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When to refret...and how?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bass-desires, Apr 13, 2010.


  1. Bass-desires

    Bass-desires

    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Hey all, about when do you think its time to refret? I have an older bass and the frets are most definitely worn down. I am not sure if I should change them now or wait a bit and if it is time, how would I go about it....or who could I take it too and for how much?

    Hahaha lots of questions, hope you have answers! Thanks folks
     
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    More important than visible wear is whether or not the bass is difficult to play or has significant fret buzz. Some basses from the 60's still have the original frets and play just fine.

    Generally, it's time to re-fret when the bass has buzzing issues and the frets don't have enough life left to be leveled & dressed. The lower you want the action on the bass, the more critical it is to have all the frets properly leveled.

    A re-fret is not something you can easily do yourself without practice and some specialized tools. A repair shop can range anywhere from $200-400 depending on a few factors (maple or rosewood fingerboard, binding, and whether a new nut is required).

    EDIT: another option to investigate is a partial re-fret since I would wager that the majority of the wear is on the first 5-7 frets. A partial re-fret replaces those and then the entire fretboard is leveled & dressed.
     
  3. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Have someone who knows what they're doing, have a look at it, and see if there's enough fret left for a level/recrown.
     
  4. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Have someone who knows what they're doing, have a look at it, and see if there's enough fret left for a level/recrown.
     

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