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Best Fret Size for Flatwound Vintage Thump Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassman1-909, Nov 13, 2018.


  1. Bassman1-909

    Bassman1-909

    Jan 1, 2017
    Hello TBrs,

    I am looking to replace the neck on my 1970's precision bass. The bass was modded up when i bought it 20 years ago, with a replacement fretless chandler neck, a badass I bridge, and a bartolini split p pickup. Over the years I have tried different configurations of necks and bridges and strings, and really what i want with this bass is a fretted bass with a vintage bridge muted with a sponge and a bridge cover using labella medium gauge flats.

    I had been using the fretted neck off my jazz bass, and so I am now looking to buy a new neck or refret my extra fretted neck. I really prefer the feel of the vintage jazz necks, with the low frets that are worn and easy to play.

    So, what type of fret would you all recommend for a bass like this? Medium Jumbo? Vintage style? Vintage Tall? Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    You answered your own question before you asked it.
     
    Inara, Chrisk-K and Jeff Scott like this.
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Any fret size can give you what you want; it's all about how you play the instrument to get you the sound you seek.
     
    jd56hawk likes this.
  4. Bassman1-909

    Bassman1-909

    Jan 1, 2017
    Well the reason i ask is because unlike what i see on the actual vintage instruments, the "vintage style" frets appear to actually be taller than the "medium jumbo" frets. Then there is also the "vintage tall" frets, since unfortunately fender doesn't seem to identify by actual fretwire numbers it's sort of a guess to figure out what these "vintage style" and "vintage tall" fret sizes are.
     
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Try mandolin frets. Works for some super famous bassists. :thumbsup:

    When I ordered my fretted Martin Keith bass in 2011 I asked for "vintage" sized frets. I'd have to see if I have the info somewhere as to size but they are perfect IME.
     
  6. Chrisk-K

    Chrisk-K

    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Unless you bend strings a lot, the fret size doesn’t really matter.
     
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Well, according to Warmoth's web site .080"x.037" ("Small") is the vintage Fender bass fret size. Which is what my '78 Fender bass had, IIRC. It required re-fretting back in '91, and I had the next size up put on it - the (Gasp!) Gibson sized frets. I liked the small Fender ones fine, but I like the Gibson ones just a little more. So, please yourself, I guess. I will say, though, that if you play your bass a lot - especially with some of the more... file-like... rounds, the larger the frets, the more times you can have them dressed before they have to be replaced. And, yeah, larger frets are preferable if you're a string bender. The tiny, mandolin-sized frets on a Rick 330 guitar, for example, is why very few lead guitar players use them... But, as far as how the different sized frets feel? Honestly, I really don't pay much attention. If the string height is set to my preference, I personally don't think fret size matters all that much, anyway...:whistle:
     
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Yep. Here's a grown up Eddie Munster showing the way:





    No 330s were harmed in the making of these demonstrations, only a 325 and a 620 were.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  9. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Why did I know that was coming..:rolleyes: I didn't say "no lead guitar players"; I said "very few". And, if the rapidity with which the frets on my '87 330 went away is any indication, their frets aren't going to last very long, either...;)
     

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