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Menehune

Newport Pro Refret Cost?

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Sometimes nothin's easy. I bought a very nice 2000 Newport Pro on Reverb for a good price. The described "slight fret ware" turned out to be significant - frets 2 through 12 are significantly flattened, and frets 5 through 9 are shockingly dished under the G string (someone must be selling wound Gs coated in diamond dust). It's beyond leveling and recrowning, unless I want really flat frets, and especially if I want to preserve the fret pips in the neck binding. So my question is: about how much will a refret by a good luthier cost?

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I charge around 200 of your US dollars for the labour than it rises depending on what type of guitar is being refretted. If the guitar has binding, ebony board, lacquered board etc I charge extra as more time is needed. I also charge 2 hours extra for vintage Fender guitars as the frets are installed sideways and you get chipping when removing them (a lot). Then the price of fretwire, nut, strings etc is on top. Those prices are about right for England. $250 would be about the best price I think. Check the luthier/tech reviews/history....

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It is worth the shipping charge to send it to our own murkat (Jay - NTL Guitar in Nashville  http://www.ntlguitar.com/). He's done two refrets for me: my #1 LP and a Special FM that I custom ordered with the wrong size frets. After 35 years of strangling death grip abuse, the LP was nearly unplayable. It now plays better than it ever had and is ready for another 35.  And as good as the LP is, I was stunned to see the Special: The work is absolutely flawless - you CAN NOT tell it isn't factory original.

The LP is my #1 for many years, and the Special FM is my #2 humbucker guitar and my first custom order from Hamer, so they are very important to me. I wasn't real keen on sending either of them anywhere for work. There are several others here on the board that do amazing work as well (maybe close enough that you won't need to ship) that should be considered. Jay gets my vote because he's so damn cute.

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If frets 1-12 look like a war zone but frets 13 up look virgin, there is the option of partial refret in the war zone and then a full level, crown and polish. I do partials on a lot of acoustics owned by capo junkies. Note the key word - "acoustics" - in that those guitars just don't get played or played hard in the upper register. May not be an option for you but throwing it out there if applicable.

For comparison purposes when you're shopping a fret guy, I clock at the $350 ballpark for a bound rosewood board with "you call" fret size and a new matched bone nut, and fret nibs go adios buh-bye when I do 'em.

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binding nibs can be saved. more time involved, can be done.

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The time to precisely cut the frets to space perfectly between the nibs is labor intensive enough, then there's the scenario if some of the binding nibs are so worn that they have to be built back up with a binding "paste" to better match the height of the new frets. Nibs wear just as frets do. Nib rebuilds are so there's no step-off transition maintaining fret height (visually obvious) or no hard roll on the fret end(s) to match the worn nib(s) that increases the chance of "E" strings rolling off the fretboard edges while playing, which defeats why the "player" in you invested in new iron in the first place. Nib rebuilds, if needed, will obviously add more bench time to the gig.

Making, seamlessly placing and shaping the hardened paste isn't that bad, but perfectly matching the patch paste color to the existing binding color is more challenging than one would think. When I patched some of my very worn '74 Hummingbird's binding with homebrew paste, I had about a half dozen different batch mixes trying to nail the exact creamy color of the aged binding to which it would mate. And the best match, while damn close and good enough for the guitar in question and 99 percent of the guitar-playing population, still wouldn't pass an OCD eye's test - there are apparently substantially more than six or so hues of "creamy aged off-white." :)  This is one of a few reasons I don't save nibs when I do refrets.

I'd definitely send this job to Murkat Jay if I were you, he's an experienced and great player in addition to an experienced and great repair guy and you NEED, NEED both characteristics in the guy you seek for this type of job. There are many things in this job that can go not necessarily wrong but definitely "not right" from both a repair and a player's standpoint.

Since I've been offering constructive information and I've point-blank recommended Murkat as THE guy for your Newport's refret, here's a shameless self-promotion on a refret I did this weekend. This MIM strat's owner wanted the jumbo'est of jumbos (this is Jescar NS18 58118 wire) and a fret edge break angle that would eliminate "E" rolloffs while retaining comfort on his main gigging guitar. Its owner is also one of five guitar repair guys in my immediate market and the second of those five in recent times to send me refrets for their personal guitars. I'm kinda proud of that.

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tip, if you're going to make an item not as described claim refund, partial refund, make sure you do it

within 5 days... reverb will help on "not as described" cases even if it's a "no returns" item but you

have to bring up the issue promptly.     and I would do using their messaging system, so they

can view the correspondence.  

 

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3 minutes ago, DaveL said:

tip, if you're going to make an item not as described claim refund, partial refund, make sure you do it

within 5 days... reverb will help on "not as described" cases even if it's a "no returns" item but you

have to bring up the issue promptly.     and I would do using their messaging system, so they

can view the correspondence.  

 

Thanks for the tip, DaveL.

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45 minutes ago, murkat said:

around 3fiddy all in.

 

Plus the time to find good local luthier, and more finding time and shipping charges failing that. This guitar will then press the upper bound of Newport Pro sales prices. Unfortunately the more I noodle on it, the more it becomes the cute, playful pound puppy....

Edited by Menehune
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8 hours ago, Vic Croll (Concrete Sox) said:

I also charge 2 hours extra for vintage Fender guitars as the frets are installed sideways and you get chipping when removing them (a lot).

Are you using the same sideways method for removal?  Coupled with a proper heating I've seen frets removed from the older Fenders with very little chipping at all.

