Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fret Job Gibson ES-175 (1971) by Gryphon Stringed instruments

I've have an old Gibson ES 175 that was lurking in my closet because I had worn the frets down by playing  it for the better part of 30 years. This guitar has been through my younger crazy days and is special to me because it's always been reliable and has great tone. However, the frets were becoming non-existent. I decided to take my guitar to Gryphon Stringed Instruments for consultation and repair. The decision was a easy, do it.

The following are some photo's showing the various stages of the work accomplished and photographed by James Hingston.
Gibson ES 175 (1971)
 Backside Burst

42 years of playing will wear a fret thin!
The Gibson ES 175 "fretless wonder!"
The guitar was playable but required more finger pressure to fret the note.
At Gryphon Strings - James Hingston's bench
 Frets removed waiting for fret board level
Checking the fret board level. Not too bad!
Sanding the fret board.
 Making that 41 year old rosewood flat!
Cleaning the fret slots - Important!
Frets radius prepared to match fret board
Cutting the tange to fit neck binding.
Ready to trim the edges. 
Hammering in the frets - Almost done! 
Frets before fret job look almost non-existent.
Frets after re-fretting. Wow!
Nice tall and round frets product great tone and intonation.
 Fret board looks like new too!
Nice new bone nut (save the original) looks nice

The guitar now plays effortlessly. I had been missing the tone of this guitar and had substituted by playing an archtop with floating pickups. The problem with the floating pickups is that they also pickup the drummer and make playing over a loud drummer virtually impossible without feedback. With the ES-175 design, feedback isn't an issue anymore. Besides, these old humbucker seem to get better with age!

I was lucky and got my guitar in and out in a relatively small amount of time. James work was impeccable, detailed and he is an excellent collaborator. The entire staff is top notch and you can rest assured that your instrument will be handled with the utmost care and attention. If you are vacillating about doing a fret job - don't procrastinate! If you love the guitar then get a fret job but if like the guitar - sell it and get a new guitar from Gryphon Stringed Instruments. I am only sorry I waited as long as I did because now I have a new vintage instrument that sounds awesome and will last many many more years.

James Hingston completed the fret work and documentation on this page. Additionally, James is a talented artist and has his own web page. I encourage art enthusiasts to visit his page and support his creativity.

Thanks! Scott

No comments:

Post a Comment