Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions
A few years ago, Karen and I found ourselves having to have frets dressed and/or replaced every few months. We use low action and we don't have a particularly heavy touch, but we were absolutely wearing frets out. We spoke with Richard Ash at Folkcraft and decided to try an experiment. Karen swapped to EVO frets, and I switched to stainless steel frets on our main performance instruments. Any change in tone is negligible, but neither one of us has had to address fret wear since. We admittedly play the instruments more than the average mountain dulcimer hobbyist, but changing fret material made a huge difference for us. My understanding is that the stainless is a pain for luthiers to work with (more time, tough on tools, etc.), but it holds like a champ. The EVO is apparently easier to work with for the luthiers, and it also lasts well. Both materials have a higher cost, but when you compare the cost to frequent maintenance costs it actually saves money in the long run. Just something to ponder.