How To Spot Refretted Vintage Telecasters

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

  1. edouglaspratt

    edouglaspratt TDPRI Member

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    So you think the two frets in the upper photo, showing the fret depth less than the fret groove, means re-fret?
     
  2. Rufustelestrats

    Rufustelestrats Tele-Holic

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    Fretting is like tires in my opinion. The worn out frets do no one any good. I have seen some vintage pieces where they frets have been dressed so many times it looks like paperclips on the board. If I were getting a 1968 Ferrari 364 gtb I would not expect that the tires were original, unless it was a museum collector piece. Even then I would not drive it on those tires. Frets are a consumable part of the guitar, and if done properly its not an issue. On the other hand I would want that word done by a qualified craftsman, like my tech. He did my vintage guild and my HR 62 strat, and the frets are amazing.
     
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  3. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don't think it does too much. But it does. Some collectors want all original even in amps though. Even original filter caps etc. These will sell at top dollar. But most people who are players, who want say a 57 Strat, may care about other condition far more than "wearable items" like frets.
    However, one caveat: Some guitars have been refretted so much they are no longer viable, the slots are worn out and the fretboard has been resurfaced too many times! (Blackie, SRV #1 etc come to mind.)
     
  4. vintageampz

    vintageampz Tele-Meister

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    Really, who the h*ll cares if it has had a refret jpb done if it was done expertly? If a guitar is so played (however still cared for) that the frets are so worn that it needed it, what is the problem?? (I am a Luthier, with my own shop and retail store, and I worked for Fender). Ya know frets are install at the factory with the idea that they will be replaced at some date.

    Unless you are buying it as a Minty investment guitar that will not be played and cased in a lexan box for all to look at only like a thousand year old Ming Vase (what a shame), than WHAT is the big deal if it's been refretted (well) ????????

    This is rediculous thinking.
     
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  5. _Presto_

    _Presto_ TDPRI Member

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    Kinda funny story on the topic:

    My ‘59 Esquire has original frets but recently I looked into getting a refret. The frets aren’t fully worn out yet, it’s more just a preference thing. I was excited about it, however It’s been more difficult than I thought. I’m in Australia so there’s not a huge amount of skilled luthiers around, especially those that specialise in vintage instruments.

    The first guy said no because it was outside his skill set. I was fine with that obviously, and he then kindly passed me onto the guy he learnt from - who is known as one of the best vintage guys in the country.

    However the master then declined to do the work also...because like I said, the current frets aren’t completely worn out. Instead he suggested making a replica neck so as to keep mine in original condition.

    I respect someone having principles, but I was a bit surprised. I mean it’s my guitar right? Putting a replica neck on and only getting to play half of my vintage guitar doesn’t sound great to me hah. Also I thought if I wanted new frets for a guitar that I own, then I could just pay someone to put them on...crazy right.

    There are some other guys around so I’ll revisit it again soon. Just thought it was a kinda funny.
     
  6. skunqesh

    skunqesh Tele-Holic

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    At least original frets won't electrocute you or burn your house down. ;)
     
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  7. manybikes

    manybikes Tele-Meister

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    deleted
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    One would want to level and dress a vintage guitar if the fret wear would allow it. I am surprised that your second alternative there did not suggest it. If you can play at the deepest weather divot’ and not be uncomfortable with the relationship of the board to your finger tip...which would mean for me that the flesh is not into the board, then the frets can be leveled and one can play on with original frets.
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    okay.....I’ll play. It is for the high E string.
     
  10. manybikes

    manybikes Tele-Meister

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    My question was really dumb..sorry about that
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  11. _Presto_

    _Presto_ TDPRI Member

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    Level and dress wouldn’t have helped, the current frets play great...I just want bigger ones
     
  12. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    They must be there for all strings on that type of bridge or how else do you anchor the strings?
     
  13. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    The frets in the pictures are to big to be original.
    The bridge is also a VERY expensive and MUCH better than the stock one but not original.
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I probably would have given the same advice as he did. Regretting a ‘59 Esquire if a refret if truly needed is one thing. Removing usable original frets to install bigger frets is another question, and that would imho and for my purposes affect the guitar with regard to sound and value in the market. Some people who do this type of work have certain guidelines by which we operate. One might be too do no harm’ when working on vintage instruments. that said, yes, it is your guitar; and if you want that done to a neck that is worth what???? $2000-3000 USD the; by all means have it done. Imho, though, a new neck with similar dimensions and large frets would achieve what you want, could be made to look correct, and would maintain the value of the instrument. Ymmv.
    A new neck would also be less expensive.
     
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  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    well, what I see there looks like every Bigsby attachment I have ever seen. There is a peg jutting out from the cylinder. That little peg is what holds the strings. There is one inside the balls of those other strings. Am I not seeing something in the picture?
     
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  16. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The 73 looks original. The other, not sure. On a maple neck, look for scoring along the frets, where the finish would be cut with a knife to free the old frets, or chips that have come loose when the old ones were pulled, which are sometimes glued back down. My Deluxe had a partial refret and evidence of that.

    How are you finding the Deluxe?
     
  17. manybikes

    manybikes Tele-Meister

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    Your are correct, thank you. Don't know what I was thinking aaargh
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  18. manybikes

    manybikes Tele-Meister

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    solved
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  19. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    I’m by no means an expert but, the frets on the top one just look new, an afterthought almost. The bottom ones look old and bedded in.
     
  20. manybikes

    manybikes Tele-Meister

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    Just figured this out..serious serious brain fart on my behalf. Disregard all of my previous posts about this. Now...if you will excuse me I will be throwing myself off my balcony.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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