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  1. #41
    Les Paul Forum Member Mike58's Avatar
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    Yeah John Diggens you're right sorry about the misnomer.
    Still the fret wire has outlived the luthier.
    Mike
    Murphy Aged 40th Ann 59 Lefty 901550

  2. #42
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Here's an echo to the thought Dan voiced earlier...

    My votes for the essentials:

    6100, 6105, 6150, 6230, and 6310 for the mandolins.

    There, now Dunlop can quit making the rest.

  3. #43
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    The other wires mentioned above are already available.

    .090 X .052 is not. Stainless wire is not...

    Just wanna push this back up top, beg for this wire size!

  4. #44
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    GROOVY SIZES

    Originally posted by philtone

    All we need is the groovy sizes, like .090 by .052 (all I can think about!) [/B]
    OK GIRLS: Gimme' some more groovy sizes. I agree with Phil that we should discuss NEW sizes that have never been available. So far, I'm hearing that several of us like .094 X .052". PHIL, I never suggested .090" - IMO that is too skinny. I like .094" to .098". Any comment?

    Does ANYONE want wire with the same tang/bead size, and a crown of the same width, but with 3 different heights for fretting out humps and valleys. Is this too esoteric?

    dan

    Incidentally JD guitars is in Birmingham, England, and owned/operated by John Diggins and his son Andrew. Wonderful folks. John is a truyl great craftsman. I have quite the deluxe PHOTO TOUR of John's shop if anyone is interested. I can find his address if I dig around.

    John built a guitar for Roy Oribison as well as Tommy Iommi. (And many others).

    dan
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  5. #45
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    John Diggens

    I remembered that I posted this pic of John Diggens and his painting rack some time back. The guitar revolves via a motorized holder and leaves the painter free to do the work.




    Oh, I found this pic too. This was taken the day Albert King came to my shop and I spec'd-out his V so that I could build "LUCY." It was 1969.



    Last edited by Dan Erlewine; 01-21-03 at 08:51 AM.
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  6. #46
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    "Does ANYONE want wire with the same tang/bead size, and a crown of the same width, but with 3 different heights for fretting out humps and valleys. Is this too esoteric? "

    -----so you can fret a neck with a hump, but leave the hump alone and compensate for the hump by putting lower frets in the hump area ? This would be for vintage gtrs that you don't want to touch the board. I probably wouldn't use it myself, but can imagine it would be good for others to use.

    as long as you are thinking about "hump and valley" compensating fretwire, you also might want to consider "twisted neck" compensating fretwire. Fretwire that's taller on one end than the other. How the hell would they make that ?

    Maybe Stew-Mac should offer one size, the biggest, and make a machine that shaves it down to all other possible sizes, even slight variations like your "compensating" fret-wire idea. Figure out how to mass-produce the machine and get it cheap enough that the average fretter would buy one. Have it come in kit form, or whatever it takes. I like the idea.


    Back to reality : I'd like some .085 wide by .045 right now for one of my own guitars. Dan, I think many of us have fluctuating preferences for fretwire sizes and that will always be a big problem.

  7. #47
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    When wire gets to .098 wide by .052 tall, that's really close to (I think the # is) # 154 at .100 X .050.

    .094 X .052 might be a nice compromise, something smaller than 6105 but bigger than # 155...

    Different heights are an interesting idea. I find myself playing interesting leveling games sometimes where I can't or shouldn't take it from the fb, like compensating for excess fallaway... That's one reason I like #155. As long as the crown width is the same, I'd go for it.

    Dan, what kind of cutter did you use for shaving that fretwire? I remember at PRS Rob Carhart was looking into using some type of cutter to trim and bevel the fret ends in production, but I don't know whatever came of the idea.

    And thanks for listening to me harp for a prefered wire size!

  8. #48
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    If anyone knows of good fret-wire in Europe, let me know, coz I'll be in Germany for quite a while this year. I'm talking about fret-wire that's made over there, not American fret-wire that's been shipped over there. Europeans would make better stuff anyway, I would think. LMI get's their fret-wire from Holland, so I'm wondering about that. Maybe it's a real pain in the a__ to buy luthier supplies in Europe. I know Stew-Mac has a lot of European customers , so I'm guessing there's no European equal of Stew-Mac.
    I'm in fret-wire limbo right now. Sent an e-mail to a wholesale distributor , but have no idea now if they'll send me a catalog or any info.
    Stew-Mac will probably get my business in the end, and they deserve it for all the great tips they have passed along through the years. Only problem is I'm trying real hard to get the supplies I need at the cheapest price, so I can make a decent profit on my fret-jobs. Haven't done work for any famous guitarist yet, so I don't get paid as much as I should.

