Should I re-fret my '92 MIM Tele or just buy new?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by macwriter, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

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    $150. is also what I payed to have my neck completely refreted.
     
  2. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I 'd probably buy a more recent used one of CL for no more than $300, figure out what I liked best from each one, build a partscaster and sell off the remaining parts. Or just buy a new neck as people have suggested. I wouldn't invest the time and tools to refret myself unless I planned to do that as a sideline job - it's a time-consuming, difficult thing to do correctly, and I'd rather spend my time playing. Likewise I'd be cautious of having it done cheaply - you get what you pay for. Buying another neck either on it's own or as part of a new or used guitar is a safer, cheaper option.
     
  3. JBjr

    JBjr TDPRI Member

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    Replaced my MIM neck with a finished (frets,nut) Might Mite neck from Stephen Dee at CEGHardtails.com

    Transformed that guitar into my favourite gigging axe. Have also used one of his Allparts necks on a strat. Great work, great service, and ships internationally.

    Gave that crappy maple MIM neck away...wouldn't consider re-fretting when you can get a new licensed neck at a good price.
     
  4. macwriter

    macwriter TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the input everyone; I'm not sentimentally attached to the guitar. I'm not mechanically minded either, so any work would need to be hired out, especially given it's a maple neck and those are supposedly much harder to refret due to risk of damaging the sensitive fretboard.

    Yeah, at the time it had been the best deal I'd seen on Craigslist but since then I've seen much newer ones go for similar price of $300 or so. We got lots of Tele's in Nashville that's for sure.

    Thanks all.
     
  5. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    Get another Craigslist tele, swap necks and sell the newer guitar with the old neck.

    Or get an unfinished Allparts for about $150 and finish it yourself..
     
  6. wshelley

    wshelley Tele-Holic

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    At $500 for a new MIM Telecaster, you might as well spend $300 on a used Telecaster on Craigslist, then put the other $200 toward re-fretting the old one yourself.
     
  7. dogfootblues

    dogfootblues Tele-Afflicted

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    See. That sounds rite to me. I bet it wouldn't be harf to find a pro who works from home for that money. Im old fashioned, i want my guitars till its finished, i consider refrets part of the plan. Like a new tranny or maybe a better metaphor suits it. upkeep.
     
  8. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had my 91 MIM strat refretted several years ago. It never even entered my head to buy a new neck instead. I liked the feel of the neck, it fitted my hand and once it was refretted with medium jumbos it was a joy to play.

    It's probably silly to say this but, although it's 'only' a 20 year old MIM instrument and may never be worth any great vintage value, if you keep it intact even with refrets it should retain value better than a partscaster ever will.
     
  9. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I would buy a used one on craigslist. They are all advertised as having only been played for ten minutes or so which is actually sometimes true. (I've bought 'em that way) Switch the necks, put the other one back on craigslist, and be out little or no money. Too simple?
     
  10. ehren

    ehren Tele-Meister

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    It really depends on what kind of a player you are and how picky you are. Different necks, i.e., different pieces of wood, are going to move around differently, feel different and possibly sound different. If you owned the guitar for a long time and have put miles on it, I would say refret it. If it's newer to you, which it sounds like it is, then a new neck is best.
     
  11. Old Cane

    Old Cane Poster Extraordinaire

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    Seeing as how any mass produced neck will benefit from a L&C ($100?) I would probably opt for a refret. I am able to do it myself but even paying for it I would. That said, $350 for frets and nut isn't way out of line but I'd still shop around. I think I used to charge $250 on maple and $35 for a bone nut replacement.
     
  12. Shorecaster

    Shorecaster Tele-Holic

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    Back up the trolly for a second. You said "My local guitar shop said it will likely need refretting soon and possibly a new nut."

    Does it really need a refret and nut or are you just going by what they say it will likely need?

    Because I think they likely need $350:p
     
  13. janglist

    janglist Tele-Meister

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    My first ever electric guitar, a cheap Peavey strart, was gigged to heck and when that was close to needing a full refret I was tempted to as there was that big sentimental thing. But I went with my head and just got a new, much better guitar.

    That said, a MIM Tele, if for some reason you feel really attached to it, can be a great guitar and can be worth improving. I'd always go for stainless steel frets these days and with a quality nut you could have a great-playing guitar. Of course, the 'investors' will point out that you won't get the money back if you later sell. So it boils down to if you like the guitar overall or not.
     
  14. Old Cane

    Old Cane Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good point. If you're a hobbiest it's probably penny wise to buy a new-used one. If you make a living with it it's a great investment in your tools but frets are like strings. They wear out. It's like buying new shoes to work in an office, the cost of doing business.
     
  15. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You've had a good run with your Tele, why not just take the opportunity to find something you like better? No matter what you do, your guitar is going to be different, so why not just take the opportunity to change to a fresh horse?
     
  16. mishek

    mishek Tele-Meister

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    Just a thought, but does it really need a refret? Perhaps a Fret Level/crown/polish would sort it. Bare in mind that an aftermarket neck may need the same anyway to get the action just right.

    All you need to know is right here.

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/201556-fret-leveling-yer-tele-101-a.html

    I followed the advice here, and was surprised how easy it was to do. Thanks Mr K!

    Saying that, my Ibanez RX40 from mid 90s has the sweetest neck I have played.
    The guitar isn't worth much cash wise, but is very sentimental to me, and I love the way she plays.

    The frets, thin when made (no jumbos here) probably won't have enough "meat" to take a leveling that would solve the wear they now have.

    I couldn't justify the cost of a refret, and it is a maple neck so we all know that means extra $, notwithstanding the fact that chipping etc may occur. A replacement neck obviously isn't my answer either so I just don't play it that much anymore.

    Of course, if money wasn't an option, I would seek out the best luthier I could (with plenty of recommendations and examples of work) and get him to refret it with stainless steel (even more cash!)
     
  17. Jack FFR1846

    Jack FFR1846 Tele-Afflicted

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    Shameless plug: I put my 02 mim tele up for sale here. Beautiful shape...I'm downsizing.
     
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