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Guys I need your opinion on something:

Should I

  • Be happy with the $50 credit.

  • Ask for $100 credit.

  • Ask for $50 - $100 refund.

  • Return the guitar (technically I’m past his trial period) but I noted the frets the first night.

  • Quit my bellyaching.


Results are only viewable after voting.

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,263
I recently purchased a Gypsy jazz guitar from a vendor that shall remain nameless. Part of the purchase was his “Set Up Special” which includes a fret level, custom bridge, and tailpiece leather. Now where I’m from a fret level would include a fret crown and polish. Well the guitar arrives and the frets are at best level, but they were not crowned or polished at all. They feel like barbed wire - ok not barbed wire, but by far the roughest frets I’ve ever encountered. The vendor initially said that’s just the Asian frets and with a couple of weeks of play time they will smooth out! I’ve owned and played less expensive Asian guitars with near perfect frets.

I’ve since taken the guitar to five local techs and everyone agreed that the frets were not crowned or polished. Two noted some uneven areas (not perfectly level) and one commented on some minor fret sprout. I got quotes from each of them for a fret level/crown/polish from $75 on the low end to $150 on the high end. Two of them came in at $100 on the nose and the other at $120. All said that they would never dream of simply leveling the frets without crowning and polishing as the job simply isn’t done.

The vendor charges $106 for a fret level alone. At this point he wants to give me $50 store credit to cover half the cost of polishing the frets. Frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’ll still be out $100 or so out of my pocket to get the frets done locally, and in return have $50 store credit. The vendor seems like a nice guy, but right now I feel I paid for something I didn’t receive.
 

mcdes

Member of no importance
Messages
7,545
if they stuffed up like that with me, i wouldnt want credit, as i wouldnt go back.....
 

dspellman

Senior Member
Messages
8,308
If you like the guitar, keep it and go elsewhere to get your frets finished. I'd suggest not using that vendor again.

I think if you check around, you'll find that a complete setup with PLEK will run $200 or less, and I'd SO go there. If you've got flyer frets, you'll probably want to pay to have the frets superglued as well. I've had Gary Brawer in SF do this on some of my guitars (I just haul a couple at a time up to him when I've got something else to do in the area for a few days). He takes great care -- I had him do this on a relatively cheap guitar (the work cost me more than the guitar) and he didn't scrimp at all; even polished the frets to a glassy shine with a thick piece of leather before stringing the guitar and setting up a Floyd. You *should* be able to find a tech in the SD area that will do the same. Otherwise, it's time for a road trip <G>.
 

Gandalf5150

Member
Messages
1,235
Imo, you need to be open and frank with the vendor. I would take the guitar back to have the work finished. Simply tell the guy you paid for a set up and the job isn't finished. Obviously. site the fact that you mentioned this issue within the return period.

If he is not capable of completing the work., ie...he believes his work was good enough without crown and polish, I would be asking for a cash refund, so you can get his botched job finished by a pro.(perhaps best not to use those words) If he balks at this, I would be threatening legal action, as he has clearly misrepresented himself under trades description.

Ultimately....return the guitar, unless you absolutely love it.

Best of luck gettin a satisfactory result.;)
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,263
Imo, you need to be open and frank with the vendor. I would take the guitar back to have the work finished. Simply tell the guy you paid for a set up and the job isn't finished. Obviously. site the fact that you mentioned this issue within the return period.

If he is not capable of completing the work., ie...he believes his work was good enough without crown and polish, I would be asking for a cash refund, so you can get his botched job finished by a pro.(perhaps best not to use those words) If he balks at this, I would be threatening legal action, as he has clearly misrepresented himself under trades description.

Ultimately....return the guitar, unless you absolutely love it.

Best of luck gettin a satisfactory result.;)
Unfortunately this was an internet deal. There aren't many shops in town that sell Gypsy jazz guitars and even those that do have limited stock at best.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,263
If you like the guitar, keep it and go elsewhere to get your frets finished. I'd suggest not using that vendor again.

I think if you check around, you'll find that a complete setup with PLEK will run $200 or less, and I'd SO go there. If you've got flyer frets, you'll probably want to pay to have the frets superglued as well. I've had Gary Brawer in SF do this on some of my guitars (I just haul a couple at a time up to him when I've got something else to do in the area for a few days). He takes great care -- I had him do this on a relatively cheap guitar (the work cost me more than the guitar) and he didn't scrimp at all; even polished the frets to a glassy shine with a thick piece of leather before stringing the guitar and setting up a Floyd. You *should* be able to find a tech in the SD area that will do the same. Otherwise, it's time for a road trip <G>.
If I keep the guitar I definitely would go elsewhere for the fretwork. The vendor isn't local and it just wouldn't make sense to ship it back to hime to have the fretwork done - fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

As for a PLEKing - I'd take it to Michael Tuttle before I'd have it PLEK'd. But then I think that might be overkill. On a Gypsy guitar the traditional set up is 3mm.
 

