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Mephysteaux 01-11-2013 05:29 PM

Fret too low
Hey all, I just picked up a cheap used acoustic guitar at a thrifts store. Upon getting it home, restringing it and testing it out, I discovered that the 3rd fret was too low. I'm not sure if it's worn down or a manufacturer's defect, but on the D and G strings, if I try to play the 3rd fret it plays the 4th instead. It's a cheap guitar I bought just to mess around with, and I really don't want to go the trouble of replacing the whole fret. Is there any easy remedy to this? Could I possibly just file down the 4th fret?

sashki 01-11-2013 05:44 PM

You'll probably have to level all the frets, since they aren't worn evenly. Filing one fret will do more harm than good. You might end up with the same problem.

NotTheMessiah30 01-11-2013 05:51 PM

^ +1
they'll need crowning and polishing after the levelling too.

stonyman65 01-11-2013 06:27 PM

How much was the guitar?

I would suggest taking it back and getting a refund. Fretwork (good fretwork that is) is expensive, wouldn't be surprised if it costed more to get a fret job than it did to buy the used guitar outright.

Mephysteaux 01-12-2013 11:28 AM

Thanks for the input. I bought it at a thrift store for $15, plus $5 for a new set of strings since it came with 3 broken ones. They don't take returns or exchanges, so it looks like I'm stuck with it. I'll probably just keep it as is, then, and live with the 2 dead positions.

Looking at this thing, I think it was actually someone's home build. After getting it home I realized that there are a lot of errors in the guitar's construction - a bunch of the frets stick out past the edge of the fret board, none of them are polished and give me some resistance if I try to do any sort of string bending, it has a blacked out inlay at the 10th position, and the fret markers on the side of the neck are clearly hand painted. Oh, and the nut is broken. I guess I got what I paid for.

W4RP1G 01-12-2013 11:43 AM

Hold on a sec, the 4th fret could be high. If that's the case, it may have come unseated and need a few taps with a hammer. Take a credit card and put the edge across the 3rd - 5th frets(parallel to the strings). See if the card rocks back and forth. If not, look for a gap between the card and the 3rd fret. Do the same for frets 1-3, 2-4, and 4-6. This is how you check for high and low frets(hope I explained it right, I just woke up).

It's more likely to have a high fret than a low fret if there isn't a lot of visible wear. That's assuming that the person who leveled it did actually make sure all the frets were filed. Typically that's a no-brainer, but you did say it looks like a hack job, so I guess it's possible.

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