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Would you buy new Tele w/ fret sprout? (Am Pro Deluxe Shawbucker)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by jc77, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. jc77

    jc77 TDPRI Member

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    American Professional Deluxe -- the older model. I loved the feel of this guitar -- how solid the neck felt, the rounded fretboard edge. I'm ready for a modern bridge. It had 9's but didn't feel floppy or flaccid -- the strings were alive. I quickly tuned it by ear and the chording was a dream (to me that's a big test of a guitar -- can it sound right without being strictly in tune?)

    But the frets on this maple neck had sprouted -- just a little thorny up and down the neck.

    Part of me says, this is the nature of the beast. (Like, if you are buying a Subaru, you budget for changing the head gasket.) It's an expected repair. Buy it, and get the frets dressed while I'm having it set up with my preferred strings. The guitar ceases to be new the second I walk out the door anyway.

    But it feels a little weird to buy something brand new, then immediately drop it off to get filed down. (& would that invalidate whatever warranty?)

    What do you think? Perspectives?
     
  2. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    I buy used. New shouldn't need work.

    But I haven't bought a new guitar (as in not used) since the early 2000s.
     
  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I like your point about Subarus.

    But honestly, I couldn't really know how much I liked the feel of a guitar, if fret sprout was in the way.

    Either the discount is huge, or I would look for another (perhaps a Southern example) of this guitar without this impingement.
     
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  4. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    guitars typically need work at some point.

    if not now then later, if not "this" then it'll be "that".
     
  5. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    Why wouldn't you ask the dealer to fix the fret issue before you buy. My main dealer here offers a free setup within the first year.
     
  6. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Not if it's new and you can exchange it. Or, as warrent said, talk to your dealer.
     
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  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    If it's new, then you can simply attempt to make a warranty claim after you purchase it.

    It should be about a $40 fix. That's usually what I pay for end dressing.

    It being an all maple neck that is already finished means that you can't get the ends perfectly dressed without losing a hair of the finish off the edges of the board. But you can get very close if you're careful.

    I, myself, probably would not buy a guitar with such an issue, unless it was a cheap-o, like a Squier or something similar.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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  8. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    These are handy to have around. Search fret bevel file on EBay. Not your StewMac pricing.
    s-l1600 (2).jpg
     
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  9. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Meister

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    Change in humidity causes it. My new 50s Roadworn sprouted after a few months but it gets dry around here in the winter, so it's not wholly unexpected. I had it smoothed by my luthier and it's fantastic now... $40.
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Quick suggestion is get the store to touch it up for you.

    A lot of players put too much emphasis on 'poor quality' with fret sprout.

    It's an easy fix that takes like ten minutes -- and then you never have the problem again.
    $3 rat-tail file set from harbor freight is the tool expense. Youtube for the how-to.

    The cause is it happens when the guitar leaves a humidity (un)controlled factory and winds up at a dry retailer or a dry buyer's house.
    Yes some brands can over cook all the moisture out of the wood at the factory and quickly fret it so you don't see the problem.

    Since I flip a lot of guitars, I've seen a lot of fret sprout high and low but looking at the date code for most import guitars I can tell if they are going to need fret sprout filing: It's really humid in Asia in the summer and really dry in the Midwest in the winter. A winter-made guitar anywhere then played down in hot, humid Louisiana or Houston during summer won't have any problems, ever.

    Fix the sprout in your driest time of the year of your house and you'll never see it again.


    I stopped in GC a few years ago and there were several guitars that felt like playing one of these Aztec swords. I watched a half dozen buyers pick them up and put them down. Their in-store tech could have easily touched all the frets up and made more sales.
    The store's humidity unit probably needed attention but buyers with dry homes would have uncovered the problem later.
    [​IMG]
    .
     
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  11. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Fret sprout is easily cured. If I don't like the way a guitar sounds and feels, that is much more difficulty to remedy and would make me walk.
     
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  12. jc77

    jc77 TDPRI Member

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    Again, the car metaphor -- I live in Maine, so used car dealers are always advertising vehicles that came up from Florida -- no salt on the roads.

    Sprouts or no, I connected with this neck. Some guitars are easier to "think" on, somehow.

    Thank you all -- always grateful for the vibes & wisdom & perspectives (pro or con) at this forum!
     
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  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    :^)

    We're looking for fresh interiors (not the carpeting of course) from New England cars, as Southern cars' interiors have been baked to a crisp.

    I've got a 2001 Saab 9-5 Aero, that spent the first 4 years and 4,000 miles (!!!!) in Palm Beach, FL, and by 2016 the paint was failing everywhere.

    The sun is not as bad as the salt, but don't forget about Florida Beach Cars with lots of sea mist exposure! And Houston and Mobile heat can cook turbochargers and turn plastic insulation and other parts under the hood to rubbish.
     
  14. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I wouldn't buy the guitar because it has a Shawbucker. That's my opinion. But a MIA guitar with fret sprout is ridiculous. Get a MIM Classic player or Vintera model. Or get a significant discount for your troubles.
     
  15. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Fret sprout is not a construction flaw or hardware failure. It's not a warranty issue, it's a weather issue. Just fix it and get on with it.
     
  16. Renegade

    Renegade Tele-Meister

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    For me, it would depend on the rest of the guitar and if it was one I really wanted.
    Fret sprout is not uncommon and is easily fixed by someone that knows what they are doing.
     
  17. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This time of year, pretty much everything gets fret sprout, or has had it in the past. I assume anything I buy new without neck binding will sprout at some point.

    If I find a guitar that doesn’t have sprout, I assume it will sprout, or it’s already been fixed. It’s usually a one time fix. It sprouts, you de-sprout it, and that’s done. It really isn’t even a fret dressing. Just an edge filing. It takes me literally about thirty seconds to fix this at home. It wouldn’t deter me a bit if I liked the guitar. It’s just a quick run up and down both edges of the fretboard with a beveling file. If you really it to be fancy you can go back after that and take ten minutes to dress the corners.
     
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  18. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    In my book when you’re buying new, everything should be right.
     
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  19. Tyuk

    Tyuk TDPRI Member

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    +1 for this. I use a four-sided foam nail polisher (each side has a different grit) that can be found at any drug/grocery store. This obviously won’t take care of large projects but has been a very cheap but extremely useful tool for when I need to polish/fix slight fret issues.

    Also, IME, most ‘new’ guitars have been sitting in a warehouse or showroom for a year or so after their manufacturing date. I picked up a ‘new’ American Pro tele in August for a great deal but as it was manufactured in 2017, it was already 3 years old by the time I started to abuse it.
     
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  20. Radspin

    Radspin Friend of Leo's

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    You’re all more forgiving than I am. I would never buy a new guitar with fret sprout.
     
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