feet

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,851
if everything is documented in pics and writing with a nice email trail, then get whatever you can back as a refund from the vendor and take it to someone you trust. between the cost and time wasted in shipping and the fact that you'd be asking someone you can't trust to do the work, it wouldn't be worth it to me. or call the whole thing off. either way. i wouldn't take credit because if this is how he runs things, i probably don't want to keep doing business with the guy.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,263
if everything is documented in pics and writing with a nice email trail, then get whatever you can back as a refund from the vendor and take it to someone you trust. between the cost and time wasted in shipping and the fact that you'd be asking someone you can't trust to do the work, it wouldn't be worth it to me. or call the whole thing off. either way. i wouldn't take credit because if this is how he runs things, i probably don't want to keep doing business with the guy.
Well there's no way I would ship it back to have the work done by his tech - I've already seen what he does! I've been doing the bulk of communication in email to have a well documented trail. I haven't taken any pictures yet as I didn't want to take the strings off because I'm not sure anyone locally caries the Gypsy strings.
 

chrisjw5

Senior Member
Messages
10,039
How much was the guitar? The level of work I'd expect to be done varies greatly from a $450 model to a $2000 one.
 

germs

Member
Messages
6,022
all depends on the guitar, etc.

no idea how much you spent, BUT a job paid for is a job paid for. maybe it got out the door on accident?

just be honest.
 

DGTCrazy

Mod Squad
Staff member
Messages
16,179
If the guy did such poor work in the first place, I'd chalk it up to experience,and take the guitar to someone your trust. In the end, $100 or so to get a Polish/Crown by a trusted source is a bargain compared to the stress and bad feelings you'll develop should the "vendor" fail to meet expectations again.
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,763
Honestly, there's no excuse for poor work like that but I have no idea how to handle it. Just filing the frets is not a dressing, it's just filing. A fret dressing means that the frets a leveled, crowned and polished. Now if they weren't polished to your satisfaction there may be a question on if it was right or wrong, but not doing is simply wrong.

All that said, this work isn't hard and anyone with decent hands can do it. It just takes a few tools and some know how. I've been dressing my own frets for years. All you need is a sanding block, diamond crowning file, some sandpaper from 600 to 2000 grit and some steel wool, and a ton of patience. The tools and a book will cost you less than paying someone to dress one instrument. JMO
 
Messages
2,931
Take the $50 and move on. Life's too short. But (after you've redeemed the $50 credit), write a CALM letter back voicing your concerns about their efforts in providing what you were promised, and it does not speak well of your continued patronage of their services/products.

R
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,263
How much was the guitar? The level of work I'd expect to be done varies greatly from a $450 model to a $2000 one.
I don't have the invoice in-front of me but it was to the tune of $1245 for the guitar, case and setup. If I'm paying someone to set up the guitar (not a factory setup) I expect them to take the same level of pride in workmanship on a $500 guitar as they would a $5000 guitar or I'd shop for a new tech. A $195 set up is a $195 set up regardless of the value of the guitar.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,263
If the guy did such poor work in the first place, I'd chalk it up to experience,and take the guitar to someone your trust. In the end, $100 or so to get a Polish/Crown by a trusted source is a bargain compared to the stress and bad feelings you'll develop should the "vendor" fail to meet expectations again.
Trust me, the guitar wont be going back there for any more work unless I return it.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,263
Honestly, there's no excuse for poor work like that but I have no idea how to handle it. Just filing the frets is not a dressing, it's just filing. A fret dressing means that the frets a leveled, crowned and polished. Now if they weren't polished to your satisfaction there may be a question on if it was right or wrong, but not doing is simply wrong.

All that said, this work isn't hard and anyone with decent hands can do it. It just takes a few tools and some know how. I've been dressing my own frets for years. All you need is a sanding block, diamond crowning file, some sandpaper from 600 to 2000 grit and some steel wool, and a ton of patience. The tools and a book will cost you less than paying someone to dress one instrument. JMO
I've often thought about getting the tools to do that. But when I look at the price, and think about the time involved, and the beater guitar to practice on (which I don't own) I balk.
 

Thor

Member
Messages
3,364
If you otherwise like the guitar, keep it, ask for a $50 refund (not store credit) and have it done locally. Sorry to hear about the bad experience.

If he doesn't go for the refund, spend the store credit on strings and move on. Agree that life is too short to waste too much time and energy on it.
 

D.G.

Member
Messages
724
I hate to be the lone dissenter here, but gypsy guitars aren't like other guitars. I really doubt whether a crown and polish is worth the bother. You're gonna be hitting that thing as hard as possible anyway -- there's very little subtly on those buggers if you play 'em right :D

I find the older I get and the better I get, the less I worry about things like hand rolled fingerboard edges, and neck shape and nut width, etc. I just try to string together a couple of notes that don't sound like dog doo. I DO still think about my tone all the time though. Still, YMMV!

As for strings, if no local shop carries them, you can get 'em from juststrings.com
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,263
I hate to be the lone dissenter here, but gypsy guitars aren't like other guitars. I really doubt whether a crown and polish is worth the bother. You're gonna be hitting that thing as hard as possible anyway -- there's very little subtly on those buggers if you play 'em right :D

I find the older I get and the better I get, the less I worry about things like hand rolled fingerboard edges, and neck shape and nut width, etc. I just try to string together a couple of notes that don't sound like dog doo. I DO still think about my tone all the time though. Still, YMMV!

As for strings, if no local shop carries them, you can get 'em from juststrings.com
Lol! Yes the set up on Gypsy guitars are is up rather "robust" isn't it? Well in this case a classical style vibrato is fine, but a blues style or rock style or a Gypsy style vibrato or bend and the noise of the string rubbing on the fret is almost as loud as the note itself. They not only feel rough, they sound rough!
 




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