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fretless fingerboard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by muskyman, Dec 22, 2013.


  1. muskyman

    muskyman

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Hello Friends:

    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?
     
  2. Deep Cat

    Deep Cat Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Tell us more about your bass.

    What kind of electronics do you have in the thing? What kind of bass is it?
     
  3. manolo578

    manolo578

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario
    I'm looking at expoying my brand new Fender fretless standard jazz MIM. Bump on this thread to help me out too haha
     
  4. Radio Face

    Radio Face

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Here's my bit of advice, don't use round wounds on your fretless bass, ever!
     
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  6. muskyman

    muskyman

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    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!
    :bassist:
     
  7. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    East Central Wisconsin
    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.
     

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  8. muskyman

    muskyman

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    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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