Hey! Have you had, or been told you need a refret lately?
I have some news for you, and it's not that great, but I'm just gonna put it out there..OK? Here we go.
Nearly everyday, I get a phone call where someone asks me how much a refret is. Business is good right? So we talk about the guitar and the frets, and I always ask, "are you sure it needs a refret?". Inevitably the answer is "yes" and often, " A friend/tech/internet/mum had a look at it and they reckon it needs a refret"
Well, as much as I dislike saying so & so is wrong, I feel compelled to tell you this...
9 times out of 10, the guitar in question does NOT need a refret!
I'm not sure why people are so keen to rip your frets out, but I can tell you, after being in this game for nearly 30 years or so, a fret level and recrown is usually all that is needed DESPITE how bad the frets may look to YOU.
I had a friend come in recently with a guitar that wasn't even 10 years old, an acoustic. The guitar had been refretted by the guy when it went in for a setup! I asked why it had been done, and the response was "He said it needed it". The job was a bit ropey and the ends were sticking out and it cost $400!. I can tell you this kind of thing makes me furious! Another scenario.
A customer comes in to see me, needed a refret. Well, this guy plays a lot! His band is touring all the time and he's on the go. The frets did look pretty bad! But, guess what?! I just did a fret level and recrown and back in business. Total cost $200 odd.
Him: Thanks Steve, it plays like a brand new guitar!
Me: Cheers! It's amazing how much fret there is isn't there?
Him: It's crazy!
SO! next time someone says "give me $X00 for a refret, PLEASE think twice and save your money!