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12 hours ago, Menehune said:

Unfortunately the more I noodle on it, the more it becomes the cute, playful pound puppy....

See, I could help you with that.  Just put it down and send it my way; you'll never be tempted again.

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1 hour ago, cynic said:

Are you using the same sideways method for removal?  Coupled with a proper heating I've seen frets removed from the older Fenders with very little chipping at all.

 

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1 hour ago, cynic said:

Are you using the same sideways method for removal?  Coupled with a proper heating I've seen frets removed from the older Fenders with very little chipping at all.

Nope! I have never got any sideways frets out cleanly from the side...

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3 hours ago, hamerhead said:

It is worth the shipping charge to send it to our own murkat (Jay - NTL Guitar in Nashville  http://www.ntlguitar.com/). He's done two refrets for me: my #1 LP and a Special FM that I custom ordered with the wrong size frets. After 35 years of strangling death grip abuse, the LP was nearly unplayable. It now plays better than it ever had and is ready for another 35.  And as good as the LP is, I was stunned to see the Special: The work is absolutely flawless - you CAN NOT tell it isn't factory original.

The LP is my #1 for many years, and the Special FM is my #2 humbucker guitar and my first custom order from Hamer, so they are very important to me. I wasn't real keen on sending either of them anywhere for work. There are several others here on the board that do amazing work as well (maybe close enough that you won't need to ship) that should be considered. Jay gets my vote because he's so damn cute.

So I've no reason to fret if I keep this critter and send it to murkat? 😆 Good to know.

This Newport was the guy's daily player for 18 years. The frets are really chewed through, but strangely there's no wear at all of the neck finish. I'd really like to preseve it's factory appearance, including those binding nibs.

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2 hours ago, Jeff R said:

If frets 1-12 look like a war zone but frets 13 up look virgin, there is the option of partial refret in the war zone and then a full level, crown and polish. I do partials on a lot of acoustics owned by capo junkies. Note the key word - "acoustics" - in that those guitars just don't get played or played hard in the upper register. May not be an option for you but throwing it out there if applicable.

For comparison purposes when you're shopping a fret guy, I clock at the $350 ballpark for a bound rosewood board with "you call" fret size and a new matched bone nut, and fret nibs go adios buh-bye when I do 'em.

This guitar is eligible for a partial refret, but possibly saving only the 6 or 7 upper frets. This fellow rode the whole fretboard.

I understand knocking off the nibs during a refret. I'd like to keep that factory character, though.

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9 hours ago, Toadroller said:

See, I could help you with that.  Just put it down and send it my way; you'll never be tempted again.

What a kind offer! But it would miss me. Miss me terribly. It would sob. You would pick it up to comfort it, and It would wail in your hands. I couldn't possibly have all its inconsolable suffering, and your burden of trying to ease that awful pain, on my conscience. Nope. Couldn't do it.

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On 12/15/2017 at 2:02 PM, Menehune said:

Roughly

couple of hours added. Each fret has to be precisionly cut, filed, fitted to place.

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On 12/15/2017 at 3:02 PM, Menehune said:

Roughly, how much can saving those nibs add to a fret job, murkat?

SCRAP the NIBS! Fret OVER BINDING WINS EVERY TIME.

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12 minutes ago, gtrdaddy said:

SCRAP the NIBS! Fret OVER BINDING WINS EVERY TIME.

Nope, for thee reasons.

First, I anticipate this will be a partial refret.

Second, not saving the nibs is to me like Kahlerizing a 4-digit. If you're a preservationist, it violates the spirit of the original design intent. If you're a collector it could depress the instrument's future value.

Third, YMMV, but I find no playing advantage to fret over binding.

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16 minutes ago, Menehune said:

Nope, for thee reasons.

First, I anticipate this will be a partial refret.

Second, not saving the nibs is to me like Kahlerizing a 4-digit. If you're a preservationist, it violates the spirit of the original design intent. If you're a collector it could depress the instrument's future value.

Third, YMMV, but I find no playing advantage to fret over binding.

Sure, if it’s a partial, and I get the wish to preserve the original design if you’re a collector. But, for a player guitar, unless you’re strictly a jazzer not using heavy vibrato or string bends, fret over binding is always the way to go.

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1 hour ago, gtrdaddy said:

Sure, if it’s a partial, and I get the wish to preserve the original design if you’re a collector. But, for a player guitar, unless you’re strictly a jazzer not using heavy vibrato or string bends, fret over binding is always the way to go.

In some tens of years playing rock and blues, I've not been impeded by dem nibs. My pulls and bends, alone and in vibrato, are all on metal. I've also found no advantage to those guitars fretted to the fretboard edge or over the neck binding. Again, YMMV.

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6 hours ago, Menehune said:

In some tens of years playing rock and blues, I've not been impeded by dem nibs. My pulls and bends, alone and in vibrato, are all on metal. I've also found no advantage to those guitars fretted to the fretboard edge or over the neck binding. Again, YMMV.

It is to an extent a personal preference, but I think you’ll find that you’re in the minority on this.

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I had not looked at this thread since like day two, then I noticed it keeps getting bumped. All this is why I stopped buying things to preserve or collect. But its pretty easy, you either keep it or you don't. If you keep it anyone doing the repair is going to have to have it in hand before they can give you a solid number. Good news is we have capable members that can do the job and that choice is up to you, nibs/nubs or no nubs/nibs. 

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