PDA

View Full Version : different fret wire choices



IrishKevin
03-10-2012, 03:30 AM
What benefit does thin fret wire have? Obviously before I get beat up about it being personal preference, those who like it can explain why, I haven't been able to try a Uke with them. On the same note anyone ever play low and wide frets?

Doc_J
03-10-2012, 03:52 AM
What benefit does thin fret wire have? Obviously before I get beat up about it being personal preference, those who like it can explain why, I haven't been able to try a Uke with them. On the same note anyone ever play low and wide frets?

Fret wire size has a lot to with the scale size and feel. Generally sopranos have lower profile, thinner frets as the spacing is smaller and shorter frets require less pressure to fret and less compensation for fretting at the saddle. Thus, you can have lower action (all the way down the fingerboard). Concerts and Tenors usually have larger fret wire, but not always. My Compass Rose Tenor has pretty thin, short frets. But this is just my observation.

stevepetergal
03-10-2012, 04:56 AM
I have one ukulele, a Risa Uke Solid Concert, with very thin fret wire, compared to any other ukulele I have. I believe the thin wire is one of the things that makes the instrument easy to play, being that you never have to squeeze to fret a string, and the general feel of the low fret wires makes movement across the fret board smooth and easy. I also think it's one of the factors that give the Uke Solid really exceptional intonation when playing. Push down as hard as you want and you don't change the pitch as much as you would when the string has more room to travel between the top of the fret and the surface of the fret board. The only drawback I see is that a little more care may need to be taken to fully depress the strings to reduce the chance of buzzing when barring, because your finger doesn't have any extra room for give. The soft portions of the finger don't squish down as much in that smaller space, leaving a somewhat greater possibility of one string being in a finger joint that isn't quite down far enough. It's not hard, with practice, to eliminate this problem, so it's a small negative, in my opinion, but might be discouraging to a beginner.

IrishKevin
03-10-2012, 07:41 AM
Thank you gents, exactly what I needed to know!

OldePhart
03-10-2012, 07:45 AM
My Kiwaya longneck soprano has very thin, low frets. All of my other ukes (including the KoAloha longneck soprano) have frets that I feel are inappropriately wide and tall for a short-scale, nylon-stringed instrument. They are more like guitar frets.

If I ever have a custom uke built it's going to have frets like the Kiwaya - that is the easiest playing uke I own and it's almost impossible to pull a note sharp by pressing too hard on the string.

John