Re-fret a cheap guitar?

Blingdogg

Member
Messages
1,050
I can't help it, but I love my cheapo Ibanez GAX-75 I got about 8 years ago for under $300. It was my first guitar but it still gets played.

The thing is, it may need a re-fret in the future and I'm wondering if anyone has gotten a cheap guitar re-fretted?

I have a really hard time finding guitars with neck feel/shape/profile/size that I like and this Ibanez has a perfect one that I like more than more expensive guitars. So I think maybe it may be worth spending the money for the re-fret. I don't trust myself to do the work myself so I will take it in to the shop for a tech to do the work.

Has anyone done something like this?

P.S. I know it sounds ridiculous to some people lol, but I love this guitar.
 
Last edited:

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,580
What's the difference what you paid for it? It's like investing money. You can't worry about where it's been or what you bought it for. What matters is what is it doing for you today and into the future. If you like the guitar, have it refretted. Unless your only reason for buying guitars is flipping them for profit, I would put whatever money I felt like putting into it without giving it a thought.

I don't know what's happened in the last 20 or 30 years, but people have become INCREDIBLY hung up on the "value" of their guitar. Doesn't anyone remember getting crappy guitars that were literally worth next to nothing, putting a few hundred dollars worth of pickups, hardware and work into them and turning them into screamers? No one used to worry about any of this until recently it seems.
 

stormin1155

Member
Messages
2,556
If you like the guitar, the "value" of it is irrelevant. What's the chance that you can go out and buy another guitar you like as well as your GAX for the cost of a re-fret? Get it re-fretted.
 

mooawk

Member
Messages
228
If you love the guitar and the neck feels perfect for you, then you should get it refretted.
 

Shiny McShine

Member
Messages
9,494
Yeah, re-fret it. I've done this too, that is, put more money into setup and maintanance than I paid for the guitar but it's been worth it (I found a magic Chinese Tele for $179 that kills everything except my CS guitars).
 

rushcentrale

Member
Messages
673
another vote to re-fret it if you like playing it. is there any size and life to the frets that you can level it once or twice before refretting it? if so, you can try that first.
 

mototpsychel

Member
Messages
707
Refret. I just had mine done - pretty nicely too for $125.00. Don't know if that's a good price or not but I do know that for me it was worth it.
 

RCM78

Member
Messages
5,681
No brainer really. A proper refret will include trueing the fretboard. The guitar will be better then it ever was...
 

mullytron

Member
Messages
1,260
Yep, do it. I love working on those guitars almost more than the just-for-show megabucks ones.
 

scolfax

Member
Messages
7,236
For me it's a tough call on a guitar that's that inexpensive. It's possible you could sell the old one and get a new one and come out at around the same cost.

Actually for that model you can probably find tons of used ones cheap with perfect frets.
 

ROKY

Member
Messages
7,183
What's the difference what you paid for it? It's like investing money. You can't worry about where it's been or what you bought it for. What matters is what is it doing for you today and into the future. If you like the guitar, have it refretted. Unless your only reason for buying guitars is flipping them for profit, I would put whatever money I felt like putting into it without giving it a thought.

I don't know what's happened in the last 20 or 30 years, but people have become INCREDIBLY hung up on the "value" of their guitar. Doesn't anyone remember getting crappy guitars that were literally worth next to nothing, putting a few hundred dollars worth of pickups, hardware and work into them and turning them into screamers? No one used to worry about any of this until recently it seems.
Agreed, on all points .

Get it re-fretted !
 

Selsaral

Member
Messages
1,777
I've been pondering a refret versus a new neck for an old strat. I love the original neck, so despite the fact that a new neck is cheaper I think I'll just refret.
 

tapeworm

Supporting Member
Messages
8,118
If you love the guitar and the neck feels perfect for you, then you should get it refretted.
yes. all things aside, if this one is THE ONE for you...then treat her right, get her some new frets and rock her for the rest of your life.
 

rockonomics

Member
Messages
516
I'm in the refret camp myself. I shoulda got my old Ibanez Blazer refretted but got hung up on the "It ain't worth it" thang. I've also pondered the idea of taking a neck, shipping it to someone like Soulmate guitars and having them make a copy.
That may be the best of both worlds for you. If you love this guitar and could have two almost identical necks, you could put one neck on while the other is getting a refret. We're talkin down time of Zero, Zilch, Nada. you can't play a geetar while you're workin' on the dang thang anyway. Yer hands are too busy.
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
10,505
For me it's a tough call on a guitar that's that inexpensive. It's possible you could sell the old one and get a new one and come out at around the same cost.

Actually for that model you can probably find tons of used ones cheap with perfect frets.
^^^THIS.

I have a hard time refretting cheap guitars for this very reason. I love 'em, but it's just spending good money that will never get recouped if and when I sell (and I've sold more than I've kept in 40 years). Better to sell or trade toward something that has little-to-no fretware, maybe throw down an extra $100 - $200 to upgrade rather than $250 - $350 for a refret.
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,232
I can't help it, but I love my cheapo Ibanez GAX-75 I got about 8 years ago for under $300. It was my first guitar but it still gets played.

The thing is, it may need a re-fret in the future and I'm wondering if anyone has gotten a cheap guitar re-fretted?

I have a really hard time finding guitars with neck feel/shape/profile/size that I like and this Ibanez has a perfect one that I like more than more expensive guitars. So I think maybe it may be worth spending the money for the re-fret. I don't trust myself to do the work myself so I will take it in to the shop for a tech to do the work.

Has anyone done something like this?

P.S. I know it sounds ridiculous to some people lol, but I love this guitar.
It may not need re-fretting. The frets may only need to be leveled, crowned and polished. I thought the frets my 335 were too worn and needed replacing, but the tech was able to do a fine level and crown job. This is way less than replacing the frets. Hopefully, that will be the case with your guitar.
 

bluesgolfer

Member
Messages
545
Or, consider sending the guitar to Tommy at USACG and ask them to duplicate the neck. It's cheaper than a refret if you finish the neck yourself. Also, while you're at it, you may want to consider stainless steel frets so that you'll never need a refret.
 


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