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Refret amazing story

tommy_is_here

Member
Messages
143
So folks, I had a pretty amazing experience this past weekend. I am the happy owner of a 1981 Ibanez as-200, all stock guitar.

I bought it used a few months back, and it came shipped in good condition, except for the frets (low, uneven). Turns out the plane of the neck was a bit uneven as well, particularly on the higher frets.

So, I took it to my esteemed local repairman for consultation. His advice: refret, plane the neck, and get a new nut to boot. I decided to go ahead and do that, although I have never had this much work done on a guitar before.

It is truly amazing what a new set of high, even frets will do on a replaned neck by a pro tech. Honestly, I liked the guitar before although it wasn't the most playable instrument (not bad, but not great)

Today, its like the guitar just woke up from a long coma - not only is playability awesome, but the tone is significantly improved. Dynamics are wonderful. Playability is super, super tight (easy to fret and fast)

Just wanted to share this amazing experience. If you have an old guitar you love but that is not up to snuff, find a very experienced repair guy and take his advice!

Cheers,
-T
 

Axekisser

Member
Messages
1,156
I sent my favorite Carvin bolt to Phil Jacoby for a SS refret, bone nut, and plek job. It is by far the best sounding, most alive guitar I have now! I have an EJ Strat, G&L ASAT, and a Carvin CT-6-- all decent, high quality guitars to compare to BTW.

After the refret, the Bolt is more resonant, plays perfect everywhere on the neck and has great sustain. The guitar had these attributes before the refret but after, they seemed to be accentuated. I'm sure a lot of that is the Plek job, but a quality refret is a good investment to make if you love a particular instrument.

I'm sending Phil my EJ next!
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,440
Today, its like the guitar just woke up from a long coma - not only is playability awesome, but the tone is significantly improved. Dynamics are wonderful. Playability is super, super tight (easy to fret and fast)

Just wanted to share this amazing experience. If you have an old guitar you love but that is not up to snuff, find a very experienced repair guy and take his advice!
oh, hell yeah! i can confidently say that my gigging axes (a tele and a les paul) that i planed and refretted with big stainless wire both play better than anything either company makes no matter how expensive, and i'm not nearly at the level of someone like phil jacoby!
 

bunny

Member
Messages
442
A good refret improves not only the playability, but also the sound - fret tangs (if fit properly to the slots) make the neck stronger and more resonant, as a part of the whole system. Add a good nut and overal setup and the guitar gets its voice again, if it has the potential of course. I've been doing refrets for 15 years, observing how the frets affect the tone, not even knowing about Dan Erlewine books and other sources that explain it all! (in USSR and even for many post-soviet years no one even knew about these books)
Understanding this a real pro can even eliminate most of those infamous "dead notes" some guitars suffer! it's not magic... it's sience:)
 
Messages
8,093
I have refretted gtrs for customers that were so far gone I can't figure out they could play 'em at all. Frets all pitted, or just worn nearly down to the tang, or the fingerboard plane all hincky. I always say, "you're gonna have to learn to play all over again when I get done with it", and it's mostly true. I refretted this local older fella's 40's Epiphone a few years back, and everytime I see him, he acts like I'm a doctor who cured his mother of cancer. "There's the genius who brought my gtr back from the grave, and made me want to play again!" He exaggerates wildly, but I do not mind basking in his accolades if my work made him that happy!
 

Stringz

Member
Messages
630
Fact of life, guitars wear out and require maintenance to keep sounding good for the longer term. A lot of people forget this so you have a lot of good guitars out there being sold as projects or for parts when all they need is a small to moderate investment and a luthiers tender touch.
 

eyeball987

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,413
I sent my favorite Carvin bolt to Phil Jacoby for a SS refret, bone nut, and plek job. It is by far the best sounding, most alive guitar I have now! I have an EJ Strat, G&L ASAT, and a Carvin CT-6-- all decent, high quality guitars to compare to BTW.
What does something like that cost?
 

Rob Sharer

Muso-Luthier
Messages
2,822
Fact of life, guitars wear out and require maintenance to keep sounding good for the longer term. A lot of people forget this so you have a lot of good guitars out there being sold as projects or for parts when all they need is a small to moderate investment and a luthiers tender touch.
That last bit makes me go all teary-eyed :love:!!!

Rob
 

PHLOW

Member
Messages
80
A good neck man if well worth his weight in gold (or stainless steel maybe?!) Glad your axe has come alive in your hands!
 

Axekisser

Member
Messages
1,156
What does something like that cost?
$400 or so with SS frets, bone nut, plek job, shipping and set-up. Well worth it. The guitar feels like it's going to explode when I play it!

FWIW, people talk about the resonance of the EJ- and it does resonate (I have one) but my refretted Carvin just rings and rings. Amazing!
 

stormin1155

Member
Messages
2,634
It's amazing even what a proper setup (good action with level, well crowned, shaped and dressed frets) will do for tone. You always associate a good setup with better playability, but it can do wonders for tone as well... better fret-string contact, no buzzes or dead notes, and of course your playing improves as well.
 




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