I bought a Squier Classic Vibe 50’s Tele about a year ago.
My practice routine is 40 minutes ( song revision I changed to 10 mins. Plus blind chords and F… ) and currently module 13 grade 2.
So lucky 13… Frets are a consumable, but one year on new guitar…
Was getting a bit of fret buzz and have a couple of big V’s in the first few frets where I had a bit of a death grip after previous guitar had a very badly cut nut so B string and high E string were quite high.
£120 for a fret level and a couple of other jobs.
Circa £200 for a refret in stainless steel…
Love the neck and it would play a lot better for a lot longer.
Thoughts… Other than Squier making frets out of a very cheap and soft material…
Seems odd. I play more than that and no need for a refret any time soon. How deep are the grooves?
Maybe just try tweaking the action or truss rod first.
Maybe get fret level first there should be plenty of meat on the frets to fix. Also get a setup so it’s easier to play.
Ah year is pretty soon but for that price difference i’d opt for the refret.
Considering the price of the guitar, that is a bummer.
fret level of first frets might probably do wonders already
IF you would refret, make sure to go for stainless steel for extra durability.
Also, that technique issue you describe -could- be part of the issue.
Sounds more like regret after one year
Spending £200 on new frets for a year-old, £340 guitar would not seem to be good value to me.
Unless you are particularly attached to your instrument, I’d consider selling it and using the proceeds (with the refret £200) to buying a new or secondhand guitar.
(Harley Benton make good guitars with stainless steel frets for that kind of dosh)
Think of all the pleasure in researching what you’d like as well
Call from guitar tech, he has taken a look and a fret dress should stop the choking up the dusty end.
The refret on a gloss neck has risks of cracking the finish but will think of stainless if I get a refret in the future.
An interesting article, particularly the bit about using a capo. Hadn’t really thought about it before but of course regular use of a tight capo on the first few frets will cause dents in the frets. Particularly where the thinnest strings are involved.
hmmmmm……I’ve never had a refret in 5 years
I think the capo takeaway is “don’t crank it”. It also can pull some or all of the strings sharp if too tight.
I played with a tuner and an adjustable capo to get it as right as I could. Pretty easy to pull sharp, but too loose is also a problem.
I did the same with my fingers, it is interesting to see how your finger pressure effects tone. Not only does too much pressure hurt the fingers and hand, it wears frets and sharpens your notes.
Yep, I have been using a capo on first few frets.
Then there was the death grip for a C or an Am on the B string as a carry over from badly cut nut on other guitar. The V was very pronounced, but probably not going to be able to show in a photo now…
The capo I use has a tension adjuster so before I use it next, I’ll make sure the tension is at the minimum required not to buzz.
As for the ‘death grip’, it’s something I think we all suffer from in the early days. I still have to make a conscious effort to loosen my grip when moving from my acoustic to my electric. Lower action and lighter strings means it’s all to easy to to press too hard and make the notes sharp.
I saw a capo advertised that had something between strings and fret. Can’t find it now to post a link for comment… “Wear free capo” or something like that it was called. About £25.
Trying to only use enough pressure to get a clean note now and have bought some pure nickel strings to try. ( Rotosound PN9 )…
The main reason for premature fret wear is placing your finger or your capo to far away from the fret. The farther you place your fingers or capo the faster the frets will wear down because the string vibrates from point of contact with the fret board. Placing your point of contact as close or right on to the fret will reduce fret wear dramatically.
Another option for an inexpensive guitar like a Squier is to just buy a new neck. They bolt on and off really easily.
Perhaps Fender/Squier sell a Tele neck with SS frets?
$300 usd on fenders site for their cheapest tele neck
Those prices seem pretty cheap for a dress or a refret - there’s a lot of work involved to get it right.
Any sort of work required a year after purchase is a bit strange though - some frets are made of garbage material, but should last longer than that.
One issue is that they are not perfect from the factory , which appears to be an almost universal thing. It could be that yours is just one of those monday guitars where things are really wonky!
one of the first things to do is to check that the fret is seated correctly - Crimson Guitars do a few good videos on this on Youtube. If the frets aren’t seated correctly, then they can be a real issue when a Level, Crown and Polish is performed.
After that, just see if it is possible to replace a couple of frets and if necessary put some fall-off on the high ones rather than a full blown refret.
Capos are a pain if left on. My LP style guitar, bought from a local store second-hand has some serious divots in the first fret, where it looks like someone has left a capo on.
Time to be brave and do my first re-fret
Do you love that guitar and never want to be without it, ever. And will do whatever it takes to keep it playing nice and be your go-to 6-string friend?
When Leo Fender designed his guitars, the ability to replace parts was an intrinsic part of his concept. Unlike other guitars with glued in necks etc. This is worth looking at.
That is for a Fender branded neck to fit a Fender instrument. It is worth checking the exact spec as many Squiers have a different size neck. Plus, there are many other parts manufacturers that cost less.
I hadn’t really thought of that, but that makes a lot of sense.
If you are at all DIY inclined, the cost of a few fret dressing tools may be worth it. With the correct tools, it isn’t that hard, just a bit fastidious. Lots of online directions as well. But this type of DIY isn’t for everyone.
I see replacement necks, not Fender or Squier from about £45 on Amazon, then that would probably need serious fettling to get it to play well.
I got it back today, they polished a few frets higher up the neck where it was buzzing a little and changed a crackly tone pot. £40.
So I now have CTS pots for volume and Tone.
Tuners work well, pickups sound good, playing well again now. I like the feel of the neck and probably don’t play well enough to be worthy of a more costly instrument.
I like it enough to seriously consider a stainless steel refret when the time comes…
I did get a travel guitar with stainless frets, because of the fret wear on this one.