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May 11, 2024 - 6:09:46 PM
2536 posts since 2/7/2008

Any opinions on half round fret ends?

I think they look really cool, but I’ve read critical comments saying that strings tend to roll off.

Any thoughts?

May 11, 2024 - 10:22:16 PM
like this

rcc56

USA

5148 posts since 2/20/2016

I've seen them occasionally, the first time back around 1980.
They do have an interesting look, if skillfully executed.

But, as a fellow who has driven thousands of frets over the years, I don't think it's worth the extra labor time to install them. Unless you can find a luthier who's willing to take the extra trouble to do the work, and you are willing to pay them an extra $100 - $150 for the additional labor.

As far as the strings rolling off the edges, that depends upon how close the outer strings are to the edge of the fretboard, and on the player's technique. The same is true for fret ends that are deeply beveled.

May 12, 2024 - 9:41:46 AM

2968 posts since 9/18/2010

I did a few fret jobs that way in the past. Much more work, no improvement in feel or performance, only a different look and not worth the extra effort IMO. If one likes the look enough to pay the difference, fine.

May 12, 2024 - 10:36:40 AM

62229 posts since 12/14/2005

If "I don't care" is NOT an opinion......

then I haven't got an opinion.

But, thanks for asking.

My other opinion, a very general opinion, is that if something costs from $100 to $150 to be added to the price of an instrument, without resulting in better sound or greater  ease of playing, why bother with it at all?

I can't HEAR gold plating, I can't HEAR Uncle of Abalone inlay.

My main performing  banjo is not my Stelling, nor my Bart Reiter. It is a nameless  Asian cast aluminum one-piece shell and tone ring, with a somewhat ugly home-made neck.

The fifth string runs the full length, so ONE  flat guitar capo does ALL the strings, in one swell foop.

Edited by - mike gregory on 05/12/2024 10:38:38

May 12, 2024 - 11:31:07 AM

2536 posts since 2/7/2008

In this case, I’d be doing the work so there’s no incremental cost other than time.

May 12, 2024 - 2:11:35 PM

13161 posts since 10/27/2006

Because of the extra time involved and there being no performance benefit, I would only consider doing this on EVO or SS frets since they last longer.

May 13, 2024 - 10:30:25 AM

250 posts since 8/31/2015

My opinion, they feel nice but look terrible, very ugly. I don't install frets this way and would only do it (for an upcharge) if a customer requested it. Regarding strings rolling off the fb, this has more to do with relationship between the degree/extent of how the fret ends are beveled and the string spacing at the nut/bridge.

I generally roll over my fret ends quite a bit and I also roll over the fingerboard edge for a nice soft "played-in" feel. My hands are sensitive I don't want to feel anything remotely sharp when I'm playing banjo/guitar. Attached is an example of how I like to finish the ends/roll the fb.


 

Edited by - TreyDBanjoKS on 05/13/2024 10:32:13

May 13, 2024 - 12:50:19 PM

Fathand

Canada

12398 posts since 2/7/2008

My Stelling had them, don't know if they were original. They looked very nice and I never felt any discomfort from them.

I replaced 5 of them once, my first fret replacement job. Took me 5 hours. 1 hour each to carefully replicate each fret and install. That was better than driving 90 minutes and back to Toronto, wait 3 weeks and repeat the trip and pay $$.

I ordered the wire from Stelling at the time and Geoff advised me on the removal method.

May 15, 2024 - 11:24 PM

117 posts since 8/23/2022

I often do hemispherical frets. I prefer the feel. I have built quite a few instruments and it does not take me much longer to do hemispherical frets. If your strings are properly spaced from the edge of the fret board, I do not have any problem with the strings rolling off the edge, but my hemispherical ends are not a full hemisphere, more of a nicely radiused end.

May 16, 2024 - 3:57:12 AM

2536 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by campandstrum

I often do hemispherical frets. I prefer the feel. I have built quite a few instruments and it does not take me much longer to do hemispherical frets. If your strings are properly spaced from the edge of the fret board, I do not have any problem with the strings rolling off the edge, but my hemispherical ends are not a full hemisphere, more of a nicely radiused end.


A nicely radiused end sounds preferable to a full hemisphere.
Can you share your process for shaping the ends? Maybe a picture? 

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