#1
Hi there...

I have my 2005 Ibanez RG which still plays very well (no fret buzz). However, I see the middle of frets look like polished because of pending (remaining of the fret looks more mutt). Sometimes I feel that frets are not smooth too. So I was thinking about refret.

When should someone consider refret ? Is it about age regardless to condition or playing? Is it just when I feel uncomfortable?

Any test that I can do to determine whether a need a refret or just polish or other maintenance?
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'14 Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster
'05 Ibanez RG320FM

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#2
A refret on a guitar that new (that even you say plays fine) seems pretty unnecessary dude. I would think a fret dressing would be more what youre looking for.


You only need to refret when you cant get them level anymore and your guitars pitch starts getting affected when you're fretting.
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#3
Yes. Level crown and polish and you'll notice a world of difference (in your wallet as well). Like 80-90 bucks vs. 250 or so.
#4
You should see the frets on my 81 dean. They are literally level with the board at this point


Cant fuck with the guitar though. Its got mojo
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#5
Thank you all

Mentioned that my guitar (2005) is considered too new for a refret... Considering I am a home player, plays few hours per week, how many years should I spend before thinking of a refret (average of course)?
Guitars:___________________________
'12 Gibson 1958 Standard Reissue
'14 Fender American Special Stratocaster
'14 LTD MH-1000FR STBLK
'14 Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster
'05 Ibanez RG320FM

Amp:__________
Laney IRT Studio

Guitar Effects:_____________________
Boss GT-8 Guitar Multi Effects Processor
Dunlop Original CryBaby Wah
TC Electronic FlashBack Delay
TC Electronic Corona Chorus
JHS Little Black Amp Box
#6
When you cant level them anymore. There is no set year. It could be longer or shorter too depending on fret material.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#7
Last summer I did a complete job on the neck of my 1976 Ibanez Les Paul copy. The frets as well as the fingerboard were pretty bad. I took off the frets and sanded down the rosewood fingerboard and installed new frets, new bone nut, and all new binding (and did it so the binding is over the fret ends like a regular Les Paul). It was quite a lot of work but done under the watchful eyes of a great luthier. It took me several days of work in his shop. I'm glad I did it if for no other reason than I learned why a re-fret job cost so much.

If you aren't having a playing issue, I would leave it alone or just get a good fret dress to polish and level the frets. As TominReno said it's at least $250.00 for a full re-fret and if new binding is involved it could be much more.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 24, 2016,
#8
Yeah homie you definitely don't need new frets, and probably not for a while either. You just need someone LIKE MEEEE, that really knows what they're doing with fretwork and can clean those suckers up real good for ya and maybe level em out. In fact, if you'd like a basic fret polish that I do with every customer of mine, just research steel wool cleaning frets on youtube and take your time, it's a very effective basic fret polish that you can do from home. Cheers!
Jordan W.
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#9
Quote by TomInReno
Yes. Level crown and polish and you'll notice a world of difference (in your wallet as well). Like 80-90 bucks vs. 250 or so.


Thumbs up to this
#10
Quote by jordan3891
Yeah homie you definitely don't need new frets, and probably not for a while either. You just need someone LIKE MEEEE, that really knows what they're doing with fretwork and can clean those suckers up real good for ya and maybe level em out. In fact, if you'd like a basic fret polish that I do with every customer of mine, just research steel wool cleaning frets on youtube and take your time, it's a very effective basic fret polish that you can do from home. Cheers!


Thanks my friend... but I think I will need to budget for flights and accommodation as well... I am in Egypt

I can take it to a local tech just to polish the frets and see

Thanks again
Guitars:___________________________
'12 Gibson 1958 Standard Reissue
'14 Fender American Special Stratocaster
'14 LTD MH-1000FR STBLK
'14 Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster
'05 Ibanez RG320FM

Amp:__________
Laney IRT Studio

Guitar Effects:_____________________
Boss GT-8 Guitar Multi Effects Processor
Dunlop Original CryBaby Wah
TC Electronic FlashBack Delay
TC Electronic Corona Chorus
JHS Little Black Amp Box
#11
Quote by mockbel
Thank you all

Mentioned that my guitar (2005) is considered too new for a refret... Considering I am a home player, plays few hours per week, how many years should I spend before thinking of a refret (average of course)?


