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Thread: Big Frets on The Loars

  1. #1

    Default Big Frets on The Loars

    Happy Thanksgiving weekend folks!
    I am very new to the mandolin world. I have only played a Loar 310 and a 1914 Gibson oval A with very small frets.
    I am thinking about getting a Loar 600 or 700. The only way I can try them out is to play a 520 at GC. Those frets are HUGE. Is this fret size really out of the ordinary from other Mandolins?
    Thanks,
    Nick

  2. #2

    Default Re: Big Frets on The Loars

    You will meet people in both camps. Large frets are not necessarily traditional but alot of modern players prefer them. I've found that I can like mandolins with either. To me, radiused fretboards and neck shape make more of a deciding factor. FYI, my mandolin has large frets and I am very happy with them.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Big Frets on The Loars

    The Loar 520 is very similar to the mandolin I have. I have The Loar 500 VS.

    I don't understand what you mean by very small vs huge frets. Are you talking about the spaces between frets or the size of the actual metal bars, the frets themselves. I do not notice anything different between my The Loar and anybody else's mandolin as far as reach or the size of the metal frets. I have noticed that the fit and finish of this mandolin isn't super great, and one example of that is the edges of the frets will catch on a towel. The scale length is 13-3/4", which is pretty typical. I don't know that much about the other one you have played but perhaps its scale length was significantly shorter and you were able to perceive the difference.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Big Frets on The Loars

    I have instruments with both. Generally speaking I find the shorter the scale the thinner the frets. I say this because the difference comes down to who does the setup and how well they crown the frets.

    Once leveled, flattened big frets provide a relatively large area which the string scale varies while playing [things like string bends]. On a long scale instrument like a guitar, the variance in pitch is difficult to discern whereas it can be really noticeable on short scales, like the mandolin, which manifests as intonation problems.

    Both are fine when crowned properly but the edge still goes to smaller frets as I find I can get just "that much" better setup out of them. The better the setup the better it plays and sounds IME.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Big Frets on The Loars

    Thanks for the replies! By the size of the frets, I mean the metal bars. I just need to try some other models!

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