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Old 08-28-2004, 08:33 AM
catndahats catndahats is offline
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Default Does brand of strings effect fret wear?

Good morning everyone,

I've been reading a lot lately about fret wear on the AGF, and it has led me to wonder if the brand of strings or the type of strings we are using has an influence on fret wear. I don't remember reading about this topic before.

I know Taylors come with / recommend Elixer brand coated strings, but does that mean other brands (uncoated) strings will cause frets to wear quicker?

Do any of you experts/luthiers have any factual information on this subject. I'm just curious.

Hope everyone has a great weekend playing!

Nate

Ps---> my 10 year old Taylor (light guage strings) has been played daily over the years and shows virtually no fret wear, and my 3 year old jumbo (medium guage) also has minimal wear....does string guage effect fret wear?
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Old 08-28-2004, 09:40 AM
panndder panndder is offline
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I think Elixirs might reduce the speed of fret wear a bit...since the coating really makes it softer...
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Old 08-28-2004, 12:13 PM
BillW1950 BillW1950 is offline
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Default String HARDNESS

I have wondered the same for some time. We need to find a guitar player who is also an M.E. (mechanical engineer). If you used a hardness guage on your frets (as a benchmark) and various makes of strings (for comparison) I think the results would be illuminating.

An example of relative hardness is the fact that diamonds cut glass but glass doesn't cut diamonds (diamonds being relative harder than glass).

I can't imagine that coatings (or lack thereof) will prove to be relevant, since photo's I've seen show the coatings more between the windings (in the low spots) than over the top of the windings (the high spots) and it's only the high spots that ever touch the frets.

Has anyone ever done this kind of testing??? Maybe I'll have to Google this...
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:44 PM
jazzinthebox jazzinthebox is offline
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Interesting thought, but we should remember that Taylor uses Elixirs because they keep their overall tonal quality longer than non-coated strings, and fresher strings at the store = better sounding guitars. I'd like to know the answer to this myself, but I personally would never switch to coated strings just because they are shown to keep better care of the frets.
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Old 08-28-2004, 02:35 PM
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Brackett Instruments Brackett Instruments is offline
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The plain "b" and"e" strings are made of steel reguardless of what brand. That's usually where most fret wear happens so I wouldn't think the brand would have much affect on that.
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Old 08-28-2004, 02:54 PM
BillW1950 BillW1950 is offline
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Default Fret wear: Steel Strings

Yes, they are made of "steel" but the variations in "steel" include the alloy (of which there are many) as well as the specifics of the hardening processes used (imagine a graph of TEMP versus TIME, and watch how the steel is cooled down to room temp, whether is it cryogenically processed, additional annealing steps utilized, etc.). So very many variations, all of which should affect how those strings wear on the frets, not to mention how they SOUND.

For an interesting take on this, check out the Parker Guitar web site description of their stainless steel frets. I'll bet they don't wear down! Parker makes the point that soft steel frets are a bad idea, except that they are easy for the manufacturer to install, adjust, replace. A sales pitch for sure, but an interesting thought.

Any metalurgists out there???
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Old 08-28-2004, 03:06 PM
freestyle freestyle is offline
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Flat wound strings, and half flat wound strings, will cause less wear on your frets than the regular round would strings do. Another reason I use D'Addario Flattops.
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Old 08-28-2004, 06:28 PM
Heliman Heliman is offline
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Here are a few articles on strings (some advertising):

http://www.rohrtech.com/phys103.html

http://www.juststrings.com/ghs-wb-12l.html

http://www.stringbusters.com/faq.html

http://www.bigcitystring.com/start.htm

Respectfully yours,

Heliman

Last edited by Heliman; 08-28-2004 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 08-28-2004, 11:05 PM
SNaP2it SNaP2it is offline
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I would think style and frequency of play would have the most effect. Nate says he has no significant wear on his 10 year old Taylor, but I just had my
2nd fret job on my '96 714e. Wasn't there a change a few years back in the hardness or type of fret wire that Taylor uses? Is this still the same?
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