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Damaged fret: advice please

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rockin John, Jan 23, 2003.


  1. The attached picture shows the 21st fret of my bass. The circumstances are convoluted but, essentially, my dealer has admitted responsibility and has given me the option of how I want to proceed.

    What I wish to ask, please, is if there is opinion as to whether or not the one fret can be replaced and what other work I should look for a repairer to carry out in conjunction with the new fret. Eg, stone all the frets, full set up, etc?

    Thanks.

    John
     
  2. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Hi John,
    If it's any help I had a single fret replaced on my reissue P Bass.
    If all the other frets are o.k. it should be allright just to do a "Fret Dressing".
    (You'll get a set up as part of the deal).
    The guy who works for "Machinehead" in Hitchin is one of the best in the business - thoroughly recommended.
     
  3. Cheers, Paul.

    Machinehead: who are they and how can I get in touch? Are they on the WWW? I'll go check now.

    Ta.

    John
     
  4. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Hi John,

    In fact you'll need to replace the damaged fret with a matching one an then get all the frets dressed and recrowned.
    If you want to be VERY picky, just know that the fret dressing is obviously gonna remove some material from your frets and thus giving you less to work with until you'll have to replace all the frets! :D

    Peace, JP
     
  5. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Hi John,
    Machinehead are a very good music store in Hitchin Herts.
    I would guess that the new fret and dressing/set up is going to be about £80 or so...
    Here's the URL:

    www.machinehead.co.uk
     
  6. What did your repair cost, Paul, and exactly what did they do?

    John
     
  7. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Hi John,
    Replaced 15th fret, stoned,recrowned and polished the frets,fitted new strings and set it up.
    (Oh... and some Lemon Oil on the fretboard).
    It was just under £100 (That included strings) Two years ago, but I wouldn't think the prices have gone up much.
     
  8. Thanks.

    That's similar to the ££ up here, knocking a few quid off for highr prices down your way.

    Ta.

    John
     
  9. Well, the plan to get this fixed through the dealer had gone down the pan. Details don't matter!!!

    I'm a reasonably practical guy, so is there any wisdom as to how I should reduce the height of the slight humps in the fret under A and D. Gotta do the job myself.

    I mean just stone the bad fret down a little, NOT replacing the bad fret myself.

    John
     
  10. but details are fun...
     
  11. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Hi John,
    I'd be tempted to have a go at replacing the fret myself.
    If you apply heat directly to the fret with something like a soldering iron, it SHOULD come out fairly easily and cleanly (I defretted a bass like this) then it should just be a matter of tapping in a replacement length of fret wire of the correct size (add a little carpenters glue to the fret slot).
    Then file the ends and polish.

    Hope this helps
     
  12. Well, to be honest, the details aren't really that interesting. But, if you wanna know.....

    Both the dealer and the manufacturer initially took the view, 'don't worry about it, we'll not let you down.' Then when we started talking ££ to have the fret replaced, both parties threw their hands up in horror, and disclaimed responsibility.

    To be fair to them both, as I've said, I should have taken the trouble to properly check the bass at the point it was handed over to me. But I didn't.

    To be fair to the dealer, again, he offered me a full refund. I declined. He then offered to get me the other bass that was on the same offer terms as I had with this one. I didn't want that, either.

    In the end, the dealer and I settled on a free set of TI Jazz Flats as 'compensation' and we agreed to let the matter rest there.

    For the record, I contacted Machinehead: they asked £70 for the job. My dealer was quoted £150. I was quoted £60 by a local guy and that included a full fret dressing and full setup.

    So there the saga ends. I've got what I regard as a superb 5 string at a really good ££ as fixed for me between the manufactuere and the dealer: the damage is there but does not affect the playing at all.

    I'm really happy. I've adjusted to living my life knowing that the ultimate responsibility for not spotting the damage is all mine. So now it's time to move on and start playing a 5er for the first time.

    John