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Ibanez SR400 Radius question for fretless conversion (5ths tuning)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by crg123, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. crg123


    Jul 29, 2013
    Boston, MA
    Hey guys I recently received an SR400 bass (dark purple / black hardware) from a friend of mine who no longer plays. The thing is in rough shape but hey I got it for free. Since I already have a BTB 1406e 6 String I figured I could have a little fun with this one.

    I pulled the frets using end nippers and a soldering iron ), filled them with birch veneer (rosewood fretboard), and super glued them in and then used a flush cut saw to shape them flat to the board and gradually sanding from 120 to 600 grit until smooth.

    My question for you guys is for the next part of this. It already sounds great with the custom GHS Precision flats set on it (.130, .085, .055, .040 for CGDA fifths tuning) but I want to make it even better.

    Right now the fretboard is still a little rough and you can see the shimmer of the super glue on the edges of where the frets use to be. So I want to sand more but I would feel more comfortable if I had a sanding radius block to ensure I'm not messing with the board too much.

    MY QUESTION: Does anyone know the radius for an Ibanez SR400? from what I can tell on the ibanez site all of their 4 string basses have 12" radius boards, but I want to make sure before I go ahead and buy a block from stew mac.

    Thanks in advance guys! I was thinking about even using a cyanoacrylate coating or epoxy for the board if I can't get ride of the shimmer of the super glue. Jaco style haha. I also think I need to shim the neck or something since all the frets above 11 and 12 buzz like a mofo. Any tips on that would be appreciated as well.

    Edit: Not a photo of mine but this is the bass I'm talking about
  2. Manton Customs

    Manton Customs UK Luthier

    Jan 31, 2014
    Shropshire, UK
    Luthier, Manton Customs
    I'm not sure of the radius on that bass but you can find out by buying a radius gauge from Stew Mac. If you look carefully on google I think you may even be able to download a printable one (I saw it mentioned somewhere).

    Buzzing on higher frets sounds like too much relief, take some out (if necessary) with the truss rod after assessing the current level of relief. Don't shim the neck, its not going to help.
  3. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
  4. crg123


    Jul 29, 2013
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for your help guys. The reason I was going to shim the neck was mostly because my strings are still way too high on the upper parts of the neck even though my saddles are set as low as they could go. In that case I would assume a shim would be beneficial?

    Also do you think the ibanez basses would be compound radius (different at the first and last fret)?
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  6. crg123


    Jul 29, 2013
    Boston, MA
    Here's some of my photos of the fretless conversion:


    It's a bit rough but I'm happy with it! The instruments finish needs fixing since the last owner pretty much never cleaned it (gross). After trying to clean it myself with every dunlop product imaginable (i have the kit) I'm not sure what to do, oh well it was free haha.
  7. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014

    If I was any good with tools I might have had a fretless sooner as I saw some great deals on fretted basses I liked & could have defretted.
  8. crg123


    Jul 29, 2013
    Boston, MA
    So I'm playing with the idea of finishing the board some how, possibly with epoxy. Right now its just oiled with bore oil.

    I'm a bit worried about ruining the board and was wondering if it was worth it since I think I'm only going to use flat wounds on this bass anyway. Opinions? Will a epoxy finish make the board smoother playing?

    Edit: Also was hoping someone could help me with my shim question
    I also heard good things about Envirotex Lite for finishing the board
  9. crg123


    Jul 29, 2013
    Boston, MA
    Anyone? :( ? hahaa

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