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Old 01-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
Mephysteaux
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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?
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
sashki
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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.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
NotTheMessiah30
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^ +1
they'll need crowning and polishing after the levelling too.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
stonyman65
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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.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #5
Mephysteaux
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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.
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Last edited by Mephysteaux : 01-12-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #6
W4RP1G
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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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