'62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

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rbrcbr
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'62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

Post by rbrcbr » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:46 am

Hey everyone, just crossposting here from the Guild forum just to see what you guys think.

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I've got a '62 SFIII that I love dearly but haven't been playing much as the frets are super low and it's starting to sound buzzy, but is also in need of a neck reset (possibly). My tech had to remove the pickup shims from under the DeArmonds when I first got it to be able to get the action nice and playable without the strings hitting the pickups. It played nicely for a bit but from the start a reset was a consideration. My tech in Atlanta didn't feel comfortable doing the reset as he'd never done one with the neck joint like mine and was worried to mess up an old Guild. Seems that lots of people don't do them/like doing Guild resets due to the glue used/amount of glue used?

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When I went to Retrofret last year and asked about it, they mentioned it may not even be a neck reset issue, but a collapsed top right at the neck joint area? I didn't have the guitar with me so they couldn't evaluate it, but told me it's fairly common. Anyone else had to deal with this? When I look at mine, it does look almost like the heel of the neck is sitting in a sunken part of the arched top, but maybe it's a trick of the light. If this is the case, is there a fix for this? Humidifying?

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I got a quote from a local shop that was recommended to me from another tech on the west coast who is experienced in working on Guilds from working at the factory previously - the quote was pretty damn expensive and honestly feels like a lot to put into a guitar that I already have a bunch of money into.

What would you guys expect to pay for this sort of work? I was under the impression previously that some resets require refrets anyway, but I guess I was wrongly assuming that cost would be built into the reset cost. Gotta say, every price I've gotten for NYC repairs feels almost 200% the cost of stuff in Atlanta. It's wild. Either way, the work needs to be done. It's a special guitar to me and I really want to get it in tip top shape and put it to use.

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Re: '62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

Post by andy_tchp » Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:07 am

That looks like a fairly complex task, and not something I'd trust to anyone except someone with genuine credentials and testimonials from a community like OSG - or in this case, the Guild forums.

With a refret on top of the neck reset/repair, I probably wouldn't expect change from $600. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if the quote was $750+
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Re: '62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:24 am

"Guild neck reset".....shudder!

My 45 year old D50 will need one sooner rather than later & I too have heard all about the glue issues with Guilds (assuming they used the same stuff on electrics).
As Andy said, maybe there are folk on the LetsTalkGuild forum who can help from personal experience. I'd love to think it's a simpler fix but, if it is a full neck reset, I'd expect it to be an expensive job, if you want it done right.

For the record, your Starfire is the exact model that almost replaced my Vox Ultrasonic so I understand how fond you are of it. It's stunning!!!
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Re: '62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:59 am

Another thing...

If you do opt for a neck reset I suggest finding a luthier who used dry heat instead of steam. I've been spending hours watching a bunch of WoodfordInstruments videos on YouTube - fascinating stuff, almost therapeutic at times - and he's a strong advocate of this method.

Maybe you're already familiar with it so forgive me if this is old news . . . you drill a hole under the fret that's level with the neck joint & insert & heat rod that softens the glue. It avoids the unwanted side-effects associated with steam - lacquer ghosting, fretboard warping & unseen damp inside the guitar. If done well you simple re-cover up the hole with the fretwire & maybe spot-fill the gap. It's virtually invisible.
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Re: '62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:10 am

PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:59 am
Another thing...

If you do opt for a neck reset I suggest finding a luthier who used dry heat instead of steam. I've been spending hours watching a bunch of WoodfordInstruments videos on YouTube - fascinating stuff, almost therapeutic at times - and he's a strong advocate of this method.

Maybe you're already familiar with it so forgive me if this is old news . . . you drill a hole under the fret that's level with the neck joint & insert & heat rod that softens the glue. It avoids the unwanted side-effects associated with steam - lacquer ghosting, fretboard warping & unseen damp inside the guitar. If done well you simple re-cover up the hole with the fretwire & maybe spot-fill the gap. It's virtually invisible.
Sorry for the derail, but that is incredibly fascinating. I will have to look up Woodfordinstruments on YouTube. Thanks Mark!
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Re: '62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:38 am

He demonstrates the technique in this one, and a couple of others, I think.

Back to the Guild in question :)
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Re: '62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

Post by Scout » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:39 pm

The heel on an acoustic is a different style than your Starfire and would surely require an alternate method to remove it. The only neck reset I've done on a hollowbody was an old Gretsch Electromatic and it was not easy, I'm not sure of the construction of the Guild. It also looks like the top is sinking around the neck joint but that repair would also require some pricey disassembly. Either way a proper invisible repair is called for, I might ask Hans from the Guild forum for a recommendation .

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Re: '62 Starfire III neck reset/refret opinions

Post by rbrcbr » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:01 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:07 am
That looks like a fairly complex task, and not something I'd trust to anyone except someone with genuine credentials and testimonials from a community like OSG - or in this case, the Guild forums.

With a refret on top of the neck reset/repair, I probably wouldn't expect change from $600. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if the quote was $750+
Yeah, $600 for the reset, $500 for the refret. Really up there. I love the guitar but I could buy another quality guitar for that much. The shop recommended to me is quite reputable, and I was also suggested a former Guild employee based out of Florida, but that would require shipping. Would really prefer to avoid that.
PorkyPrimeCut wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:59 am
Another thing...

If you do opt for a neck reset I suggest finding a luthier who used dry heat instead of steam. I've been spending hours watching a bunch of WoodfordInstruments videos on YouTube - fascinating stuff, almost therapeutic at times - and he's a strong advocate of this method.

Maybe you're already familiar with it so forgive me if this is old news . . . you drill a hole under the fret that's level with the neck joint & insert & heat rod that softens the glue. It avoids the unwanted side-effects associated with steam - lacquer ghosting, fretboard warping & unseen damp inside the guitar. If done well you simple re-cover up the hole with the fretwire & maybe spot-fill the gap. It's virtually invisible.
Thanks for the info, I hadn't heard of this. It would be ideal to avoid any cosmetic or structural damage (of course), usually I wouldn't be too beat up if the finish got messed up but this one is sort of special.

Scout wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:39 pm
The heel on an acoustic is a different style than your Starfire and would surely require an alternate method to remove it. The only neck reset I've done on a hollowbody was an old Gretsch Electromatic and it was not easy, I'm not sure of the construction of the Guild. It also looks like the top is sinking around the neck joint but that repair would also require some pricey disassembly. Either way a proper invisible repair is called for, I might ask Hans from the Guild forum for a recommendation .
Yeah, seems to be the consensus. My tech in Atlanta immediately was like "yeah, I don't even know where to start on that". I figured hollowbody guitars wouldn't be such a pain but I guess I was wrong.

The top sinking is my biggest concern. Retrofret's tech mentioned that it may not even need a neck reset, but like you said, that means structural work and that will be even pricier. I did read somewhere that since a cutaway guitar is less supported structurally by the cutaway, the neck tends to drift over time slightly towards the cutaway. So even if the neck angle isn't off, it may need a reset anyway for good measure :fp: It's a guitar worth making sure it's done right, just not sure I can afford to go into all that at the moment. Thank for the input.

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