1974 Les Paul Custom Fretless wonder

Mick Weiss

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Would a refret hurt the value of this guitar? I really don't care for the frets as they are but if there is a market for these I would just sell it and buy one with taller frets...Mick
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Slashperryburst

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From what I've read on here, a refret would absolutely hurt the value of the guitar in the eyes of many.

Personally speaking, it wouldn't bother me as long as it was well done, but if you're worried about the value of the guitar, then you should probably sell it as is.
 

Mick Weiss

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Thanks for the reply Craig, I was going to try to adapt but Im to old to waste my energy. I got the guitar from the wife's brother so I hate to turn right around and sell it. Maybe I'll get an offer on it I can't refuse...
 

Slashperryburst

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No worries. I haven't played a fretless wonder myself, but I gather that they're an acquired taste. It's a bit of a shame, because it's a beautiful guitar otherwise.

Edit: I should probably add that I'm by no means an expert on Norlin era guitars, so it might be a good idea to wait until other users chime in on this.

If you do end up selling it, it should be a pretty easy sale with the original frets.
 

DarrellV

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Thanks for the reply Craig, I was going to try to adapt but Im to old to waste my energy. I got the guitar from the wife's brother so I hate to turn right around and sell it. Maybe I'll get an offer on it I can't refuse...
Do you play guitar?

I ask because I've known some folks who inherit stuff they won't really use, but it has sentimental value.

If you do play, and you like it and have always wanted one, get the refret and keep it.

If it's a money thing, don't refet it. Those old customs are becoming more valuable, yes, but not insanely.

I own an 82 Norlin that I waited 34 years for. I had it re fretted, had the pickups rewound, and changed all the gold hardware so it looked closer to new.

I will never sell it, so I made it my own.... the way I want it. It plays and sounds wonderful to me.

If you will likely never bond with it to that level, you should probably leave it and sell it.

You could get a really nice guitar that you like more with the money, and someone who will treasure it and play it will get a BB (black Beauty) Custom they always wanted.


My 2 cents..


My 82 Standard.. it's like my right arm!
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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That is entirely up to you. Is it a time machine guitar - little if any wear on it? You might want to consider leaving as is.

On the other hand it is yours to do what you want with. I did not like those frets myself and the previous owner, then me wore them down pretty fast. A refret was done - not very well it turned out.

I still have the guitar, a '73. I have all of the original hardware.

With the original "Witch Hats", which I'm not a fan of. I just put them on for the Norlin fans to look over.

The Lester wears top hats below.



 

Mick Weiss

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Thanks for your views Darrell and Bill, Both of your lesters are lookin' great! I did find a set of the original style nobs for it, but I prefer the speed knobs for now. I have a couple other LPs so I really don't need the 74, but it was an offer I couldn't refuse. If I found someone that liked the low frets I'd sell. For now I'll just let it hang out with the rest of the herd...Mick
 

dodona

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a refret with jumbos wouldn't hurt but increase the value of this guitar.
 

grumphh

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You are getting into "vintage guitar" territory, which means that different pricing rules apply, compared to just having "a used guitar".

IF the frets are shot/worn on this one, well, replacing them with something similar is logical and would be considered maintenance - otoh, if the frets are still "as good as new", binding nibs are fine etc. , a collector would presumably pay a bit extra for original frets and binding.

...and personally i'd consider it close to sacrilege to refret a semi-vintage guitar with jumbos - at least chose a fret size that is not to far removed from the original specs.
...if you just need jumbo frets, epiphone and ibanez do cater to your needs on all their budget models...
 

Midnight Blues

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Some say "Yes" and some say "No". My '72 that I've had since '73 has (had) them on it and I really liked them. It's in for a refret now and since the "Fretless Wonder" frets aren't made anymore, I had no choice but to go to a larger size.

If you're looking to sell, you'll likely have a better chance with a more "normal" size fret.
 

DarrellV

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Thanks for your views Darrell and Bill, Both of your lesters are lookin' great! I did find a set of the original style nobs for it, but I prefer the speed knobs for now. I have a couple other LPs so I really don't need the 74, but it was an offer I couldn't refuse. If I found someone that liked the low frets I'd sell. For now I'll just let it hang out with the rest of the herd...Mick
I realized after the fact from your avatar pic and all that yes, you play guitar! My bad! Ignore that brain fart and carry on with the rest.

It sounds like for you it could make a nice wall hanger in your music room, even if you don't play it or sell it!

And the funny thing is, you don't know what's coming down the road.

Someone may see it and make a nice offer.

You could always post it in here too, and cause an outbreak of GAS among the membership....:squint:
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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Thanks for your views Darrell and Bill, Both of your lesters are lookin' great! I did find a set of the original style nobs for it, but I prefer the speed knobs for now. I have a couple other LPs so I really don't need the 74, but it was an offer I couldn't refuse. If I found someone that liked the low frets I'd sell. For now I'll just let it hang out with the rest of the herd...Mick
You'd be crazy to part with that. I am completely biased though. :)
 

Fl Panhandler

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I would definitely do the trade. if you don't get along with it, it would be a quick sale I think.
Rick
 

pmonk

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People re-fret guitars for a reason.
 

ARandall

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The only times it hurts value is where the guitar is incredibly clean, or has zero wear at all. Otherwise no.
 

scozz

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I’m not completely convinced that this LP IS a Fretless, it’s hard to tell from the pics.

I’ve played a number of FWs back when I was in high school, I’d love to see closer pics of these frets.

Gibson back in those days, right up to the mid 80s, used what they called back then jumbo frets. These “Jumbo frets were/are low and wide, and often mistaken for Fretless Wonder frets.

FW frets were very low and very flat and narrow! If you saw these two types of fret wire profiles, you couldn’t help to notice the difference between the two, and FW frets had virtually no crown. Also, I believe, (but I’m not certain), that FW frets were discontinued by the end of 1973.

As I said earlier, I’d love to see some better pics of these frets, (if it’s not too much trouble), better and closer.
 


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