#1
Hi! I am a guitar newbie and recently purchased my first electric, a used Fender Standard Strat (MIM 2005) from a store with a 30-day return policy. Though ignorant about what to look for in terms of quality, I haven't noticed any issues except for some slight wear on the first and second frets (see photo). Should this be a concern?

Just in case I wanted to check with some folks who know more than I do as I still have a few days to return if needed.

Thanks in advance!

Tim in Stockbridge GA
Attachments:
strat_frets.jpg
#2
thats a pretty big divot ...... if you have the frets dressed they will get a lot smaller , I just priced a refret on my 1984 G&L Cavalier and with stainless steel frets it will cost 250.00 , so weigh it out , probably might consider sending it back
#3
Hmmm... It's a tough call, because this is your money we are talking about. Dented and flattened frets can cause intonation and string buzz problems, but not always. Because wear is different from guitar to guitar, you could have a guitar with bad frets but no problems. However, should they become a problem then it's expensive and time consuming to fix; you will have to take it to a luthier.

If it's not causing problems (you can intonate it well and there isn't any buzz), you would probably be alright keeping it, just be wary about putting a capo on it because they exacerbate fret wear. If they're causing problems or if you use a capo regularly, I'd take it back. And, if the shop has any other used MIM Strats there, specifically without as much fret wear, I'd take it back. To me, color is secondary to fret problems, at least when buying used.
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#4
Thanks so much for the replies! I will probably return it, I would rather not take the risk while I can return for full value. The store did not have any other used Strats yesterday, but I can get a new LTD EC256 for about what I paid for the used Strat, so that is a contender.
#5
timbo - frets can be overlooked easily but may be one of the most important items about the guitar. after all, the frets are the life blood of the neck and playability of the guitar among other things. if you have dead frets, buzzing etc....well, you pretty much have a crappy guitar. its like having a guitar with doughnut replacement tires instead of brand new michelins.

the problem is, replacing frets is a major pain, takes a long time, and at the least will cost 200-250 easy. on a bound neck (the white plastic all around) it can cost as much as 400. this basically means with cheap guitars, when the frets go trash the guitar.

if i were you, i would get a MIM strat with better condition frets. ALSO, when first starting out, you will probably be spending a lot of time in the 1-5 frets with open chords, so those first 2 frets are important for you.

and a MIM strat is a mighty fine first guitar, sure you got a good deal.

some guitars come with stainless steel frets which will virtually NEVER wear out. some dont like em, i really dont see a downside. one of the key specs on my new Carvin i just ordered was that i really wanted my new guitar to have SS frets so i NEVER have to worry about this problem as long as i own the guitar.
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