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Pre-CBS re-fret or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Davo-London, Nov 29, 2013.


  1. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    Opinions folks.

    I have a '64P, which is battered and wonderful. Plays like a dream with really low action and sounds bliss.

    BUT, the frets are heavily worn and they look original.

    I'm not so worried about keeping originality - this is a keeper. I'm worried that the feel will be affected. However, maybe the sound will be even better? More articulate or maybe allow more digging in?

    What's a lad to do?

    Davo
     
  2. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    Photos:

    Davo
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Robus

    Robus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago Area
  4. bassie12

    bassie12

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Media:
    1
    Your pics don't show the wear, but the ones I can see look like they have life. A level and dressing could be enough. If your bass has considerable fret wear, a refret done by a pro should only improve the feel and playability.A good luthier/tech can help. I'm sure there are some in London. TB member johnk_10 is one of the very best here in the states, you might seek him out and ask advice, or he may be able to refer someone to you.

    Oh yeah, gorgeous bass!
     
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  6. lundborg

    lundborg

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Maybe a partial refret (up to the 5:th), then leveling?

    Often the first few frets have deep gouges, the higher ones are OK.
     
  7. thebrian

    thebrian The Brian abides. Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    Disclosures:
    Well.. this one time.. at band camp..
    What a fantastic bass! I would personally not re-fret it until you just can't service the frets any more. If it's at that point now, I'd still wait until you start losing notes. It may change the feel, and that may in turn change your sound. Maybe for the better, but if it plays like a dream now as you said, then I'd leave well enough alone until you can't. Flats or rounds?
     
  8. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    I use rounds more the flats. I probably wouldn't notice it so much with flats. Old Ps respond well to digging in and if this creates buzz or affects the sound then I'm probably not getting everything I can out of the bass.

    Davo
     
  9. eukatheude

    eukatheude

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Italy, Brescia
    You say it has low action and plays like a dream. Why do you need a refret if it play great? Maybe level them.
     
  10. bh2

    bh2

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    Dave! What a bass... what mojo. Didn't know you had that one.
    Had it long?

    I'd keep it as is until it gets unplayable.
    It's probably got many years left in it.
    I defretted my 62 Jazz... they might be going back in soon though.
     
  11. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    +1 I don't think worn frets add any original value; either have them dressed or get a proper fret job.
     
  12. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    Anyone recommend a refret luthier in UK?

    Davo
     
  13. reinesos

    reinesos

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Your pics don't show the wear, but the ones I can see look like they have life.http://*******.com/ce15.jpghttp://*******.com/11uk.jpghttp://*******.com/mor.jpg
    http://*******.com/ht11.jpghttp://*******.com/dh11.jpg
     
  14. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Don't ever use rounds on a pre-CBS! Save those frets!
     
  15. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    LOL. Have you seen the bass? It's been worked very hard indeed. Now's not the time to mollycoddle it. It's too late for that.

    Of course you can't see the wear from the photo. Any Precision bass with frets worn at the heel should be subject to a documentry.

    Davo
     
  16. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    If it sounds and plays beautifully I wouldn't even consider it.
     
  17. eddiemac

    eddiemac

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Southwest Missouri, USA
    If a fret-level doesn't do the job, a refret job by a good luthier using original size fretwire is probably in order if you want to use the bass. I'm debating the same dilemma on my '66 p-bass. Avoid large fretwire.
     
  18. bh2

    bh2

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    I've always used rounds on mine... mind you... it has no frets.
     
  19. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    Harrow, London, U.K
    Martin Peterson at the bass gallery in Camden does beautiful fretwork and is great with old fenders as well.

    he's worked with my pre cbs p bass
     
  20. HomesickBob

    HomesickBob Do da Boogie! ;-) Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    Basel, Switzerland
    Too bad the layer points of Strings/Frets are not visible on your pic.

    1. When there's 3/4 to 4/5 (not less) left you may give it a try on leveling.

    2. I wouldn't go for partial refretting as mentioned, too risky in tone difference.

    3. Good luthiers hold Dunlop 6230* Fret wire3 on stock or get them as Fender Shop Spare-parts.

    4. When still using Roundwounds you better go for the 6130* Medium Jumbos.

    As long you use equal wire along the neck you will not remark significant changes in sound.
    At least in a week or two you'll get over the "all new" fin of the frets.
    Only when going for complete different materials such as Warwick's Bell Bronze or kinda you may have to face variance.

    *Fender's original fret wire (Source: Brother Dave at Fender Forum)
     
  21. Gecko 5

    Gecko 5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Location:
    South Milwaukee , Wisconsin
    I just had my 65 refretted.
    Wasn't crazy about it. The guy I bought it from said he had it refretted. The guy that refinished it for me(nitro), was going to do a leveling.
    He said whoever refretted did a terrible job.

    No choice :crying:
    If ya gotta, ya gotta
     

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