Swapping out to a fretless board

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ken J, Jan 6, 2014.


  1. Ken J

    Ken J Coginchaug New Horizons Band/Skinning Cats Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm looking for some advice on having a Luthier swap out the finger boards on my fretted basses to a plain ebony board.
    I've been playing fretless for several years now and plan on staying with it. A fretted board is uncomfortable for me and don't see much use for my stile. I also greatly favor short scales.
    I have spent loads of time and money converting fretted boards with out total satisfaction. Fret fill ins and rosewood boards aren't working out.
    I've taken a giant step and have Mr. Beckwith custom building a Songbird for me and I'm sure I'm going to love it but the expense will limit my collection.
    I love buying and customizing affordable basses but I'm not a woodworker. I've had a custom fretless neck made for my Squier Jaguar short scale but wanted to keep the original head stock as would all my basses.
    So I'm looking into the next choice. Just replacing the finger board to a plain ebony board with side markers.
    I'm looking to work with someone affordably. I've done some surfing on the web and found pricing to swap out finger boards was around $600-$800 and this is way out of my budget.
    So the questions are as
    Is this a worth wiled path and who could help me?
    Thanks
     
  2. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

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    $600-$800 seems high for that job....like the kind of price a person would come up with if they really just didn't want to do the job.

    What kind of bass is this?
     
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered thumper Supporting Member

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    If you're talking about bolt-on instruments, then the easier and more practical (by far) option is swapping out necks. I wouldn't even consider bothering with a fingerboard swap on a bolt-on.

    But if it's a non-removable neck, then that's a different story. No idea about pricing, though...
     
  4. pfox14

    pfox14

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    I would just sell all the fretted basses and buy fretless ones. Beats replacing fretboards.
     
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  6. Ken J

    Ken J Coginchaug New Horizons Band/Skinning Cats Gold Supporting Member

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    Peavey Dyna Unity
    Peavey Milestone
    SX short scale jazz
    Squier Jaguar short scale
    Fender short scale P bass

    Basses I have owned and sold or will obtain if available in un lined fretless
    Westone Rail Bass
    70s area short scale Japanese basses
    Peavey Grind
    Headless traveler bass
    And I could go on
     
  7. Ken J

    Ken J Coginchaug New Horizons Band/Skinning Cats Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been through trying to find necks that fit and I don't want a frankenbass.
    I also want to maintain the original head stock
     
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    Way too expensive for a simple board replacement. No reason for it to cost more than 400, even with ebony.
     
  9. Ken J

    Ken J Coginchaug New Horizons Band/Skinning Cats Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been through about 20-25 basses at this point. Along with well over a 100 other instruments ( brass woodwind) I know what I like and they don't make fretless basses or have enough out there to obtain easily of what I like.
    This is another path I'm trying to take. The fretless market is limited unless you go high end or custom. Scott is building me a custom short scale that costing me $2700.00 and I don't see myself buying to many more of these and I like having a number of basses at a single time. Present stock is 9 and there is a sizable list I'm after.
    Warwick makes a short scale I'm interested in and it sells for under $500. They have a fretless option but for me to order it the final cost is over $1000.00.
    The Birdsong is nothing I would alter but I love tinkering with my SXs, Peaveys, Squiers and looking forward to picking up 70s area Japanese short scales
     
  10. Ken J

    Ken J Coginchaug New Horizons Band/Skinning Cats Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks
    This is the kind of feed back I looking for
     

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