Last Updated on May 15, 2023 by Teemu Suomala
If you are after smooth and effortless playability, the Extra Jumbo-sized frets might be just what you are looking for. I have owned a guitar with XJ frets since 2012, and with low action, it’s a really easy & fast playing guitar.
My guitar with Extra Jumbo frets is ESP LTD MH-400. When I first got it, it had pretty high action, but somehow it felt surprisingly effortless to play. At the time, I didn’t know why, but of course, large fret size was to blame. When I lowered the action a little, then things got really cool…Especially riffing turned to pure pleasure.
I have had so much fun with guitars with XJ frets that I was pumped to put together this article listing the top-notch guitars with them. I also reveal the 3 best ones. If you have any questions, just check the FAQ section or leave a comment.
Let’s get started!
In this article I call this large fret size Extra Jumbo & XJ. Learn more about guitar fret sizes here.
Author: Teemu Suomala
I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).
Extra Jumbo Sized Frets
Above you can see that there’s definitely a difference between Extra Jumbo and Medium frets. It’s not huge, but when playing, it’s noticeable.
It’s hard to find measurements of Extra Jumbo frets online, but I just measured mine. Here are the specs:
- Width: 0.118″ (4mm)
- Height: 0.059″ (1.5mm)
Check this article if you want to find great guitars with Jumbo sized frets: 43 Guitars With Jumbo Frets – Plus 3 Best Ones.
29 Guitars With Extra Jumbo Frets
If you are after a budget to mid-priced T-style guitar with versatile tones and easy playability, keep Schecter PT Special on your radar. It’s a true high-value instrument with great quality hardware and nice sound. And yes, it has Extra Jumbo Frets.
Price Range Icon Meanings:
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|Model||Pickups||How Many Frets?||Body Style||Price Range||Check Current Price (affiliate links)|
|ESP LTD MH-10||ESP Designed LH-100N & LH-100B humbucker||24||Modern Stratocaster||$||Sweetwater* – Thomann*|
|ESP LTD EC-10 – Best Cheap & Beginner – Read The Full In-Depth Review||ESP Designed LH-100N & LH-100B humbucker||24||Single-cut||$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Harley Benton EX-84 Modern WH||active Roswell LZ51 (bridge) and Roswell LZ56 (neck) humbuckers||22||Explorer||$||Thomann|
|Schecter Omen Extreme 6 – Best Budget – Read The Review||2 x Schecter Diamond Plus (push/pull coil-split)||24||Modern Stratocaster||$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD TE-200||ESP Designed LH-150N & LH-150B humbuckers||24||Telecaster||$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD EX-200||ESP Designed LH-150N & LH-150B humbuckers||22||Explorer||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD XTone PS-1 – Semi-Hollowbody||ESP Designed LH-150N & LH-150B humbuckers||22||Semi-hollow||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD EC-256||ESP Designed LH-150N – LH-150B humbuckers||22||Single-cut||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD KH-202||ESP-designed LH-301N & LH-301B humbuckers||24||Modern Stratocaster||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter PT Special – I Recommend Checking Out||Schecter Diamond VT-1 Single Coil & Schecter Diamond V-90||22||Telecaster||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD Arrow-200 – Best V with XJ Frets Under $1000||ESP Designed LH-301B & LH-301N humbuckers||24||V||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD Alexi-200||1 x ESP designed LH-301B humbucker||24||V||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter Nick Johnston Traditional HSS||1 x Schecter Diamond ’78 humbucker & 2 x Schecter Diamond Nick Johnston single coils||22||Modern Stratocaster||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter Reaper-6||2 x Schecter Diamond Decimator humbuckers||24 Narrow Extra Jumbos||Modern Stratocaster||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder – Basically Endless Sustain||Sustainiac & EMG RetroActive Super 77||24||Modern Stratocaster||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter PT Van Nuys||2 x Schecter USA SuperRockVintage Humbucker||22||Telecaster||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD EC-401||EMG 81 & 60 humbuckers||24||Single-cut||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter Hellraiser C-1||EMG 81 & 89 humbuckers||24||Modern Stratocaster||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD M-HT||1 Seymour Duncan Blackened Black Winter humbucker||24 Stainless steel||Modern Stratocaster||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD F-Black||EMG 81 humbucker||24 Stainless steel||ESP LTD F||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter Banshee GT FR||EMG 81 & 60 humbuckers||24||Modern Stratocaster||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD EC-1000 Vintage Black – Best Overall – Read The Review||EMG 81 & 60 humbuckers||24||Single-cut||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD PS 1000 – Semi-Hollowbody||Seymour Duncan Phat Cat & Seymour Duncan Phat Cat||22||Semi-hollow||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD M-1 Custom ’87 Electric||1 x Seymour Duncan Distortion humbucker||24||Modern Stratocaster||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD TE-1000ET Koa||EMG 57 & EMG 66TW humbuckers||24 Stainless steel||Telecaster||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter C-1 FR-S Apocalypse||Schecter USA Apocalypse VI Humbucker & Sustainiac||24||Modern Stratocaster||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Snakebyte – Best Premium||2 x Active EMG JH humbuckers||22||Snakebyte||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP E-II Eclipse||EMG 60 & 81 humbuckers||22||Single-cut||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP E-II Horizon NT-II||Active EMG 57-TW & Active EMG 66-TW humbuckers||24||Modern Stratocaster||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
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3 Best Guitars With Extra Jumbo Frets – My Favorites
Best Budget – Schecter Omen Extreme 6
What I like
- Pickups are excellent for the price
- Warm tones with enough brightness in it
- Thin C-shape and narrow neck makes this easy to play and made for fast playing
- Out of the box action is great
- Handles every kind of metal well
What I don’t like
- Sometimes fret buzz in the long run(with some bridge/truss rod adjustments, this should be an easy fix)
- The sound could be more detailed
- Some high notes with thicker strings are hard to reach, aka. upper fret access is a bit limited (not too bad)
- Body can feel bulky
Who is it for?
