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Thread: What fretwire to use?

  1. #1
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    What fretwire to use?

    Hello,

    I am thinking about getting a new PRS and the fretwire is becoming more of an important issue to me. I bought my first two guitars when i was young and didn't know really anything about guitars. I have a SRV strat and a peavey wolfgang. I do love the guitars; however their frets are like railroad ties. They always hamper my ability to slide up and down on the neck. I loved the feel of the gibson les paul i played in the store. I bend my strings about 1/3 to 1/2 the time i'm playing. Would getting gibson style frets on a 513 be a good choice or would there be a better option for me. I also played some PRS's a custom 24. and a 25th anniversary edition. Their frets seems pretty much like the ones on my guitars and i didn't like them. That seems to be the only thing that I don't like about PRS! lol

    Thanks for any opinions/advice you guys have!

  2. #2
    The Les Paul is a 24 3/4 inch (give or take a fraction) scale length, and a short scale length like that is often easier to bend strings on. The 513 is 25.5 inch scale length, so that's going to be different.

    A Strat has a different fingerboard radius than a PRS as well.

    Taller frets give you the option to push the strings better with your fingers for bends, which is one of several reasons why folks have moved in that direction. Since PRS doesn't give you a fret size option with the 513, are you planning to refret a brand new guitar?
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  3. #3
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Have you tried the Clapton strat or the EVH wolfgang?Both with vintage small frets.Personally i like both the type PRS use and smaller vintage frets.The Clapton strat feels fantastic to play and bending is easy even if frets not wide and tall.

  4. #4
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    I agree that scale length may have more to do with it than the fretwire. Both of the guitars you have are 25.5" scale with vintage frets that are smaller than those on the Gibson or PRS (unless they have been refretted) so I am guessing the extra effort it takes to bend the strings on the longer scale guitars is what you are feeling.

    Many people, myself included, put much heavier strings on their Gibsons because of this difference. Perhaps you would want to go the other way and put lighter strings on your 25.5" scale guitars. Maybe you should also check out some PRS models with the 25" scale or even the 24.5" if that is the feel you prefer since the 513 is very similar to what you already have in length.

  5. #5
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    I put 9's gauge string on my SRV stratocaster and the wolfgang. But when I play it sounds out of tune because I'm pressing too hard and it makes the notes go sharp. I've tried to adjust my playing style but it's not really happening. I'm just one of those guys that man handles the guitar! lol My frets kinda give me a scalloped feel on both guitars.

    I don't have a problem bending the strings because I use light gauge it's the sliding up and down the neck that is the problem. I do play a lot of music that has me sliding chords and leads up and down the neck and I find that I'm not very accurate because the frets are like speed bumps. I usually come up short or my fingers just don't fret the note to make it sound.

    I was not planning on re-fretting a new guitar. I was planning on getting a private stock. I like the ability of the pickups on the 513 but maybe I need to just look at another PRS. But with the private stock option I guess I could ask them to change the scale length and the frets to something similar to the Gibson. I guess need to think about it more and play some more guitars.

    Thanks for all the input!

  6. #6
    In Private Stock they'll build what you want, and use your spec'd fret wire.

    As an aside, I find that playing with .010s or more helps quite a bit when the frets are a bit taller. I used to play .009s, and switched a few years ago. Took a few days for things to feel natural, but I'm really glad I changed to .010s, and not just because of the fret issue. Might be worth trying on your existing guitar just to see or give it another shot.

    Strumming rhythmically, staying in tune, and perhaps tone have improved (tone being so subjective). The strings are also a bit less apt to go sharp because you're pressing too hard.

    Not trying to change your mind, just sharing my thinking here.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakari View Post
    Hello,

    I am thinking about getting a new PRS and the fretwire is becoming more of an important issue to me. I bought my first two guitars when i was young and didn't know really anything about guitars. I have a SRV strat and a peavey wolfgang. I do love the guitars; however their frets are like railroad ties. They always hamper my ability to slide up and down on the neck. I loved the feel of the gibson les paul i played in the store. I bend my strings about 1/3 to 1/2 the time i'm playing. Would getting gibson style frets on a 513 be a good choice or would there be a better option for me. I also played some PRS's a custom 24. and a 25th anniversary edition. Their frets seems pretty much like the ones on my guitars and i didn't like them. That seems to be the only thing that I don't like about PRS! lol

    Thanks for any opinions/advice you guys have!

    I'm a bit confused. If these are your first two guitars, how did you develop a playing style that doesn't work on them?

  8. #8
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    sounds like you need to find a Les Paul from the 70s the fretless wonders! Most PRS are medium Jumbo or Jumbo I believe so they will be taller and fatter.
    2010 Taylor 816CE
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  9. #9
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    I had a problem with the size and shape of the frets on my 513. Went to a luthier, had him reshape them to match my Custom 22, and I love them now.

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