Why are refrets coming up so much these days?

sikoniko

Strat-O-Master
Jul 24, 2010
628
Inside A Parallel Universe
Hi,

I have noticed an upward trend in comments over the last couple years regarding the impact a refret has on a guitars value. I don't get this? What has changed? A bunch of new people in the vintage market / new collectors that aren't players? As long as I recall, this has NEVER been an issue when buying vintage... with the exception of perhaps an NOS / museum grade piece... which I suspect the majority of buyers are not looking for.
 

Stratattack72

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 4, 2010
1,038
pluton
Not sure . I've never owned a vintage Fender . But if I were fortunate enough to I'd do everything in my power to make sure it was playable. I am not a collector so value means nothing to me I am a player . SO that may have something to do with it People buy guitars sometimes as investments so making sure the value doesn't diminish makes sense.
 

FuncleManson

Strat-Talker
May 23, 2021
434
Moline, IL
I refretted my '76 Strat with jumbo stainless this past spring. I don't know if I devalued it or not and don't care, because now it plays better. I replaced the pots too and it sounds better also.

That's what drives me a little nuts about the prevailing vintage guitar collector mentality. The huge prices themselves don't bother me. That's just supply and demand. But the idea that you can make a--say '59 Les Paul--objectively better by replacing worn out frets or tuners whose buttons have disintegrated and lessen its value by thousands(?) of dollars, is a little wacky. I'll never own one, but if I did and it needed new frets, it would get 'em.
 

AV59

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 3, 2015
2,858
New York
The value of vintage guitars has increased quite a bit over the last few years. The price change to their value due to a refret has broken off from many people's indifference curve now. That's my guess anyway.
 

MaartenX

Strat-Talker
Aug 2, 2022
121
The Netherlands
We
I refretted my '76 Strat with jumbo stainless this past spring. I don't know if I devalued it or not and don't care, because now it plays better. I replaced the pots too and it sounds better also.

That's what drives me a little nuts about the prevailing vintage guitar collector mentality. The huge prices themselves don't bother me. That's just supply and demand. But the idea that you can make a--say '59 Les Paul--objectively better by replacing worn out frets or tuners whose buttons have disintegrated and lessen its value by thousands(?) of dollars, is a little wacky. I'll never own one, but if I did and it needed new frets, it would get 'em.
Well spoken !
 

Groundwire

Strat-O-Master
Apr 16, 2021
688
Oregon
Every vintage guitar I own has been refretted. It’s generally the first thing I have done. This is like tires on a car. They get worn, you replace them.

That said, with the way vintage guitar prices have increased, I can see why there is a movement to keep things absolutely original, for fear of devaluing an investment. At that point they are collector’s items and not musical tools, which is sad IMO, but I do understand it.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,555
Sante Fe, NM
Hi,

I have noticed an upward trend in comments over the last couple years regarding the impact a refret has on a guitars value. I don't get this? What has changed? A bunch of new people in the vintage market / new collectors that aren't players? As long as I recall, this has NEVER been an issue when buying vintage... with the exception of perhaps an NOS / museum grade piece... which I suspect the majority of buyers are not looking for.
It’s all BS and marketing hype. Dealers always want to buy low and resell high so any imperfections you have will be pointed out as devalued but when they resell it these same imperfections will either be overlooked, minimized or upsold as real relic patina. A professional refret should be almost imperceptible from the original fret job on most guitars. Perhaps, it’s only crappy refrets they are seeing?
 

Bazz Jass

Chairman of the Fingerboard
Silver Member
Nov 19, 2014
5,797
Off the map
Hi,

I have noticed an upward trend in comments over the last couple years regarding the impact a refret has on a guitars value. I don't get this? What has changed? A bunch of new people in the vintage market / new collectors that aren't players? As long as I recall, this has NEVER been an issue when buying vintage... with the exception of perhaps an NOS / museum grade piece... which I suspect the majority of buyers are not looking for.
I've not heard this. At least not in the collector circles I move in. Refrets are par for the course along with neck resets on acoustic guitars.

All I can think is that if the guitar has pristine original frets the rest of the guitar will likely be pretty mint therefore more desirable?
 

HSH Classic Vibe

Strat-Talker
May 29, 2022
308
Republic of Squierland
The only reason Clapton finally sold Blackie was because it had been refretted too many times and couldn't go through another refret. Sure, you could replace the fretboard, but then it is a different neck. So he moved on from it. That is absolutely something to consider when spending thousands - or tens of thousands - on a vintage instrument. One that has not needed refretting is worth a lot more to me. I am not alone. But since you presumably want to save money and have no issue with the state of the fretboard or frets, shouldn't you be glad that the worn out fretboards/frets are cheaper???
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
16,933
KC
I say refret it all day long. It's like the wrench that my grandpa welded back together. If the repair hadn't been done then it wouldn't be the tool it was meant to be. It would only be a big heavy paper weight.
Seriously, what good is a guitar that is unplayable. I could understand a museum piece but C'mon...even my display pieces that I build for charities are still playable in case the winner wants to use it as such.
 

Groundwire

Strat-O-Master
Apr 16, 2021
688
Oregon
I bought this case queen maple cap 67 at the start of the year. Despite negligible fret wear, its in for a refret with 6105 wire because i couldnt stand the tiny low original frets. These things are for playing😊 View attachment 582613
Nice! My early ‘67 RW board Tele also got refretted this year with 6105. I also can’t stand tiny frets. D6C15530-E82E-47B5-9081-1601005EA5A1.jpeg
 

sikoniko

Strat-O-Master
Jul 24, 2010
628
Inside A Parallel Universe
I've not heard this. At least not in the collector circles I move in. Refrets are par for the course along with neck resets on acoustic guitars.

All I can think is that if the guitar has pristine original frets the rest of the guitar will likely be pretty mint therefore more desirable?


I see it on instagram a lot. thats really the only social platform I use consistently these days.
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
16,933
KC
Nice! My early ‘67 RW board Tele also got refretted this year with 6105. I also can’t stand tiny frets. View attachment 582786
I, too, hate small frets. These guitars were worth about half of what the refret is worth but they make the guitars sssooo much better.
Blue.jpg 20200317_125428.jpg Kelly 2.jpg Prince 1.jpg
 
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joebtone

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 26, 2022
1,885
Northwest US
It’s all BS and marketing hype. Dealers always want to buy low and resell high so any imperfections you have will be pointed out as devalued but when they resell it these same imperfections will either be overlooked, minimized or upsold as real relic patina. A professional refret should be almost imperceptible from the original fret job on most guitars. Perhaps, it’s only crappy refrets they are seeing?
I don't fear getting re-fret jobs, I fear bad re-fret jobs.
I'll get my favorite AVRI neck re-done with jumbos and will pay for peace of mind.
 


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