, Texas
    Posts
    3,516

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    My 315 started showing notches after the first month or so. Almost two years later it's not quite ready for a fret leveling yet. It did freak me out how fast they appeared to be wearing though.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  3. #3
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    2,099

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    Actually, that's not particularly bad wear, IMO. And yes, smaller mandolin frets wear out faster, due to the smaller contact area that supports the downbearing force of fretting. The effect is especially strong on instruments with high string tension, like the mandolin. You are still pretty far away from needing a refret, though.

    When you do get the frets replaced, you could consider getting frets made of EVO gold wire or stainless steel. These options last significantly longer.

  4. #4
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI.
    Posts
    7,149

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    Doesn't look that bad to me, they will get worse before you need to really "fix" the issue.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  5. #5
    Registered User Bad Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    it's not that bad really, and the size of the fretwire makes it look worse for sure. I'm just surprised that it's showed up so quickly. Just noticed the finger marks on the fretboard as well. Not that big a deal all in all. While I've never replaced frets on a mandolin, I've done plenty of guitars. It does give me an excuse to buy some more tools though.

  6. #6
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    942

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    I recommend EVO when you do replace them, it last much much longer than standard wire. My luthier used to offer stainless steel, but he said it ruined his tools and hands nipping the ends, so he convinced me to go EVO, it's been several years of heavy playing and I'm just now needing a fret dressing job. I've not seen to much discussion about the relationship between string composition, fret alloys and fret wear...I've used stainless strings in the recent past and after the fact figured out that they are harder than the EVO alloy and might have contributed to increased wear rate...? Anyone notice this?
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

    BridgerCreekBoys.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Monkey View Post
    Just noticed the finger marks on the fretboard as well.

    That could be the real issue: too much pressure being applied. As I understand it, there is no justifiable reason for the fingerboard wood to be worn like that in only a few months.

  8. #8
    Registered User Bad Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    actually I have a pretty light touch. I've had some hand issues in the past; if I monkey-grip things my hands won't make it through a gig. I suspect that the ebony fingerboard was dyed to darken it up.

  9. The following members say thank you to Bad Monkey for this post:


  10. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,458

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    I keep a crowning fret file and about once a year, when I get those flat spots, I touch them up. After a few touch ups I let a professional level and crown them. Last mandolin I had to refret was in late 70's. My current "love" is a Dearstone I've owned and played as my main axe since 2000.

  11. #10
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,239
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    I wear frets out in a couple of years usually with a filing and crowning on the off years. I play hard and often with a .41 - .115 set of strings. I recently purchased a mandolin with EVO fret wire. I am curious to "see" how long this wire lasts compared to the standard fret wire. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  12. #11
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,180
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    What it looks like to me is that you play a lot! Excellent!!!!!!

    I hope you need a fret dressing up to the 15 fret, within a year. Play the potatoes out of that thing. Take no prisoners.

    Enough reading - go, go play!!!
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  13. #12
    Registered User Bad Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    What it looks like to me is that you play a lot! Excellent!!!!!!

    I hope you need a fret dressing up to the 15 fret, within a year. Play the potatoes out of that thing. Take no prisoners.

    Enough reading - go, go play!!!
    well, playing ITM and Americana roots music I'm not sure I'll get that much wear up on the dusty end, but there is currently fret wear up to the 10th fret. Maybe I'm wrong, I've been to a couple BG sessions in the past month just to play with different people. Playing tunes you don't know with people you have never played with is a great way to force your ears open...

  14. #13
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,180
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Monkey View Post
    Playing tunes you don't know with people you have never played with is a great way to force your ears open...
    Its the closest I will ever be to experiencing sky diving!
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  15. #14
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Magnolia, Texas
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    I have had a custom built Bill Northcut mandolin since 1988 and have had the frets dressed once about 5 years ago. I bought an Eastman MD 615 in 2005. I had the Eastman 615 for about 6 months and in that time the frets showed more wear than my Northcut has ever shown. Also I just now had a fret replacement on my 1973 Martin D35. The quick fret wear is one reason I sold the Eastman.

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Posts
    491

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    The first cut is the deepest, as the song goes.

    This is because all the downward force is on a small contact area, just that part of the string's diameter that is touching the fret.

    As a groove develops, the contact is spread over more of the string's diameter, so the wear rate slows down dramatically.
    Bren

  17. #16

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    Eastman Mandolins use Dunlop fretwire which is pretty standard as far as quality/hardness goes. With a mandolin, the tension and playing style combined with the thinner frets can show wear quickly. Luckily, it usually looks much worse than it is! At your current rate, you should get a couple of years out of the frets. I have customers that that have worn frets to the fingerboard in 6 months. Granted, this is extremely rare.

    I realize that you are saying you play with a light touch, but the fingerboard looks like you might be digging it. Just about all ebony is dyed, but that doesn't look typical of mandolins I work on. It may just be the angle of your attack though.

    I'll add another congratulations! I am always proud to see players put an immense amount of legit wear on their instrument.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

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

  18. #17
    Registered User Bad Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    the picture actually makes the fingerboard look MUCH worse than it is. Especially after I gave it a good cleaning and got all the DNA off it. post-cleanup it's impossible to see any marks on the fingerboard unless you get full sun on it juuuust right.

  19. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: well, that was fast...

    Bad Monkey: I bought a brand new Eastman 515 mandolin last December and I'm seeing what'd I'd call a fairly significant amount of fret wear. I'm an amateur that plays about an hour each day. My guitars never showed that much fret wear that fast. Other than that, I think my Eastman is a pretty decent intermediate level mandolin.
    Eastman MD515 with K&K pickup
    Lakewood acoustic guitar with K&K pickup

Posting Permissions

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