Re-fret a cheap guitar?

Blingdogg

Member
Messages
1,050
Thanks for the replies everyone. I read through all your responses and I'm convinced now that I should get the guitar re-fretted in the future, whenever the job needs to be done.

For now the frets are still decent and if anything needs to be done next, I'll get them leveled, crowned, polished.

I don't sell guitars too often so I'm not thinking about re-sale value at all.

I agree with those who said that if I'm happy with the guitar I should do what work needs to be done to maintain it and getting it playing better than ever. You're right, the price I paid for the guitar shouldn't matter as long as I like playing it. I'm all about getting guitars that suit me and let me be creative, so whether it's a cheap or expensive guitar that doesn't matter. I've tried lots of guitars and it's not too often I come across one with a neck that fits like a glove, so I'd be afraid to get rid of this one.

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.
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.
Interesting. I never thought of getting the neck duplicated. That's an option I'll think about. And getting stainless steel frets instead could be a good bonus too.

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.
I think the same thing too. Good points. I think I get influenced by people sometimes who get so concerned about "value" that I let that cloud my judgment. I think this Ibanez is a nice guitar that deserves to be played and earned the right to be upgraded and maintained.
 

tdarian

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,026
One thing about refrets, and I'd personally probably lean towards doing it if you love that neck, is that the frets themselves and the way they feel can vary considerably. Loose terms like "6150" and "6100" can mean different things to different people..just like neck descriptions. Keep that in mind if and when you proceed.

None of my 5 guitars have their stock frets, and none were worn when refretted. I changed size and composition, and it worked out fine, but by way of example, the following two frets which are from the same manufacturer, Jescar, have nearly identical H & W dimensions, but different enough crown shapes that they feel quite a bit different:

This is the wire Gibson uses on their Historics:


and this is a Jescar wire that is very close but feels different, narrower even though it is technically wider due to the crown shape..unlike the wire above, it is also available in 3 alloys.


So, know exactly what you are getting into with your music making tool, and then, get the right person to do the job.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
10,057
I'm actually re-radiusing and refretting an extremely cheap acoustic guitar for my friend. It was given to him, but he doesn't mind sticking a few bucks into it so that it's serivceable enough to learn some chords on. I told him we can do better than that. We can get it sounding and feeling pretty good for a freebie.
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,094
What's the chance that you can go out and buy another... GAX for the cost of a re-fret?
In the case of a GAX 70 or 75, pretty good. They're $100 pawnshop specials at this point.
Still, If you really like a guitar and it has been good to you, it is worth putting the money into. A new (to you) guitar (or neck from one) may not sound or play as well. Look around for a backup/donor GAX. If a suitable candidate doesn't pop up within a month of earnest search, find someone to do the refret.
 

HandOfTheHost

Member
Messages
523
I can't think of a better reason to refret than that. If you love the neck/guitar by all means re-up and have at it.
 

Dale

Member
Messages
10,275
I do. I like large frets and am willing to pay the $200 it costs here. I pay that for a pedal why not a refret!
 

rockonomics

Member
Messages
516
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.
You think the same way I do. I didn't even think about Tommy. He's the best IMO. He's the major reason I have two of their necks.
 

joeburke

Member
Messages
890
Really, it's your ~$200. If you think that it's worth putting $200 into a guitar that you love, who are we to tell you otherwise?

I'd do it.
 

rockonomics

Member
Messages
516
Many posters have stated to first take the guitar to a tech. If you live in a bigger city, you prolly have access to more than one. It may just need a level, crown and polish.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,679
AAA+++ Blingdogg, Get the re-fret, I've a friend who has a Blueridge Br-160 that is his keep out/campfire 'git that he bought new,and so many of his other buddies are telling him he is/was crazy to put that money into a re-fret ( he has 35 other high end acoustics...no B.S.) or buy the K&K p-up he wants to install. My opinion was put the $$$ into the 'git for the same reason you feel about yours. Now, some of the other buddies checked the guitar out while handing out their wisdom, he wanted me to look at it to see what I thought, after cleaning the frets up a bit with the 'ol 0000 steel wool, ....long story short, he is awhile away from a fret job....I hope the same for you, But if you need it do it !!!, The feel of the neck on your guitar in your hands, is as important as your shoes on your feet...........
 

Blingdogg

Member
Messages
1,050
Thanks for all the replies everyone. Much, much appreciated. :beer
I'm definitely going to get the guitar re-fretted when the time comes that it needs it.

One thing about refrets, and I'd personally probably lean towards doing it if you love that neck, is that the frets themselves and the way they feel can vary considerably. Loose terms like "6150" and "6100" can mean different things to different people..just like neck descriptions. Keep that in mind if and when you proceed.

None of my 5 guitars have their stock frets, and none were worn when refretted. I changed size and composition, and it worked out fine, but by way of example, the following two frets which are from the same manufacturer, Jescar, have nearly identical H & W dimensions, but different enough crown shapes that they feel quite a bit different:

This is the wire Gibson uses on their Historics:


and this is a Jescar wire that is very close but feels different, narrower even though it is technically wider due to the crown shape..unlike the wire above, it is also available in 3 alloys.


So, know exactly what you are getting into with your music making tool, and then, get the right person to do the job.
Thanks for the heads up. I didn't know some of that, so I'll make sure I do some research before I get the job done.

I'm actually considering getting bigger frets for the guitar when the re-fret happens (I fell in love with extra jumbo frets lately). So I'll make sure I know what I'm getting into first, and make sure it's what I want. Thanks.
 

lizardking

Member
Messages
748
i've been thinking about this one myself for a while...have a strat i bought used as my first electric guitar...love the feel and the 22 years of being broken in.."glassiest" strat i've ever played....probably needs some fretwork and some new pup's...think it's time to show it some love, lol....
 

antiquodian

Member
Messages
193
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.
Yeah! What he said!
 




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