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Pre-cut frets with compound radius?

Chiguete

Inspired
Does someone make pre-cut frets with compound radius or to change to a different radius with just changing frets? It's a wild question that I'm just throwing out there since I might have to change the frets of a strat that I recently bought.
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
Does someone make pre-cut frets with compound radius or to change to a different radius with just changing frets? It's a wild question that I'm just throwing out there since I might have to change the frets of a strat that I recently bought.
Never seen it, but you could always contact a Warmoth and ask them to create a set for you.
If you bring it to an experienced luthier, they are going to cut/bend each fret, so it should not be a problem to re-fret a compound radius neck.
 

Chiguete

Inspired
Never seen it, but you could always contact a Warmoth and ask them to create a set for you.
If you bring it to an experienced luthier, they are going to cut/bend each fret, so it should not be a problem to re-fret a compound radius neck.
The idea is not to refret a compound radius neck, is to recreate a compound neck by just changing frets with each one being thinner on the middle than the sides.
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
If you bought really heavy frets so that there was enough 'play' to create a new radius, it's likely going to feel odd.
And you're going to have to find a super skilled luthier that can do that (and it won't be perfect). Unless maybe you plek'd it.
I agree with @Musikron....you're going to potentially spend a lot of money and not like the result.
Way cheaper to buy a replacement neck (and put the original aside until you want to sell the guitar).
 

R.D.

Forum Addict
Not a good idea. Just have the neck re radiused during a refret.
Opinions differ on this .... Phil Jacoby ( Philtone ) did exactly that for me when he re-freted my Roasted Maple Neck. It's a 10" straight radius and he flattened it to 14" as he got above the 12th fret. I had him use Jumbo Stainless Steel frets and he also Plek'ed the guitar ....

It plays like an absolute dream ! I can't imagine a Suhr or Xotic playing any better ... !

That said ..., I wouldn't trust that to just anyone though ( definitely NOT a dyi thing ) .... Phil is arguably the best on the east coast ( Baltimore ) and probably one of the Top 10 ( or so ) in the country ....
 
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BBN

Fractal Fanatic
Opinions differ on this .... Phil Jacoby ( Philtone ) did exactly that for me when he re-freted my Roasted Maple Neck. It's a 10" straight radius and he flattened it to 14" as he got above the 12th fret. I had him use Jumbo Stainless Steel frets and he also Plek'ed the guitar ....

It plays like an absolute dream ! I can't imagine a Suhr or Xotic playing any better ... !

That said ..., I wouldn't trust that to just anyone though ( definitely NOT a dyi thing ) .... Phil is arguably the best on the east coast ( Baltimore ) and probably one of the Top 10 ( or so ) in the country ....
What was the cost?
 

R.D.

Forum Addict
I don't remember, it was almost 5 years ago .... Also, pricing might have changed since then .... But ALL the information you will need is on his website: http://www.philtone.com/

He was a great guy to deal with too ! He has a reputation for being late on projects ( cause he's so meticulous ) .... And yes, he was about 2 weeks late on mine. But very communicative in the process and I was MORE than satisfied when I got the guitar back !
 

Rex

Legend!
Phil Jacoby ( Philtone ) did exactly that for me when he re-freted my Roasted Maple Neck. It's a 10" straight radius and he flattened it to 14" as he got above the 12th fret. I had him use Jumbo Stainless Steel frets and he also Plek'ed the guitar ....
He also planed the fingerboard to the new radius. If he hadn't, the ends of the higher frets would be sticking up. Either that, or the upper frets would be paper-thin at the center, and that would definitely feel weird.
 

GiRa

Forum Addict
He also planed the fingerboard to the new radius. If he hadn't, the ends of the higher frets would be sticking up. Either that, or the upper frets would be paper-thin at the center, and that would definitely feel weird.
Absolutely.

If someone just installed the frets with a different curvature (without filing them to change the radius) they would stick up a little bit, killing the sustain.
 

R.D.

Forum Addict
I'm certainly no Luthier .... I leave that S#!$ to the experts ....

If he did plane the fingerboard then he didn't charge me for it, or itemize it on the bill .... And it was definitely not discussed as an option when we talked before I sent him the guitar ....

All I can tell you is that's exactly as Phil described it .... That the frets would be taller on the ends where they met the edge of the fretboard ....

My 57 year 'old' eyes aren't good enough to see the difference in neck radius, nor the difference in fret thickness across a single fret ....

BTW - NO lack of sustain on this neck, if anything the Jumbo frets increased the overall sustain dramatically !
 

GiRa

Forum Addict
I'm certainly no Luthier .... I leave that S#!$ to the experts ....