With as little as you play (a few hours a week) I can't imagine it's going to be any time soon. Unless that was some super cheap fretwire they used at the factory.
It's not worth worrying about.
My strat copy is from the early 80's, and the frets are still bright and smooth.
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#12
I had the frets on my Les Paul leveled at the Gibson shop after 15 years of daily play. The way you will know is when you get string buzz because a note you are trying to hold on a lower fret you cannot hold without the string hitting a higher fret. This happens because the lower fret is so worn that it does not block the string in the lower position sufficiently to keep it from being blocked by a less worn fret in a higher position.
#13
I've had 4 refretted , one because the frets had a big divet that effected playablitiy causing dead notes that a fret file could not fix , the other three were simply because I did not like the Vintage frets and Low Wide frets , had the three refretted to Stainless Steel Medium Jumbo
#14
The only time you need a refret is when there is no more material to polish off or fret grooves you can lose a Volkswagen in.

I've been playing my Squier Strat for around 20 years, levelled and polished the frets around 15 years ago. Still don't have bad enough fret grooves to warrant doing it again. None of my guitars have been touched in at least 10 years, except for minor adjustments, and the Strat is the one I usually play at home too so it gets the most use. Since this thread reminded me I just picked it up and looked, I should get another year or two out of it before it needs another fret dressing. Starting to develop some fret grooves, bit not bad enough to pull out the files...I can probably expect to get two more fret filings out of it. I probably won't live that long...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#15
Thank you for the rich input guys... seems like some polishing is needed.. most probably will take it to a local tech here in Egypt..
Guitars:___________________________
'12 Gibson 1958 Standard Reissue
'14 Fender American Special Stratocaster
'14 LTD MH-1000FR STBLK
'14 Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster
'05 Ibanez RG320FM

Amp:__________
Laney IRT Studio

Guitar Effects:_____________________
Boss GT-8 Guitar Multi Effects Processor
Dunlop Original CryBaby Wah
TC Electronic FlashBack Delay
TC Electronic Corona Chorus
JHS Little Black Amp Box
#16
Dude my main guitar has been played for the last 35 years, I am thinking about getting a refret. You should not be.
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#17
Quote by mockbel
Hi there...

I have my 2005 Ibanez RG which still plays very well (no fret buzz). However, I see the middle of frets look like polished because of pending (remaining of the fret looks more mutt). Sometimes I feel that frets are not smooth too. So I was thinking about refret.

When should someone consider refret ? Is it about age regardless to condition or playing? Is it just when I feel uncomfortable?


A difference in "polish" just means that you haven't polished your frets in forever. The fret areas outside where you normally press the string down will tarnish and become slightly rough looking/feelng. One thing to use is very fine brass wool (000). Follow up with a piece of thick, rough leather to give them a glassy shine.

If you have divots or depressed spots in the frets that make it difficult to bend or intonate the guitar, you may want to consider a fret crown/polish. If they're pretty deep, you may have to consider a fret *level*. And if you've done a fret level or two in the past and now your frets are lower than you like, you might consider a refret.

It's not about age; it's about actual wear. A good tech (a GOOD tech) will be able to help you evaluate the need for fretwork.
#18
If you don't have grooves in the frets, and they just aren't as shiny, and are looking matte in spots and don't feel smooth, you might want to try gorgamyte. That stuff will make it look like you spent the afternoon polishing with steel wool. And it will clean the wood of the fretboard too. It runs around 15 dollars. You can order it online.
Old guitar players never die...they just lose the tension in their G strings.