    Rob

  9. #49
    Les Paul Forum Member Mike58's Avatar
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    Dan thanks for the pic of John Diggens, very few non UK residents will know of the two Johns -- Birch and Diggens but as you will know they made/make fine guitars and especially fine necks and frets.
    Dr Mike

    PS If you ever visit Scotland Dan send me an email I would be only too happy to help you enjoy this wonderful country ( golf?)
    Last edited by Mike58; 01-24-03 at 05:12 PM.
    Murphy Aged 40th Ann 59 Lefty 901550

  10. #50
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    I know JD, but not JB

    Mike: I don't know of John Birch (not the founder of the John Birch Society I presume). I was very impressed by John Diggens. A true craftsman, inventor, jack of all shop-trades.

    dan
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  11. #51
    Maybe somebody here can help me out... I refretted my LP Special with StewMac 0150, and I'm really unhappy with it. (The whole harmonic structure to the tone changed into a attack-heavy metallic thonk.) I like the StewMac wire with its' wider tang width, it stiffened up this really awful neck into a good player. So I'm going to refret (again) with StewMac wire, but I don't know which size to chose. At first thought, I may go with the StewMac 0148. I'd like to come close to what Gibson is doing with the R7's, does anyone know what size wire is going into those? Also, what other sources are available for fretwire? I've tried getting Dunlop wire through a local shop, but they don't have a clue as to how to get it. I've got an early 70's "Fretless Wonder" (why in the hell did they ever do that?) SG that I need to refret, but I'd like to try something other than StewMac wire in. Anyone care to share their sources?

  12. #52
    Les Paul Forum Member Pimmie's Avatar
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    I have all my LP's fretted with 6105...Yesterday I took my R4 to my luthier. It seems to me the 6105 give way more tone to the sound.

  13. #53
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    Hold your horses drewchowen. . .

    . . . I would think you'll make things worse by refretting it again so soon. Give the new fretjob a chance to get used to you. You say that it stiffened the neck and made it a real player. Maybe the tone will follow. Maybe you are even imagining some of the "bad" tone sound.

    How many fretjobs have you done? Did you do it or have it done? Did the frets go in tight? Did you use glue at all? Did you hammer or press them in?

    I think 148 is too low for what you want (about .041").

    I don't think frets, and fretjobs, are something that one changes alot like trying on clothes. Each time you pull and replace the frets some change will take place - tone, stiffness, playability, etc.

    Have a trusted friend who plays give you an opinion. It could all be in your mind.

    dan
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  14. #54
    Les Paul Forum Member John Catto's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike58
    ...very few non UK residents will know of the two Johns -- Birch and Diggens but as you will know they made/make fine guitars and especially fine necks and frets.
    John Birch is well known in the UK for his unusual pickups from the 70's (they have almost a "Filtertron" look to them) and the large numbers of unusually shaped solidbodies he built for celebrity guitar players especially during the "Glam" period of british music, Dave Hill of Slade's "Super-Yob" guitar comes to mind plus Tony Iommi's customised SG.



    Last edited by John Catto; 01-26-03 at 09:36 AM.

  15. #55
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    Thanks, John . . .

    . . . you never cease to amaze me.

    dan

    (I didn't know about John Birch)
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  16. #56
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    I don't know the exact size of the frets you installed on my guitar Mr. Dano, but I love them.



    Lentz is using 6105 on my Lentz guitar.

  17. #57
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    I hung 'em right out there . . .

    . . . didn't I? Hey! Where's the NIBS? Let's start a thread about NIBS!

    dan
    Last edited by Dan Erlewine; 01-27-03 at 08:15 AM.
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  18. #58
    Fiendish One Tonefiend's Avatar
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    Drewchowen,
    Alot of the tone from a fretjob comes from the crowning.
    You might want to check that out.


    "Rock and F'in Roll" -Slash-
    "You know what's wrong with music these days? Nobody chokes to death on their own vomit anymore!"









  19. #59
    Tonefiend, I've crowned the frets with a fret crowning file... And they look pretty much like the profile of the file, decently rounded. Most of the Gibsons I see have slightly squared (or flat) tops. Should I dress them a little flat?

    And Dan, thanks for replying (and the word of caution.) To answer your questions; this was my first fret job, I very carefully hammered the frets into place, used a diluted glue solution in the slot before I applied the frets, and the frets went in very tight. I used the StewMac Refret Saw to clean up the slots and widen them a little and a light application of water (from a tiny eyedropper) to ease the frets into the slots. I wouldn't have attempted any of this without reading your "Fret Work - Step by Step" book, an excellent resource.

