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  #1  
Old 12-08-2021, 06:49 AM
TiffanyGuitar TiffanyGuitar is offline
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Default To Refret or Not

My 1995 Gibson ES-335 has these low wide frets that I just really dislike. They feel very strange under my fingers and they almost have flat tops. This past summer I had them dressed and crowned hoping it would help, and maybe it did a little, but I still really dislike them. Also, I don't like the binding nibs - the high e string slides off the board sometimes or gets stuck in the gap between the fret and the binding nib. I really like 6105 fret wire.

So, here is my quandry - should I refret the guitar or sell it? I have had one other guitar refretted before. It was an acoustic - also had a bone nut and saddle done for it at the same time - it cost around $900 for all of the work. It was done very well, so I know the luthier does excellent work.

The guitar itself otherwise is very nice - sounds nice, and is in very good to excellent condition. It is a little on the heavy side at about 8.8 pounds.

My #1 electric is my parts caster tele, followed by the Fender strat.

I know you guys can't really answer my question, I am just curious what others would do.
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Old 12-08-2021, 02:35 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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It's a difficult decision. If it's a fantastic guitar and/or has sentimental value (something that will be a life long guitar for you), then putting in the cash is worth it.

If you think another guitar could replace it then I would replace it. Thinking you should be able to sell your Gibson and use that same cash to buy another used Gibson, assuming you still want an ES-335.

Is it really $900 for a refret?
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Old 12-08-2021, 02:43 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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If it's a good guitar but for the frets - get it refretted, but it wouldn't cost that much.
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Old 12-08-2021, 04:03 PM
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keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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I would have it refretted. You would have the option of having the frets done in a different style, i.e., like a Martin, with the nibs in the binding removed and the fret tang notched so the fret would extend over the binding. If the frets are really low, there's a chance the nibs have [previously] been dressed/leveled down enough you couldn't keep the nibs with different/taller wire anyway unless you had the binding replaced.

I would get more than one estimate and references for the work if you have any options. It's not rocket science.
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Old 12-08-2021, 06:44 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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I've had two guitars refretted, one my 1974 Les Paul Standard.



My luthier/tech suggested I not keep the nibs and we went with medium jumbo frets as it came with originally. It absolutely made that guitar the best it has ever been. My 2005 Memphis ES-335 came with .057 frets, I suspect they were 6105s. It is THE most comfortable electric guitar I own. The jumbos require far less fretting pressure than any other size. I just love the feel. The same tech set it up and when it was finished the frets were around .054.



By the way, refretting with stainless runs about $550 through my guy, if I remember right. A good luthier/tech can make more of an instrument than most factories can. Every time my guy has set up or refretted for me the guitar has improved drastically. I've got a few that are approaching refret time and I will be refretting, not replacing.

All the best,

Bob
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2021, 07:31 PM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiffanyGuitar View Post
I have had one other guitar refretted before. It was an acoustic - also had a bone nut and saddle done for it at the same time - it cost around $900 for all of the work.
IMHO, you got reamed if it actually cost you that much.

As other have said, if the only thing you don't like about the guitar is the frets, get it re-fretted, but by someone who won't rip you off.

Reference: I had a Kramer 350B (Fall 1976 build) refretted and new nut for about 1/6 what you paid (granted, no new saddle required, but that certainly would not cost the extra $750 you paid.
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Old 12-08-2021, 07:54 PM
TiffanyGuitar TiffanyGuitar is offline
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We don't have a lot of people around here to choose from that aren't hacks. I am certain this guy knows that. That is probably why this guy charges so much. He does good work, but.... the cost to some degree is also part of the decision process. I have emailed him for a rough estimate.
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1993 Gibson J-30
Baxendale Conversion 1960s Harmony H1203 Sovereign
2022 Gibson L-00 Standard
Knotty Pine Tele partscaster
Esquire partscaster
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2021 Danelectro 59M 12 string
Eastman MD315
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Old 12-09-2021, 02:25 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiffanyGuitar View Post
We don't have a lot of people around here to choose from that aren't hacks. I am certain this guy knows that. That is probably why this guy charges so much. He does good work, but.... the cost to some degree is also part of the decision process. I have emailed him for a rough estimate.
Let us know what he quotes you and what you decide.
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Old 12-09-2021, 04:39 PM
TiffanyGuitar TiffanyGuitar is offline
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he came back with $600 including the nut, which is probably reasonable. I plan to drive it up there to him in 10 days or so.
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1993 Gibson J-30
Baxendale Conversion 1960s Harmony H1203 Sovereign
2022 Gibson L-00 Standard
Knotty Pine Tele partscaster
Esquire partscaster
1995 Gibson ES-335
2021 Fender American Professional II Stratocaster
2021 Danelectro 59M 12 string
Eastman MD315
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2021, 02:39 PM
redir redir is offline
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$900? Wow. I've been doing this for 25 years now and charge $250 for a bound fretboard. I cannot imagine charging 900 for 3 hours work.

Most of the times on Gibsons we just take the nibs off. I have done vintage Gibsons where it was desired to keep them on. That will bump up the cost a lot but still not 900. Maybe 500.

For the prices they are charging in your area you could ship that to a good repair shop and have it done cheaper.
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2021, 02:42 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiffanyGuitar View Post
he came back with $600 including the nut, which is probably reasonable. I plan to drive it up there to him in 10 days or so.
Does he put the nibs back on?

Good luck with the refret!
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2021, 03:19 PM
TiffanyGuitar TiffanyGuitar is offline
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I am getting rid of the nibs. I don't like them at all and much prefer the feel of the fret across the full width of the neck.
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1993 Gibson J-30
Baxendale Conversion 1960s Harmony H1203 Sovereign
2022 Gibson L-00 Standard
Knotty Pine Tele partscaster
Esquire partscaster
1995 Gibson ES-335
2021 Fender American Professional II Stratocaster
2021 Danelectro 59M 12 string
Eastman MD315
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2022, 12:04 PM
TiffanyGuitar TiffanyGuitar is offline
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Just got it back from it's refret. I got rid of the nibs and they installed a bone nut as well.

First impression - WOW! I had not really bonded with this one until now. Totally worth every penny to have the work done. They told me it did not really need a re-fret - they did say the frets were a little wide and they concurred that they don't like nibs either.

Plays so much better and the frets feel "normal" to me now. It's is amazing how perceptive our finger senses are.
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1993 Gibson J-30
Baxendale Conversion 1960s Harmony H1203 Sovereign
2022 Gibson L-00 Standard
Knotty Pine Tele partscaster
Esquire partscaster
1995 Gibson ES-335
2021 Fender American Professional II Stratocaster
2021 Danelectro 59M 12 string
Eastman MD315
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2022, 12:12 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiffanyGuitar View Post
Just got it back from it's refret. I got rid of the nibs and they installed a bone nut as well.

First impression - WOW! I had not really bonded with this one until now. Totally worth every penny to have the work done. They told me it did not really need a re-fret - they did say the frets were a little wide and they concurred that they don't like nibs either.

Plays so much better and the frets feel "normal" to me now. It's is amazing how perceptive our finger senses are.
Great news! Yea, our fingers can sense the slightest differences with frets and necks.
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