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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-08-2001, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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I'm i need of a refretting job and was wondering whether if it changes playability at all. If I were to keep the exact same fret size would it change anything? Also are there different fret types some being better than others?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-08-2001, 04:22 PM
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Well, if you're in *need* of a refret obviously it's going to affect playability, for the better There are many fret sizes and shapes so you'll want to talk to the luthier that will do the job to make sure you pick one that you'll be happy with.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-08-2001, 05:12 PM
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Also get a LOT of feedback from people who have dealt with the luthier that you have do it.

Way back in the early 80's when I knew even LESS about guitars than I do now (!!) I had a maple necked Les Paul that badly needed refretting. * Over the next few years I took that thing to no less than THREE different techs to have it refretted.

Each time I was very clear - "See, the frets are worn down, and I'd like larger frets in it anyway, so can we replace these with..., etc." * Each time, the guitar came back with an obvious fret polishing job, NOT new frets. *It made for some awkward moments.

Me - "Uh, these don't appear to be new frets. They look like the OLD frets that have been crowned."

Tech - "Oh no, I refretted it."

Me - "Hmmm, well you did a FANTASTIC job replacing the binding on the neck! *This looks exactly like the binding that was here before. It's yellowed, and even has the same crack down here at the fourth fret."

Tech *"Uh, hmmm."

Me - "Look, wasn't I specific enough?"

Tech - "I didn't want to risk pulling the frets out of that maple neck. Gibson maple necks are prone to cracking."

Now I don't know anything about Gibson maple necks, but I couldn't find anyone who would actually put NEW frets in the thing. *Those frets got polished to the point where the guitar was almost fretless, and I ended up trading it. *I guess that was a good thing in the long run, because it started my relationship with pointy headstocks.

In summary - check out the luthier really carefully, and when it's done, make sure they did what you ASKED them to do! *

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2001, 11:10 AM
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Great story and good advice Bill. Chalk another one up for the “reasons to get to know your guitar and how it works” list.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-10-2001, 08:24 PM
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Welp, Ed Wood did refrets on 2 different RG necks of mine and I was quite happy with the work, with the one exception that I still needed to have the frets leveled in the same spot on each neck, not sure why, but either way, I went with 6100's that are the same used in the JP Signature Ibanez's, I have always liked that feel so for me, I was happy, I believe the RG's come with 6105 fret wire, but don't quote me for sure. definately get someone you KNOW you can trust either by word of mouth or personal experience. I knew one guy that perhaps 5-10 years ago I would've taken my RG's to, but he has lost the touch to make those guitars play like new. best of luck.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-19-2001, 02:46 PM
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Bill...did he try to charge you for a refret even though he did a polish and recrown? *I would have been kicking some ass on the spot.

Also, does anyone know of a tanged stainless steel fret manufacturer?
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-20-2001, 10:35 PM
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Josh, all THREE different techs tried to charge me for a refret! *This was in three different towns, scattered over about four years. *I finally gave up and traded it.

The first time I was just puzzled. The second time I was p**sed. *:angry: *The third time I was expecting it, so I was REALLY clear about what I wanted, and when it came back the same way I thought *I* was the crazy one. *"Is it not possible to PUT new frets on a guitar??!"

All three of these were repair guys that I had worked with for awhile, so they knew me, and we had developed a good working relationship. * Now I figure that they all planned to refret the guitar, then the binding and maple neck spooked them, and none of them was man enough to admit the job was beyond him.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-15-2001, 07:23 PM
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I had an ESP M1 refretted years ago and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. At the time I loved the guitar. It was one of the first ESP's on the market and it had a really 80's sparkly pink paintjob with matching pink explorer style headstock.
The guy made a total mess of refretting the guitar. He wrecked the fingerboard in the process and didn't even use the gauge of fretwire I wanted. The dead spots and buzzes were worse after he had finished the job.
In the end I would have been cheaper buying a new guitar. My advice would be go to a luthier who you know is reliable and has a proven track record.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-17-2001, 12:05 AM
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Refretting is a bit of a last resort! Surely the frets can be dressed or something.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-17-2001, 12:22 AM
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here's a good question....on a JS series guitar. Would you need a refret? or buy a new neck. Cause as you all know, the frets have a different radius than most guitars.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-17-2001, 08:26 PM
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I believe the JS is radiused more like a vintage instrument, in which case the frets have to be perfectly leveled or even re-radiused to allow radical string bending. *You shouldn't need a new neck or refret.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2003, 01:31 PM
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wadabout frets with grooves on them?? i have frets with deep grooves on frets 7 - 10 and its affecting playbility too...
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2003, 04:08 PM
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Couple of things,

Refretting a bound neck does not require the binding to be removed. RG's mostly came with 6100's

And les paul necks will not crack if you pull frets LOL!!!!

As long as the guy is good at hammering frets, or has a press (I use a press) they should come out dead flat with no need to level them.

Bound guitars that have the binding following the radius of the fret, are a pain in the a$$. 9 times out of 10, it's better to just level the binding with the fretboard and refret so the fret ends fit over the binding like on Ibanez guitars with binding. This to be is better anyway as you now have the fret going all the way across the fretboard, and your string can't hit the softer binding. If you want to keep those little fret bumps in the binding, then yeah, it's best to replace the binding, but talk about an expensive stupid job. It can be done without replacing binding, but what a pain when you have to EXACTLY file every fret to size BEFORE you put it in!
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 11:26 AM
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Any tech who lies should be shot and killed on the spot. The leveling/non refret is a big problem. I would've been breaking things in the store until I got a full refund. But as was said, the binding alone wasn't evidence, because you leave the binding.

There are a lot of questions here that can be cleared up in one swoop. First, every guitar in the world can be refretted and there's no problem too big. Refrets are needed in three cases. 1-If you have worn grooves or flat spots in your frets and resurfacing everything to the the groove depth would make them too low. 2-You want a different fret size so the guitar feels different, and your "squeeze tension" is lightened or stiffened. 3-Your neck is warped or twisted, and a corrective refret is the only thing that can solve the problem. But as far as the "can you do this, or that?" the answer is always yes.

Bammbamm-Regarding the necks you sent to Ed, the reason you might've had to get them levelled in the same spot could be because the necks were refretted off the guitar. There is no way to simulate what kind of movement will happen under string tension. I suspect that the two problem areas could only be found after the guitars were reassembled. I never like doing refrets off the guitar. I always prefer to see the guitar in current playing condition because I can read the neck and seek out trouble.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 12:04 PM
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fixed bridge , fret size , fret wire , guitar body , ibanez guitars , les paul , mahogany body , maple fingerboard , maple neck , maple necks , pointy headstock , rod adjustment , string tension , truss rod , truss rod adjustment , truss rod adjustments

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