Buying a fretless neck for a cheap bass?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Saxn, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Saxn


    Oct 23, 2010
    Nashville, GA
    I am a new player playing on a Yamaha RXB374. I wanted to start on a fretless, but TBH I was kind of afraid of it... a decision that I am regretting a little now.

    I have been eyeballing the threads about de-fretting, and I would love to try it one day, but no time right now since I have about 16 irons in the fire AND if I screw it up I just boned myself as this is my only instrument! So I am left with a couple of options I suppose...

    Looking around it looks like the cheapest option is the neck change, and cheap is good right now because I am also shopping around for my first amp head and cab setup... a whole 'nother thread.

    If I don't do that, then all I can do is start shopping around for a fretless. If that is the best way to go then the fretless thing will just have to wait a while as I am looking at blowing all my folding money on getting myself able to play out loud :D so I guess the long and the short of it is this: Is there a down side to sticking a fretless neck on a cheapo bass?
  2. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    Putting a fretless neck, if you can find one, on a cheapo bass will probably be more trouble than not. I'd recommend keeping the current bass without trying to remove the frets and look for a fretless. I picked up a Yamaha RBX270F fretless about 2-3 years ago off eBay for about $78. There are about 200+ fretless basses on eBay presently. There might be something you could use.

    Happy hunting,

    L. Howard
  3. Darth_Gasseous


    Nov 17, 2009
    I found an SX P/J fretless on Craigslist for $95 a few months's become my main bass. I put some flats on it, and it sounds wonderful.
  4. loinmute


    Feb 11, 2011
    A replacement fretless neck is about $40 cheaper than a fretted neck.
    However, it is easier to find a proper fit if you measure and make sure the heel diminsions match.
  5. Saxn


    Oct 23, 2010
    Nashville, GA
    Thanks for the responses guys.I guess I can postpone the fretless for a few more weeks. After reading that I can INDEED get an inexpensive fretless I am thinking i don't want to take the chance I might ruin the neck on mine and not be able to play for a while.

    I appreciate the input.
  6. FatAndy


    Feb 21, 2011
    Sunshine Coast.
    Buy yourself a Wishbass instead. Then you can keep the Yammy and still have a fretless.
  7. Saxn


    Oct 23, 2010
    Nashville, GA
    Yeah I think that's pretty much where I am headed. I am hoping to eventually start hot-rodding the Yamaha, but I think I want to have the option of fretted or fretless, so I am going to leave the neck alone.

    Now I suppose it's time to start comparing the lower-end fretless models. You mentioned Wishbass. Yamaha and SX were mentioned above too. Looks like I have some reading to do...
  8. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I feel money is best spent on a quality instrument first and then work your way down the chain (exp: bass,then head, then cab). I learned the hard way over the years that you can get some great sounds out of cheap amp heads if you have a well made bass. Keep in mind that does not mean spending a lot; just well made. I sold a 1,000 watt ampeg svt head because it was heavy and my active basses sounded just as good thru my old usa peavey head. Not to mention if you record you will more then likely do so direct to the board so a good bass is important. I have an SX 70's style jazz that is really good for the money but I would go with Ibanez for better quality. I have owned lots and lots of basses over the years so I have learned the hard way. I now mostly play fenders or my warmoth built fender style basses. I also have switched to fretless and don't think i will go back to fretted (nothing like the singing sound of fretless). I understand about money woes and gas but put your money in the right place.