Will I ever get used to "wrong" fret size?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AlexanderB, Dec 4, 2013.


  1. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Having mainly played a vintage model Precision since 1996, I have trouble getting comfortable with other fret sizes. In a never ending (?) quest for a Jazz bass I have played the current American Standard a number of times and not really felt at home with neither neck shape nor fret size.

    I really wanted to like that Am Std Jazz as it is so right "on paper". The Squier CV Jazz feels (thinner neck and vintage fret size) a lot better to me but lacks a bit in other areas.

    Has anyone else here any experience of "getting used to" an (somewhat) awkward instrument?
  2. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    It will always eat at you if it bothers you to this extent is my thinking. What about the Squier did you feel was lacking? I have a Geddy jazz and I had a CV jazz. Quite honestly I liked the feel of the CV over the Geddy, but it could likely have benefited from some different pickups and it would have been great.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    We can all be fussy (or not) about different things. For whatever reason, I'm not that particular about neck profile. I prefer asymmetrical neck profiles (MTD 535, Fender Roscoe Beck 5), but they are so rare that I accept standard symmetrical profiles. I prefer moderate to thick profiles, but I can get around just fine on slim necks.

    I'm also not that fussy about fretboard radius. I prefer flatter, but it don't really matter. :ninja::p

    I am, however, particular about string spacing! When I played fours, I always preferred P-style nut width: 1.625" or 1.75". Never did care for the skinny J-bass necks. When I switched to five string, I realized that string spacing at the bridge was also critical to me. Fender/Music Man style four-stringers pretty much all have 3/4" (19-20mm) spacing at the bridge: that's string-to-string spacing, of course. Some five string basses have skinny spacing: less than 18mm. A millimeter or two doesn't seem like much, but after playing four string exclusively for 20 years, my plucking hand couldn't get completely comfortable on the narrow-spaced fivers I bought, even though I tried hard to like them. Fortunately, there are many 19-20mm fivers available these days.

    So anyway... we all have our [DEL]peculiarities[/DEL] preferences, and string spacing is one of mine.
  4. negativefx

    negativefx complete hack Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Collins
    I went from a Peavey Jazz pencil neck to an EB Stingray which are significantly different necks. Took a few weeks to get used to but it quickly became a non-issue. Then I switched back to a Jazz neck and it took another few weeks to get used to. I always assume if a neck feels uncomfortable at first, it won't be a permanent thing. Now, switching from an SG to a Strat is something I could never get comfortable with. :)
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  6. kcole4001

    kcole4001

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    There's no rule that says you have to play what others do.

    Compromise in something that you know will just keep bugging you will end up with you selling the bass and looking for another.

    If you know what you like, keep on looking for it.
    Sometimes you have to be patient.
  7. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Location:
    rio grande valley, texas
    warmoth offers "vintage" fret size 6230 on their necks. i like that.
  8. boristhespider9

    boristhespider9

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    The answer is get a Lakland USA Joe Osborn.
  9. Solarmist

    Solarmist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    15 miles from Mt. Rainier
    I'm terribly anal about neck profile, and it's the most important issue for me next to the electronics. I've sold off the basses I didn't like that actually weren't bad - just not right for me. I don't like jumbo fret wire at all, and prefer medium i.e. somewhat wide & flat(er).
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    You can TELL fret size????

    Wow. I'm kinda impressed. Never been able to tell any difference myself.
  11. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    It's interesting what people notice. I can sure tell a difference between vintage frets and medium jumbos that come on many basses. It's not a huge deal to me, but it's certainly noticeable.

    Anyway, Lakland has vintage frets, as was mentioned, so that's something to check out, OP.
  12. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Thanks for all the comments.

    Fret size and neck profile makes a BIG difference to me.

    By the way, I just today visited a very decent MI shop and looked at their Fender offerings in the Jazz range; Squier CV, Standard Jazz (MIM), American Special, American Standard and American Deluxe. The Aerodyne and Geddy Lee I have played Before, more than once.

    The GL ("Thin C", 9.5" + Medium Jumbo"frets) and Aerodyne ("C - shape", 7.25" + Medium Jumbo) have too thin necks for me and the necks are very weak, contributing to dead spots, so-so sustain etc. According to the Fender homepage, Aerodyne has a regular C shape but it is about as thin as the GL.

    American Special has a "Slim C", 9.5" neck with "Medium Jumbo" frets. I like the feel of the neck and could live with the fret size. Was not overwhelmed byt the rest of the bass; not very resonant or lively at all. Frets FELT smaller than on the Am Std and Am Dlx - maybe the were, maybe they were not.

    With these last two I di not like the thick (front to back) neck and its "bulging" cross section - they feel almost a bit Warwick-y to me. Then the big "Medium Jumbo" frets on top of that made the whole thing feel to big and awkward.

    I used to own one of the Squier CV Jazzes before and that neck felt ok (a bit too thin, maybe) and the vintage frets felt just perfect. That thin ("Modern C", 9.5" + Vintage frets) neck causes the same issues as the above GL and Aerodyne; pronounced dead spots, so-so sustain etc, however not as bad as in the Fenders. By the way, I have tried many of these CV Jazzes and they were all consistent in quality, down to the above issues...

    My favorite would be the neck profile of the American Special and with vintage frets.

    The Lakland JO USA is stupid expensive in Sweden - no way I am paying that much.
  13. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    The funny thing is that when switching to another style bass, I am not that much bothered by it. I have both a Danelectro Longhorn and I can accept the narrow/deep-ish neck as well as the different style on my Gretsch 5123B. However, both those basses require a somewhat different playing position and ditto style compared to the P and J. And my playing requires more effort on these compared to on my Fenders.
  14. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    I have considered ordering a Warmoth neck but that would also be "blindly" so I might end up with a very nice piece of almost un-sellable wood if I do not like the profile. Non-Fender necks are not in high demand over here...
  15. Bass Fund

    Bass Fund

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    You aren't supposed to have contact with the frets.
  16. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Well, I have a fretless for that!
    Seriously, different size frets still make the instruments feel different.
  17. ahc

    ahc

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    No. Virginia
    Check out a Fender Road Worn Jazz.
  18. tlr1293

    tlr1293 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    SDF (think airports)
  19. T-Bird

    T-Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Finland (Northern Europe)
    Hi.

    Just out of curiosity, why don't You just buy the exact neck you like?
    There must be one or two floating around in evilbay at all times.

    One (the ONLY one IMO ;)) advantage of Leo's insisting on using the almost sacrilidge status bolt on construction back in the day, makes it possible to change necks on Fender instruments almost at will.

    For about 1/3 price or so of a new insrtument, one can change the neck, and for some that's a huge difference.

    If the fret size/style is the only thing bothering You on a certain easily available neck, a re-fret isn't that expensive either.

    Regards
    Sam
  20. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    LA California
    Disclosures:
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Here play my bass..

    Hey this plays great I really like it, what's the fret size...

    It's 74838/pie...

    I don't like it.
  21. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Is not that a very surprising and not very successful attempt to be sarcastic and "funny", especially from a business owner, SLaPiNFuNK? I had a look and found your selection of products interesting, especially the hard-to-find Sadowsky strings, but your attitude will make me shop elsewhere.

    So, I have basically encountered two fret sizes (according to the Fender home page) and do not like the "medium jumbo". For neck shapes, the Am Std and Am dlx felt too thick and the GL & Aerodyne too thin.

    I could not find a "normal" Fender Jazz with "medium thickness" neck + vintage frets in a brick-and-mortar shop this time. Maybe the Classic 60s or 70s will be fine if I find one...

    Buying a separate neck might be good but I also need the rest of the bass... ;)

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