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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Help me decide about a fret level?

Contributing Member

Washington DC

Jan 20th, 2018 06:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

My No. 1 partscaster Strat has shallow grooves in the first four frets (see photo) but little wear on the others. The grooves don't yet affect play.

Should I get a fret level done now, when the grooves are shallower, or wait till there is buzzing or resistance to bending?

I know the other option is a new neck. This is a nice Fender MIM 60s Player neck with 12" radius, which I like alot. A complete fret level costs $100, a partial about $40. A replacement neck would be $250.

What would you do?

Thank you!

Groovy but functional

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Jan 20th, 2018 06:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'd play it for a few more years.

Contributing Member

Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 21st, 2018 04:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'd wait until you noticed problems.

There will potentially be a noticeable change in feel to the neck if you skim everything to match the worn frets. You will probably be more comfortable with what you have now, until such time as you start to get buzzes.

Contributing Member

Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 21st, 2018 04:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

Agreed. If it bugs you, get it done. If not, rock on!


michigan usa

Jan 21st, 2018 04:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

You will soon, if you aren't already, be tuning one way to play in the open position and another way when playing bar-chords. I say get a full level done.

A new neck would be silly if you consider that you can get your existing one leveled twice for the same money. Fret-leveling is just maintenance.

If you do nothing then you'll be looking at a re-fret soon enough.

All that said, you could always just replace those three frets...

Contributing Member

Edmond, OK

Jan 21st, 2018 01:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

"All that said, you could always just replace those three frets..."


Contributing Member

Washington DC

Jan 21st, 2018 02:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thank you, gents. A good framework for making a decision. I should have mentioned that the frets are "medium jumbos," which are wide but shorter than most modern frets.

I would think I could get one good leveling out of them before replacing them, which could last me another 5 years or longer.

This guitar is a favorite but there are others, and I've gradually begun to play more up and down the neck. But if I come into some surplus cash, I might spring for it earlier (level or replacing 4 frets).

Thanks again

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Help me decide about a fret level?

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