If he did plane the fingerboard then he didn't charge me for it, or itemize it on the bill .... And it was definitely not discussed as an option when we talked before I sent him the guitar ....

All I can tell you is that's exactly as Phil described it .... That the frets would be taller on the ends where they met the edge of the fretboard ....

My 57 year 'old' eyes aren't good enough to see the difference in neck radius, nor the difference in fret thickness across a single fret ....

BTW - NO lack of sustain on this neck, if anything the Jumbo frets increased the overall sustain dramatically !
Sounds like he filed the frets to a new radius. Taller on the edges and shorter in the middle.
 

R.D.

Forum Addict
That's how he described it to me .... I guess I'm curious to get some radius gauges and see how pronounced the difference is between 10" and 14" .... If I had to make an uneducated guess .., I'd say it's probably significantly less than 1 mm ????
 

Rex

Legend!
That's how he described it to me .... I guess I'm curious to get some radius gauges and see how pronounced the difference is between 10" and 14" .... If I had to make an uneducated guess .., I'd say it's probably significantly less than 1 mm ????
While you’re at it, compare the fret radius to the fingerboard radius. What you describe seems to be a more difficult way to obtain a less-playable result.
 

R.D.

Forum Addict
Sounds like you got a bad refret to me. And yes I am a luthier.
Wasn't sure if that was directed at me ( or not ) ?

Definitely not a bad re-fret in my case .... The playability of the guitar is off the charts compared to what it was .... But A LOT of things changed ....
- Jumbo Frets
- Stainless Frets
- Different radius ( whether or not this was done by re-radiusing the fretboard or just multi-radiusing the frets themselves seems to be up for debate by everyone else here ....
- Plek ....

I have no idea ( nor do I care ) what the majority driving factor is/was in making the guitar into what it is today !

And FWIW - Denny Rauen ( Milwaukee ) claims to have 'invented' the Multi-Radius concept back in 1978 ( http://www.rauenguitars.com/pages/multi_radius.html ), in the article he indicates that he initially tested his theory by only reshaping the frets ! Once he proved his theory would work ..., then he re-did it by reshaping the entire fretboard ....

I've talked with Denny a number of times ..., he's a really interesting guy .... The only reason I sent the guitar to Phil was because Denny wasn't as keen to work with Stainless Steel .... Phil didn't seem to care ..., and that was a high-priority item for me ....
 

yeky83

Veteran
The idea is not to refret a compound radius neck, is to recreate a compound neck by just changing frets with each one being thinner on the middle than the sides.
A re-fret job almost always necessitates fret leveling and re-crown. Even with non-compound radius necks, when you re-fret a neck, it has high spots and low spots. Fret level & re-crown is part of a re-fret job.

So expecting to be able to create a compound neck by just re-fretting with "compound radius frets" is unrealistic, will give you a really badly playing neck. Since fret leveling is required anyway, just create the compound radius while fret leveling. If you have the equipment to do a proper re-fret job with "compound radius frets," you should already have the equipment to do it with regular frets.

Wasn't sure if that was directed at me ( or not ) ?

Definitely not a bad re-fret in my case .... The playability of the guitar is off the charts compared to what it was .... But A LOT of things changed ....
- Jumbo Frets
- Stainless Frets
- Different radius ( whether or not this was done by re-radiusing the fretboard or just multi-radiusing the frets themselves seems to be up for debate by everyone else here ....
- Plek ....

I have no idea ( nor do I care ) what the majority driving factor is/was in making the guitar into what it is today !

And FWIW - Denny Rauen ( Milwaukee ) claims to have 'invented' the Multi-Radius concept back in 1978 ( http://www.rauenguitars.com/pages/multi_radius.html ), in the article he indicates that he initially tested his theory by only reshaping the frets ! Once he proved his theory would work ..., then he re-did it by reshaping the entire fretboard ....

I've talked with Denny a number of times ..., he's a really interesting guy .... The only reason I sent the guitar to Phil was because Denny wasn't as keen to work with Stainless Steel .... Phil didn't seem to care ..., and that was a high-priority item for me ....
Sounds like he probably refreted your 10" radius neck with jumbo frets, then Plek'ed your frets for compound 10" - 14". A lot less work than putting a compound radius on the fretboard itself.

I imagine it's probably fine for now, as it's jumbo frets. But if you take it to other tech/luthiers, they might get annoyed haha.
 

Rex

Legend!
Sounds like he probably refreted your 10" radius neck with jumbo frets, then Plek'ed your frets for compound 10" - 14". A lot less work than putting a compound radius on the fretboard itself.
I hope not. The difference in fret height between the center and the ends of the fret would feel really weird, especially when bending.
 
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