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Author Topic: Fret advice  (Read 590 times)

Offline JamieCrain

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Fret advice
« on: June 08, 2017, 11:16:10 PM »
Hi folks.
I play with a very low action normally, i find it much easier. However when lowering the action on one of my Parkers recently I discovered that at a certain string height, the note on the 16th fret (high E string) is the same as the 17th fret, i.e. it jumps a whole-tone as you move from 15th to 16th. I've adjusted the relief and the next is very straight, maybe just a pinch of relief. But in any case it doesn't seem to make a difference, only raising the strings removes the problem. The lowest I can get the strings is around 2mm above the frets; this contrasts with around 1mm on my Ibanez. Because the problem only happens when fretting the 16th I conclude that the 16th fret is too low, rather than the 17th being too high. If the 17th was too high, then it would buzz when playing any fret.

Any thoughts how to get around or fix this issue? I've had frets dressed previously on other guitars but was hoping for a less-invasive solution...

Thanks, jamie
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Fret advice

Offline marcwormjim

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2017, 11:27:58 PM »
You can either level frets 17-24 to be as low as 16, which will make the action higher for the last 8 frets, or you can level all the frets, lower the nut, and hope there's enough range in the bridge posts to lower the strings further. I specify those two because I don't know that anyone is selling a spare 16th fret to replace yours with.
 

Re: Fret advice

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2017, 11:42:10 PM »
Because the problem only happens when fretting the 16th I conclude that the 16th fret is too low, rather than the 17th being too high. If the 17th was too high, then it would buzz when playing any fret.

That sounds logical; but I would also do a confirmation check by laying a straight-edge across the neighboring frets and looking for a gap at 16. A nice, new credit card should work.

Quote
Any thoughts how to get around or fix this issue?

I'm pretty adventurous with DIY stuff. If I had a single low fret I'd pop it off, carefully reshape it, and glue it back on. There's a factory video that describes the whole procedure.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Fret advice

Offline TinMachine

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 09:33:38 AM »
Don't fret!

Re: Fret advice

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 07:59:51 PM »
I'm pretty adventurous with DIY stuff. If I had a single low fret I'd pop it off, carefully reshape it, and glue it back on. There's a factory video that describes the whole procedure.

!

That really is adventurous!

B.S.
94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: Fret advice

Offline JamieCrain

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 08:03:15 PM »
Thanks guys,

Yes, I'll do the old credit card/steel ruler trick. I had forgotten about that. Pending what I find, I'll hold off removing the fret for now. I'm good with electronics and mechanical stuff, but removing a fret would be too adventurous for me! (I'll still check out the video).

Cheers
Jamie
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Fret advice

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2017, 11:36:11 AM »
I'm pretty adventurous with DIY stuff. If I had a single low fret I'd pop it off, carefully reshape it, and glue it back on. There's a factory video that describes the whole procedure.

!

That really is adventurous!

B.S.

It's just logical to me. Popping a fret off is reportedly not a big deal, and reattaching it is a matter of working carefully with superglue. I'd rather give that a go than file down several surrounding stainless steel frets to match a single low one.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Fret advice

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 06:10:04 PM »
Mmm...well i can't really see how you would go about re-shaping a single fret without reference to the frets around it sybersitizen, but anyway...

Please let us know if/how you get it fixed up JamieCrain, especially if you find someone to work on your Fly here in Melbourne!

Cheers

B.S.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 10:01:26 PM by Big Swifty »
94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: Fret advice

Offline billy

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2017, 09:03:02 AM »
I haven't played your guitar, Jamie, but I'm not sure I agree that fret 17 isn't too high.  A single stainless fret becoming low relative to the others is pretty unlikely opposed to a single glued on fret becoming very slightly high.

I think it's possible that it could be high enough to interfere with fret 16, but not so high that it would buzz all the time.  In that case I would expect fret 15 to buzz slightly but you might not even notice it.

I'm only speculating, and a fret rocker will tell you for sure though.

But I'd also try tweaking the truss rod so there's no relief or maybe even very slight back bow and just see if anything changes.  I'm betting you can dial it out with very slight truss rod and bridge adjustments. Or even different string gauges.

Failing that, if there's a plek machine available they might be able to do the least intrusive repair.

