Post Number: 177
|Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 3:35 pm: |
Over the past several months I've seen a lot of fretless basses, including some extremely nice ones which appear reasonably priced, that have not sold. Just out of curiosity, since I just finalized plans for a signature deluxe build with Will Gunn yesterday, how much would it cost to have a fretless bass fretted and what is the process? Is it as simple as the routing and installation of frets or does the entire fingerboard need to be replaced.
Post Number: 1767
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 1:14 pm: |
It would depend upon the bass.
If it does not have LED's and there is nothing unique about the fretboard fretting it should be no different than what is done to fret any bass. If it has LED's you run the risk of cutting into the wiring and I can't say what needs to be done to avoid this.
Post Number: 2535
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 3:46 pm: |
LOL__ I have been thinking of having the opposite done with my Essence; making it a lined fretless Essence with an epoxy treated finger board . Something that I would inquire to Mica about about either type of conversion.
Post Number: 2630
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 6:16 pm: |
Fretted to lined fretless isn't an awful conversion. Typically, you carefully pull the frets and then fill the slots with an epoxy. Maybe mix in some maple dust or such for the color, or cut super-fine maple shims to slide in there. In any case, epoxy and sanding can cover up for any minor errors made in the filling process, though yanking a chunk of fretboard out with the frets will probably still look pretty ugly.
Going the other way has to be a lot harder. You have to worry about perfectly positioning the frets with no guide. The side markers are usually placed where the frets should be, so they may be in the way. On a fretted bass, the side markers are placed in the space between where frets would be, so your markers won't be in the right place even if they aren't in the way. The LED thing complicates it even more. Talking to Mica is the best idea, because she would know if it has ever been tried, what it costs to do it right, and how successful the results.
Post Number: 302
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 7:39 pm: |
There is another aspect to this conversion anyone should consider when going from a fretless fingerboard (neck) to one that is fretted on an instrument you are already accustomed to. The neck shape of the fretless yields a certain feel that will change when you add the frets. Just consider the fact that the frets add "depth" to the neck. This may make the neck feel too thick as compared to what you maybe expecting. This may or may not make a real difference, just something to consider. Conversely, when one removes the frets to go fretless, the neck becomes thinner in the depth department. Once again, you will have to factor in the change as the feel very well may change enough that you do not like the altered effect. Your action may also have to change, thus adding another factor to the new feel once altered. I have two Pedulla's basses; one is a Buzz (fretless) the other is the fretted version the MVP. The feel and action are quite different. I am just lucky I can adapt to both. Just my half a cent, good luck with whatever you decide.
Post Number: 2537
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 7:53 pm: |
I like the fingerboard coating on the Pedulla Buzz Bass. I had a fretless jazz bass neck coated as such in the early 90's, I am thinking that it would be awesome on an Alembic lined fretless.
Post Number: 303
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2012 - 8:30 pm: |
I agree with you about the Pedulla, Sonicus, but it is a different "buzz" sound than the Jaco style epoxy type application. My Buzz bass has the EZ-Q Bartolini preamp in it, sort of a poor man's Alembic (not quite the same as the Alembic filters folks, please take note). Some may prefer a less glassy coating, yet another choice to be made. At this point, based on my purchase experience, anything Alembic branded is pretty awesome, especially their support. Not only that, but their 1.75 inch width at the nut neck is far more comfortable to me than the Fender Precision and the clones out there. I may have to post about this in another existing thread that deals with scale length, for me with the shorter Alembic scales, I prefer the 1.75 inch at the nut width. For the 34 inch scale, a comfort taper works better for me. I may have to buy a 1.5 inch width at the nut 34 inch scale neck Alembic bass, it would be great for comparison and also drive my wife nuts. Keeps fire in the relationship you all know! Living La Vida Loca!! And, let's be careful out there.