refret a 56 tele?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by alainguitars, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. alainguitars

    alainguitars Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm playing this guitar a lot more lately. I'd like to play it out but I'd be much more comfortable with taller frets. Am I killing the guitar's value if I refret it? I may end up selling it one day.
     
  2. Shreve

    Shreve Katzenjammer Kid Gold Supporting Member

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    My take sort of depends on the rest of the guitar. Is it a heavily modded "player" or is it a original specimen? If it's a specimen, then a refret probably will detract somewhat from its value. I've also heard that refretting old Fenders can be a tricky job depending. If you think you're gonna' sell one day, might be best to leave the original frets. Post a pic so we can all drool. :D

    Just my take, though. I'm sure others will chime in.
     
  3. paullacey

    paullacey Member

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    Sell it now, get the guitar that plays "best for you" (or several) and pocket the difference in cash.

    Alternately, stash the tele away for a few years and watch the prices rise.
     
  4. DrJamie

    DrJamie Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm not an expert, but you'll want the very best of the best to do the refret, especially on maple. You'll enjoy the guitar alot more, and I don't feel the value will be less. Watching the market for years, I'd say several years ago, a refret was a value reducer, but not today. That said, if you enjoy turning these instruments around frequently, I'd let the next owner make the call. I have a "61 mono es 355, excellent condition, and a true NOS 69 Tele custom, never sold until it was aquired by my friend from the out of business store. I refret both, and never regretted it. But, I play these, and love them, with no plans for selling. I'll go out on a limb, and say "hold off", on your 56.
     
  5. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Refret it.

    Anybody who thinks a pro refret on a 50+ year old guitar is "devaluing" it is a moron, IMO.

    Oh, sure, you'd have a tough time selling it to an anal vintage homo, but there are plenty of players out there who would greatly appreciate buying a guitar that had been properly cared for.



    But hey, that's just me... ;)


    P.S. Oh, and the first thing I did when I bought my '53 175 and my '64 330 was to have them both refretted. Now, you can actually play the damned things...
     
  6. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    A well done refret shouldn't devalue the guitar. Putting gigantic frets on it likely will somewhat. Maybe not to the right buyer but if you play the odds most will want original style frets. If you are concerned with resale I'd put the proper vintage frets on it.

    I had this exact dilemma with a '62 Strat. It was 100% original and in 8/10 condition. My luthier told me to take it elsewhere if I wanted jumbos. He wasn't going to put his name on it. In the end I left it alone.
     
  7. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

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    Please don't go jumbo!
    I would go for the correct vintage width, tall stainless steel frets.
    It will be the last refret ever on the guitar. This is what I did with mine.
    In my experience, a good pro refret will not detract from it's value.
    The plus side it will play better. Just make sure you tell the tech that you don't want any sanding/refinishing of the neck when done, That will detract from the value of the Tele. If you do have a slight 15-21st fret hump, have him take it off on the tall frets and not the neck.
    That is why I always go with the tall, to eliminate the posibility of having to level the wood on the neck above the 12 fret.
    Of course with rosewood necks it's no big deal. But we're talkin maple!
    Good luck!
    Wreck
     
  8. CocoTone

    CocoTone Senior Member

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    This is a no-brainer. Buy a replacement neck. Put the origional away for the collector `anal vintage homos`, and play the damned thing. Or,,I`d just refret it and enjoy the sucker.:D

    CT.:cool:
     
  9. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    I'll answer your question with a somewhat rhetorical question. If it was expertly refretted by Gruhn's shop, Dan Erlewine or someone of those credentials, do you think it would detract or maybe even add to its value? Food for thought, I think. AC
     
  10. DonW

    DonW Velocity Town Angel Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a '57 LP Junior with a pro refret that is as sweet as can be. I'm happy to be able to play it since that's why it was built in the first place. :)
     
  11. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    What good is a guitar you can't play? Are you a collector or a player? If your a player sell the damned thing and buy several guitars you can play. Its a no brianer to me. When the Fender CS is making guitars of the quality of my Relic...............there is just no reason to own a real 56 unless you are a serious collector. Whatever floats your boat............
     
  12. mtndog

    mtndog Gold Supporting Member

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    I think the suggestion to swap necks to one that plays well for you, and stash the original, is the smart way to go. Best of all worlds if you intend to sell down the road.
     
  13. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    And for a Fender that old, there is only ONE GUY who should do it...

    Joe Glaser in Nashville. Don't let anyone else TOUCH that guitar!
     
  14. Claytone

    Claytone Member

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    Refrets on vintage guitars in otherwise original condition do not necessarily devalue the guitar. There might be collectors who will not buy a guitar that has had solder joints broken or refrets...but he's not playing the guitar. If you want to play it, refret it. You'll get your money down the road.
     
  15. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    There may not be so much a devaluing as just a harder sale for top dollar with a refretted guitar. If your primary motivation is to play, and let your kids worry about selling it when you're dead, refret away. If you're going to be looking to sell when a 56 hits $50k in two years, the people spending that money will likely NOT be giggin and may care about the frets (you should see how anal people get about even player grade bursts). If it's likely to need to sell in the next few years I'd say look for a new neck, otherwise go ahead.
     
  16. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    I think it would also make a difference HOW it's refretted. If you use anything but the vintage fret wire, it WILL devalue the guitar but if you use the original style wire, and play it hard for a few years, it'll be fine.
     
  17. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

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    I love Joe:dude
    But......Don't expect to get your guitar back for month's:(
    And, make sure you have him Plek the frets! Not plook(FZJG)....Plek:D
     
  18. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I have a guy in NJ who has refretted all of my vintage pieces. I'd put his work up against ANYbody's, including folks like Glaser, Lentz, Baker, Erlewine, et al.

    Not a slam against any of those guys. It's just that there are a few "unknown" guys out there whose work is VERY good... ;)
     
  19. Don L

    Don L Member

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    Refret it and enjoy it! :RoCkIn
     
  20. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    The less the guitar has been altered in some other way, the bigger the financial impact of refretting a vintage instrument. If the thing is otherwise pretty cherry, then you'll definitely be lowering its value. But if it's pretty beat or various aspects of the thing are already non-original, then it seems there's little reason for better, more playable frets to have a big impact on the price.

    Ultimately, this is why I've generally avoided vintage stuff. I've just felt that it's more important for me to have an instrument that's play and sounds exactly the way I want it to than it is to have a protected investment in an instrument.

    And the more I think about it, the more I can understand why someone might want a reliced neck, for example - if you can get something that plays the way you want it to--but feels really good and worn-in--it might be a good compromise. I've got a Warmoth neck with a compound radius and a big, asymetrical carve that I just love...I've been very tempted to have it reliced so that it feels really warm and worn.
     

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