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Phil O'Keefe

Bound fretboards?

Do you like bound fretboards  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like bound fretboards?

    • I like the look, and prefer guitars that have them
      6
    • I like the look, but the downsides outweigh that IMO
      1
    • I don't care for the way they look
      0
    • Terry D
      3


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There are some downsides to them, such as making the guitar more difficult to re-fret later, but I do like the way they look. However, I have plenty of guitars that I like very much that don't feature bound fingerboards, so it's not a deal breaker for me either way. 

How about you? Do you prefer guitars with bound fretboards or do you prefer unbound necks? 

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Terry D...I have examples of both...makes no difference to me; as long as the guitar plays well, I don't give a rat's patootie:wave:

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3 minutes ago, daddymack said:

Terry D...I have examples of both...makes no difference to me; as long as the guitar plays well, I don't give a rat's patootie:wave:

What's a patootie?... asking for a friend. 😉 

 

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A-hem: I was using the more pejorative 2.2, not the more archaic 1.1

pa·too·tie
/pəˈto͞odē/
noun
  1. 1.
    informaldated
    a girlfriend or a pretty girl.
    "she's a real hot patootie"
     
  2. 2.
    informalNorth American
    a person's or animal's buttocks.
    "in his mildly frazzled moments, he might refer to one of his staff as a horse's patootie"
     

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I am passionately neutral. Not gonna make or break decision, though I do like the smoothness on the hand

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Re-fret is an issue for me.

Frets are like strings - but you don't have to change them as often.

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My "good" acoustic has a bound fretboard, as does my banjo. All my other guitars are unbound. Binding looks cool but it's not a deal breaker one way or the other.

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Guitars with bound necks and bodies are typically a higher quality instrument using higher quality materials. If you're believer that hands on equals higher quality then bound necks require a lot of hands on compared to unbound necks which are mass produced at much higher levels often using lower quality woods or at least woods that see less inspection due to lower hands on  percentages. 

  The biggest point is, when you bind necks and bodies, the added routing isn't going to work out so hot if you have crappy wood quality. Knots and wood grain issues are not good candidates for routing because you wind up having to fill anything that chips away. Binding is usually reserved for instruments built with better woods, so you usually wind up with an instrument that sounds better and is built better. 

 

I agree with others when it comes to re-fretting however.  I've done many bound necks and it typically takes twice as long because each fret needs to be custom sized before installing them. Cleaning the channels, in the fretboard trimming the fret tangs are all a big challenge.  My Rickenbacker was probably the toughest bound neck I've done because it has a lacquered rosewood fretboard. Removing frets without chipping was dam near impossible and gluing tiny chips back using tweezers wasn't exactly fun. Luckily I could glue the frets in lacquer the edges which covers up allot of that work. 

I've done Gibson's too.  I typically remove the Nubs and place the fret over the binding (same was a Les Paul does when he re-frets) I'll typically wait till the frets are paper thin first though. 

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spacer.pngI love bound necks when they fit the model. It doesn’t work for Teles, IMO. It’s purely visual for me.

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