Tonefiend Forum

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: [1]
Author Topic: The cost and benefits of fret work
soggybag

Posts: 84
Permalink
Post The cost and benefits of fret work
on: August 11, 2012, 22:05
Quote

I took my guitar to the shop today. It plays just fine, though I suspect it could play better. Setup, intonation etc.

The guy at the shop suggested having the frets leveled. Of course this will make it play best. But if it plays pretty well as is, we must be talking about thousands of an inch. How much better can it play? Hard to say really. The cost is $250! The guitar cost $400, wow thats more than 50% of the cost. Then again if you like an instrument and play it a lot, it might as well play as well it as it can, right?

But $250! how long does this take? If it was a 5 hour job you'd be paying $50. I suppose guitar techs need to eat. I live in SF, they probably live in SF also, it's expensive out here.

I have a Hello Kitty Strat. Mine's black with the ransom note lettering on the back. I had mine before Joe got his. I got it on Craig's list for $50. It really needs a fret job. It plays OK, but frets out around the 15 fret. This guitar for $50 came with a cheap soft case with shoulder strap and a key fob that said "I'm not a bitch, I'm the Bitch". It felt like a steal, even with the fret troubles. It sounds OK, it's light weight, fun to play.

Ok, so if you have a $50 guitar and get a $250 fret job, you've spent $300 and have a guitar that plays like $300? Heck, maybe it plays as well or better than a $400 guitar. With a new pick up it might sound sound like a $500 or a $1K. What if you started with $400 and got a $250 fret job, does it play like $650? Seems there's a point of diminishing return?

On the other hand I could probably take a file take a little off the top of the last few frets and the $50 guitar wouldn't fret out, it wouldn't play like $300 or more, but, it still only cost $50. I guess it all depends on how much you want to spend.

EvilPun

Posts: 4
Permalink
Post Re: The cost and benefits of fret work
on: August 12, 2012, 04:46
Quote

What fret leveling would do is prolong the life of your frets before you would need to shell out the cash to get it refretted down the line, but you wouldn't get a fret leveling willy nilly. Pretty much if you notice some quite low spots on frets that are causing some string buzzing then you know it's time for a fret leveling. It's just regular guitar maintenance that on regularly played guitars has to happen from time to time from cheap instruments to expensive instruments. I would say if you don't like the price this guy is giving you for the job to shop around, see if you can find a cheaper professional to do it elsewhere.

The one thing I will say absolutly is DO NOT TRY TO FIRE YOUR FRETS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. I guarantee if you do that you will change what would have been just a fret leveling job into a full refret job and that's more money out of your pocket which judging by your post isn't something you would like.

Jeff_H

Posts: 47
Permalink
Post Re: The cost and benefits of fret work
on: August 12, 2012, 08:15
Quote

$250 seems steep for fret leveling. I would do some price shopping.

el reclusa

Posts: 25
Permalink
Post Re: The cost and benefits of fret work
on: August 12, 2012, 10:59
Quote

SF is super expensive, but $250 is damn near refret price here in KC. $100-150 seems like the going rate for a level & crown job, and I think THAT'S a little high. If you're brave and at all handy, there's a ”Fret Level Yr Tele” sticky at tdpri.com explaining how to DiY. Seems easy enough, I'm about to try it myself on an inexpensive Esquire partscaster I built for my daughter. For $100ish from Stew-Mac, you can get the tools and supplies to L&C every guitar you'll ever own for the rest of your life...seems to me that if you're patient, and can ”measure twice, cut once”, that's the way to go...

s.huck

Posts: 14
Permalink
Post Re: The cost and benefits of fret work
on: August 14, 2012, 21:09
Quote

If your happy with how the guitar plays and your not noticing any dead spots or excessive buzzing I wouldn't worry about it. $250 seems a little steep, I've got a great guy here that does refrets for that much (starting price). Also ask around, find someone that people say is amazing and have him run the whole set up. A fret level, check the nut, truss rod adjustment can make a good guitar play great.

Double D

Posts: 195
Permalink
Post Re: The cost and benefits of fret work
on: August 15, 2012, 19:26
Quote

A really good fret guy can not only make your guitar more playable, but improve the intonation quite drastically by filing one side of the crown one way or another. One tech I used to use (RIP) actually would move the whole fret forward or back, then file it to adjust intonation one fret at a time! A real boon for users of the critically flawed Gibson scale. I would pay a guy $250 to do that job, as it's painstaking work. But for a quick file job? No way, Jose.

joe
Administrator
Posts: 224
Permalink
Post Re: The cost and benefits of fret work
on: August 18, 2012, 12:16
Quote

The math is simple: massive benefit, massive cost. 😉

soggybag

Posts: 84
Permalink
Post Re: The cost and benefits of fret work
on: August 19, 2012, 23:32
Quote

After reading "Fret yer Tele" I think I have to give a go at leveling some frets myself. Looks like the tools will be about $50.

I got the other guitar back from the shop. This probably deserves it's own "rant". Plays great, the fret job was superb. But, I think the action is too low! The acoustic sound, un plugged, is not quite the same.

Pages: [1]
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.34 ; Page loaded in: 0.024 seconds.

Comments are closed.