I think syber's approach could work, but agree with swifty that it would be very tricky to pull off.  At the least, there would be some leveling involved.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Fret advice

Offline JamieCrain

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2017, 04:41:17 PM »
Thanks Billy.

I did the steel ruler trick and found that both the 15th and 16th frets are slightly lower under the E string than all the others which are all perfectly in line. It's like the frets have a little too much curl towards the bottom of the fretboard. It's a tiny difference, I'd say about 0.2mm but it's enough to affect the sound on the 16th. The note on the 15th isn't affected as the angle of the string is shallow enough to clear the 17th fret, but not so for the 16th.

I'll try the back bow/truss option, TBH I'd have thought that would make it worse but you never know!
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Fret advice

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 06:58:36 PM »
OK, i'm gonna jump in again..

The only plek machine i'm aware of is in Sydney, i talked to them a few years back about pleking my DF 524, but they wouldn't do SS frets as they blunted the blade of the machine, apparently..

The other thing....Pleking creates heat, the process has a blade spinning v fast, like a CNC router that just touches the tops of the frets. This creates heat, arch enemy of the cyano/super glue.

My dad was a jeweller, removing various stones/jewells etc that had been glued in (the cheap stuff) involved heating the setting up, the glue would loosen enough to pull stuff off. And not a super great deal of heat either, not talking red hot...

So...what this leads to is that i don't think pleking a Fly is a good idea, it risks heating the frets, weakening the glue, they may pop off, etc etc.

This is a (somewhat informed) opinion only, it may well work A-OK, if you can find someone willing to do it, but i do think it is risky, so you know... anyone around here actually had their Fly pleked?

I would recommend taking it to a luthier who is prepared to work on SS frets, and have them carefully and slowly level it the good old fashioned tried and true way, with a file and elbow grease spit and polish!

If truss rod adjustment doesn't work that is.

Cheers

B.S.
94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: Fret advice

Offline billy

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2017, 09:08:38 PM »
Great info Jamie, changed my mind. You may be right about the truss rod too but worth a shot.

Also agree with swifty on the heat issue with pleking but with one minor exception: The machine does a series of very fine measurements relative to an ideal standard. Iirc This enables the tech to adjust truss rod, bridge height, saddle heights, intonation, nut height, and also level frets if needed.  (I was able to see a machine up close at namm, pretty interesting but crazy expensive.). I think they can even do a simulated run to estimate how effective a fret dress will be.
 
In this case I'm still of the opinion only one or two frets at most need any work. And a good plek tech afik could minimize the heat and tool wear by taking very shallow passes with longer dwell times.

Relatively low risk imho but also totally agree that a good dude with a file can get it sorted about as quick, assuming all else is right. And also no doubt not all pleky techs would know what to do for these glued on frets.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Fret advice

Offline jester700

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2017, 03:35:06 PM »
IIRC there were 2 versions of the Plek. One used more of a cutting blade, and one used more of a grinding mechanism. One might be better for steel frets, but I wouldn't do either on a glued on fret.

I had a non-fly guitar refretted with steel frets and the luthier had no issues Pleking that, but refused to touch my Parker. He had done Parkers before and wouldn't do any more. I didn't ask about slotted ones, but I don't see why a 524 would be any different than any other "normal" guitar with steel frets.
 

Re: Fret advice

Offline JamieCrain

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2017, 06:32:14 PM »
Thanks everybody, all good info. I had to get my Nitefly fixed when I first got it, it was buzzing under the low E string between the 2nd and 3rd frets, no amount of truss/saddle tweaks would sort it. Parker initially told me to get a rubber mallet and whack all the other frets down! Maybe I was talking to the postroom boy...

Obviously I said no, so eventually under warranty, Parker sent me to a fella called Jim Cargill here in Melbourne and he nailed it. I don't know what he did, but the guitar was perfect. Not sure how he'd go with carbon fibre and glued frets and I know he ain't cheap, but I'm sure he won't be using a mallet!
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Fret advice

Offline ZemanG2

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Re: Fret advice
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2017, 10:29:52 PM »
On youtube there is actually a guy in England who took off all the frets on a fly, re-glued them then leveled the frets. I do have a spare 15, and 16 fret, but they are precious to me:)
I have guitars, most are beyond my playing level, but I love them all!