Guitar life and fret wear/life

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by ironlung40, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. ironlung40

    ironlung40 New Member

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    Hello all, (i posted this on the gibson forum too, so sorry if you read it there already)

    Here's the scoop, I'm an SG lover. I own 2. I have the 61 reissue and a special faded in worn brown. I'm loving these guitars! I have only owned them for about 1 year.

    I've had a little concern though as of late, concerning the frets, particularly fret wear. How concerned should I be about this, and what kind of fret wear should I expect with these 2 guitars? I know it will depend on a lot of factors, like how much I play, string type, etc.

    But, can anyone of you more veteran players share your experiences with fretwear, especially, if you're a gigging musician who really puts your guitar through heck with many shows/hours of play?

    My ultimate concerns are:

    1. I'm not rich, so fret replacement kinda scares me especially on the lower end faded model, as it seems a good professional refret may cost as much as half the value of the guitar when new.....would I be better off buying a new guitar come refret time on the faded?

    2. with the 61 reissue, I worry about the binding. Can a proper refret be done without harming the binding?

    3. I live 3 hours from the Nashville Gibson Headquarters, so if/when I do need a refret, would this be my safest option for ensuring that it gets refretted right and with as little harm as possible to the guitar.

    4. Am I worrying too much over this, as a refret may not be such a big deal at all?

    5. Is it atypical to expect to play one guitar for my lifetime provided that I have it refretted, or should I expect to have to buy a new one at some point......for instance if I only owned (1) guitar....like the 61 reissue.

    thanks for any comments.....
     
  2. suicidehummer

    suicidehummer Active Member

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    Unless you're playing those guitars HEAVILY, it's not something to worry about.
     
  3. AxRab

    AxRab Member

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    I own primarily vintage Gibson SGs from the 60's and I dont think any of them have ever been refretted and they have been played and gigged MEGA!!!!!, dont worry about it!!!! I look at it like this, the more wear and tear the more broken in and better playing they get, like rotating tires on a car you may have to crown, level and adjust the neck to keep it playing the way you like.

    Welcome to Everything SG, I think your biggest problem is gonna be yer addiction to the SG not yer frets.... But we all suffer from it and are here for therapy for it.......
     
  4. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    ive played the "heck" out of my faded the past 5 years(the classic has taking some time away from it)...a few months back, i had some fret buzz in a few spots, and i had a tech do some fret work...its been awesome since..it was awesome when i 1st got it...a lot of my problem wasnt the frets, it was the nut...one of 2 people before this guy, when setting it up, messed with my nut (uhuhuh huhuh), and 2 of the strings were way off...so he fixed that..he said if it wasnt for the nut, it wouldnt have been as bad, or expensive..my classic has been fine, but it is newer....i used to be a strickly a strat guy, and my strat after 15 years still has no fret issues..im hoping for the same with my sg's too..
     
  5. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Fret wear happens but it is a very gradual thing. Most players can go many, many years before a refret is in order. I only have one guitar that has had to have total refrets and it is an older strat that I have owned for 15-20 years.

    Now fret leveling is a different story. It is not uncommon at all to have to do fret leveling every few years if you are playing alot. I've done it to several of my guitars (and my kids guitars). My son is a good example of this. He plays 1-2 hours per day practicing and then 4 hours per day or more when gigging. His SG special needed fret leveling after about 3 years of play. The good news is a fret leveling is alot cheaper than replacing the fret wires. It usually cost $100-$200 depending on how much wear the frets have and who does the work. You can usually do a couple of fret leveling jobs before the fretwires get low enough that a fret replacement is in order.

    BTW, if your guitar is not playing as good as it used to, a good fret leveling can do wonders for the way a guitar plays.
     
  6. Pearly Gator

    Pearly Gator Member

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    Oldrockfan nailed it. Just to add...

    I have a 20 year old guitar that I played to death. It has had three "level & crown" jobs performed on it and there is still plenty of fret left.

    If a guitar ever gets to the point that frets actually need to be replaced, not all frets need replacement. How many players wear out the 22nd fret? ;)
     
  7. Mayfly

    Mayfly Member

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    [quote author=Pearly Gator link=topic=20814.msg250509#msg250509 date=1279551440]
    Oldrockfan nailed it. Just to add...

    I have a 20 year old guitar that I played to death. It has had three "level & crown" jobs performed on it and there is still plenty of fret left.

    If a guitar ever gets to the point that frets actually need to be replaced, not all frets need replacement. How many players wear out the 22nd fret? ;)
    [/quote]

    The 22nd fret? That's really hair metaller territory... :roll:

    For a guitar which has been through its paces, one of the best must be John Sykes' LP: apparently a guitar which "has been refretted several times" and still sounds great. I heard it played only through a 50 watt JCM 800, no effects, at a club gig a couple of years ago, really ripped the place up. If you love your guitar, I guess you just have to refret when the mileage gets high.

    see http://www.johnsykes.com/gear.html
     
  8. suicidehummer

    suicidehummer Active Member

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    [quote author=Mayfly link=topic=20814.msg250514#msg250514 date=1279566302]
    The 22nd fret? That's really hair metaller territory... :roll:

    For a guitar which has been through its paces, one of the best must be John Sykes' LP: apparently a guitar which "has been refretted several times" and still sounds great. I heard it played only through a 50 watt JCM 800, no effects, at a club gig a couple of years ago, really ripped the place up. If you love your guitar, I guess you just have to refret when the mileage gets high.

    see http://www.johnsykes.com/gear.html
    [/quote]

    Cool link! I always wondered what type of person was buying EVH Fraknensteins (or any other ridiculously priced specialty model like that).
     
  9. ironlung40

    ironlung40 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Don't worry, I did play my guitars today! ;D
     
  10. Tenafly Viper

    Tenafly Viper Member

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    [quote author=Mayfly link=topic=20814.msg250514#msg250514 date=1279566302]
    The 22nd fret? That's really hair metaller territory... :roll:

    For a guitar which has been through its paces, one of the best must be John Sykes' LP: apparently a guitar which "has been refretted several times" and still sounds great. I heard it played only through a 50 watt JCM 800, no effects, at a club gig a couple of years ago, really ripped the place up. If you love your guitar, I guess you just have to refret when the mileage gets high.

    see http://www.johnsykes.com/gear.html


    [/quote]

    Seeing your post I just had to put this up.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YWRxAUtDk[/youtube]
     
  11. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=ironlung40 link=topic=20814.msg250526#msg250526 date=1279593891]
    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Don't worry, I did play my guitars today! ;D
    [/quote]why the hell not!!!???!!! ;)
     
  12. ESSER

    ESSER Active Member

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    I have managed to wear out my SG's frets over a period of 23 years or so, they were low when i had it so i cant complain and it has been hammered too. :(
     
  13. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Many good points already have been made....one more thing - if you play a lot over a period of time in certain keys, patterns, etc., often frets wear unevenly. When I worked in repair shops we used to know when a guy brought a guitar in for fret work if he played in a country band (lots of wear on open chord shapes, and sharp key notes) or a horn band ( more wear in the middle of the neck and on flat key notes).

    I suggest making sure you practice using the entire neck, even places you rarely go on a gig, like the upper frets on the low strings.
     

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