Feel the steel

What’s the big deal with stain­less steel frets?

Total Guitar - - THETHE STATION GAS -

The ma­jor­ity of gui­tars you’ve played have likely fea­tured nickel frets – the in­dus­try stan­dard for decades. Ibanez, how­ever, has equipped its AZ series with stain­less steel frets, which used to be found only on bou­tique of­fer­ings from Suhr, An­der­son and Vigier, but are be­com­ing more com­mon­place on gui­tars from the likes of Ernie Ball Mu­sic Man and Schecter, too. The rea­sons are sim­ple: stain­less steel frets of­fer a smooth feel and in­creased cor­ro­sion re­sis­tance over nickel frets, mean­ing de­creased wear from fret­ting and sweat. You won’t need to re­fret stain­less steel frets as fre­quently… if ever! The trade-off is that be­cause the ma­te­rial’s so durable, it can dam­age luthiers’ tools – so if you do need any fret­work done, it’ll cost you ex­tra.

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