Frets beyond the edge of fret board


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zylstra
03-20-2011, 07:59 PM
I swear I going to learn how to play the guitar now that I am retired. I am looking at a Martin DC16E. I have looked at several other Martins, Guilds, Taylors... and found that this Martin most accommodates the three imprecise chords I know. One thing bothers me about this instrument. The frets seem to extend past, or very near past, the edge of the fret board on both sides. It is almost as if you snag your fingers as you run them up and down the neck. The seller says he will dress the frets to my liking. By having the frets dressed am I going to destroy some crucial characteristic of this guitar?

KG6_Steven
03-20-2011, 08:08 PM
On a Martin acoustic, I'd strongly look at the relative humidity (RH) of the guitar's environment. If the RH is below 40%, you need to humidify the air. Frets sticking out and snagging your fingers, especially on a decent guitar, is a sign the guitar is really dry. Allowing a Martin to dry out is a bad idea, since the thin tops frequently crack. Maintain your humidity between 40% and 50%. You can go as high as 55%, but I wouldn't go below 40%. Purchase a decent hygrometer, or hygrothermometer. Make sure it has decent accuracy and use it to monitor the environment where the guitar is stored. If your humidity is on the low side, go to Lowes or Home Depot and purchase a room humidifier. I have 4 humidifiers that I use in this house in the Winter. This place is almost 2700 sq. ft.

If you have the frets filed and it was caused due to lack of humidity, when the guitar is once again in its proper environment, the frets will likely be too short, then you'll be looking at a refret job. This will cost you about $400 or more, depending on a partial refret or full.

Edit: Just looked at the price of a DC16E. Check your humidity. On a guitar that expensive, the frets should be good out of the factory. Which area of the country do you live in?

supersac
03-20-2011, 08:09 PM
no dressing the frets means that he will file them make them smooth and level etc. it couldnt hurt the guitar unless he does a bad job

mh1986
03-20-2011, 08:10 PM
No, I dont think itll do any harm. Rough frets suck. Kinda surprised a Martin has frets like that though, ussually their pretty damned good.

KG6_Steven
03-20-2011, 08:11 PM
No, I dont think itll do any harm. Rough frets suck. Kinda surprised a Martin has frets like that though, ussually their pretty damned good.


On a $2000+ guitar, the frets should be good. I'd seriously look at humidity in the house before filing them down.

KG6_Steven
03-20-2011, 08:13 PM
Guys... go back and reread what he wrote. He says the frets stick out past the end of the neck. He does have his terms confused - this is not a fret dress job, however what he wants to do is have them filed down even with the side of the neck.

zylstra
03-20-2011, 08:21 PM
Yes, what I think I want is the frets filed even with the edge of the fret board. The guitar is new in a local shop in Washington state. I live in the SE corner of the state where it is desert like. Humidity is 20-40% year around. I have been told by several local musicians that they do not humidify their guitars here. I also have an old beater guitar, and have had it for 40 years, that has not had a problem with humidity related issues. The other Martins in the shop do not have this issue. In fact, the offending instrument was shipped here from Seattle (much higher humidity) less than 3 months ago.

Necronomicon
03-20-2011, 08:26 PM
Jeez acoustic guitars are so much more complicated than electrics :P

KG6_Steven
03-20-2011, 08:38 PM
Yes, what I think I want is the frets filed even with the edge of the fret board. The guitar is new in a local shop in Washington state. I live in the SE corner of the state where it is desert like. Humidity is 20-40% year around. I have been told by several local musicians that they do not humidify their guitars here. I also have an old beater guitar, and have had it for 40 years, that has not had a problem with humidity related issues. The other Martins in the shop do not have this issue. In fact, the offending instrument was shipped here from Seattle (much higher humidity) less than 3 months ago.


I'd strongly resist the urge to have those frets filed. You have low humidity. I'd also buck the trend and humidify. A 40-year old guitar has settled in. Your Martin, on the other hand, needs humidification. Check out the Martin site. They have a Care & Feeding section.

http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/technical/humidity.html

There it is.


Edit: Martins are well known for their tops splitting if the environment isn't stable. This is a repair you don't need.

biga29
03-20-2011, 09:12 PM
Guys... go back and reread what he wrote. He says the frets stick out past the end of the neck. He does have his terms confused - this is not a fret dress job, however what he wants to do is have them filed down even with the side of the neck.

I'd say if it's the only guitar that is having the problem, and they're all in the same humidity, than it's a bad fret job. They happen.

What I'd do is just order another of the same guitar, and return the one you bought (If you bought it) If the guitar is dry, or it has a crap fret job, you'd be best off just getting a new guitar if you can.

zylstra
03-20-2011, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the input.

KG6_Steven
03-20-2011, 11:42 PM
I'd say if it's the only guitar that is having the problem, and they're all in the same humidity, than it's a bad fret job. They happen.

What I'd do is just order another of the same guitar, and return the one you bought (If you bought it) If the guitar is dry, or it has a crap fret job, you'd be best off just getting a new guitar if you can.

His other guitar is 40-years old. I wouldn't be so worried about it having the same issues as the newer Martin, especially since the wood on that guitar has already aged. A bad fret job on a $2600 Martin? Hardly likely.

Tempoe
03-20-2011, 11:50 PM
I also had that problem on my Taylor from having the air conditioning on all the time and no humidifier ( I live in the Caribbean). Even notice the relief change on my electric solidbody when I turn off the AC and open a window. Do as KG6 says in post 2.

King Twili
03-21-2011, 09:38 AM
His other guitar is 40-years old. I wouldn't be so worried about it having the same issues as the newer Martin, especially since the wood on that guitar has already aged. A bad fret job on a $2600 Martin? Hardly likely.


He was talking about the other Martins.


Anyway, welcome to UG :cheers:. This forum here is for new users to ask any questions they may have about the site, not for guitars. A mod might be kind enough to move the thread to the correct forum, where you'll probably get more answers. :)

biga29
03-21-2011, 10:56 PM
His other guitar is 40-years old. I wouldn't be so worried about it having the same issues as the newer Martin, especially since the wood on that guitar has already aged. A bad fret job on a $2600 Martin? Hardly likely.

Just for the record, he said none the other guitars in the shop had this problem. I was talking about those, and just because a bad fret job on guitar that nice isn't likely doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Bottom line, he bought a defective guitar, whether it's dry or a bad fret job, he has every right to return it for a guitar he doesn't have to fix.