If you are after a budget metal shred guitar with smooth playability, solid hardware, and mean tones, Schecter Omen Extreme 6 is the best option for under $500. I have shredded with multiple times, and it feels like a couple hundred $ more expensive axe. It doesn’t have the best upper fret access, and the sound is no $1k quality, but for the price, it’s a killer guitar. The best metal guitar under $500.
You can read my full review of this guitar here: Schecter Omen Extreme 6 Review.
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Best Overall – ESP LTD EC-1000 Vintage Black
What I like
- Great metal tones
- Stunning looks
- Spot on the action and smooth neck make this axe comfortable to play
- Works well with small hands too
- High quality
- Tons of different color options are available
- You can get LTD EC-1000’s with tons of different extra features from piezo pickups to Floyd rose
What I don’t like
- Upper fret access is not great
- The use of plastic nut feels a bit cheap for this price
Who is it for?
I’ve been lovin’ this guitar since I first tried it out a couple of years ago. With this axe, you get excellent value for money. It’s built for metal but can handle different music too. For people who mostly play metal, but want to explore other genres too, this guitar is definitely worth the money.
And another awesome thing is that there are so many different versions of this guitar available. Versions with:
I know, it can be hard to decide which one, but it’s awesome that there’s an LTD EC-1000 for almost everyone. It’s an awesome, versatile metal machine, and this version with EMG pickups is one of the best options out there (the one with the Fishman Fluence pups is awesome too). And yes, all versions of this ESP I have found come with Extra Jumbo frets.
You can read my full review of this guitar here: ESP LTD EC-1000 Review
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Best Premium – ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Snakebyte
What I like
- EMG JH Active Humbucker guarantee aggressive and meaty sound
- Really good for heavy riffing
- LTD locking tuners hold the pitch
- Usually comes with a hardshell case
- Narrow neck (1.654″ nut) paired with a Thin U-neck shape feels really smooth to play
- A shorter scale reduces string tension, great for a light hand playing style (not much finger strength required)
What I don’t like
- Plastic nut for this price feels cheap
Who is it for?
If you are after a mean-sounding guitar with Extra Jumbo frets that’s smooth playing, has premium hardware, and is of high quality, ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Snakebyte is a great option. It does have a plastic nut, which is a bummer, but if you replace that for bone or Tusq nut, you got a real premium guitar in your hands. And it costs less than $1.5k.
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Are Extra Jumbo Frets Good?
It depends. But in general, many people find Extra Jumbo frets to be a good fit. Most players have guitars with different fret sizes, and for certain stuff/music XJ frets just are a really good fit. I personally love the feel of a guitar with Extra Jumbo frets when playing heavy riffs. It’s awesome.
Extra Jumbo frets are mostly used with metal.
But it should be noted that Extra Jumbo frets might require some time for getting used to. If you have played medium frets for example, you might need to use a lighter touch with XJ frets if you don’t want your notes to be sharp. So don’t press Extra Jumbo frets too hard.
Are Extra Jumbo Frets Easier to Play?
It’s a matter of preference. Some people do find Extra Jumbo frets easier to play, some don’t.
Extra jumbo frets can decrease the distance between strings and frets. This way, you don’t have to press strings as much as with smaller fret sizes. But it should be noted that with large frets, you can’t always make the action as low as with smaller fret sizes. Why?
If the setup is not spot-on, fret buzz can happen more easily with large frets. There’s a higher chance of strings touching the large frets than the small ones. All this can force you to use higher action, and make playing a little bit harder.
Another thing I don’t like about XJ frets is that you can’t feel the fretboard that much. With small frets, Medium-sized for example, my fingers touch the fretboard while pressing the strings against the frets, but with Extra Jumbo frets, this doesn’t usually happen.
Pros and Cons of Extra Jumbo Frets
- Can make playing effortless with the right setup
- You can use just a light touch in order to fret a note
- Just a light touch required can allow you to increase your playing speed
- If frets wear out, large frets are easier to level
- If you got a heavy playing style, you can press your notes sharp with large frets
- Might need some time getting used to
- Poor quality Extra Jumbo frets scratch really easily
- You don’t feel the fretboard
Who Should Buy Guitar With Extra Jumbo Frets?
If you have or want to develop a light touch playing style that allows you to use the least effort possible when playing, plus you want to play fast, the Extra Jumbo frets are a good choice. They suit really well with metal music.
Conclusion on Guitars With Extra Jumbo Frets
I don’t want my every guitar to have Extra Jumbo frets. Nope. They do increase the playability for certain stuff, but I still like to play guitars with Medium, Medium Jumbo, and Jumbo frets too. All these have a sure place in my heart. But XJ frets are my weapon of choice for heavy & fast riffing. Always.
I hope this article helped you out, and maybe you even decided to get one of the guitars featured. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I and the GND team are here for you.
Now go, my son, and Rock!
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