Fret Job or Refret

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by ImGrand, May 24, 2020.

  1. ImGrand

    ImGrand TDPRI Member

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    Hello,

    So I‘ve bought recently a used Mexico Standard Telecaster from 2008,
    now I noticed that the frets are worn, also when I bend the high E at the 5th fret the note is going dead/buzzing. Also bending feels in general harder even with 9.5 Strings instead of 10s compared to my Mustang with 10s and Vintage Frets

    Now my question would be can I solve this with a fret job this time ? or do I have probably to consider a expensive refret

    I already spent 435 Euros on it and a refret will cost me in my region about 230-280 Euros and for 570 I can get a new Player Series so I don‘t know if it’s worth.

    It has a nice color (Electron Blue) and also the neck on the backside feels smooth and nice

    I also had it already in repair because a fret which had come loose caused buzzing at the 18/19th fret


    Thanks in Advance

    0D1A3742-0CCB-402B-87C3-72E67216D7BB.png 36C4A75C-8C29-4EC6-AD93-ADCDA4D15BE6.png A0D81A86-586F-43CD-88D8-FCB4B4D162E8.png 9732283F-B0DA-412F-8B66-82AA571B3A52.png 9E9BF9BD-545D-4255-B152-53F6023E2BBD.png D5A8F19F-FA82-4A30-B35C-14A36B6AE0F5.png 6D56B3AF-19A3-4CFD-9707-711B4CDB96CC.png E2942A67-B78F-4BC9-BA67-27AE92427EF7.png 6370F0AF-8F0E-4748-95CC-1D182BB7EBFD.png 6BF8D3DC-E939-4C3C-9AD3-7BFA50347C77.png
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  2. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    Can you take some good detailed pictures of the first 5 or 6 frets? If there's a lot of free left, they just may need to be leveled crowned and polished.

    That's not cheap, but it's usually worth it.

    It may be buzzing a little in the middle of the neck if the truss rod is too tight, giving the neck a back bow. Did the prior owner use heavy gauge strings? What's size strings are you using?

    Sometimes going to a lighter gauge string will require letting the truss rod out a little to get the neck flat again. Heavier gauge strings would want to pull the neck forward, requiring more work by the truss rod in the other direction.

    Then again it might just be one fret, the next fret up that is sitting high and you'd only have to level crown and polish that one fret.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    It can be either a low fret or a high fret doing that. If it's low you should be able to see visible wear. High is less easy to see but you might spot it by looking down the neck. You can also put a perfectly flat object on the frets to see if they're all level. It can also be a problem at the bridge. Some pictures of the frets and bridge would help.

    If you can't see noticeable indentations on multiple frets, it's probably just in need of a fret or frets reseating and a level. If one's already had to be done, that's a clue. Even if a few frets are in bad condition, you can get partial refrets, so it might only be the first 5 that need redoing for example.
     
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  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wear aside, if it's a 2008...
    (note:
    I have a 2004 MIM Tele, and a '97 MIM Strat and have played the hell out of AND had fret dressing on both)

    ...it has medium jumbo frets right? ( both tall and wide/ originally)

    There's probably plenty of fret life left.
    It probably needs a dressing and crownig, which does remove material, but should be fine.

    But the real answer is take it to a pro that does network ( not everyone does!) and have it checked out.
     
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  5. ImGrand

    ImGrand TDPRI Member

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    Yes, uploaded some Pictures of the whole neck

    The previous Owner had 10s on it, was also buzzing, I put now 9.5s on it, basically the same problems
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  6. ImGrand

    ImGrand TDPRI Member

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    Yes it has medium jumbo frets

    the luthier who did the loose fret at the 18th/19th said I will probably have to do a whole refret but he also talked the whole guitar kind of bad so I don‘t know if that was a really honest statement. I think if I will decide to take it to a luthier again, I will bring it to someone else instead of him
     
  7. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    I’d say level and crown would clear that up. The shop I go to is very good, so I trusted their opinion.

    Before:
    :[​IMG]


    After:

    [​IMG]

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. SPECTRUM001

    SPECTRUM001 TDPRI Member

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    I agree - I had some medium jumbos in a similar state, which were successfully dressed, crowned and polished.

