I'm new here, so pardon the "dumbass".
I'm overhauling a 25 year old fretless with an ebony fingerboard. I'd like to add some brightness in addition to a general reconditioning. I know that Jaco always added epoxy. I can see some wear marks from the strings, and planned on giving the ebony a little sanding. For the sake of high frequency tone and neck preservation, does anyone have any advice?
Tell us more about your bass.
What kind of electronics do you have in the thing? What kind of bass is it?
I'm looking at expoying my brand new Fender fretless standard jazz MIM. Bump on this thread to help me out too haha
Here's my bit of advice, don't use round wounds on your fretless bass, ever!
My frankenbass to be is an 88 Carvin LB75 fretless, maple neck-through, koa body, 16.5mm string spacing. The only electronics that are currently defined is a hipshot bridge with graphtec piezo PUPs, and a Bartolini piezo buffer. Everything else is up for grabs. I am planning on...
- strip off all the finish in favor of hand-rubbed type (tung oil?)
- machine "pleasant" contours (this Carvin is prior to nice radius machining introduced in later years)
- rout out whatever holes required
And, I'd like to do what I should to the fingerboard. Earlier, I read a thread confirming that cutting the fingerboard to add lines/markers is bad, so this idea is out. This guitar has always played well. My goal now is tone, tone, tone!
My fretless started life as a cheap Washburn. I changed the EMG Selects to actual EMG's. I built a baxandall bass and treble preamp and put that on the neck pickup. I put an EMG mid boost on the bridge pickup. Volume and blend.
I removed the fingerboard and put a slab of bubinga on it, finished in a hard, bartop polyurethane. I moved the neck out half an inch (the fingerboard overhang covered the gap) and moved the bridge back half an inch to make the bass 35" scale.
I replaced the original bridge with a Shaller roller bridge, one of my favorite bridges.
I put side markers as on any bass, but where the corresponding fret would be. I added on for the first fret position.
Later, I made a really nice mahogany body, finished in Gibson red, the same shape as the original Washburn body but with a longer upper horn. I covered the face of the headstock with mahogany veneer finished in Gibson red.
I originally used GHS Brite Flats, but soon switched to Labella tapewounds. I love them, and I'm not a fan of flats. 15+ years since I switched it to fretless and the fingerboard still looks like new.
It's the best fretless bass I've ever played. I can't think of one I'd want more.
Nice piece Steve. So you made everything but the core of the neck. This sounds like something I would do.
You used PUR on the fingerboard. Was this a 1-part or 2-part? You must have chosen this with purpose (judging by the rest of your project). Do you think that PUR is better than epoxy?
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