Fretwire material relative durability?

Welcome to SCGC Players Forum Forums A General Discussion Fretwire material relative durability?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Frozen Rat 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #742

    Matt Hayden

    I’ve always used and refretted with typical 18% nickel-silver frets.

    I’ve got a couple of instruments in (relatively dire) need of refretting now, and I’m considering alternative materials like EVO and stainless steel.

    Has anyone got any experience with the relative durability (e.g., wear resistance, need for periodic dressing) of EVO or SS vs standard wire?  I kind of doubt that either will cause a significant change in sound, but I am definitely interested in reducing the amount of wear and need to refret.

    Thanks for any thoughts….

  • #743


    I have Evo on a Goodall that I bought new ~6 months ago. It’s early to tell, but I can say they play nicely and there isn’t a mark on the fretwire after 6 months of play. Normally I have at least small marks by this point in time. I ordered a Custom OMG with Carolyn in September. If I had it to do over, I would have put EVO on that guitar.

    – Paul –

  • #744

    Frozen Rat

    I bought a SCGC OO off eBay a few months ago and got a surprise when I opened the case seeing divots in the first nine frets. The divots were bad enough to affect intonation and my ability to properly fix the action. Normally I’d ask the seller to take back a guitar under such circumstances but instead I had it re-fretted.

    I asked the same questions you did and eventually, with a little knot of worry in my stomach, got it re-fretted with stainless steel. The folks who did it were huge proponents of SS and convinced me to do it.

    Some people had voiced concern that SS imparts a “ping” or a “zing” to notes when fretted, others do not hear this. I do not hear this. In my own case I feel I made the right decision and the tone of this guitar not did not decline, but is in fact better than before.

    I cannot address the core of your question as completely as I’d like since I’ve only done this recently. I notice zero wear at this point. For comparison, one of my other guitars, a Martin 00-28, now shows just a tiny bit of fret wear and I have not played it significantly more than the SCGC. Once it’s to the point where it has divots it’s getting SS too.

    Santa Cruz 00 — Goodall 000 — Martin 00-28

  • #745


    I recently did a bit of looking into EVO and in has a hardness of 250. right between Nickel-silver at 200 and SST at 300.
    I was thinking of having the OM “Tree” refretted with Gold EVO…just for cosmetic reasons mostly but also because I seem to be playing it quite a bit and I thought well Hell why not ??
    I decided not to because I would want SCGC to do the job and I just can’t bring myself to ship it to Ca. and back to FL.
    Any way I do have my 1993 Martin HD-28 that will need a refret sooner rather than latter…. I will do EVO Gold on that one.

    1993 Martin Custom HD-28 Eir/Sitka
    2001 SCGC Custom F Cutaway Maple/Sitka

    2008 SCGC Custom Otis Taylor H Madi/Italian
    2015 SCGC Custom OM “The Tree” Hog/European
    2016 SCGC Custom 1934 D-45 Braz/ Adi

  • #751


    A few guitars I own have evo wire, and it is extremely nice.  From what I hear, it is not any more difficult to work with than “standard” (especially compared to stainless) and yet it is much more durable. The gold color is pretty nice too – not overly brassy, really nice with gold tuners. If I had to choose, I’d definitely choose evo –

  • #779

    Matt Hayden

    The consensus seems to center on EVO, so I’ll probably get the next one fretted with that. Thanks for the advice!

    • #838

      Frozen Rat

      I think that whether you go with EVO or SS you will be happy that you likely will never have to worry about frets again. I remain extremely happy with my SCGC 00 that got the SS frets. I’d do it again without hesitation. I’ve heard that EVO has a slight gold color to it, you should be aware of that in case such things are a concern to you.

      Santa Cruz 00 — Goodall 000 — Martin 00-28

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