'65 Strat refret opinions needed.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by GAT, Feb 17, 2009.


  1. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,229
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Reno
    Hello all,

    I have a untouched '65 Strat, all original condition as verified by Gruhn and other experts. I love the guitar but wish it had bigger/taller frets. I know if I refret it, it will lose some value. The original frets are still very good, but I'm used to playing on more modern bigger frets.

    What do you guys think? I'm more of a player than a collector and I would probably play it more with new frets. But I don't want to kill the value of it either. I don't plan on selling it anytime soon, if ever.
     
  2. never-enough

    never-enough Member

    Messages:
    1,010
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    lost angeles
    if you plan on keeping it forever, refret it.
    if you arent sure, hold out.
     
  3. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

    Messages:
    3,452
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    get the frets you want to play on

    that's it
     
  4. Bill

    Bill Member

    Messages:
    278
    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Tulsa
    Refret it. It will lose a bit in collector value but will more than make up for that small loss in being a guitar that you can play and enjoy. I have several vintage guitars and I never hesitate to refret them.
     
  5. mcgriff420

    mcgriff420 Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Remove vintage neck and place in closet.

    Install aftermarket neck with desired frets and enjoy!
     
  6. hogy

    hogy Member

    Messages:
    11,305
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    This will do two things:

    -Alter the sound of the guitar drastically. Much of what makes an old Strat sound (much less feel) like an old Strat will sit in the closet.

    -Ensure that down the road you end up with a guitar where body wear doesn't match the neck wear, raising all kinds of red flags when trying to determine authenticity.
     
  7. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

    Messages:
    7,026
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Its a bolt on neck i would remove the neck and put on one that you like, its not a LP where you don't have that option.
     
  8. Tonemeister69

    Tonemeister69 Member

    Messages:
    2,728
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I'd sell the guitar, put the money in the bank. Then, I'd get Suhr to make me a really nice strat to my specs.
     
  9. KazJY

    KazJY Member

    Messages:
    2,598
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Can you just save the old frets to keep in the case? That way, if/when you ever sell, you can always include them at least for the sake of including them. If I ever sold one of my SGs, I'd have to include a whole box of original parts.

    I have a friend that saved his old frets from one of his strats. I have no idea if they can be reinstalled....
     
  10. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Member

    Messages:
    2,759
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Bucks County, Pa
  11. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,702
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005

    What about causing damage to the neck since it's not mounted with tension? Couldn't it warp or develop a reverse bow since there's no tension. I have had two stubborn necks like that. Of course they were not 40+ years old.
     
  12. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,359
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Are you planning on keeping the guitar for the rest of your life? Is it THAT good?
    If so, do whatever you want to make it most comfortable for you.

    However, if you have any inclination at all of selling it, don't mess with it.
     
  13. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,599
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh-wood, NC
    I had the same dilema with my '68. I had it refretted with 6105's, saved the original worn frets in a zip-loc baggie and never looked back - it's the best Strat I've ever played now, and I play it constantly.

    I suppose I could always have the original worn frets put back in if I really wanted to...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. nmontz

    nmontz Member

    Messages:
    723
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    refret it.....

    If somebody was even close to hinting at money off for a refret on my guitar. I wouldn't sell it to them. Guitars were made to play! Unless the Strat looks brand new and is mint (which wouldn't need a refret anyway) it isn't gonna matter. People that drop the kind of coin a 65' strat is going for...are either real players who know the difference, or collectors or dealers who know what they are looking for/ at. The first thing I'd do if I bought myself a 63' strat is get a fresh refret with 6100's if it hadn't already been done.

    I'm just wondering what is this mystery amout is that the guitar is going to be devalued for a refret? Lets say two 57' strats are sitting side by side in a store. Both are well used but straight. No major issues, similar feeling necks, similar neckwear, similar weights, both have nice ballanced pups and killer hot bridge pickups. They look like twins....but one has low almost unplayable frets, one has a nice refret. Playing both side by side trying to decide which one to buy...which one are you going to pick? I know I pick out a guitar by playing it to see how good it sounds and feels.....you?
     
  15. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,961
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    philadelphia
    I would not touch it. I would just play it as is, or sell it. Seriously, some collector would pay huge money for it 100% original. Then you can bank the money and just play any other guitar you want with the exact spec you want, and come out so far ahead.
    That is what I would do, because I feel like having huge money tied up in an instrument isn't worth it. Just my personal take...
     
  16. Don L

    Don L Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    if you have ANY thought of selling it down the road, whenever that might be, don't refret it since it IS a collector's piece as is.
     
  17. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    I would not refret it unless the original frets were worn to the point where it is unplayable.

    I was faced wuith that decision on my 1952 tele. The frets were so stinkin low you couldn't do any bends. It was already refinished, so a refret was a no brainer.

    I have a 66 sunburst strat with pretty low frets. They are fairly worn - not as bad as the 52 tele was, but still not optimum. It is otherwise original, but I think a refret in this case is still okay, since the original frets are worn to the point where the guitar is becoming non-functional as an instrument.

    Yours seems to be a different situation. What I hear you saying is that the original frets are in good condition, but just not your preferred fret size. In this case, I recommend NOT refretting.

    Guys who say refret and keep it forever - I disagree. Noone keeps a guitar forever. Sooner or later it gets passed to someone else, and they have to live with the non-originality of the instrument (and its decreased value). I don't think we should worship vintage guitars, but I think we should respect original examples enough not to modify them unless absolutely necessary.
     
  18. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,903
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    It is simple math IMO. Refretting will drop the value how much? I'm gonna guess $2,500. Add in the cost of the refret and you will have a total cost of about $3,000.

    Do the current frets bother you $3,000 worth?

    Is $3,000 a lot or a little bit of money to you?
     
  19. stoob0t

    stoob0t Member

    Messages:
    463
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Location:
    Penn, South Staffordshire. UK.
    If, like your very first post says, you have no intention of ever selling her - and you feel a refret is really going to enable you to squeeze the most out of the guitar, it'd be a no brainer for me.

    You only live once - unless you've bought it purely as an investor rather than as a player, do whatever you feel you need to to make the guitar more comfortable to you.

    I've gone through a few late 60's telecasters (not quite the same prestige as a '65 strat i know) and couldn't seem to find one that both felt AND sounded right. I ended up with just one, which sounded perfect, but just didnt play nicely for me at all. After a lot going back and forth, i decided to bite the bullet and have the neck slightly reshaped, and have some slightly larger frets put in...

    Long story short, she's now the best playing AND sounding guitar that i've ever owned. I get excited every time i take her out of the case.
     
  20. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

    Messages:
    9,976
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Is it a musical instrument, or an investment? Decide.
     

Share This Page