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1974 Jazz refret or new neck

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by w3stoner, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. w3stoner


    Nov 30, 2016
    I've got a 1974 Jazz that is badly in need of a refret. It's already heavily modified (three pickups, the third is about an 1 1/4 inches from the bottom of the neck.) Body has been refinished in a walnut stain. So it's definitely a player not a "vintage".

    I took it to a reputable luthier here in Columbus is estimate was $700.00. Kind of wondering if the high estimate was a "I really don't want to do this job, quote." I don't think it was but just looking for a gut check. the neck is maple fretboard, blocked/bound as you'd expect.

    I don't plan on selling it at any point but at that price I'm wondering if I should just custom order a replacement neck from MusiKraft. If I go Musikraft I'm considering making it a fretless. I'd love the back of the neck to be tung oiled. So if it does get a refret I might have them sand off the back finish and tung oil it as well.

    So questions clarified:
    1. Anyone have recommendations for good luthiers in Columbus Ohio?
    2. Does $700 seem reasonable for refret on this type of neck?
    3. Will removing the finish on the back weaken the neck?
    4. Musikraft doesn't offer ebony for fretboard materials. So if I go fretless what would be the closest alternative wood to use (density, grain, whats likely to work "best" as fretless surface? I'll be using ground or flatwounds on it. Probably TI Jazz Flats).
    QuarterSawn Wenge, Brazilian Walnut (reclaimed from Coney Island Boardwalk), Madagascar Kingwood, Madagascar Rosewood, Pau Ferro.

    Thanks for any thoughts and input...


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Never done a re fret, but if $700 is the going rate i think i might give it a go!:laugh::laugh:
  3. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    $700.00 for a refret? Don't know.
    You can, however, do your own defret for ~$15.00. ~$6.00 if you have nips to pull the frets.
  4. w3stoner


    Nov 30, 2016
    The expense supposedly comes from having to sand down and refinish the fret board. The frets are more or less lacquered in.

    If it were an unbound neck I might actually try it my self. But realistically I’d rather let a pro do it. But ya at $700... leaning towards new neck.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  5. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I guess that $700 would make more sense if you are having it sanded and refin'ed for fretless, otherwise $400 tops for a refret that doesn't require any fret board work.
    Walnut, pau ferro, rosewood are all great for fretless since they are pretty hard woods. I would probably put a hard and smooth finish on the board to give it durability and bite, but if you plan on using flats, that's not as necessary.
  6. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    Send the neck out to @maurilio who works with Carey nordstrand. Fantastic work and unless his prices have changed dramatically, won't be anywhere near 700.
    pbass888 likes this.

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