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Estimated cost of refret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by boyet, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. boyet


    May 15, 2007
    How much does it cost to have a fret job with stainless steel frets for a 6 string bass with 19mm spacing?
  2. Hi.

    A rough estimate, 300-400€.
    On the low side with BO, high with NT. Obviously.
    Edit:On the low side with an instrument that sports a removable neck, high with an one with non-removable neck.
    Thanks Selios for the explanation :).

  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    oh yeah, obviously.

    (i have no idea what this means :confused:)
  4. It means that the cost of a re-fret job on a bass with a bolt-on neck will be lower than the cost of the job on a bass with neck-through construction.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    that isn't necessarily the case, though.

    a bolt-on maple-board instrument might well cost more than a set-neck rosewood board one, as the finish on the maple needs to be dealt with.
  6. Hi.

    IMLE on 90% cases it is.

    Some of the NT/SN designs leave a lot to be desired when it comes down to ease of refret or performing fretwork in general.

    Finished or painted, or worse yet FB's with heavy delicate inlays, do always jack the price up, but that's given.

  7. boyet


    May 15, 2007
    Any rough estimate in US$?
  8. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    300-400€ = 395-520$
  9. boyet


    May 15, 2007
    Did you just use a currency converter for that :smug:? I mean, is it the same price if it's done in the US (T-Bird is in Finland)?
  10. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    $300 to 500 depending on the premium upcharge for stainless, as tool replacement is involved with SS frets. Evo frets may be less and will still outlive you as a player...LOL. Good Luck
  11. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Depends on where you live, or where you're willing to have it done, is the neck bound, is the fingerboard rosewood/ebony/maple?
  12. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    MusicLogic: I'm curious about your comment about tool replacement when working with stainless frets. What are you wearing out and having to replace? I switched over to using stainless fretwire (from Jescar) on all of my basses several years ago. I work them with normal files, diamond crowning files, oilstones, and polishing wheels, pretty much as I used to with Nickel-Silver wire. I haven't seen any of these tools wear out or go dull from cutting the stainless. The stainless alloy that the fretwire manufacturers use is actually pretty soft, about like 1018 mild steel. It's tougher than NS, but nothing that normal metalworking tools can't handle.

    Are you having trouble with clippers, denting the cutting edges? That's probably the one tool that you need to upgrade for stainless. You need decent quality clippers with hardened edges. I bought a set of the compound-action Starrett clippers on ebay, and they snip the stainless wire like noodles. Much easier on the hands. I've probably cut a thousand fret ends with them, and not a nick on the jaws yet.

    I'm just asking, because I see these comments about stainless wire ripping up tools, and I don't get it.

    Anyway, to answer the OP's original question, I'd charge $200-$300 to refret a 6-string bass in stainless. The price would depend mostly on the configuration of the bass and the condition of the fingerboard and finish.

    Note: I'm not looking for the job myself, because I'm too busy with my own new production basses. I only do repair work on vintage Ampegs. But that's what it would cost, based on the labor and materials.
  13. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    Yeah, many maple fretboards have a poly finish, which will jack up the price of a refret - same thing with neck binding...

    There is an outstanding luthier in my area that will do a refret for $200-$300 for a rosewood board, unbound neck - he refretted a Sterling for me, and his fretwork on it is killer...

    - georgestrings
  14. boyet


    May 15, 2007
    Thanks for the replies. My bass has an ebony board and no it isn't bound. It's a 1st generation Yamaha TRB 6 with 19mm string spacing so the neck is definitely wide. :rollno:
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    Primary TB Assistant

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