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Hi guys,

I have an American standard strat that I play as well as a Mexican standard. I seem to be wearing out the frets on the American standard and I'm not sure why this is. I thought the American would be of higher quality, there for hold up better. I play both of them equally but I don't seem to be wearing out the frets on the Mexican. You can see the frets flattened were I play the most and what was once full of sustain is now flat and dull. Is this something that can be repaired ? Will I have to have the frets replaced or replace the neck entirely? It it worth the investment?

Thanks

Dee
 

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I have 2006 American Deluxe Strat. It is an awesome guitar, except ... I also seem to be wearing its frets faster than any other guitar. A 2009 American Standard seems to wear normally (ie slow). It’s very conspicuous. Weird.
 

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JB Custom
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Be careful not to confuse "Made In USA" with "built to a higher standard". American made production guitars are primarily more expensive because the cost to manufacture them is higher in the US than foreign countries like Japan, Mexico, Korea, Indonesia, etc. A mexi-strat with upgraded pickups and a professional setup (including fret work) will be miles better than an off-the-shelf American Strat. The only real reason to buy production gear "Made In USA" or "Made In Canada" is to support domestic employment in the manufacturing sector.

The repair for your issue is usually getting a luthier to level/crown/polish your frets. However, I wouldn't go that route. In this case, they probably tried to reduce manufacturing costs by using cheaper fret wire. Cheaper wire is softer and wears faster, thus the flattening issue you're seeing. They will just wear out again if you don't change the frets.

Getting the frets replaced by a luthier (which generally includes a full set up) is usually $300-$400, depending who you use. If your neck isn't twisting or warping badly, I'd just do that. If you choose to replace the neck, you'll still need a proper setup after the replacement which adds to the cost (if you can't do it yourself).
 

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I had a 2004 am std Tele that needed frets dressed yearly at a hundred per trip. Grooves, flat tops etc. Ended up selling it, but in hindsight refretting would have been a great option.

You could go stainless and never think about it again. I have a 2008 Suhr with stainless, 10 yrs old and zero wear. If you really like the guitar it’s probably worth it.
 

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Strings? Same make model and gage on both guitars? Replaced as frequently? The underside of the strings can wear down, taking off the nickel coating, then the steel can corrode and the corrosion product (rust!) is abrasive, and wears your frets out.
 
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