Friend of Leo's
- Aug 6, 2016
- Tucson, AZ
I cannot believe this happened to me!
I recently moved to Maryland for work. After a few months of living here, I noticed my Tele had developed pretty bad fret sprout (Fret ends were protruding from the edge of the fingerboard) and was no longer comfortable to play. I thought about fixing up the frets myself as I have done other repairs on my guitar. However, I did not want to risk messing the frets up, so I decided to take my guitar to a professional. I brought my guitar into the shop and let the guy know it had fret sprout. The guy's response was "Fret what? Fret Sprout? I never heard of it." So, I showed him what I was talking about, and he proceeded to annotate what needed to be done and told me it will be ready in a few days.
Four days later (Today), I go to pick up the guitar, and notice the frets felt the same. I took a closer look and realized not only were the frets still protruding, but they were worse than before and the wood around the frets was chipped along almost every fret. Some chips were deeper than others. On top of that, the tops of the frets were no longer smooth but gripping the string if you tried to bend the string!!! My wife was there, she does not play guitar, but even she could see how bad of a job he did.
I inform the employee who was going to ring me up for the work (The guy who did the fret job was not in today), and his words were "yes, you are definitely not paying for this. Let me speak to the manager." I'm glad they realized it was a very poor job and didn't try to defend the work!
After about an hour, the place ended up placing an order for a replacement neck for me that should be arriving in about 3 - 5 days free of charge for me ($450). I'm pretty bummed out that my guitar will no longer have the original neck, but I guess I will hold onto it if I ever decide to sell the guitar in the future. The guitar is a Fender Road Worn 50's Telecaster. I added some photos for you to see.
AND I just realized the Low E string is not ringing freely. I hope nothing is wrong with the bridge!!! I'll have to do a proper set up once I receive the new neck and ensure everything is still okay with the bridge.
Has anyone had a similar experience? If so, did it motivate you to learn to do the work on your own guitars?
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I don't think you're out of the woods yet. A new Fender factory neck comes with just shallow "pilot grooves" on the nut, and the nut will need to be filed to proper depth for each string. Frankly I wouldn't trust any shop that did that to my guitar to do any further work. Tough spot to be in. I hope it works out for you.
From Fender's site, "Because Fender genuine replacement necks have not been mounted to guitar bodies, nut slots must be cut by qualified personnel. Other installation processes may be required, such as fret work, fitting the neck to the neck pocket, and other instrument setup procedures. Your local FMIC Authorized Service Center can install genuine replacement necks; find Authorized Service Center locations near you in the “Support” section of fender.com."