How To Spot Refretted Vintage Telecasters

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Lotion12, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Lotion12

    Lotion12 TDPRI Member

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    These photos are from 2 different Telecasters, 1967 Fender Telecaster Bigsby, 1972 Telecaster deluxe.

    Both are original and both of old owners said that these guitars are all original . If yes I will wait for refretting, but if not, I definitely will go to refret.

    Thanks in advance.

    Love you guys.

    6AA35E3B-8813-415D-A44C-120FCAFB785A.jpeg A95F2CCE-4E09-446F-B0BB-A9EC4BA2C1E0.jpeg
     
  2. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    "All Original" is a bit of a misnomer to me. If I were to buy a 1969 Camaro, I would not expect the brake pads to be original, even if it were listed as "all original".

    Are frets from a vintage Tele the same? Unless it was not played much, I'd almost expect them to have been replaced (?).

    If they are not grooved, play it. If they are, replace them.

    I'm not sure if that is what you are asking.
     
  3. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

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    Yes, (apart for the obvious incorrect fretwire) you have to inspect the other side of the neck. The slots on the treble side are usually almost 'closed'. The old frets have not been pushed through yet. A slot that seems deeper than the fret is also a giveaway. A refinished or planed fretboard as well. The first neck in the pics seems refretted to me. Not sure abou the second one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The pics don't provide enough info but in the top pic it looks like the fret slots are different depths which suggests refret.
    I can't even see the maple cap board in either pic, which the '67 should have.
    Clues we use include amount of wear on the neck and board vs amount of wear on the frets, condition of finish on the board along the edges of the frets, finish over the ends of the frets etc.
     
  5. Lotion12

    Lotion12 TDPRI Member

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    Its not mapple cap neck. It has a stripe on it,
     
  6. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Holic

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    Yep, unless it's spent most of the time in the case I'd always assume it's had a refret. So long as it's been done well, it doesn't matter.
     
  7. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Does that change the value though? I go back to my brake pad analogy - it would not for a classic car, unless it was bought, stored without being driven, then sold decades later.

    I'm not questioning you - I am truly curious.
     
  8. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    Originality is the key component in a vintage guitar’s value.

    A guitar that has its original frets will always be worth more than one that doesn’t.

    Even though a refret is part of keeping a guitar in good playing condition, how well an instrument plays is almost irrelevant in the crazy world of vintage collecting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  9. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Holic

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    Yes, it would reduce the value to me, because I'd need it refretted. I buy guitars (and cars) to use them, so worn out frets or brake pads would make it useless to me.

    A very different story if you are buying what is essentially a 'museum-piece' guitar, or car.

    Agreed. I don't buy antiques.
     
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  10. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Top one's looks like it got Dunlop 6105 med jumbos. If it's not a maple cap (should be no skunk stripe) it's not original to the body or there's another issue. More pics needed.

    Looks like a good pro job. Bottom one could be original. Need to see the other side of the fretboard.
     
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  11. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    Is this a quiz ? Top one looks re fretted but neither of them look like maple capped in those pics and the 67 should be shouldn't it .
     
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  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I may be having a senior moment but a ‘67 should be a maple cap neck.
    As others have also mentioned.
    Refret makes little difference if the neck isn’t even original to the guitar.
    Seems like all original is what ever seller calls every old guitar these days.
     
  13. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    If the color of the fretboard is lighter than the headstock, which is generally yellowed over time, then it's been refretted because they would likely sand down the fretboard refret and then spray a finish. Early and mid 70s necks were 7.25 radius that's a telltale as well. If the ends of the frets are nicely curved like the ones in your pictures, I would suspect a refret because I have a 74 and it's not as nicely finished on the ends.
     
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  14. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yep - I did not think of that. Some of those prices are nuts.

    The OP is looking for a player guitar (what I got from his post) and not a collector guitar. If I'm looking at a player and not an investment, then there are a few things I'm willing to overlook. If is has new / newer frets from a refret - no biggie. I could be in the minority here. But, then again, I'm not looking to buy a vintage guitar either, so $0.02 and all that.
     
  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Both of those necks have been refretted. The frets shown are wider than stock.

    The color of maple capped necks from the poly years is *always* lighter than the headstocks, especially these days. Even on poly finished necks, the headstock faces were finished in lacquer, which yellowed significantly faster than the poly on the rest of the neck.
     
  16. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

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    May not be much help. but here's my '75 standard Tele with original frets.

    75_tele_neck-1.jpg

    75_tele_neck-2.jpg
     
  17. Lotion12

    Lotion12 TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys, that guitar bought from guitar center, it has 1967 body and 1968 neck. I check the dates from neck and body stamp . Maple neck 5D38DC28-8F9A-4538-8AB4-24B70962965C.jpeg 52DA809C-BE0F-4376-842F-30D87A09EA6D.jpeg BF135782-8BA0-4D73-B507-2A83FD4C6EB1.jpeg 3EABB479-3C6C-4D2D-B68C-580742FC196B.jpeg FCE72CE2-49B8-4F92-8FD0-9382117F5B07.jpeg B813A9EE-52A7-4FF3-9CB9-66DA9656C11B.jpeg 463D4FAF-98F5-4257-A325-2114CFB02338.jpeg 1849133D-CC59-4505-8C36-B10D3DB809E4.jpeg D4E5FB45-480D-4954-9359-39E8F0BC17A2.jpeg 6A499DCC-CB3B-4FAB-B6DD-6E28641D0B13.jpeg With a skunk stripe. Its factory bigsby model.
    Here is some photos
     
  18. Lotion12

    Lotion12 TDPRI Member

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    at the first post, the first one is Telecaster Factory Bigsby.the second photo belong to my 1973 Telecaster deluxe,
    I live in Turkey, its not that easy to reach that vintage and valuable guitars in my country.
    So i really respect it and would prefer play them without refret , if they didnt refretted.

    But if i ll be sure with your kind helps and supports about any of them refretted before me i ll definetely refret it again.

    the other case is 1973 Telecaster Deluxe which one appears in second photo of my first post. im absolutely sure that guitar has original frets.

    For both guitars. if the frets are original, i would play them until they become unplayeble. But as i said if i spot refret, i ll definetely go refret again..

    Both guitars are plays well, but if i refret them they will be much more comfortable.
     
  19. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd be thankful if they had the frets replaced, especially if they weren't vintage spec.
     
  20. Lotion12

    Lotion12 TDPRI Member

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    in my opinion, if it has original frets and plays well even if its not that comfortable at all , keep frets and keep rocking with it until the end.
    Because if i buy a 68 mustang it wont be comfortable as 2019 mustangs. but it is vintage its pretty normal. it has mojo and sound and feeling. it always worth ..
    playing without really comfort as modern guitars is like a challenge for me on stage and tours :D
     
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