How much a refretting changes the worth of a 73 Tele

coltrane58

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I have a 73 Tele in excellent condition. Basically it only has fine scratches on the back. Not really noticeable. I brought it into a shop to have it cleaned up, I don't know why, it really didn't need it but I'm anal. The tech talked me into having it refretted. Without knowing much I said sure. Now I want to sell it and I know the refretting will affect the price I just don't know how much.
This is what he installed:
#152 fret
Width .092
Crown .048

look forward to some replies
thanks
john
 

SneakyPup

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I have a 73 Tele in excellent condition. Basically it only has fine scratches on the back. Not really noticeable. I brought it into a shop to have it cleaned up, I don't know why, it really didn't need it but I'm anal. The tech talked me into having it refretted. Without knowing much I said sure. Now I want to sell it and I know the refretting will affect the price I just don't know how much.
This is what he installed:
#152 fret
Width .092
Crown .048

look forward to some replies
thanks
john

I don't think a refret will diminish the value at all if he did a good job. It would increase the value over a guitar with worn out frets. Not familiar enough with fret specs to know if those were a good choice. Post a picture for us to slobber over.
 

Fiesta Red

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I’m not a collector…I’m certainly not a purist (see my avatar picture).

I’m of the personal opinion that you replace/repair the parts that wear out or break as the instrument is used. If the frets were worn out and you’re going to play the guitar, you did the right thing.

I know I’m taking the argument to an extreme, but would the “Factory Original-Only Collectors” not tune the guitar, since they tuned it at the factory?
Do they not replace the strings?
What about adjusting the truss rod?
Are those acceptable?

So will it lose some value?
Possibly…
But did it make it more playable?
Yes, definitely…which makes it more valuable, at least to me.

By the way, I see that you’re new here…Howdy and Welcome from Fort Worth, Texas!
 

coltrane58

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Having a hard time playing, I'm sort of losing control of one of my fingers. I did get a a tat though...
2014-11-28 09.05.31.jpg
 

Boreas

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What @kafka said. I've been dragging my feet about getting my '73 re-fretted for years, and it's not really a lot of fun to play. I'm debating period-correct fretwire or converting to jumbo, but either one will be stainless so it doesn't have to be done again in my lifetime.

View attachment 906440

If the current fret condition diminishes your playing experience, you owe it to yourself and the instrument to have it professionally re-fretted. But keep in mind, not all professional luthiers are adept or willing to refret a maple neck. Ask the luthier for examples of his work and/or referrals by previous clients.

BUT, don't underestimate the improvements you can get from a simple level/crown/polish. Even if divots are left behind, often playability can still be much improved.

Collectors of high-end vintage instruments are often not players, and can afford to ignore worn-out frets or neck resets on acoustics because their buyers usually won't care. They are not necessarily musicians or players, but deal in collectibility.
 

Boreas

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I have a 73 Tele in excellent condition. Basically it only has fine scratches on the back. Not really noticeable. I brought it into a shop to have it cleaned up, I don't know why, it really didn't need it but I'm anal. The tech talked me into having it refretted. Without knowing much I said sure. Now I want to sell it and I know the refretting will affect the price I just don't know how much.
This is what he installed:
#152 fret
Width .092
Crown .048

look forward to some replies
thanks
john


Get a second opinion. Some pix would be helpful. Just because some frets are worn doesn't mean you need a refret. The luthier may just be hungry. On a vintage maple neck with frets buried in poly, a refret is a major operation because the finish often needs to be leveled or even removed before frets can be installed. Ask me how I know. That REALLY affects the value because the fretboard finish will be different than the rest of the neck - usually lighter in color. My recommendation would be to do a simple level/crown/polish if possible, then let the new owner decide what to do with the neck.
 

Boreas

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That's nuts.
In Greece you can get this perfectly done for $150.
$800? :confused:

That is what I was quoted by a very prominent luthier who specializes in vintage instruments. I ended up doing it myself. If you can get a perfect job for $150, go for it. But I would want to see some examples of those 70's necks that were done. They are the worst. The combination of slide in/out frets and HEAVY poly applied OVER the frets make removal a challenge. Heating the frets enough while avoiding scorching is very tricky. There is usually more poly build-up on the nut side of the fret than the bridge side. I would do it again, but not for less than $500. My time was worth way more than $150, including materials, cutting a new nut, and setup. That was the $800 quote.

