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Vintage frets and 7.5 radius

 
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dombat
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Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 311
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:16 am    Post subject: Vintage frets and 7.5 radius Reply with quote

I own a '84 Goldstar, rosewood 7.5 radius fretboard with vintage type frets 0.7 mm high.
I CANNOT play this guitar, I'm used to LP style fretboards, 12 radius and regular LP type frets.
I do a lot of bends and vibrato but I don't like to feel the fretboard under my fingers, and when I play chords I have problems pressing the 1st string

What can I do? Could I just refret it with medium jumbo, and change the radius to 9.5 or even 12? (the rosewood is rather thin)

I also intend to change the whole neck and use a Mighty Might compound radius (9.5 to 12) one.

I know that I need a good strat, I love watching my Goldstar but that's not enough!
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Mono
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Joined: 14 Nov 2009
Posts: 418
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i know what you mean... had 1980 te85 was 7.25 radius but had it changed to 9.5 on a refret., was all maple though
would be worth emailing a luthier for their opinion.. im sure mot old hands will have reradiused a veneer rosewood board
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Suki
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Joined: 22 Feb 2013
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Location: London, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swap it out for a vneck maple version?
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Chris Downing
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Posts: 35
Location: Wiltshire

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Technique Reply with quote

Sounds to me like you have a technique issue of some sort. Although a lot of guys will talk about strings choking off as they get pushed across the neck, that's only really going to happen if you go beyond a one tone bend - something like a push on a string that moves it about 3/4 inch.

However it may be the way this neck is set up. Small frets make slides very easy, but big frets makes the neck easier to play as it feels kind of scolloped due to the big frets and the string being pressed down between two high points.

Do you have a picture of this neck - you sure someone hasn't stoned down the fret crowns? I've guitars with frets like a Gibson and my Tokai with small retro frets and have not problems at all - in fact I prefer the small frets. Post us a pic so we can see the fret profile.
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ivansc
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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Location: U.K.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sacrilege! Swap or sell it to someone that CAN play it.
Especially if it has the triangular neck section.

Real Fenders like this are pretty rare in maple and are absolutely like rocking horse poo in rosewood.

Same goes for the Tokais.
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JVsearch
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Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Posts: 2017
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree a bit with the OP - worn down vintage frets totally suck.

But...
Where did you get that 0.7mm measurement from - just the height of the crown?

Most reasonable size frets are 1mm or a bit higher, but 0.7 isn't too bad, maybe they have been incorrectly filed or something. The shape of the crown can make a big difference.
You could also be in the early stages of getting used to the smaller radius. If they aren't really worn down you will get used to it.

It is your guitar and you have to feel like you want to play it, so if you want to change the feel of the neck and re-fret it, go ahead!

If you re-sell it later on just as many potential buyers will thank you for putting decent frets on as those who crap on you for "screwing" up some glorious original old guitar.
The parts wear out and are designed to be replaced, but that's not an issue for people who just look at them. SRV's Strat was basically a partscaster that had been re-fretted more than a few times.

It's really a problem finding a guitar on the web that has the feel you want, it's too subjective, and sellers will always tell you that's what vintage frets are like even when really they are actually pretty worn.
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Chris Downing
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Posts: 35
Location: Wiltshire

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Worn 'Vintage' Frets Reply with quote

Trouble with the small frets is there isn't a lot of actual metal inthem so if they have been played by someone who is pretty rough on bending and generally heavy finger pressure they will get worn down. You might get two or three fret dressings out of them but eventually you'll need new frets. No big deal for a pro luthier as they areva press fit and can be removedvand replaced - althoughh the maple necks with more varnish around the frets makes if more tricky - but just tricky not 'can't be done'.

A problem I have seen on many guitars is the owneror someone has 'stoned' the frets to achieve a lower action and left the crown flat and killed the sustain as a result. These guitars really need a refret - but afterwards play beautifully and while you are doingnthat you'll probably sort out other digs and scrapes on the neck, so you'll feel at the end like you have a new neck again.

Get an experience pro luthier to help you decide what needs doing (or if it's just you and the way you play).
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