    They were ever so slightly squarer then before, but still played beautifully.
     
  9. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    It looks as though you have plenty of bead left for a fret level and recrown/polish. The person who worked on it previously was not a professional, they spot leveled only in certain places and made no effort to recrown the frets they leveled. Get the guitar to someone who knows what they're doing and you should be fine.
     
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  10. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thats nothing. Just a fretjob and you are like a new man
     
  11. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    Don't bend the high E-string at the 5th fret! that will save you a lot of money...
     
  12. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Plenty of fret left there. A good dressing and setup is all you need. Do not listen to anybody who says you need a refret.

    As for it being harder to bend than the Mustang- a Mustang is 24” scale length. The Tele is 25.5” scale length. Longer scale = stiffer feel. That’s just how it is. My main guitar is a Mustang. But I still use others with both 24.75” and 25.5” scale lengths. They all feel different. You get used to it.
     
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  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1 plenty of levels left on those wires.

    As for the scale length ... "Tens" strings on a LP type of guitar is the same string bending resistance tension as "Nines" on a Strat/Tele. If you want the same feel as BB King got with "Eights" on his hollow body then you'd need "Sevens" on a Tele and that's what Billy Gibbons did after BB King convinced him to stop chasing thick strings and learn to bend strings for his tone.

    .
     
  14. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic

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    Yeah. imho its only needing a level, crown, and polish. Not a big job and easy selfdoable( is this a word?)plenty meat left on those there frets. Lots of instruction videos on youtube and you dont have to spend a fortune on tools to do the job..
     
  15. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yep, level and crown, still lots of material to work with. Might want to take a depth gauge/digital caliper and measure the shallowest divot/wear spot. This will likely be your new average fret height across the board, post-L&C. I have my limits with fret height minimum, but each person is different.
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    As said. plenty of material left for a level & crown.

    BTW, AFAIK a "fret job" is more likely to mean the same thing as a "refret".

    So much confusion on the internet and using clear language helps.
    Refret is replacing the frets.
    I know "needs a fret job" as meaning needs new frets which is a major job, not just needs a L&C, which is not a major job.

    L&C or level & crown is dressing the fret tops level and then re crowning them.

    I suspect that what the tech did for @SPECTRUM001 was just a level, not a level & crown, since he stated that the frets were "slightly squarer than before". A L&C will leave the frets slightly or dramatically rounder than before. Maybe a bit of polishing to remove the leveling scratches softened the flattened tops a bit.

    As far as adding the third word to L&C, making it L&C&P, that's fine I suppose, but level and crown covers the tech job.
    If you want to include all the things the tech has to do, you might call it a check & mask & level & crown & end dress & polish & restring & adjust truss rod & set action & set intonation.
    All those things are part of a L&C!
    If the tech doesn't polish they leave a rough surface that make bending hard and pingy.
    If the tech doesn't readjust the truss rod after loosening it for the leveling, the neck will likely have too much relief.
    Etc, to the multi part tech procedure.

    I worked as a guitar tech for years and it's important to communicate clearly with customers...
     
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  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don't see anything there that should be causing a big problem. Those look like fairly big frets, I would have it leveled. Usually I prefer to just refret though, but that doesn't look that bad.
    You may just have a couple frets out of level ?, I have guitars that play fine with grooves in a few frets far worse than that.
    It's often possible to just replace a couple frets thus minimizing a complete leveling which changes fret height substantially often..
     
  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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  19. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'm playing guitars with worse wear than that and not worrying about it. Get anything that's high pressed down and a level/crown and it should play great.

    HOWEVER... as there's nothing visibly too wrong with the frets, you could have a saddle issue causing a problem at a certain resonance or break angle over the front of the saddle. I've had it once or twice. The easiest way to check that is to put your ear to the bridge and then to the fret while striking the note and listen for the source of any buzz. It's less likely than a high fret but worth checking.
     
  20. Awkirk

    Awkirk TDPRI Member

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    My number 1 has worse wear, and I was considering a refret, or major fretwork. Start with simple solutions that are reversible. In my case a tightening of the truss rod as the humidity has gone up, and a turn or two of the saddle height screws seems to have fixed the annoying fret issues i was having. I was nearly going to put it in its case for the time being. :)
     
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