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Advice request: de-fretted neck & new pickups

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Les G, Oct 30, 2003.


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  1. Les G

    Les G Guest

    Oct 27, 2003
    .
    I am expecting to be acquiring a new (used) bass fairly soon that will need some minor work, probably including buying some new pickups. I'm planning to get bass this because the total cost of the bass + minor repairs will be under $500. I cannot afford much more than that, and will get a lot more of a bass I like by taking this route than by buying a new (or used) one.

    The bass was de-fretted unprofessionally (ie. with a swiss army knife). I will very probably be able to get this bass for under $200 (canadian), maybe even as low as $100, partly because I am buying it from a friend, and partly because he never plays it.

    I installed EMG split-pickups in my other $300 (used) 4-string bass. So I do have some experience installing pickups. The new pickups almost cost as much as the guitar. This was a move that I do not regret in the slightest. It revived the use of the bass a LOT and I will keep it for a long time. I had a lot of fun doing this, and feel that I learned a lot.

    My first concern is: will the neck develop problems from being de-fretted and not having the empty spaces filled in? Should I adjust the truss rod at all? It has been de-fretted for well over two years now and seems fine; the neck is not a single peice, but rather has a thinner peice of wood on top that used to have frets in it (very common design), I think this may have helped it retain its shape, but I am not really qualified to say for sure. I like the way the fretlessness of it looks, rather than white lines that can easily be mistaken for frets, there are dark lines where frets used to be that will easily not be noticed by the untrained eye, hence making me appear to be a much better bass player than I actually am. If, however, filling in the fret-space will make a significant improvement in the life of this guitar I will fill them in, but otherwise I won't bother.

    All I know about the wood in the guitar is that it's dark, I do not know which species. The guitar is a Yamaha (something) from around 1997 or 1998 if that helps at all (probably not, eh?). The wood is not painted, and has a natural wooden look to it.

    Please, please, if you can avoid words like: bright, dark, punchy, dull, etc in describing tone I would be very thankfull. To me these words all describe visual things and will not help me understand what you mean at all.

    I have tried to supply you with as much information as I can.
    Any and all advice will greatly be appreciated. Thank You.


    PS. talkbass.com is most definately the best bass forum I have ever come across. Pretty soon I would like to become a supporting member to support this AWESOME website.
     
  2. Welcome to TalkBass Les!

    My advice would start with the question:

    "Whether or not it's good for the neck, why would you want a subpar, trashy neck with unfilled, gunky slots, when you could have a decently defretted neck for only the cost of a little labor?"

    This might be followed up with:

    "Why would you devalue your own playing and tone by allowing anything but the absolute best you can afford to be associated with making your music?"

    But you can leave that last one for another time :D

    Please read the archive concerning defretting. It is one of the most common topics here in Setup. In fact, there's a post at the top of the forum that has a tremendously illustrated how-to on doing a defret and refill. You should look that over soon. As for the pickups question, that is best asked in the pickups forum. I've edited your post to only concern the questions appropriate for Setup.
     
  3. Les G

    Les G Guest

    Oct 27, 2003
    .
    The bass is already de-fretted. I wanted to know if re-filling it would be worthwhile considering that the neck appears to me to be fine.

    I didn't ask HOW to do anything.

    To answer the first question: ordering and installing a new neck will take time and money that I really don't want to spend, I would much rather learn about how to do this myself.

    To answer the second question:
    how do I know i'm not going to absolutely love the tone i'm trying to get? I enjoy the tone of the guitar already, and all it has are cheap yamaha jazz-style pickups in it. Cost is also a big factor for me. Keeping things under $500 is an issue.

    As far as pickups sectoin: I was going to post it in the pickups section but decided that because of the rest of the post i should move it to the more generic (seeming) setup section.
     
  4. Lester, my point was that it would cost you the same to leave it alone - as junk - or to make it a nice, playable, filled defret. $0.00!! All it takes is the knowledge or, at least some pointers, and some work on your part.

    The bass is already de-fretted. I wanted to know if re-filling it would be worthwhile considering that the neck appears to me to be fine.

    I got that immediately upon reading it myself!

    I didn't ask HOW to do anything.

    Sorry I misunderstood chief. I figured if you didn't know the ramifications of NOT filling in the slots, that you MIGHT need some help with the details.

    To answer the first question: ordering and installing a new neck will take time and money that I really don't want to spend...

    Who said anything about a new neck?

    I would much rather learn about how to do this myself.

    Man, you are a slippery one! If aren't going to ask HOW, are you going to learn by clairvoyance?

    To answer the second question:
    how do I know i'm not going to absolutely love the tone i'm trying to get?


    Hmm - A question to answer a question that I didn't ask so, I'm tryin' real hard to get what you're talking about here.

    I enjoy the tone of the guitar already, and all it has are cheap yamaha jazz-style pickups in it. Cost is also a big factor for me. Keeping things under $500 is an issue.

    I guess that keeping things under $0.00 isn't much of a concern either since it would only be an investment of time to look up the post about defretting to see how the fill work is done.

    As far as pickups sectoin: I was going to post it in the pickups section but decided that because of the rest of the post i should move it to the more generic (seeming) setup section.

    Then take another minute to read the thread posted above about what topics are appropriate for setup.
     
  5. Les G

    Les G Guest

    Oct 27, 2003
    .
    all right fine, screw it, you didn't help me out at all. delete this post for all i care, i spent about an hour and a half writing something nice so people would be able to give me some good advice and not go: this guy is dumb.

    you didn't help me at all.
     
  6. Ooooh Les, you've picked the wrong night to blow up on my watch when all I've done is TRY to help you the best way I can - by showing you how to help yourself.:mad:

    If you can't take the time to read and look at some pictures then I can't take the time to do it for you. You sir, are NOT entitled.

    And I think I'll leave this thread here for a little while as a good example of a member that can't or won't understand when he's getting some of the best help available - anywhere!
     
  7. Les G

    Les G Guest

    Oct 27, 2003
    .
    Wow, dude. I guess you didn't read where i said:

    you didn't help me at all.


    I've read plenty of threads and been to plenty of websites. I took the time. You could do me a favour and take the time to read what I write.

    You making fun of me is not what I consider the "best help available - anywhere!".
     



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