#1
My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and so I've been toying with the idea of getting another instrument. OR restore an instrument I don't play with anymore.

I have an Epiphone Futura Prophecy EX sitting dormant under a bed for the past 2 years. I stopped playing it when I got my Gibson Flying V.

Thing is though, it isn't a bad guitar at all, it just needs a lot of work to get it going again. Lots of little parts need replacing. A new jack plate, a new switch, a new nut, a new straplock button, a new jack, a new tone capacitor (I broke the old one as I was discovering that the jack needed replacing) and a couple of other things. I'm also going to buy 2 battery clips to do the 18v mod.

But the thing most wrong with it is that the frets need re-dressing. The frets at the moment are pretty badly worn. The 2nd fret is especially worn (it's usually the first fret to go bad) and several other frets choke the string out on bends. How much should I expect to pay for a fret dressing job? Not a refret, but just a re-dressing?

Given all of this work and money though, I'd really like a guitar that has a Floyd Rose. Obviously I'm not going to make my Futura have a Floyd since it would take a crazy amount of work to do, but I'd still really like a guitar with a top notch Floyd Rose vibrato some day.

So basically I'm torn between getting another guitar with a floyd or restoring an existing guitar that has a fixed bridge, that I could use for alternate tunings.

What would you suggest I should do? Both options are attractive to me, but I am on a very limited budget since I'm saving up for other pursuits. I'm not really willing to spend £400 on a used guitar with a Floyd right now.
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#2
why not just fix the nut, cap, and all the other things and leave the frets alone. Then trade it + some money and get a new guitar. even a used guitar. You can any other guitar you want.
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Feb 8, 2014,
#3
I doubt I'll even get £200 for it. The corners of the body are pretty badly chipped and the hardware is rusty. Besides, who is going to buy an Epiphone with frets that need re-dressing right out of the gate?
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 8, 2014,
#4
Get a new guitar then.

You can always do what I have done with a few of my guitars buy a few pieces here and there and over the course of 2.5 yrs I have completely striped and refinished an old Dean EVO and all new parts. Yeah it has taken a long time, but I'm almost done. You don't have to wait that long
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#5
Such a plan would be a viable option if I had £400 to burn, which I don't. I could spend that amount of money very easily, but I'm reserving such money for other more important things outside of guitar.

I just don't see anyone having any time for an Epiphone that needs a lot of money spent on it just to be playable again. Even if it is a good deal on paper, It just isn't an attractive proposition for most people to have to spend additional money on a guitar they've just bought.

edit: In fact, now that I think about it, there is something to be said on restoring the Futura now, then sell it on when I get bored with it while it is still in good playing condition (so that it is sellable) so I can buy a guitar with a Floyd later. That way both options are open.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 8, 2014,
#6
the price of a fret dress (along with most guitar tech work) seems to vary a lot, unfortunately. it sort of depends on where you are.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#7
You could always get some radius sanding blocks from stew mac and crown/level the frets yourself. If you did it yourself you would spend maybe $100 buying every thing you need
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#8
I live in the UK though. Shipping costs make that option a lot less cost-effective.

Plus I'm not confident with doing that kind of work. If it only takes looking to see if the jack needs to be replaced to bust off the tone cap, I should be kept away from anything that could potentially wreck my guitar. Whenever I need to work on something I always break something else. I'm a guitar player, not a builder.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 8, 2014,
#9
Well I'd do all the rest of the work yourself and have a luthier level the frets then.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#10
That was the original plan. The wiring can be overhauled by my father because at least he knows what he is doing and he as all the tools to do it.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 8, 2014,
#11
If the cost to restore will be greater than the cost of the guitar, which it appears to be, then just buy a new one. Sell the guitar as is. There is no guarantee that you can sell at break even if you fix it first.
#12
Well the guitar brand new is about £500 and the hardware will be about £20 to replace (its just lots of little items) and i'm expecting the fret dress to be roughly £100. So that isn't really the case.

The Prophecy Epiphone guitars aren't exactly cheap junk.
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#13
If fixing it is fine, will you be happy playing with it or will you forever have that what if I got a floyd question instead?
#14
You can buy the required tools from a UK eBay seller. All you need is a fret Rocker (£8), a leveling file (£25) and to make it easer a crowning file (£30). You could also buy a radiused beam for less but I have no experience with doing that. I leveled a fretboard the other day, took about 20-25 minutes using the above tools and knowledge I got from YouTube. It's not fully crowned yet because I didn't buy a crowning file, which I should have as it makes it considerably easier.

As far as your original question, why not put some of the budget into fixing up the guitar and the rest into saving for another guitar? It really comes down to what you want more and how much you feel it's worth putting into the Epi. Personally I'd rather buy a new guitar over paying to have the frets on an old one leveled as that I imagine will be the bulk of the money put into it.
#15
I still don't think buying all the tools needed to re-dress the frets is a viable option because outside of the radius beam (which is pretty expensive), the crowning files and all that, I would still have to pay for other consumable items such as tapes, and then I'd have to re-dress the frets myself with absolutely no prior experience in doing so. I'm simply not confident in doing that kind of work, and I'd rather have someone do that work for me.

I mean nobody will really know if that is a better option if I don't even know how much it costs to get the frets re-dressed by someone else in the first place. So before anyone starts recommending me what tools to buy, I'd rather know what my options are.
Quote by MegadethFan18
As far as your original question, why not put some of the budget into fixing up the guitar and the rest into saving for another guitar? It really comes down to what you want more and how much you feel it's worth putting into the Epi. Personally I'd rather buy a new guitar over paying to have the frets on an old one leveled as that I imagine will be the bulk of the money put into it.