    I purchased this guitar on eBay in May... Everything was great until I started setting up the guitar for myself. The previous owner (who also was the original owner) had the action pretty high and the neck had too much relief for my tastes. When I adjusted the truss rod to straighten the neck, it became apparent that the neck was twisted (and pretty sloppy too... just a bad neck from Gibson.) After much debating and research I decided to pull the old frets, level and re-radius the fretboard, refret, and made a new nut to compensate for the twist and new fretboard level. I was patient with the process, spent some dough on tools, and was very pleased with the results. The neck was (and still is) stiff, as straight as it's going to get (but the fretboard is straight and level with the bridge,) my action is nice and low, and it's an overall very cool guitar.

    I wish the tone I'm hearing from it was just in my imagination. The best way I can describe it is this; it seems to be a combination of the back portion of the string (to the left of my left hand) resonating at a sonic level just in the attack portion of the note. (As I move up the neck to the bridge, this sympathetic resonance seems to drop in pitch until around the 15th fret, it silences itself. The resonance also seems to fall off between the nut and fret 3.) The other weird artifact is that the notes don't really sustain clear, they sustain kind of dark and choked. I thought this may be an action induced problem, like a low fret-out condition happening all along the neck... But even when I raise the action for experimental purposes (of finding out if I'm really fretting out) it chokes the notes MORE?! That's why I'm wondering if the string is resonating behind my hand, and somewhat nulling the vibration between my hand and the bridge. I know this sounds like some weird string voodoo, but I can hear what this guitar is doing. What I'm wondering is if these tall, wide frets are creating too much height behind my left hand and allowing dissonant sympathetic vibrations that are choking the notes I want to sustain. In that light, a refret with lower frets may allow me to lower my nut to control this resonance.

    Or I might be on crack! A friend of mine claims to love this axe of mine for its pissed-off, cranky tone. And another guy says this guitar cuts through the mix on the PA, but I think he's partial to the TV Yellow... and it's affecting his ears. This same guy gave me a tele he made from scratch last year. He attempted a homemade yellow finish - it has been affectionately renamed "The Pisscaster" by my bass player...

  20. #60
    Fiendish One Tonefiend's Avatar
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    Is the truss rod tight? That can cause sympathetic vibrations.
    Are they set well? Run your hands over them. You ill be able to hear if the ends are not down, or possibly the whole fret is not in tight.
    What about the fret job, are you sure it is good? It takes anyone a few times to do a decent fret job. being your first I would have to question that.
    Last edited by Tonefiend; 01-27-03 at 01:11 PM.


    "Rock and F'in Roll" -Slash-
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  21. #61
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    I was wondering . . .

    . . . if, when you said that YOU refretted your guitar, that you meant "had" it fretted, or did the job yourself. I would agree with Tonefiend that your first fretjob could leave much to be desired. What kind of diluted glue? Tap on the frets with a hard object. Do they sound "hollow", "clunky," and not tight?

    dan
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  22. #62
    The frets sound solid when tapped... No hollow sounding spots... Lord knows, I'm not a luthier but the work is sound.

    I'm in the process of conducting a little experiment to see if I can knock out the sympathetic resonance I'm detecting, and so far I think I've got it under control. Yesterday I restrung the LPS with a heavier set of strings than I normally do. I usually string with GHS Boomer lights (.046" - .010") but I switched up to the GHS TNT set (.052" - .010") thinking that a heavier string (at least on the wound strings) working against the bigger frets would work (in theory) similar to a smaller string on a smaller fret. It's only been a day, but I had a two hour rehearsal last night and a 75 minute set tonight, and I can detect a change in the negative portion of the tone I was hearing. Plus, I like the heavier tension of the strings. I may have to come up with some hybrid string sets (I'd like to keep .010's on the high E, but I'm going to try a heavier G and B string - the G had been the worst before) but this seems to be working.

    There was one other change I made yesterday too that made me think this may not be a fret related issue at all. Some of the saddles on the bridge were turned around (Low E and A) to compensate for intonation adjustments. With the heavier strings, I needed to reset the intonation... I turned the A saddle, the Low E was fine, but the G string wouldn't intonate properly... Too sharp no matter how back I could get the saddle. So I reversed the G saddle as well, and was able to get it to intonate properly. That's what made me think, these saddles may be cut poorly. Flip the G saddle and the G string sounds much improved. Not perfect, but alot better. I may have never have noticed the bridge before the fretjob because the action was so high it put the strings out of the sweet spot on the P90's so I couldn't detect it. After the fretboard leveling and fretjob I can set the action where I like it (low) and now the pickups are revealing what may have been going on all along - bad bridge saddles.

  23. #63
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Not really worth bringing this thread back from the dead over, but I came across this and figure I'll post it here.



    http://www.guitarfretwire.com/fret_e.htm

  24. #64
    Les Paul Forum Member LuthierTom's Avatar
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    I'm an oddball

    I do a lot of glides so I like a small fret. Fender vintage, StewMac Medium Acoustic, or whatever Taylor's standard is for acoustics. On electric Gibbys, something around 0.095-0.103 wide x 0.036-0.040 tall.
    As a matter of fact, I *AM* a rocket scientist...

