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Inlays on a Fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrYellow, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. MrYellow


    Dec 30, 2013
    I was looking at the Warwick Custom Shop (I'm nuts over Warwicks), and to my surprise I found this beatiful bass.


    What interested me was the fact the bass had one big inlay stretching accross the entire fretboard, I checked the specifications, and I couldn't find anything about a finish on the neck. So what I want to know, if I were to fret a note that was on top of that inlay, how much would that affect the tone? I know an ebony fingerboard such as this provides a warm tone with a lot of legato effect, but the inlay is made of a completely different material.
    Can anyone tell what to expect? are there any other fretless basses with inlays that are produced commercialy?
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

    It's a show/display bass that is not meant to actually be played. ;)
  3. MrYellow


    Dec 30, 2013
    Really? I've seen some of the basses under the same catagory being played, and seem odd to spend a fair bit of money on such an instrument, without intending to sell it.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Custom basses don't hold their value. It makes no sense to spend that much with the intent to get rid of it and eat a huge depreciation.

    As for the OP: There aren't many fretless basses with big inlay. Inlay like that has a high likelihood of being destroyed if the board ever wears and has to be levelled.
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  6. MrYellow


    Dec 30, 2013
    Thanks for the help, I have to say I'm surprised I didn't think of that.
    Oh, I went through the specifications again, the big inlay actually lights up, so I doubt it's a good idea to be applying pressure to it. But yeah, somewhere there is a red light, I don't know if it's inside the inlay or if the neck is partially hollow, this is stuff Warwick does a lot, so if they could produce a fretless with it they would
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    It's cool that the whole thing lights up. Usually it's done by making a small rout for the wires to run between the back of the neck and the fretboard. Those wires then connect to a battery compartment in the body and an LED in the neck. There's a lot of work that goes into it.

    It's a great looking bass, but I still think it's not going to be played a whole lot, because it'll be next to impossible to level that board as it wears.
  8. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Eastern Wisconsin
    You guys are silly. A solid coat of epoxy over the top and it will play just the same as any fretless.
  9. Inlays and wood still have the potential to have uneven spots under epoxy.
  10. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Eastern Wisconsin
    I suppose so, but I thought it was pretty unanimously agreed that Warwick knows how to make a bass properly.
  11. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    They do, but they'll also make just about any crazy one-off bass someone with more money than sense asks them to.

    Nobody's saying it's not beautiful, just questioning the practicality of it.
  12. Properly, sure. The wood still has the potential to expand or contract at a different rate than the inlay. Not worth the risk in my book.
  13. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Similar to the vine inlay on the Michael Kelly ABG. Think I read about it coming loose in one instance. Pretty, but too ornate for my taste; and IMO, invites problems down the road.

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