MIM bad fretwork

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by BadBrad, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. BadBrad

    BadBrad Strat-O-Master

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    My son was taking a violin lesson at a local music store, so I decided to check out the guitars there. A nice looking oly white MIM standard strat caught my eye so I picked it up and played it. The fret edges were really sharp, the worst I've ever experienced. I have a cheaper CV60's strat and the fret ends are well-dressed and smooth. It could be that the MIM had some fret sprout happening from the environment it was in, but even with that it seemed like the frets were not well dressed at all. Is this common on the MIM necks?
     
  2. bigmuff113

    bigmuff113 Senior Stratmaster

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    Not in my experience
     
  3. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

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    I bought a new MIM Std neck last year to put on a Warmoth body, and was surprised how good it was. No problems in the fret department at all. You maybe just came across a less well dressed example. It does happen, and not just with MIMs either.
     
  4. Yogi

    Yogi Most Honored Senior Member

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    Nope, not very common, but does happen, even on american fenders once in a while.
     
  5. Virgman

    Virgman Strat-O-Master

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    That was the one that came down the line when the employee took a bathroom break.
     
  6. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Most Honored Senior Member

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    I can say that in general the Mexican built Fenders especially of the last decade or so have been excellent.I suppose you came across a rare bad one.
     
  7. Marshalls surf

    Marshalls surf Strat-Talker

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    I've had 6-8 MIM strats, two were keepers, excellent. At that price level every guitar should be played and compared, they aren't all the same.
     
  8. Bayardstrat

    Bayardstrat Strat-Talk Member

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    I feel like I have seen this quite a bit. My kids have a squire mini and the fret work is great but every time I check out a mim the frets seem very rough. I don't understand why this is as I have seen plenty if cheaper guitars with smoother frets. My personal theory is that it must be harder to properly dress the med jumbo frets, but I really don't know.
    Bayard
     
  9. PetesWindmill

    PetesWindmill Senior Stratmaster

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    Guys... It is almost never Fender's QC when it comes to fret sprout. Sharp fret edges happen for one reason more than anything else. It has to do with a process called Osmosis, or where water travels from an area of high concentration to low concentration. Ensanada and Corona have humid climates, and the wood in the factories is bloated with water. When the guitar is shipped to a store it again encounters a dryer climate (The humidity in most guitar stores is fairly low). Because of that the wood in the neck shrinks making the frets pop out. It can happen to almost any guitar transported to or through different climates. Even traveling by truck through the Sonoran Desert can shrink the neck so that the frets sprout when the guitar arrives at the store.
     
  10. mr1bienvenu

    mr1bienvenu Strat-Talker

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    I've never seen bad fret work on any Fender guitar. I've only seen a couple hundred out of a hundreds of thousands. I would not worry about it though. Fender has a limited life time warranty.
     
  11. Jimmydime

    Jimmydime Strat-Talk Member

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    My 2004 MIM has terrible frets. Not that the ends are sharp, but they are sooooo soft. The frets need to be done every 3 or 4 months. They are just soft. Also, they are the vintage style and are now about the thickness of a toothpick.
    It will be getting a new neck soon enough with JUMBO frets.
     
  12. Jack FFR1846

    Jack FFR1846 Senior Stratmaster

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    In general, they are very good. And the newer, the better. I just traded for a 97 deluxe super strat (that's the actual Fender name) which is an unbelievably good mim but the guy who I traded with had just bought it and couldn't deal with the sharp edges. I'll say.....they were probably the worst I've found. I've fixed that (it's not difficult) and now the guitar is great. I've had several dozen MIMs and this is maybe the second that's needed anything done on the fret ends at all.
     
  13. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    My recent MIM neck had plenty of sprout. I liked it anyway.
     
  14. jpmist

    jpmist Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    Was it new or used? I recently got a 10 year old Powerhouse Strat and it had the worst fret sprout I've ever seen. But I don't consider that Fender's fault, it's simply due to the rosewood drying out and shrinking in width just enough for the fret ends to extend. Seems like it only takes a few thousands of an inch to be able to catch a sharp edge of the tang on your hand. That can happen to any neck, even a USA one.

    Fortunately on rosewood necks, this is really not hard to fix. The frets can be filed flush once again and the rosewood will sand and polish up to almost the same gloss as the rest of the neck.
     
  15. Vindibona1

    Vindibona1 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes, fret sprout is usually connected with manufacture in a humid environment then being shipped to a dry environment. I think I see much more of this at Guitar Centers more so than boutique stores. I am not sure why. But I've seen BAD cases of it at GC's.

    Rosewood is easy but maple is more difficult as you risk damaging the finish. My two maple neck guitars had a touch of fret sprout this winter and I was able to take care of it, one fret at a time being VERY careful not to cut into the finish. I used a small diamond file and put magnifiers over my glasses to make sure I could see exactly what I was doing and tried to feel every stroke. I figure if I take care of it while it's dry inside I won't have to deal with it again. While I was at it I gently rounded the corners of the frets like they do at the custom shop.

    But back to the original question... I do see more of it on MIM's and often REALLY see it on low end Squiers.
     
  16. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle Strat-Talker

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    The mims I've played have all been very nicely made. No fret issues at all.
     
  17. mr1bienvenu

    mr1bienvenu Strat-Talker

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    All you guys that have bad fret work on your guitars, why don't you just get rid of the guitar ? Or get a different neck. Or have it re-fretted. Most people don't have your problem and if I did I would do something about it. Did you check to see if the warranty would cover it ? What DOES the limited life time warranty say?
     
  18. telestrat

    telestrat Senior Stratmaster

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    never ever came accros a bad mim neck and man i have played dozens
     
  19. PetesWindmill

    PetesWindmill Senior Stratmaster

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    Or pay $50 for a fret filing...
     
  20. gerryl98

    gerryl98 Strat-Talker

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    I've owned/traded at least a dozen strats,only one being American and fretwork was great. Now...the Evh's are a different story. My Japanese wolfgang special needed fret ends filed. I have all three striped series too. One was perfect, one had fret ends a done by the prior owner and one had a slight sharpeness. And my luthier blames dryness as well. He said the weather in my area should bring it back.