  25. #65
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Soap!!!

    Thanks a lot. Now I wanna sink some cash into a fretwire order! I just emailed DaeHung about their #DSW 24H in SS. Depending on their reply, it might be time to start a new thread and see if folks want to go in on some wire.

    Have you left for Deustchland yet?

  26. #66
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    Glad you found the link useful, Philtone. Still a little over a month before I leave, which isn't enough coz I'm not getting things done as fast as I need to. It's making me a nervous wreck.

    I'm guessing that's a Korean Company (although it was in the middle of the night when I looked at the site, so maybe I should double-check that). I've heard that Japanese companies don't like to deal directly with individuals in the US, they seem to only like dealing with big US companies, so I'm wondering if that could be the same with other Asian companies. I thought Dan might be interested in them ,coz they say they can make customized fret-wire (that's how I understood it, anyway)

    I had to laugh when I first saw their main page, which had all these wierd metal containers and then a guitar to the left of that. I thought "what the hell kind of guitar parts are those " . It's because they make all kinds of metal products, but it sure looked odd at first.

    Then I came across a site with a guitar that has "smiling frets" LOL !

    I'll be interested in what you hear from the company.

    I haven't even looked closely at the sizes they offer. I might want some, but hadn't even thought a little guy like me would be able to buy some from them.

    Rob

  27. #67
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Never hurts to ask!

    If an order is too big and folks can agree on a size or sizes, perhaps we can try some new wire. Or maybe SM will get into it and folks like you and me can access it that way.

    What really grabbed my attention besides the size was that it can be had in stainless. I get asked alot about SS wire. I've tried to get some from Parker to no avail. I understand that Petillo won't part with his, although he has to get it somewhere. As multitalented as he is, I don't know if he has the capacity to cost effectively make custom size and material wire. Size maybe, as DE's experiments show, but material? Its gotta come from somewhere.
    I did manage to buy enough SS wire from Warmoth for 2 guitar necks, although I had to beg Ken for it, pay full upcharge for it. I hear that they won't part with it anymore. I imagine that they think it is a selling point for their products, so why encourage a competitor? I haven't tried Anderson, but maybe I will.

    I think the Warmoth upcharge for SS frets is $20 retail. So that tells me that SS wire isn't really super expensive, maybe at a cost of $15 compared to NS at $4~5 per neck? If the minimum order is coil of 25 kg or about 55 lbs at $15 per lb that means the order will be around $875 plus shipping. If a pound is 40 feet and a neck takes 5 feet, that means enough for 440 necks...Just guessing.

    DaeHung is south Korean. Looks like they make fretwire for Samick, the largest guitar maker in the world.
    I am curious to get a reply from them. Stay tuned.

  28. #68
    Les Paul Forum Member John Catto's Avatar
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    Speaking of Petillo, did anyone else notice the "Petillo" style wire on that site.


  29. #69
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    John, you rule!

  30. #70
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    OK, I haven't been around much lately but I did get a reply from DaeHung. They said the machinery that makes the SS wire is down for maintainance for a while. They didn't specify when it would be available again, nor the minimum order quanitity, nor be able to acquire several samples for investigating etc...

    But this doesn't exactly rule out a future deal.

    Anyone else have an idea of where to get SS fretwire?

  31. #71
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    SS Wire

    I have met the Daehung folks at Namm shows. SM hasn't done business with them until now, but who knows? It isn't easy to start a good working relationship with any supplier, especially an overseas supplier. Of course price is a factor too, and usually minimum orders are beyond what an individual could afford.

    As I posted earlier, I am going to get my hands on several styles of SS wire. It takes alot of time to get an initial order (samples, too) in hand.

    I guess Phil found that out upon hearing that the "machine is broken". I question that one!

    I will post when I have a source.

    thanks, dan
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  32. #72
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    Dan,
    Welcome back, hope you had a good rest. I'm pushing this back up with a little news.

    I talked to Dunlop Friday and they said that they had no interest in SS wire at this time due to cost, but they get lots of requests for it.
    I get asked about SS regularly and want to have it avialable in my shop. Folks seem to expect that it will cost more from what I gather in my discussions with inquirers, so cost may not be a deterant to the end consumer.

    On another nore, I misplaced your phone # and wanted to talk to you about the blue light.

    Thanks,
    Phil

  33. #73
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    I think you're right Phil: people *will* pay more for frets that won't wear out! Especially those players who must have their guitars refretted every year or so. It's cost-effective in the long run if you have guitars you use a lot.

    - Scott

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