Does this refret look OK?

p90rules

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So I was planning to buy a Les Paul Standard 80 which has recently been refretted with Jumbo 6100 wire... I asked the seller for some close ups of the fret work and noticed the little cracks where the nibs were... I'm a bit put off by this tbh..especially as I'd have to buy unseen and its a pretty expensive guitar anyway... What's your opinion on this guys... Would it be a deal breaker for you?
Cheers guys
IMG_20210123_122805.jpg
 

musicmaniac

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Some binding cracking can be considered normal but it's too bad you can't see it in person.
 

p90rules

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Yes, those cracks were probably there before the refret.
I'd have thought the nibs that were there until recently would have prevented that... I'm wondering if the luthier didn't cut enough off the fret tangs and its caused it to push the binding out and crack it.
 

VDeuce

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Not sure that fret is seated all the way, would need to see others. Not undercutting the tang can cause binding cracks. Those are huge frets, if you are OK with that, they may slow you down moving up and down the neck. Me, I'd pass.
 

MP4-22

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If you got bad vibes just walk away.... plenty of guitars out there. Looks like he didn't cut the tangs..
 

rogue3

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No, would not be a deal breaker for me. What would be most important is the final fret polishing/setup.

The point of a refret is to have amazing playability/action.If it has this, i wouldn't even notice the small cracks at the fret binding.
...everyone of my late 80's lesters has this to some degree.been there for years.They have never been refretted.

The fragility of nitro.
We want nitro for its esthetics, then Gibson plastisizes it, to make it stronger.Then we complain about*plasticizer* The neck flexes,they all do with the seasons...nitro crack.
some guys are yanking on that truss rod everytime they think there is an issue.

i took a close look at my Roadworn vintage tele the other day. Nitro, NO plasticizer. checking all over the body.
It's nitro.it cracks.
 

Roxy13

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It's possible the cracks were there already. The frets and fretboard expanding and contracting at different rates can allow the fret ends to push against the nibs and crack the binding. Ask for more up close pics to help you make a decision on it.
 

p90rules

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No, would not be a deal breaker for me. What would be most important is the final fret polishing/setup.

The point of a refret is to have amazing playability/action.If it has this, i wouldn't even notice the small cracks at the fret binding.
...everyone of my late 80's lesters has this to some degree.been there for years.They have never been refretted.

The fragility of nitro.
We want nitro for its esthetics, then Gibson plastisizes it, to make it stronger.Then we complain about*plasticizer* The neck flexes,they all do with the seasons...nitro crack.
some guys are yanking on that truss rod everytime they think there is an issue.

i took a close look at my Roadworn vintage tele the other day. Nitro, NO plasticizer. checking all over the body.
It's nitro.it cracks.
I'm more concerned about the binding cracking due to stress of the refret than cracks in the actual Nitro alone
 

rogue3

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I'd have thought the nibs that were there until recently would have prevented that... I'm wondering if the luthier didn't cut enough off the fret tangs and its caused it to push the binding out and crack it.
the nibs don't prevent it. the nibs provide a smooth interface between fret and the binding,so you don't feel the fret end, which can sprout later and you feel it under your finger. Hard to understand why someone would refret a guitar so soon, but i'll bet the seller doesn't like the no-nib feel,so is selling it. The advantage of no nib is more fret surface.fret burners love it.
 

Michael Matyas

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I'd pass on that one. This is more than just checking in the nitro finish. The binding is cracking too. The fingerboard may have shrunk, causing the fret tangs to start cracking the plastic binding, or whoever did the fret work did not trim enough off the tangs and damaged the binding. This can only get worse over time. Fixing this will involve replacing the damaged binding, a refret, and finish work on the neck. There are plenty of guitars for sale that don't have these problems.
 

rogue3

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I'm more concerned about the binding cracking due to stress of the refret than cracks in the actual Nitro alone
tbo, those cracks look old.the quality of the re-fret is really in the hands of the luthier. I'd be very picky about who i'd chose,if i needed a refret.but i don't. I'd much rather play it,have the frets dressed when needed,play it some more, and so on.By and large,i play all over the fret board,so wear spots are fairly even. Even where there are divits in the board,i raise the action just a little(at the bridge) and i am good to go.

For such a recent guitar to be refretted,i'd have to guess,was someone read the internet, and thought they would come out with something cool that is better in their head...until they got it home and played it.hence,it's on sale.

again,tbo, i wouldn't buy it without a good week of playing it.if it floats your boat,cool.

personally,i wouldn't buy it,not because of the cracks,but, because of the refret. I don't care for super jumbo whatever frets,as chording is skewed. But then some very good guitar players play scalloped boards. This one would not be for me,just looking at the frets.
 

p90rules

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Thanks for the replies so far guys... The back story of this guitar is, that I bought it new in 1980 and regrettably sold it mid 80s. The same guy has said he'll sell it back to me and I was keen to buy it back as it was rather special. He said the original frets wore down over the years, so last year he had his favourite frets fitted which are these 6100s
The more I think about them, and having seen pics of these cracks today, it's putting me off tbh. Also because of the Lockdown. I'd have to buy it unseen, plus it's a lot of doh for a guitar I can't try first.
 

TheWelder

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The deal breaker for me would be the size of those frets, but that's just personal preference.

I had an 80s LP that had binding cracking in the areas adjacent to the frets, and that was without the re-fret. But then you add in the stress of cutting the nibs, pulling out old fret wire, and installing new wire...it's not a surprise to see that.

If it's putting you off, then don't buy it. I do think the backstory of being able to get a guitar back that you once had and sold is cool.
 

rogue3

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Thanks for the replies so far guys... The back story of this guitar is, that I bought it new in 1980 and regrettably sold it mid 80s. The same guy has said he'll sell it back to me and I was keen to buy it back as it was rather special. He said the original frets wore down over the years, so last year he had his favourite frets fitted which are these 6100s
The more I think about them, and having seen pics of these cracks today, it's putting me off tbh. Also because of the Lockdown. I'd have to buy it unseen, plus it's a lot of doh for a guitar I can't try first.
that is a complex history,and changes things somewhat. play before you pay.end.stop.
 

p90rules

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that is a complex history,and changes things somewhat. play before you pay.end.stop.
It is a complex history... One of the ones that got away that I regretted selling. I'm thinking with those frets, it'll seem like a completely different animal, plus I'm unable to travel for it. I'm still convinced that the refret has pushed on the binding and cracked it.
 

judson

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Thanks for the replies so far guys... The back story of this guitar is, that I bought it new in 1980 and regrettably sold it mid 80s.
alot of players would kill to get back a guitar they let go......make sure you are positive that doesnt matter to you...there was only one i let go years back that i would buy sight unseen and would be happy if it had a refret...so if that isnt a big deal for you , let it go

if your not confident of buying any guitar without playing it , start looking at local shops or buy from on online retailer that has a very easy return policy...good luck!!
 

p90rules

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Also to add, it'll be costing me £3500..The cost of an R8 or R9...!!!
 

BetaRat

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As a luthier who re-frets a lot, this is common - even when trimming back the tangs of the frets. Plastics will do their own things under stress, and not seeing any more information or photos I'd say that it's probably OK overall. A little bit of the right glue and maybe it'll stop that baby crack from turning into a catastrophe later.
 

rogue3

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Also to add, it'll be costing me £3500..The cost of an R8 or R9...!!!
would. 30 to 40 to 50 years older wood. i know you don't want to hear this,so, i'll just state my feeling,today. Better old wood than new wood,if you love the tone you hear. Otherwise,next!.
 


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