In fact, I actually bought a used MIM 70's Thinline reissue neck and used that for a while until I decided I could do the job myself. This is another option for people who are reluctant to refret a vintage neck. Just remove the neck, store it, and buy a replacement. That was Leo's plan.

The first picture is the final result as I was unable to tint my poly to match the vintage color. My problem is I needed to remove all of the finish to properly level the fingerboard because of the chipping. The fret end shows how deep the poly was piled on. It may have also been an accumulation of poly after several levelings. The remaining picture shows the type of chipping you can get when trying to slide the frets out. Experience minimizes, but doesn't eliminate this problem. So the price you pay will likely have something to do with the quality of final result.

BTW, the frets were described by the seller as "good". Since they obviously were shot, I got a $350 refund on the selling price. It wasn't enough. It took a considerable amount of time to do that fret job.
 

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Blue Bill

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My 2 cents: A nice re-fret will make the guitar more valuable, not less. You may need to shop around to find a luthier willing to take on a maple neck. You may end up with a little chip or two, which is normal for a 50 year old. If it is a monster collector's item, like a Jimi Hendrix guitar or something, an $800 job might make sense. Otherwise, a pro re-fret should cost around $200. You could switch to a new neck, which will preserve the "original-ness", but it won't be the same guitar. Good luck!
 

Blrfl

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(Sorry, OP; hope this isn't too much of a hijack.)

If the current fret condition diminishes your playing experience, you owe it to yourself and the instrument to have it professionally re-fretted.

Oh, absolutely. I see frets as a wear item in part because I'm hard on them. Not having it done has been more laziness than reluctance. The '73 isn't the daily player it once was because my collection has expanded a lot in the last few years.

But keep in mind, not all professional luthiers are adept or willing to refret a maple neck. Ask the luthier for examples of his work and/or referrals by previous clients.

I have a couple in mind who have good reputations and the winner's getting a couple of non-vintage jobs first. They're also getting quizzed on how they'd remove the frets. Any answer other than "sideways" is an immediate disqualifier. :)

Collectors of high-end vintage instruments ... deal in collectibility.

Mine's not a collector's piece by any stretch of the imagination. The neck pickup was replaced with a very early DiMarzio PAF, the electronics are different, the original Olympic white was painted over in a bright white that I kind of like, the pickguard has some residual cigarette scunge from the previous owner that I can't bear to remove and the case it came in is years older than the instrument. I suspect this was a working guitarist's instrument at some point.
 

Boreas

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(Sorry, OP; hope this isn't too much of a hijack.)



Oh, absolutely. I see frets as a wear item in part because I'm hard on them. Not having it done has been more laziness than reluctance. The '73 isn't the daily player it once was because my collection has expanded a lot in the last few years.



I have a couple in mind who have good reputations and the winner's getting a couple of non-vintage jobs first. They're also getting quizzed on how they'd remove the frets. Any answer other than "sideways" is an immediate disqualifier. :)



Mine's not a collector's piece by any stretch of the imagination. The neck pickup was replaced with a very early DiMarzio PAF, the electronics are different, the original Olympic white was painted over in a bright white that I kind of like, the pickguard has some residual cigarette scunge from the previous owner that I can't bear to remove and the case it came in is years older than the instrument. I suspect this was a working guitarist's instrument at some point.

It isn't terribly difficult to do yourself. Mostly time-consuming.
 

cometazzi

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On a thick poly/maple neck of that era - $300-$800 not including shipping. And not all luthiers are willing or able to work on those necks with acceptable results.

Ah, thanks. I've never had it done before. I can see it being that much to restore a vintage item like OP's '73 Tele, but I don't think any of my guitars qualify. I have a MIM Tele and even most of the replacement necks cost more than I paid for the guitar!

Fortunately I don't need it any time soon.
 

Fretting out

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Frets are a wear item and will eventually need replaced

If it’s a good job it shouldn’t detract
 




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