Skip to content
Worn frets - What t...
Clear all

Worn frets - What to do?

2 Posts
2 Users
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 628
Topic starter  

Hi all

I bought a relatively cheap Stagg acoustic 15 months ago - I have noticed that the first, second and third frets are showing signs of wear, especially on the B string - nice little grooves.

Any advice on whether it's worth fixing. I have another guitar, but this one is my first, so I'd like to keep it in full working order if financially viable...

D 8)

I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038

if the wear -- even though visible -- is not affecting playability (roughness, catching), tone or intonation (shifted or indistinct contact point) and is not causing any buzzing (too low), then do nothing. just keep playing. but when any of these problems start to happen, then the guilty frets should be assessed for leveling to remove the groove and recrowning to restore the shape. both of these are filing operations. if the fret is too worn or has a very low profile, there may not be enough height for individual fret leveling and recrowning. then either nearby frets will need the same treatment to maintain uniform, playable heights, or it's time to replace the fret ... and level and recrown the new one to match the profiles of the other frets.

generally, there is no rush to fix a worn fret unless it actually causes a problem, because leveling and recrowning are not going to stop wear of the fret -- it could actually wear down even faster after, as recrowning reduces the contact area with the string. that's good for intonation and tone, but wear marches on.

when you notice wear affecting playability or tone, have a luthier or tech assess the frets for leveling/recrowning or replacement. he may wish to try filing first and if that doesn't work, replace the frets.

-=tension & release=-