Healthy fret wear for a vintage bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bluebard, May 29, 2018.


  1. Bluebard

    Bluebard

    Oct 21, 2014
    Buffalo
    Hey all,

    I've had my eye on a 1977 Greco bass for quite a while now, and I contacted the seller to ask about condition of the neck, frets, etc. The seller told me that about 60-70% of the original fret material is remaining.

    Now I've never paid that much attention to fret wear or considered frets in terms of percentages, as I've never owned a bass quite as old as this one - so I can't really picture how frets with 60-70% left of their original material would play.

    So how much fret wear would you consider still healthy for a vintage bass? Does 60-70% of fret material left sound about right for an instrument this old? Do you think a neck can still play well with 30-40% of the original fret material gone?

    Thanks for the input guys! I appreciate your help!
     
  2. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    It might play okay for now, but big grooves in the frets mean you're looking at a re-fret at some point. Is the bass worth that investment to you? Is the price commensurate with the cost of a re-fret? What do the pics show? Inquiring minds...
     
    Bluebard likes this.
  3. Bluebard

    Bluebard

    Oct 21, 2014
    Buffalo
    Thanks Templar! I'm pretty sure this bass is worth the investment, but then I don't know how much re-frets typically cost :oops: obviously I'm sure it varies from bass to bass and luthier to luthier, but is there a general ballpark estimate of cost? I'll look it up too.
    Thanks again!
     
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Instead of using percentages and trying to picture them - maybe have him send you an image ?
     
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  5. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Frets are consumables, just like strings, but over a longer period of time. I wouldn’t consider fret condition one way or another when looking at a 70’s bass. I’d assume they would need to replaced shortly unless I am told they have been replaced recently.
     
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  6. Bluebard

    Bluebard

    Oct 21, 2014
    Buffalo
    jit6qo3xiaphmgq1shvk.jpg xktzrhvujo8ynsjgcbsb.jpg
     
  7. Bluebard

    Bluebard

    Oct 21, 2014
    Buffalo
    Here ya go ddnidd1 ^^^
    Thanks! :)
     
  8. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    If I were you I would get a Close Up of the first few frets with the strings pulled to the side.
     
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  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :)

    images2b2.png



    good luck with your percentage questions/issues! :thumbsup:
     
  10. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Re-fret prices def vary, maybe get a quote from a local tech (not at GC) before committing?

    You've probably already considered all this, but....food for thought.....

    Is that bass located in Japan?....and you're in Buffalo, NY? If so, I'd be extra careful and ask lottsa questions, especially about the neck and truss rod condition (looks like the truss rod cover is off/missing).

    Any duties to be paid at your end? Any potential issues with CITES re that rosewood board?

    Is that Greco an Ibanez Musician clone? How much are the actual Ibanez ones going for?

    Good luck.
     
    Bluebard likes this.
  11. Bluebard

    Bluebard

    Oct 21, 2014
    Buffalo
    Thanks again ddnidd1! I'll contact the seller again and see if I can get a picture like that!
     
  12. Bluebard

    Bluebard

    Oct 21, 2014
    Buffalo
    Thanks for the wise input Templar! The bass is from Japan, which is why I'm being so cautious about all this - it's a big commitment. I would have to pay $45 for them to deal with all the CITES stuff.

    I asked the seller about neck condition and was told it was "mostly straight" and the truss rod was still fully functional. The pots have been replaced and there's no scratchy noise from them.

    The bass is a Greco GOB900 Speedway, which isn't an Ibanez Musician clone but was a contemporary bass meant to compete with the Ibanez - and even though the Musician tends to be a bit more pricey (I'm seeing mostly over a grand) I actually much prefer the sound, specs, and look of the Greco Speedway, from what I've heard in YouTube vids.

    I'll keep considering all this... Thanks again guys!
     
  13. 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.

     
    Jun 13, 2021

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