"You can use different sized or shaped frets for different parts of the neck." - Page 2
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Thread: "You can use different sized or shaped frets for different parts of the neck."

  1. #9


    Join Date: Apr 2015
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    Jake E Lee sports two different fret widths, but same height
    However, his signature guitar seems to have the same size for all frets.

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  3. #10


    Join Date: Nov 2011
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    Its not that uncommon to hear people asking for the higher frets to be leveled a bit shorter to avoid fret buzz and allow much lower action. In fact I dont even know why its not more popular and made like that from factory, since it makes sense.

  4. #11


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpexus View Post
    Its not that uncommon to hear people asking for the higher frets to be leveled a bit shorter to avoid fret buzz and allow much lower action. In fact I dont even know why its not more popular and made like that from factory, since it makes sense.
    A sensible setup, or frets that are the same height but get thinner, or good crowning for optimal play isn't the same thing as "different shaped frets on different parts of the neck" though.

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  6. #12


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    I refretted a PRS CE24 in the 90's with thinner frets from 12 or 14 up. This is definitely a thing that's been around. The guy who suggested it to me and did the work apprenticed at Fodera and was head assembler at Sadowsky for 11 years before opening his own shop and is one of the best (if not the best) in NYC.
    "Oh, those jazz guys are just making that stuff up!" - Homer J. Simpson

  7. #13


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim777 View Post
    I refretted a PRS CE24 in the 90's with thinner frets from 12 or 14 up. This is definitely a thing that's been around. The guy who suggested it to me and did the work apprenticed at Fodera and was head assembler at Sadowsky for 11 years before opening his own shop and is one of the best (if not the best) in NYC.
    I can see basically the same wire but thinner above 12. But that's about it. And personally my solution is to just get tall thin frets on the whole thing, which is what I have on my explorer.

    If the difference is too drastic it might cause bizarre intonation problems as they wear. Presumably if it's well done intonation will be fine at first, because the center point of contact on a fret is the same when it's fresh regardless of wire, but once they flatten it's going to cause issues, especially if you have different sizes going. If the heights are different you might run into intonation problems depending on the players touch.

  8. #14


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    Going narrower as you go up is certainly possible, and if anything I could see rather liking it. \

    Going shorter as you go up is definitely possible too, but is the opposite of what I'd like.

    Going wider as you go up is also possible, but is also the opposite of what I would prefer and would probably cause problems.

    Going taller as you go up, unless done PERFECTLY evenly so the fret height increases on a static plane, would be Fret Buzz City, even if in theory taller frets higher up would allow more comfortable lead playing while shorter frets near the nut would make it less likely to pull notes slightly sharp while chording. With perfect execution it could probably work, but I'd rather just stick with taller frets across the board and just be a little more careful while chording, to still be able to get a good grip on the string for bends lower on the neck.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  9. #15


    Join Date: Sep 2010
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    I played a microtonal guitar that had tall frets on the lower octave and mandolin fretwire on the upper octave of the fretboard, so it is totally possible. I think the motivation behind doing this sort of thing would be worth questioning, though, as Drew pointed out - you typically want taller frets as you go up to the more crowded zone, and the only way this could work, in theory, would be to do the opposite, unless you do something crazy like have the neck at a very deliberate forward angle. I'd imagine a guitar built that way would drive a tech batty, though.

  10. #16


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzhands View Post
    I think it was either Washburn or Hamer that used mixed frets for their 3-octave guitars. The first 24 - 27 frets would be standard guitar frets, then everything after that would be narrow mandolin frets.
    Both did that, actually, along with Jackson on their Japanese Falcon model (which Itaru Kanu turned into the Horus after he left Jackson to form Caparison).

    Having frets with different heights causes problems at the point of the change. If the upper octave frets are higher, the lower ones will fret out. If the lower octave frets are higher, you won't be able to fret the first lower-level fret in tune. This was a problem on both my Jackson Falcon and on my Washburn EC36. I had a cheapo import Hamer Californian briefly which had the same feature on 25-27, but that was such a dog that the problem with playing the 25th fret was the least of my issues with it.

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