Worthwhile to re-fret a 60 Tribute Plus?

Discussion in 'Epiphone Les Pauls' started by LckydevL, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. LckydevL

    LckydevL Junior Member

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    Unfortunately, I have a Tribute+ that has soft fret wire. After playing it the first couple of weeks, it started to become slightly noticeable on one fret. Two years later, it is very noticeable on the first six frets. I have already done a quick and dirty 2000/1000 grit dressing on the frets a couple times already and cleaned them up a bit.

    Still really like the sound and feel of this guitar. But I have been given a kitchen pass to move up to a Gibson if I really want it.

    Would a re-fret change the tone of a guitar?

    And how much would be fair to re-fret this guitar?
     
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  2. slug_maine

    slug_maine Senior Member

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    Refret runs around $300 around where I'm at.
     
  3. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    It's kind of fucked up to let go of a guitar because of the frets
    but when the costs represent too high of a percentage of the value of the guitar,
    sometimes it's not worth it.
    I say "sometimes" because if it's a super great guitar that kills,
    well, it's worth keeping forever.
    But you're the best person to know this.

    "Shop" around for an honest luthier that could help you make the decision.
    Be sure to check out fret replacement he's done before.
    There are many fret models to choose from, a luthier can help you decide what's right for you.

    As for moving to a Gibson, having Gibson's and Fender's (only),
    I would say "yes"!
    But that's just me...

    If there is a good Gibson opportunity, you can always come back to the Epiphone refret
    later, if by then you still think it's worth it!
    ;)
     
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  4. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    Keep the Epi. Get the Gibson. Then decide if you want to keep the Epi and get it fixed up. If it's a great player and it fills some void that the Gibson doesn't, I would keep it.
     
  5. slug_maine

    slug_maine Senior Member

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    I suppose you could just get the first 6 frets done to lower the cost. Should run around $10-15 per fret.
     
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  6. WaywerdSon

    WaywerdSon Senior Member

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    If you have the green light for a new guitar, well, thats a no-brainer. As for the refret of the Trib+, call around town and see what the going rate is. But if you browse around here you will find a few threads that lay out the process pretty clearly and it doesnt seem like an impossible thing to do yourself. Worst thing that can happen is you hose up the frets you put in, in which case you really havent lost anything seeing as they are already messed up. I'll try to find a link to a good refret thread for ya
     
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  7. WaywerdSon

    WaywerdSon Senior Member

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  8. fumblefinger

    fumblefinger Senior Member

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    Bad Idea.

    If you do re-fret it, I'd suggest you go with Stainless Steel.
     
  9. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Stainless Steel frets will change the tone of your guitar.
    Call me crazy, I don't care!

    :D
     
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  10. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    This is a problem with Epiphones yes. Those frets are made out of cob...

    Good news is you don't have nibs, so it's quite faster and easier than refretting a Gibson.

    New Gibson or not, I would keep that Trib+ and refret. Forget about stainless, just go for Jescar and you are good. :)
     
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  11. Herr Dalbergia

    Herr Dalbergia Senior Member

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    No nibs, wide slots....easy please job, you also need a new nut on that guitar after refret. I would charge you 250. only you can decide if the guitar is worth that money for you.

    Only replacing some frets....mhhhhhew....of course possible....but not the better solution, I would not agree on this job.

    Cheers, Alex
     
  12. LckydevL

    LckydevL Junior Member

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    A buddy I talked to last night had another idea.

    All the electronics on this Tribute + are what you would find on a Gibson, right? So why not put them in one of those empty Gibson bodies they sell online? I have swapped pickups and harnesses a couple times with no problems. Maybe upgrade the bridge and tailpiece in the process.

    My question was why have these Gibson's been gutted? Anyone have any experience with these gutted guitar body's?
     
  13. Troy McClure

    Troy McClure Senior Member

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    They've been gutted because they sell more as parts that full guitars, those gutted bodies may well have duff frets too as they are used ones.

    Why not do the same and sell the tribute+ as parts or a whole guitar, plenty of people will buy projects to refret themselves.

    Unless you love the guitar I wouldn't be bothered with a refret as the cost generally isn't worth it on a cheaper guitar unless it means something special to you.
     
  14. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    I'm a bit lost...

    A tribute+ it's in the 600/800€ range price, average. Not really a piece of s...t. They are very good value instruments, and imho it worth it a refret, totally.

    Refretting it's also a good opportunity to make it even better, and matching your needs with proper fret wire profiles.

    Didn't know about 800 euro disposable guitars...LOL
     
  15. stiff fingers

    stiff fingers Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    On scrapping "new" Les Pauls, Another thread points out that Gibson has a 13% reject rate. Those guitars are sold at a % of list price to the business's that part them out. The % of loss is "written down" on Corp taxes. a complete loss is scrapped as a write off, best known as a dumpster burst.

    Epi hardware won't fit a Gibson, and the pot post's are short shaft, not Gibson long shaft. And plastic won't fit,
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  16. Eddie 70

    Eddie 70 Senior Member

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    I've noticed fret wear on my Trib+ but so far it is not causing any problems with play ability. But when it does come time, I have no qualms about getting a refret done to it. I like the guitar and think it plays good. It is my favorite guitar to play and has the most hours on it. Ultimately it's your money and your decision.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
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  17. GibsonKramer

    GibsonKramer The Three G's Premium Member

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    I think you answered your own question.

    My first LP was a 2014 tobacco burst Epi LP. I traded it back in 3 days later and got a Gibson.

    While I love my Studio Pro, I wish I still had that Epi... because that was the guitar, I just KNEW Les Pauls were my future. It was an incredible guitar, really.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. powerslide

    powerslide Senior Member

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    Yes, get the fret job. Yes, get a Gibson. Yes, both are worth it.
    :jam:
     
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  19. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    You ask if a refret would change the tone. I’m guessing you would use the same size and shape fret wire. (A change in these would slightly change the tone.) I also assume that you would opt for a harder wire to keep the same problem from happening in a few years. This might yield a bit less mellow tone than the OEM frets. But I think tone could be returned to original (or very close) with some dial twisting.
     
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  20. drpietrzak

    drpietrzak Senior Member

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    I love my 1960 V3 because I had it refretted. Not much different than a pickup swap and the V3 didn't need that at all.
     

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