I would invariably be putting any additional money I have into getting a new guitar anyway. Whether or not it is worth to have the frets re-dressed really depends on the value of the guitar itself. The value of the guitar is about £500 when I bought it, I really doubt that getting the guitar playable again would cost anywhere near that amount. I'm speculating that i'll probably cost no more than £100 to get all the problems ironed out.

And besides, if I didn't bother to do anything with the Epiphone and just bought something else, I'd still be stuck with the original issue of having an otherwise perfectly usable guitar sitting in it's case doing absolutely sweet, with no point in attempting to sell it given it's current condition.
Quote by royc
If fixing it is fine, will you be happy playing with it or will you forever have that what if I got a floyd question instead?

For the amount of money I'll be spending on getting the Futura fixed up, I wouldn't ever get a guitar that is anywhere near as good as it. I'd rather get a fundamentally solid guitar working again rather than invest in a cheap guitar with a crappy Floyd Rose, which is a false economy.

I feel as though I will be adding quite a bit of value to the guitar when it comes to selling it on as well. So even though I do want a guitar with a Floyd, if I get the futura playing again, at least I'd have a decent guitar to give in exchange for one and perhaps a bit extra to make up the difference. I think to me that strategy makes the most sense.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 8, 2014,
#16
If money is an issue right now I would fix up the Epiphone. Electronics are cheap and a fret redress should be around 150USD. So for probably £150 you could have it playing and sounding well again.
If you were to buy something with a Floyd make sure you are picky and try them out. I have found that the Floyd setups on cheaper to moderate priced guitars are often iffy. You often end up with a cheaper variation of a Floyd that is not machined as well, setup as well and doesn't perform as smoothly.
#17
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I live in the UK though. Shipping costs make that option a lot less cost-effective.

Plus I'm not confident with doing that kind of work. If it only takes looking to see if the jack needs to be replaced to bust off the tone cap, I should be kept away from anything that could potentially wreck my guitar. Whenever I need to work on something I always break something else. I'm a guitar player, not a builder.




that's like me

I agree with you, though- there's kind of a mentality in here that you should do all this type of stuff yourself. that's fair enough if you're good at it and enjoy it, but if you're not it's debatable if it's worth the effort to get good at it when you can just pay someone else to do it for you (especially for the jobs which only need to be done very occasionally at most)...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 9, 2014,
#18
Call around in your local area and see what a fret dress/level costs and figure it out from there.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#19
it's $110 here for comparison. a complete re-fret is $300 ish to start, more if you want stainless.

just as a reference. i'm sure it varies etc but...
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#20
Quote by Dave_Mc


that's like me

I agree with you, though- there's kind of a mentality in here that you should do all this type of stuff yourself. that's fair enough if you're good at it and enjoy it, but if you're not it's debatable if it's worth the effort to get good at it when you can just pay someone else to do it for you (especially for the jobs which only need to be done very occasionally at most)...



People seem to forget the investment required in tools to do your own work as well! It's pretty easy to spend $200 on specialty tools for fret work or nut work.
Moving on.....
#21
Quote by Robbgnarly
Call around in your local area and see what a fret dress/level costs and figure it out from there.


IS anyone sure there's enough fret left to even allow for the cheaper solution?
Moving on.....
#22
I'm pretty sure there's enough meat left on them. Being a metal-oriented guitar, the fretwire is tall and wide. I can feel the dents in the frets just with my finger, but the wear isn't so bad that it's something crazy like being down to half the depth of the wire's height or something. I definitely think it's salvageable.

I could try and take some pics, but I don't have a good camera atm and the corrosion on the fretwire from sitting in it's case doing absolutely nothing for a couple of years, makes the wear harder to see.

EDIT: Scratch that, I've found a high resolution camera.



Quite a lot of flattening of the fretwire at the 12-15th frets



It's hard to see because of the corrosion dulling the imperfections.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 9, 2014,
#23
Quote by KenG
People seem to forget the investment required in tools to do your own work as well! It's pretty easy to spend $200 on specialty tools for fret work or nut work.


Good point
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
Bump

So I went to a local guitar store and they gave me a quote for a fret level and dress w/polish and it amounted to about £45. I am absolutely jumping on it.
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#25
told ya. it's not that expensive.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#26
Around here, a fret level/crown is around $90 - $100, a PLEK job around $200. The various soldering jobs are trivial, especially if your dad can knock them out.

So far I've mostly done PLEKs on expensive guitars, save one. I have a B Stock (finish issues) Agile AL-2000 Floyd that cost me under $200 with hardshell case. The tech had mercy on me (mostly because I'd had a ton of work done over the previous few months) and I got the PLEK job done at half price. The results were stunning. I'd been fretting out doing a two-stop bend at the 16th fret before taking him the guitar. It's now been a couple of years, and that guitar still plays amazingly well, with very low action and nary a fret buzz to be found. At this point, I have to say that it would be worth it to have it done even at the full price, which would have been more than the guitar cost new.

#27
Bump.

The entire wiring harness has been overhauled. The switch, the battery clip and busted cap have been replaced and the solder connections to the pots and jack have been completely redone. And just for good measure, I took some spare 9v battery clips and did the removable 18V mod!

The two batteries fit in the control cavity fine and I laid paper over the wiring harness and glued another piece of paper to the back plate to prevent the battery casings from shorting out on the foil or the pots.

Now I'm off to the guitar shop tomorrow to get the frets levelled and the nut replaced. Wooo!

I'll post pics when the job is done.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 18, 2014,
#28
I'd fix what ya got first. I have having unfinished projects laying around.


edit

missed the last post. sounds like it'll be back to playing condition soon. congrats.