John Abercrombie

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The Patient:

John Abercrombie's
Ibanez Artist.

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John's guitar with the frets out awaiting it's turn at the leveling bench.
Diagnosis:

This guitar primarily needed a refret. In addition, John had the pickups replaced & he wanted me to put the original pickups back in.

 

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Here's a shot before the fingerboard prep...
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... and after, the board is leveled - the fret slots are prepped - & chamfered.
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A better shot of the board.
As far as I'm concerned, the most critical part of any re-fret is the prep work that goes into the board. It's now ready for the frets.

 

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The first half of the frets go in (every other) and the board is examined to see how it's reacting to the fret compression.
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The rest of the frets follow. The ends are clipped and we check to make sure each fret is seated properly.
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Back to the leveling bench - the fret ends are beveled & the fret tops get a quick leveling. If the prep work on the board is done well, there should only be a minimal of leveling required.

 

John's new frets measured .047" high before they were put in, and .045 after insertion & leveling. Once again - the key was in the prep work of the board. Ibanez07.jpg (102708 bytes)
That's how we like to see them. Perfectly round - perfectly level.
If you get fret work done & the board isn't touched - your only getting half the job done to your guitar. Always ask your tech how he's going to do the job. A good luthier won't mind explaining his procedures
to you.

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For John's guitars we do some unique "precision fret work". Here's what I mean - he plays with such a low action (Normal is anywhere from 3/64" to 5/64" for the average guitar. John's likes his guitars set from 1.5/64ths to 2/64ths (absurdly low for the average guitar player - but then again, John's not the average guitar player). What we did on this McCurdy Archtop , as on some of John's other guitars, is set the fret height to gradually decrease as you climbed up the fingerboard - in other words his frets would lose about one thousandth of an inch for every four or five frets as you go up the board - not an easy task - but for John - It was worth the effort to see him smile when playing it.
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Here's a shot of me doing some precision fret work to John's McCurdy Archtop (a beautiful guitar).

E-Mail me to find out more about this procedure
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Check back for more of John's guitars - we've got a bunch in the shop now - so check back soon !


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E-Mail Us !
E-Mail Us


307 Route 22
P.O. Box 405
Goldens Bridge, NY 10526

(914) 401-9052
 

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