"I used my guitar at a gig friday night and it just played real nice!"
-B.K. Ithaca, NY
There are three reasons we refret guitars: to replace worn out frets, to allow for straightening of the fretboard and as a modification to an instrument for a player who wishes to alter the feel of their instrument.
Most manufacturers of fretted stringed instruments use fretwire made from a nickel alloy. Fret wire is typically somewhat soft because luthiers must cut, file and sand fretwire in a timely manner with tools that sustain wear with every fretting. Because fret wire is typically not as durable as one might believe, strings encrusted with dirt and oils from the player’s fretting hand act like sand paper when depressed upon the fret causing small pits to form in the frets. Eventually the frets will wear out and new frets must be installed. It should be noted that stainless steel frets may be installed in place of nickel alloy frets. Stainless steel frets are much harder than those made from nickel alloy. Consequently they take much longer to wear.
Bowed or Twisted Neck
Often times an instrument will develop a permanently bowed neck as a reaction to long-term exposure to string tension. Most bowed necks may be repaired by removing the frets and straightening the fretboard with a plane and sandpaper.
Customizing Your Instrument
From time to time we refret instruments for our clients in order to give them frets of differing dimensions from those installed by the manufacturer. Because tone and feel are subjective, we try to abstain from debates regarding modifying instruments for a specified tone and feel. If you are considering having your instrument modified to change the tone or feel from its original specifications we recommend that you seek out and study the tone and feel of instruments that have already received the modifications that you are considering. Once you have decided upon a specific model of fret wire we are always more than happy to install them for you.