Fret size preference vs 'correct'?

Banastre

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Looking around my room today I noticed the majority of guitars I've re-fretted all have the same size. Fenders, Gibson and an Epiphone Sheraton.
Over the years the guitars each needed a re-fret, so I stuck with what I was most comfortable playing with, instead of maybe what the original frets and/or original spec called for. This happens to be a narrow-medium height fret.
Thoughts?
 

cmjohnson

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I like my frets tall. Period. Don't care if they're skinny or wide, but they need to be tall. If the remaining fret height is under .030 inches, it's time for a refret.

The "railroad track" tallest size Stew-Mac sells is a very good wire for me.
 

Banastre

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Would you, or anyone else out there reading this, pull frets for the size you prefer after buying a guitar, or let them need replacing before you do it??
 

cmjohnson

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If the frets were objectionably low, I'd refret the instrument without hesitation.

I've done enough fretjobs that it's something I almost don't even think about anymore. Ain't skeered.
 

ARandall

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My first thought is that there is no such thing as a fret size that is 'called for' in any guitar. Bridges have height adjustments as part of their manufacturing spec for the reason of being able to adjust for setup/fret related changes. So there is no fixed height built into a guitar that you have to match.

The second thought is....reality.
There is a fret size you like best, and ones you don't like as much....or ones that don't suit your playing as much. This might vary slightly from instrument to instrument, but there is zero logic in putting something on that makes you have to re-invent your playing. Given as a nut re-do is in order as almost an automatic addition to every fretjob, even the more fixed end of the scale length is tweaked to suit.
 

Roxy13

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So far I've used what I like best too. But, now I have a conundrum. I've just brought home a 1973 Burny SG that is pretty rare and it is a fretless wonder. So now I'm debating leaving it the way it is, putting on something with at least some more height but that matches the smaller width or saying oh well, I like medium jumbos!
 

cmjohnson

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When dealing with vintage instruments, there are "correct" fret sizes and that might be important for restoration purposes, particularly in the case of historically important instruments. If someone were to refret Buddy Holly's '54 Strat with railroad track frets, that'd be the wrong choice for that instrument.

But if Buddy Holly had decided he wanted the biggest frets he could get installed in it, then suddenly that woudn't be the wrong choice.

For the Burny, I'd refret it with a fret size I'm comfortable playing. If playability isn't good, that's a problem. Putting in a comfortable fret size certainy helps fix that, and the end goal is to have an instrument you play and make music with. If changing the fret size or string gauge or action height changes that for the better, then it's the right decision.

All aspects of a guitar and its setup should serve the player's muisical intent. It should play the way you like it to play. It should be a guitar you KNOW you're going to like to play every time you pick it up.

If you have a guitar in your collection that you dig out only rarely, thinking, "I have it, I should play it every now and then" rather than wanting to reach for it because you enjoy it very much, then that guitar serves no purpose. Sell it or trade it to someone who connects with it better than you do.

"Never own a guitar that makes you feel guilty because you don't want to play it."
 
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Dilver

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If you play blues, rock or anything requiring a lot of bending, taller frets certainly make it easier and if you’re bending strings a lot, frets tend to wear faster. Seems logical to start with taller frets that you can grind and recrown a couple times before your next refret. The tang is the same regardless of fret width and height, so try something new and see if you like it.
 

Roxy13

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While it's true that the frets the Burny has are not to my liking for my playing, I did also buy it to add to my collection. Yes, I do plan to play it, but with as many guitars as I have it isn't going to be played daily anyway. So I'm going to have to think about it. The guitar looks likes it has been in a time capsule. I'm pretty sure a collector had it before me.
 

Roxy13

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All my others that needed a refret needed it because the frets on it had just been worn away too much or had had too many levels and dresses already and were too low for my playing. I didn't think anything of replacing them. This new Burny has been super preserved for almost 50 years.
 

cmjohnson

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In my opinion, either choice you make is correct. A Burny is only moderately collectible, not one of the real high value collectibles, and as you've not mentioned anything abouit it having been owned by a prominent artist, I see no reason why you shouldn't do as you please with it. There's no special collector's value to ruin, and my own belief is that the value of a guitar is linked to its playability as much as any other factor. If replacing the frets with taller ones makes it just that much more the guitar you want it to be, then I say go for it. Just be sure that whomever gets the job has the skills to get it right the first time.
 

Roxy13

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It's never going to be collectible like a vintage Gibson or Fender, but there are other weirdos like me who collect Japanese guitars :rofl: It's rare enough that there probably are not any currently for sale. I've only seen 2 besides this one. I bet there are some 1961 Gibson LP/SG customs for sale though right now. Yes, for considerably more money, but you can find one if you want one.

So yes, rare. Perhaps not that sought after though except by people such as myself. And being an SG it will always get less attention than some of the singlecuts and 335 styles.

So I am going to give this some thought. Changing hardware or even the wiring harness is less of a concern because I can always keep the original parts in the case for whoever gets it after I'm gone.
 

ARandall

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I don't think you're going to lose anything by refrettng that burny to any fretwire that is offered. I can think of only 1 scenario where it might be of interest to do it, and its where the guitar was utterly immaculate in every aspect but the frets were toast - where you want to make it look like the frets were originals like the rest of the guitar.
 


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