Q: Why do I need a fret rocker?
A: A fret rocker is an invaluable tool and will help you diagnose potential issues with the frets on any of your fretted instruments. If you notice signs of uneven frets, you can use your fret rocker to determine where the high or low frets are. Uneven frets can cause various playability issues.
Q: What causes uneven frets?
A: Uneven frets are most commonly due to inaccuracy in the manufacturing process. They may not be seated properly and they may not be properly leveled. They may not even be leveled at all. Uneven frets can also be due to excessive playing wear, causing divots/flat spots that change the height of the fret. Frets can also become unseated over time due to improper installation, over oiling of the fingerboard or humidity changes.
Q: What are signs of uneven frets?
A: Uneven frets can cause various issues on a guitar (or other fretted instrument), affecting overall playability and sound quality. Uneven frets impede the strings ability to vibrate correctly and can cause fret buzz and cause low notes to choke out. Signs of uneven frets can include:
- Fret Buzz. If you hear buzzing or rattling sound when you play, it could be a sign of uneven frets.
- High Action: If you have frets that are too high, you may have to have high string action to compensate, making playing harder.
Q: What causes fret buzz?
A: Fret buzz is a common issue on electric guitars and other fretted instruments. Uneven frets can be a common cause of fret buzz, but may also be caused by heavy pick attack, low action, improper neck relief, magnetic pull from the pickups or insufficient string height at the nut.
Q: Why do I need MusicNomad’s fret gauge?
A: Our fret gauge is an easy to use diagnostic tool that will help you diagnose potential fret issues. It works in tandem with MusicNomad’s Precision Fret Rocker+, the perfect fret evaluation tool combo for all fretted instruments.
Q: What is fret level marked on the Gauge #1?
A: Frets are level when there are no high or low frets. Lay MusicNomad’s Precision Fret Rocker+ across 3 frets, if gauge #1 can fit between the Fret Rocker+ and any of the frets, the frets are uneven.
Q: What causes a fret to come unseated?
A: Frets can become unseated during manufacture, wear and tear, or due to temperature and humidity. Use gauge #2 to check if all of your frets are seated. If the gauge can fit between the fret and fretboard, it is likely that the fret has come unseated.
Q: What is fret height marked on Gauge #3?
A: On our gauges, Fret Height refers to how tall your frets are and is an indication of whether or not there is enough material left on your frets to be leveled again. Use gauge #3 to evaluate whether or not there is enough height left in the frets to handle another leveling.