P-Bass: Refret OR New Neck?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jonc, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. jonc


    Aug 28, 2003
    i have a 75 P-Bass that sounds really nice, is light and (mostly) plays great. the problem is the frets have become so indented in several positions that a grind and polish won't do any good.

    my local tech suggested doing a refret, but another guy said go with a new neck, and leave the original neck original.


    thanks very much.

  2. I'd do the refret. But have it done by a stone pro to get the finest results.

    A refret is an acceptable alteration to any vintage bass. A restoration would include a refret and the basses with the highest values are those that are in playing condition.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I would go with a refret. If you ever decided to sell it, i think you would get more interested buyers in a bass with a refret, rather then a non original neck.
  4. If you decide to go with a new neck, you'll want to keep the original to bolt back on if/when you sell. I'd go with a refret if it was me for the reasons the other guys gave.
  5. jonc


    Aug 28, 2003
    thanks for the suggestions. looks like a refret is the way to go, and probably much better than trying to get a new neck properly setup.

    now... does anyone have suggestions for someone really good in the San Francisco / Bay Area to do the job?

    thanks again.

  6. OldDawg


    Jul 4, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    A new neck could change the whole personallity of the instrument. Refrets are no big deal I've had many done through the years. Things to consider:

    If like the bass now make sure they are going to use the same size fret wire.

    See if they are going to resurface the fretboard. I usually had it done, but some people don't.

    Check out other fret jobs by the repair person first. Check out how they finish the sides of the frets. Also how they peak the frets.

    Be aware you may need a new nut also. If the current frets are really worn down the nut maybe too low now.

    Do they refret, your bass will love ya for it.
  7. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Definitely refret. Frets wear out, no big deal - just get new ones. And why would you want to throw away all the stored-up mojo in your original neck?

    I had my '76 P-bass refretted and refinished and it's better now than it ever was before. The other nice thing about doing that is you can specify exactly what frets you want, I went down to a medium fret instead of those pesky jumbo things. I also had the guy put on a very thin layer of finish for me so it's like a vintage nitro finish. I don't like the "plastic" feel of thick lacquer.

    If it's done right, your bass will still be your bass - only 10 times better. Enjoy!

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