How to buy Fret Wire for a guitar.

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If the fret wire on your guitar is worn then replacing it will restore its playability.  Not everyone will have the skill to remove and replace fret wire so here are a few tips to to choose the right fret wire.
Most fret wire is made from a copper / nickel alloy, commonly known as nickel silver.  The copper makes it soft enough to bend into shape, and the nickel makes it hard enough so it won't wear out too quickly.
The modern standard for fretwire is 18% Nickel.  There are cheaper fret wires out there with as low as 10-12% Nickel.
Wire is graded by its crown width, or "how wide it is". Thin or small crown wire is between 1.5 and 1.9mm and is often used on mandolins, banjos and other smaller folk instruments.  Medium wire ranges from 2.0mm to 2.5 or 2.6mm crown width.  Large, or "jumbo" fret wire is 2.7 - 3.0mm.
Typically, the wider the crown width, the taller the wire.
When replacing your fret wire it is important to know the crown width.  Ideally you measure this with a micrometer.  An engineer's ruler may give you an approximate idea.  If you are not too sure, order a slightly wider wire as this will mask any slight damage caused by removing the original frets.
The next thing to think about is the tang width.  The tang of the fret wire fits into the slot in the fingerboard.  Fret slots can wear with repeated re-fretting.  Today's average tang width is 0.5mm.  
Tonetech Ltd are happy for you to post one fret to us and we'll measure it for you. If you wish to do this, remove a fret from high up the neck, where there will likely be less wear and you can still play the guitar.   
Finally fret height.  Most frets are filed flat and then re-crowned.  The fret height will therefore change depending on how many times the frets have been stoned and re-crowned.  Measure the height on the bass side at the highest fret.  This one is least likely to have been ground down too much.
There are two other metals used in guitar fret wire.  Stainless Steel frets will give you long lasting frets.  Nickel Free, non-allergenic, or EVO gold wire are all mande from a copper alloy without nickel.  If you have a nickel allergy these are ideal.  This wire lies between nickel silver and stainless steel for hardenss and durability.   
 
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