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Discussion Starter #1
Back in December of last year I picked up a 52 Wildwood thin skin. The only problem with it was that the fretboard was so over rolled and the frets were cut on such a bevel there was no room on the frets and the e string constantly fell off.
So I decided to get a refret. Unfortunately the luthier said the only way to fix it is to sand the fretboard down to get rid of the rolled edges. Unfortunately this was going to make the neck much thinner. It was a chunky neck and it came back to me fairly thin. Its actually slightly thinner than a cheap squire strat that my grand daughter has. I had stainless steel frets put on. The fret board was lightly lacquered and the back of the neck was left bare wood, for which I'm going to shellac.
As I like chunky necks I thought this was going to be a deal breaker. After all the money I have spent it was disheartening to think that I'd have to give up on this guitar.
But after spending the last few days playing it continuously I will not part with it.
The only con is that the neck is thinner than I like. My other 2 electrics are a masterbuilt nocaster, very chunky neck and a custom shop 55 strat with a neck almost as chunky as the nocaster.
Even though its a thin neck it doesn't cramp my hand or cause any other issues. I just prefer to feel more wood. Infact I find I can play faster on the thinner neck and I have a lighter touch with it. The tone seems improved since I got it back. It sounds bigger and more piano like clarity. Not sure if thats an affect of a thinner neck or the stainless steel frets or just in my mind. But I do know this is my favorite sounding guitar and I'm going to have to get over the thin neck.
I actually can't see me playing the MB Nocaster much and have been tempted to see what that neck would be like on my 52 thin skin. As far as feel and size the MB Nocaster is my favorite neck. But it doesn't sound as good to me as the 52 thin skin.
I'll be gigging with the 52 this weekend so I'll see how it performs in that scenario.
 

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I did a refret and board refinish on an American Vintage 52 tele a few years back, pretty similar experience. It was an early one and had really deep grooves in the lower frets. I had the luthier flatten out the fingerboard radius from vintage to 9-12 compound and put stainless frets on. The neck is significantly thinner, and feels quite modern, but it plays well and sounds good. I've bonded with it, and I don't think I would go back to the vintage neck.
 

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^^^ What he said.
 

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Was removing the old fretboard and replacing it with a new one, not an option?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Was removing the old fretboard and replacing it with a new one, not an option?

Its a one piece maple neck. I did wonder about adding another piece on top, after the fact.
 

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Its a one piece maple neck. I did wonder about adding another piece on top, after the fact.
So, you have 20/20 hindsight..........................just like me.:)
 

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How much did the refret cost, if you don't mind me asking?

What made you choose to refret instead of just replacing the entire neck?
 

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I don't get it. You bought a guitar for $2300USD and had to have a refret a year later?
Man oh man! For that kind of money, a guitar better be perfect in everyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't get it. You bought a guitar for $2300USD and had to have a refret a year later?
Man oh man! For that kind of money, a guitar better be perfect in everyway.
If only guitars were that simple. I swear that this guitar is one of the best playing, best feeling, best sounding guitars I've ever owned. And I've owned many. It beats out my Masterbuilt Nocaster as my #1 guitar. The only problem it had is the fret issue. To me this is a bad thing on Fenders part to have these way over rolled fret board edges and beveled frets leaving very little fret room for error. Well that problem is fixed, Now the neck is slightly smaller than I prefer but after playing a gig with it this weekend its far from a deal breaker. It played beautiful. The fret job and set up that Freddy did was excellent. If I had unlimited funds I'd be tempted to replace the neck with something a little chunkier but #1 I don't think its necessary and #2 I've spent $700 on this neck so far.
Oh and this guitar cost me $1,700 US from Wildwood. It was used. Albeit it was a 2017 model so not that used.
 

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I'm glad it worked out for you in the end.
I've got a Strat that I'm debating whether to do a refret or just buy a new neck. This guitar is 20 yrs old, and the frets are almost done.
 
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