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A half defret...a bad idea or a terrible misguided notion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by spigmu, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. spigmu


    Mar 25, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    This is kind of a Luthier dept question, and also a Kala megathread one, but I'm afraid it'll get lost in either. Here's my conundrum: I may have a line on a lefty U bass locally but not the fretless that I was set on, which no one seems to have in stock. So I'm thinking, in my G.A.S. addled brain that not only could I defret it (as in that wouldn't be the most outlandish thing ever done) but I could also do a half defret. Fretless from 5th fret or 7th and above?

    So my question is: A) Has anyone defretted a U Bass and found that it was a fairly straight forward process? I've shot a fret or two out of a Strat neck but never an acoustic and I'm assuming a Uke requires just that much less of my typical neanderthal approach. Doable? Not advisable?

    And then there's my part two, which I'd be afraid to bring up in a Luthier forum, which is B) have any of you done a partial defret by design and have any opinions about why I've got a really bad bee in my bonnet that I should just ignore? Is it an almost good idea on paper and not really any good in reality?

    I am really jonesing for a U Bass and swapping around a righty fretless seems just as unappealing as doing the defret.

    Thanks for any persuasion/dissuasion.

  2. bootsox


    Apr 28, 2012
    Biloxi, MS
    Trust me, swapping a righty is considerably less painful than doing a defret.
  3. spigmu


    Mar 25, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Bootsox, thanks. Done plenty of the former on acoustics, none of the latter.

    BTW, this showed up in a Google search for "kala u bass lefty" literally four minutes after I posted it! Kinda scary.
  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I asked a question like this once, and the basic answer was that the action on the fretless end would be extremely high due to the lack of frets. It'd be playable, but very awkward.
  5. Draculea


    Oct 2, 2011
    Mexico City
  6. spigmu


    Mar 25, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Normally I would take this for granted, but the reason I'm considering this is because the Kala frets are so much smaller than any normal bass fret. The righty fretted and fretless models I've seen have what appear to be (nearly, by sight) identical string height due to the frets themselves being so low, hence this thought.

    Similarly, the Kala neck is so much different from a normal bass neck that I'm trying to ascertain if a defret is in fact only a fraction of the hassle of a standard bass defret.

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