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Fret job or new neck?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by dacop, Jan 15, 2020 at 11:24 AM.

  1. dacop

    dacop Strat-Talker

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    What do you prefer when your strat's frets are dinged up from long time usage? A new neck or keeping the original strat neck and paying for a fret replacement?
     
  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My guitars wouldn't be my guitars with a different neck. I refret them as required.
     
  3. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's a Damn good question...
     
  4. dacop

    dacop Strat-Talker

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    Was thinking the same thing. Changing the neck would change the character of the guitar. Its not the same Strat with a different neck. I have a 2010 MIA Strat that needs a fret job or new neck. 400+ for a fret job. Many options for neck prices from 150 to 550.
     
  5. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm facing this dilemma right now. Not sure what to do because a refret here will cost around $250, pretty much the same price as a new MIM neck.
    So I don't know if I will be happy with a refret considering we don't have top luthiers here.
    Also it depends on if it's rosewood or maple.
    Mine is maple which I believe is more difficult to do and they are vintage small frets.
    Whilst typing this, think I May have come to my own conclusion.
    New neck.

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L22 using Tapatalk
     
  6. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

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    A refret can completely change the character of the guitar as well. Fret material as well as the new height. By the time you get to the point of a refret, the old ones have probably been crowned and leveled at least a couple times and you have grown used to it.


    For some people, simply cleaning the fretboard would make it feel like a completely different guitar.
     
  7. dacop

    dacop Strat-Talker

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    Yes...its a tough decision. I am also leaning towards a new neck myself. The problem it that I really like the neck on this 2010 MIA Strat. Putting a new neck on the guitar is like having a new guitar. I mean the neck is 95% of the guitar isnt it?
     
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  8. Morgenholz

    Morgenholz Strat-Talker

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    If it has any future value as desirable model, re-fret it. If it is strictly a player, I think it is totally dependent upon how much you like the current neck. The only reason I would ever change out a neck is to go to a new shape/fretboard material.
     
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  9. dacop

    dacop Strat-Talker

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    I agree, just because its the same neck, doesnt mean it will still feel the same. The frets will be different and will change the feel for sure.
     
  10. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes the neck is everything, get that wrong and it's a monumental failure, as far as cost is concerned, this guitar of mine is a 2001 model so it's not too bad considering the time frame, but $250 on a $500 guitar also says , hey, maybe buy another guitar.
    Just confused myself big time !

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L22 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. dacop

    dacop Strat-Talker

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    I would like to add this note, this is why I dont like spending big money on guitars anymore. I bought a really nice G&L Legacy 6 years ago ($1400) and already there are dings all over the neck. So that needs work also, new neck or frets. I play hard I guess, would rather stick to the under 500 to 800 range and play the **** out of them and when its done, change the neck or just buy another brand new.
     
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  12. tdcdias

    tdcdias Strat-Talk Member

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    For god's sake, simply go for a fret job, or a refret if necessary! Please do not go changing necks every time simply because the frets are worn. Frets are supposed to be repaired or replaced eventually.

    IMO, the "soul" of the guitar is its neck, so change the neck = change the guitar. It is amazing how a very subtle change in any neck characteristic can make all the difference of the world while playing. If you go for a neck change without trying the new neck before, it will be nearly impossible to predict how your "new guitar" will sound or feel. And even if you try, there are no guarantees that the new neck will behave the same way in your current guitar body.

    And yes, I know that a refret or even a fret job can also change the feel of the guitar - bit this is much more subtle and in no way comparable to a complete neck change. There are way, way more variables in a neck replacement than in a refret.

    If you do not like the idea of repairing or refretting often (or ever), think about going for stainless steel frets. I use them in my strat and love them, they feel "smoother", "faster", with the advantage that they are extremely resistant and may never need repair or replacement in your lifetime. I am never going back to traditional frets again.

    Just please, if tou like your guitar, do not change the neck just because of fret worn. You will pay a lot of money and may end up with a "new guitar" that you may not like at all.

    Sent from my SM-G9550 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020 at 11:52 AM
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  13. tukoztukoz

    tukoztukoz Strat-Talker

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    I’m thinking about moving the nut a little bit... on some guitars it may work.
    Just an idea. Cheap.
     
  14. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

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    So if you buy a new neck, what do you do with the old one, sell it at half price?

    Another option would be to buy the tools and such from Stew-Mac to do your own refrets.
     
  15. Will Lefeurve

    Will Lefeurve Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes, I quite agree, but you're not talking $5/800 range with a 2010 MIA Strat surely.. ?
     
  16. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

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    Moving the nut? From side to side? You'll end up with an E or an e falling off.
     
  17. Tuner Sandwich

    Tuner Sandwich Strat-Talker

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    Been contemplating this question too. Was thinking, replacement neck, then, take my time learning to refret. Then, put the original neck back on and have a spare neck to then get a body for. It's guitar multiplication. New guitar without buying a new guitar, just making good use of some spare parts. It's almost like recycling. It would be wrong not to do it.

    New guitar justified!
     
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  18. dacop

    dacop Strat-Talker

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    Back when I purchased that 2010 it was 1K at the time. Now these Pro models are 1500+. And like I said I will wear those frest in 5 to 6 years.
     
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  19. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    There's more to the neck than the frets. I've refretted one of mine twice now, in the 37 years I've had it. If I replaced the neck, it wouldn't be my guitar any more...

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  20. dacop

    dacop Strat-Talker

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    Can a refret
    Stainless Steel...more expensive I would assume? Also...do they defiantly last longer? Do you eventually start to get the same dings you do with traditional frets?
     
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