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Pre-CBS re-fret or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Davo-London, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Opinions folks.

    I have a '64P, which is battered and wonderful. Plays like a dream with really low action and sounds bliss.

    BUT, the frets are heavily worn and they look original.

    I'm not so worried about keeping originality - this is a keeper. I'm worried that the feel will be affected. However, maybe the sound will be even better? More articulate or maybe allow more digging in?

    What's a lad to do?

  2. Photos:


    Attached Files:

  3. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    Do it.
  4. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    Your pics don't show the wear, but the ones I can see look like they have life. A level and dressing could be enough. If your bass has considerable fret wear, a refret done by a pro should only improve the feel and playability.A good luthier/tech can help. I'm sure there are some in London. TB member johnk_10 is one of the very best here in the states, you might seek him out and ask advice, or he may be able to refer someone to you.

    Oh yeah, gorgeous bass!
  5. lundborg


    Apr 8, 2008
    Maybe a partial refret (up to the 5:th), then leveling?

    Often the first few frets have deep gouges, the higher ones are OK.
  6. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    What a fantastic bass! I would personally not re-fret it until you just can't service the frets any more. If it's at that point now, I'd still wait until you start losing notes. It may change the feel, and that may in turn change your sound. Maybe for the better, but if it plays like a dream now as you said, then I'd leave well enough alone until you can't. Flats or rounds?
  7. I use rounds more the flats. I probably wouldn't notice it so much with flats. Old Ps respond well to digging in and if this creates buzz or affects the sound then I'm probably not getting everything I can out of the bass.

  8. You say it has low action and plays like a dream. Why do you need a refret if it play great? Maybe level them.
  9. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Dave! What a bass... what mojo. Didn't know you had that one.
    Had it long?

    I'd keep it as is until it gets unplayable.
    It's probably got many years left in it.
    I defretted my 62 Jazz... they might be going back in soon though.
  10. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    +1 I don't think worn frets add any original value; either have them dressed or get a proper fret job.
  11. Anyone recommend a refret luthier in UK?

  12. reinesos


    Nov 29, 2013
    Your pics don't show the wear, but the ones I can see look like they have life. ce15. 11uk. mor.
    ht11. dh11.
  13. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Don't ever use rounds on a pre-CBS! Save those frets!
  14. LOL. Have you seen the bass? It's been worked very hard indeed. Now's not the time to mollycoddle it. It's too late for that.

    Of course you can't see the wear from the photo. Any Precision bass with frets worn at the heel should be subject to a documentry.

  15. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    If it sounds and plays beautifully I wouldn't even consider it.
  16. If a fret-level doesn't do the job, a refret job by a good luthier using original size fretwire is probably in order if you want to use the bass. I'm debating the same dilemma on my '66 p-bass. Avoid large fretwire.
  17. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    I've always used rounds on mine... mind you... it has no frets.
  18. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    Martin Peterson at the bass gallery in Camden does beautiful fretwork and is great with old fenders as well.

    he's worked with my pre cbs p bass
  19. HomesickBob

    HomesickBob Do da Boogie! ;-)

    Jan 15, 2013
    Basel, Switzerland
    Too bad the layer points of Strings/Frets are not visible on your pic.

    1. When there's 3/4 to 4/5 (not less) left you may give it a try on leveling.

    2. I wouldn't go for partial refretting as mentioned, too risky in tone difference.

    3. Good luthiers hold Dunlop 6230* Fret wire3 on stock or get them as Fender Shop Spare-parts.

    4. When still using Roundwounds you better go for the 6130* Medium Jumbos.

    As long you use equal wire along the neck you will not remark significant changes in sound.
    At least in a week or two you'll get over the "all new" fin of the frets.
    Only when going for complete different materials such as Warwick's Bell Bronze or kinda you may have to face variance.

    *Fender's original fret wire (Source: Brother Dave at Fender Forum)
  20. I just had my 65 refretted.
    Wasn't crazy about it. The guy I bought it from said he had it refretted. The guy that refinished it for me(nitro), was going to do a leveling.
    He said whoever refretted did a terrible job.

    No choice :crying:
    If ya gotta, ya gotta