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Got the dreaded call from the luthier ... the one NO ONE wants to get

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Smooth_bass88, Apr 18, 2021.


  1. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Dropped off my 30-year-old Fender AVRI 62 Reissue P Bass to the luthier for a routine setup and some possible minor fret leveling. About a week later I got the call: "...your bass really needs a re-fret." Ugh. I had a feeling this might happen at some point.

    Anyhoo... I'm going ahead with the re-fret. I bought the bass for really cheap money about 10 years ago, so I'm fine with dumping hundreds into it. I'm actually looking forward to it playing, feeling and sounding better than it ever has. The new frets will be taller and my luthier is one of the best in the region. This particular bass will probably never have rounds on it either.

    Anyone want to share their re-fret experiences?
     
  2. Goatrope

    Goatrope

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Im watching this thread just to see if it might reveal a luthier I would trust to do the job. No viable prospects near me, able to do what I need (south west Florida). I’ve got a ‘78 4001 that badly needs the job done.
     
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    maybe it's time for that ax to become a fretless. just sayin'.....


    :)
     
  4. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Refret....no biggie in the hands of someone capable.

    When I read your thread title, I thought you were going to say that the truss rod snapped or the neck broke or something.
     
  5. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    I'm fortunate enough to have several well respected techs in my area, but the guy doing the re-fret actually builds his own brand of instruments in addition to doing repair work. I think he worked for Sadowsky early in his career.
     
    Goatrope likes this.
  6. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Already have one! Besides, every bass player needs a good P bass or two in their arsenal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
    fhm555, MynameisMe and JRA like this.
  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I'm going to give up playing bass because apparently I don't qualify.
     
    Jamie_Funk, Gabbs, Koshchei and 11 others like this.
  8. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Ummm,... rrrright. ok
     
  9. luciens

    luciens

    Feb 9, 2020
    BTDT, and I'll never ever get a bass refretted ever again. I don't care who does the work. I'll sell, and replace it with another bass with still-good frets on it.

    I have one fretted bass right now - an L2000 CLF reissue - with fantastic fretwork on it from the factory. Hopefully it'll last a lifetime....

    L
     
  10. DrMole

    DrMole Supporting Member

    Look at this as an opportunity to improve the playability and tone of the instrument.
    When it needs it- it needs it.

    I honestly thought, from the title that you had lost a close musician friend.

    It's not like you have to replace the main bearings on a 2000's BMW or Porsche:D.
     
    squarepeg, Smooth_bass88 and RSBBass like this.
  11. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Thankfully it wasn't some sort of damage. The point is... I went in expecting to pay $xx.xx and it's gonna end costing 3x as much at least. Oh well.

    Still curious about others' experience with getting their bass re-fretted.
     
  12. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    This is very narrow minded. There are a lot of very good bass players out there that don't play P basses. Myself I never played one that felt comfortable to me. I never thought that stopped me from being a good bass player.

    Anyway, a re-fret is just something that happens after enough play. Properly done it can make the bass play like new or better. I appreciate the financial aspects but otherwise it isn't cause for panic.
     
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  13. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Having a P bass in your collection is narrow minded? As a working professional, I find it indispensable. I don't consider them my 'main' players. I own 9 basses (two of which are P basses) and I use nearly all of them depending on the situation.

    I understand about re-frets. Just hoping someone might comment on their own experiences with it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
    MattZilla likes this.
  14. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    I like tiny mandolin frets. We’re I you I’d be having him level them and slot the nut down to match.

    If he’s been taught to do refrets well and does it a couple hundred times per year, you should wind up with a fine playing instrument.
     
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  15. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    not really.
     
    /\/\3phist0 and Smooth_bass88 like this.
  16. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    thanks for clarifying

    Have you ever had a bass re-fretted?
     
    fhm555 likes this.
  17. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    There’s not much to tell….

    I bought a 1999 Stingray SR5 for a great price, but it arrived with chewed up frets that weren’t disclosed in the discussion. After I played the bass for a bit, I decided I really liked the bass and decided to have it re-fretted. We have a most excellent guitar tech in our area, so I had full faith and confidence that the refret would be done just right.

    I was not disappointed. It was money very well spent.

    That’s literally all there is to tell.
     
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  18. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Ive never had a factory built bass re-fretted, but have fretted two bass builds..... which taught me some respect for people who can do it really well. Its very careful, painstaking work, and given how long it takes to do right, most Luthiers arent making much more than minimum wage doing it, so what seems like a lot of money really.... isnt.

    @Goatrope
    My first bass was a 78' 4001, dont know about yours, but mine had the really soft fretwire they were using in those days, and needed a full fret level after around three years of normal play. Its a fussy job on a Ric, the laquered board often has to be refinished in the process, or it prevents the frets from getting a full traditional crown, the fret tops on mine were flat because they didnt want to file into that laquer. If you have the "nibs" (binding up over the fret ends, like a Les Paul) that further complicates a refret. Make sure whoever refrets it has experience with Rics, its not like most bass refret jobs.
     
    Goatrope, Smooth_bass88 and Geri O like this.
  19. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Only one bass but several guitars for my dad, including his old LP.
     
  20. Bad experience? If you want, give me your worn out basses; I'll pick up the shipping so it doesn't cost you anything.
     
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 6, 2021

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