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Advantages of Defretting a Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tiredman9, Aug 25, 2005.


  1. tiredman9

    tiredman9

    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    Well I have an ok ibanez (not worth much but i think has areally good neck and body and ok pickups, suprised by quality for price) well i was thinking about defretting it. I know this may be a totally stupid question. But if i defret it and put flatwounds on it how much will this affect the tone (i have very little fimiliarty with fretless basses). Also what are the advantages of adding a string mute. What basically are the advantages of making a bass fretless...sorry for the dumb question. Thanks
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I don't think its necessarily and advantage/disadvantage situation.

    If you want a fretless and enjoy playing fretless then you should consider it. If you haven't ever played fretless, then you should consider playing one first before you decide to do this, which to be honest, could go well...or not.

    Also, keep in mind that by de-fretting the instrument, which is admittedly not a terribly valuable one anyway, you're gonna get rid of any resale value it might have.

    Playing fretless isn't better or worse, just different.
     
  3. tiredman9

    tiredman9

    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    thanks. I mean I have played a fretless a number of times before and enjoyed it but only for a maximum of 30 minse ach time (friends guitar)so not enough time to truly get the hang of it. I don't care about resale value at all so. Just if i did defret this bass, what tonal differences would it make. How would the tone change?
     
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    The adjectives used with fretlesses tend to run with 'woody' or 'growly' and of course there's speak of the much vaunted 'mwah' that comes from the strings vibrating against the fingerboard.

    Your bass is going to sound like your bass did before the frets removed, but with the addition of these adjectives to some extent, depending on the setup, your playing and the materials of your bass.

    They tend to sound more 'woody' because you've removed those silly little metal frets and all contact at the upper point is wood/finger. I find this also reduces the attack and punch of a bass. My fretless Jazz tends to be slow to open up notes.

    Don't expect your bass to sound like a completely different animal.
     
  5. tiredman9

    tiredman9

    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    thanks for all your help BurninSkies...I think Im gonna do it in the up coming months. thanks
     
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Do yourself a favor, go to the Luthier's part of this forum and do a search...there's some good step-by-step there, and you should think about doing it right and taking the time/effort to fill the fretlines properly, maybe epoxy the board and radius it properly.