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April 2017 Giveaway

Don’t Fret Over a Refret

Q: How often should a guitar be refretted?

A: There is no easy answer to this one. However, we can say that often guitars are refretted that really only need a neck adjustment and set-up by professionals (services which we provide on a regular basis here at Sweetwater). Most manufacturers of fretted instruments use nickel alloy fretwire, which are softer than stainless steel frets. This is because the builder must cut, file and sand all fretwire with tools that only last a certain amount of time. The cost of replacing these tools is directly proportionate to how expensive a guitar might be, and what type of frets are used. For most guitar players, the original frets will never have to be replaced as long as the fretboard is kept clean (dirt and grime will wear away frets almost as fast as sanding). Guitarists who play on a daily basis for many hours professionally on just one instrument are the ones who will most likely eventually require a refret or two. A word of caution: Poor refrets are the number one cause of fingerboard replacements. Unless you have personally done this under the supervision of a professional, never, ever attempt a refret yourself.

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