‘Plenty of life left in frets’???

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by filtersweep, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. filtersweep

    filtersweep Member

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    What does this actually mean to you?

    I assume it means the frets are worn, but a refret is not imminent... like guitar code. It leaves me full of doubt.

    I was ready to pull the trigger on a used, online private sale when this red flag came up.

    Me: any noticeable fret wear, dings or divots?

    Him: plenty of life left.

    WTF does that actually mean?

    Its like a $3000 guitar- so it kinda matters to me.
     
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  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Member

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    I want measurements & I'm betting an ad that says that is for a guitar with only 1mm left on the frets.
     
  3. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Member

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    To me, it means minimal wear. Maybe a slight dent on the 2nd fret, G string, because all the owner knows is open string E minor pentatonic and bending up to the B. :rotflmao
     
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  4. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    It will mean something totally different to everyone. Photos and data rule the day.
     
  5. Urobouros

    Urobouros Supporting Member

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  6. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    Too ambiguous of a response IMO.
    Clear close up pics of the frets is not an unreasonable request for a 3K guitar.
    Of coarse , pics can't show if a leveling is needed.
    However , they will show if they are heavily worn/pitted.
     
  7. MmcGrouty

    MmcGrouty Member

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    I hate when people don’t answer questions correctly. Especially when they’re trying to sell you something.
     
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  8. Ugly Bunny

    Ugly Bunny Member

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    My guess it means there's fretwear, but it still plays fine so there's no immediate cause for concern. I think a lot of people don't have experience wearing frets all the way down and knowing when it's finally time for a refret. But if it's an expensive guitar, then a refret is pretty much in the cards for it anyway sometime in the future. If you like the guitar, I'd try to get some more detailed pics of the fret wear, but I wouldn't worry about it too much.
     
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  9. PartoftheDark

    PartoftheDark Member

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    It means, "Come back when you start having intonation problems and show stopper buzzing."
     
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  10. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    'Plenty of life' to me, means the frets may be worn but they're not buzzing out or have dead spots, there may be grooves or flat areas on all or many of them, but at least half the fret material is still there, and all can be leveled and re-crowned.

    It seems there are too many players out there who don't really know what truly worn frets look like and play like, or don't really know when it's actually time for a refret (and I suspect this may come from not spending a lot of time practicing). I think a lot of guys just want this or that profile of frets, or stainless, instead of what's on the board and they don't care to adapt, so they think they need a free re-fret thrown in. Others see one little flat spot on one fret and think they need a free re-fret thrown in.

    If it's a $3000 guitar and you're spending $3000 to buy it, then buy it new and you won't have to worry about the frets. If $3000 is the used price on this guitar, I would say live with the frets as they are for a while on this no doubt incredible spectacular guitar, before spending a few hundred more on a re-fret or level & re-crown, which on this guitar would probably be money well-spent. If it retailed at $3000, and you got it used for $1500, spring for the refret after you buy it, if it truly does need it. My guess is that unless the previous owner played it professionally 10 hours a day every day for several years, it probably doesn't need it.
     
  11. LBXPDX

    LBXPDX Member

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    It means he doesn't want to pay for a fret dressing and it plays fine.
     
  12. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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  13. PatrickE_FenderADV

    PatrickE_FenderADV Supporting Member

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  14. OotMagroot

    OotMagroot Supporting Member

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    To me, it means there is enough fret left to do a fret level.
     
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  15. Johnny21

    Johnny21 Supporting Member

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    It means "Go buy a new guitar if you're looking for no fret wear".
     
  16. EtaCarinae

    EtaCarinae Member

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    Usually this means they are pretty worn. I know it should mean they are slightly worn, but based on what I see in the picks, they are quite worn with a lot of divots when I read this. Usually. It means different things to different people.
     
  17. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

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    It is often hard to judge "how much fret is left" if you don't have much experience working on frets. And what seems like a lot to one person may be unacceptable to another. I always measure before and after fret heights at several points along the fingerboard when doing a level/recrown, and it is surprising really how little you have to mill off to get them level, even with what seems to be deep divots. Most modern frets are between .040" and .050" tall (crown height), and can usually handle a couple level/recrowns before needing to be replaced. So maybe a better question to ask a seller who maybe doesn't have the ability to measure the frets is, 'how many times has it had a level/recrown?' If never, you should be good, and just closeup pictures of the frets can give you an idea whether they need to be leveled/recrowned.

    The way frets normally wear is with divots for the first five or so frets, and worn smooth and flat on the top where the player has done a lot of bends. It is easy to see the divots... not so easy to see wear from bends, even though it may actually be deeper than the divots. The only way to tell is to measure. You can use an digital tire-tread gauge, which is pretty accurate, cheap, and available at most auto parts stores.
     
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  18. agquake

    agquake Member

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    This, but it usually means it needs a fret level
     
  19. kimock

    kimock Member

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    If the 3k or the guitar mattered you wouldn’t be shopping online.
     
  20. TylerE

    TylerE Member

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    Not of all of us live in or near big cities that have brick and mortar stores that stock high-end brands. I don't even live in a small town but I'd be looking at about a 3 hour drive (and that's one way, not round trip) if I wanted to try something like a Suhr or US PRS in person.
     
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