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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through May 25, 2005 » Converting Fretless to Fretted « Previous Next »

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Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 203
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post

I've been looking for a used fretted alembic on e-bay for ages and alas when they appear they are way out of budget. However I notice now and again some fretless ones which seem more affordable appear.

If a fretless one came on ebay or even for sale on the forum, would it be sensible to buy it and get it fretted later? Or is there some other factor in the way it is built that makes a conversion a bad idea?

Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 477
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 5:59 am:   Edit Post

Hey Jazzyvee,

Why the heck would you want to do that?!!!

In my humble experience, fretless Alembics are the best sounding fretless Basses ever made. And I can say that after having tried among others, the F Bass Alain Caron signature model. Believe me, used fretted Alembics are more common and easier to find than you think.

If you do decide to fret a fretless Alembic, it may cost more than you'd like to spend. And if the job is done by someone else, you may not be pleased with the results. Fretted Alembics are renowned for their super low action and detailed fretwork. If you want it to play like a fretted Alembic, then you'll have to send it to the company.

Anyway, good luck with your decision.

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 924
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 9:22 am:   Edit Post

The side markers on a fretless are at the fret positions instead of between them. If you don't have LEDs, it's probably not the biggest deal. I was looking at doing this last year on a bargain Series II purchase opportunity and was told that the best way to do it is to have the whole board replaced. In any case, it's probably more like a $500-1K job than a $200 one. You probably won't save money on the deal unless you are looking at a very high end used bass.


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