Here is a page dedicated
to the humble re-fret, designed to put to rest the many questions and misconceptions
I have heard over the years:
After maybe three or four fret-dressings, the frets on most guitars will be
too low for easy playing and string bending and the time for a re-fret will
A refret involves more than
just changing the frets for new ones... it gives the whole instrument a new
lease of life and includes refurbishment of the fretboard and a full service
and full set-up to put the icing on the cake.
not change just some of the frets?
Sometimes a partial re-fret is all thats needed but:
There are probably 30 different types of fretwire
available, trying to match the existing wire then dressing the new frets down
to the same level as the remaining worn ones is counterproductive.
Nearly ALL factory fret
jobs incorporate soft fretwire. A good luthier will replace them with the
finest quality HARD fretwire which will sound better and last many years more.
The most important stage
of fretting is fretboard preparation, any twists and slight warps that most
necks suffer over the years will be eradicated during this stage. A clean
fret-free fretboard is necessary for this to be achieved. The aim is to fit
the new frets with minimal or zero fret dressing afterwards.
Generally, the set-up work
following a partial re-fret is considerably more labour intensive than after
a total re-fret and is, therefore, not always the most cost effective option!
wont it devalue a vintage instrument?
Not necessarily! If you have
a vintage guitar which has "as new" frets and you just want different
ones fitted, then maybe you should think twice. But, if the guitar has had
a hard life and the frets are already cream crackered... your guitar is pretty
worthless anyway! At this point re-fretting really can only increase the value..
but only if it's done properly. Ask for an example of the luthiers previous
work before entrusting your guitar to him.
HOWEVER... if your pride
and joy used to belong to BB King or Malmsteem and it was THEM who actually
caused the fret wear, then you should leave it alone!!! The same goes for
ANY kind of modification work on such an instrument, (but not remedial work
which can sometimes be necessary to prevent deterioration).
it shorten the life of my guitar?
Quite the opposite if done
properly. A re-fret will often last three times longer than the original frets
and I have re-fretted some very hard working or prototype guitars many times
over with no ill effect whatsoever.
what do I get for this not-inconsiderable amount of money ?
Full re-frets consist of
ALL the items under Class A/Deluxe Setup applicable to your instrument but also includes:
Repair of marker inlays or
Skimming & leveling of
the fretboard which is then oiled and polished to a beautiful shine or lacquered
depending on type.
Fretwire used is the finest
quality HARD fretwire, the size is up to you but advice will be available
on which size would suit you and your instrument.
The nut is replaced, as necessary,
with a new one cut from a bone blank
Optional Graphtech nuts are
available as a cost option.
D'Addario or Ernie Ball strings
Includes SGL six month free
Electric, acoustic and classical guitars with un-lacquered fretboards (e.g.:
Rosewood Strat or Takemine acoustic)
Electric guitars with lacquered fretboards (e.g.:Maple Strat)
£165.00 - £240.00
Electric guitars with bound edged fretboards (e.g.: Most Les Pauls)