"cheat dots" on unlined fretless

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Joe_Atlanta, Oct 12, 2001.

  1. I'm shopping for a used A/E fretless and some of them I've found are unlined. I don't really use the dark fretlines of my old defretted electric, but I do look at the side of the neck where the frets used to be to orient myself (particularly at the start of a tune, or during a big jump).

    I asked a local repair shop about getting dots installed at the fret points and they recommended that I do it my self using a chromatic tuner and paint.

    Has anybody had this done or done it themselves? Any thoughts?
  2. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    First, forget the tuner -- use a bass with the same scale length as a template.

    Second, paint is unreliable since it does wear off -- especially at the 15th to 20th frets where you often grab the bass around the neck to lift it up and put it down. (Guess how I know. :oops: )

    I had a luthier suggest this permanent fix: Get some teeny white plastic rod, the sise of the dots tou want, and a drill bit the same size. Center-punch the exact location (using the old fretlenes as a guide), drill the hole, drop in a bit of super glue, press in the white plastic rod, cut off, sand smooth.

    I haven't been quite this industrious; I now carry a paint marker (available at craft stores) in my bass case for quick touch-ups. :eek: :cool:

    for more info:http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=18483&highlight=dots
  3. Thanks for the tips and the link, eli. Although I usually do a searches before asking a question, it never occured to me to search for dots. :D
  4. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    High Wycombe, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    i kinda had the same reservation wen i had my bass converted to a fretless, because i had the fingerboard completly REPLACED with an unlined maple fingerboard, i had to no lines where the frets used to be, luckily the dots on the side were still there.....this is weird, because if u ever get a new unlined fretless, chances are that the dots on the side are where the frets ARE, where my dots are in between the frets, like a normal bass, no-one i know can get use to it, but its home to me :)
    guess any other fretless i get will have to a little customised :)

  5. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I hate it when they put the side dots between the "frets"! I've had to "redot" a few of those, like my Spirit. I drilled a small, shallow hole, then put a mixture of paint and super glue in the hole. I usually put a few applications until it is a little proud of the board, then sand it down. The plastic rod technique sounds a lot better.

    Paint wears off fairly quickly. I can actually see a good reason for those LED markers considering some of the dark stages I've played on. Too high tech for me, though... Just one more thing to think about....
  6. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Can't speak for these, but here's a dot thought. Check out fretware.com. They have extremely thin self-adhesive abalone 1/4 inch dots that you could put on yourself in no time for $10 or so. You might want to have a luthier do it, just so the placement was right for you. Put 'em (or have them put) between the strings and they shouldn't get in the way, as they claim they're 1/100" thick, about the thickness of three pieces of Scotch tape together. Might be a quick fix. Certainly an inexpensive one. My fretless is unlined and I've always found unlined boards to be easier to play from an orientation standpoint than lined boards, which I don't particularly favor. But that's a way to get some visual orientation without doing major surgery. Might be worth a look-see.
  7. Yo Joe - Get in touch with me off-board. I can do this for you using any one of several solutions that you might like.
  8. Will do. Although center punching and drilling are within my capbilities, several of my projects have turned out looking like Homer Simpson's spice racks.:eek:

    So far, no luck finding a used Godin A4, so that's probably down the road a bit. Keeping an eye on Ebay, but have turned any spare time I might have towards trying out small cabs.
  9. In regard to that last request, I have a link to a website that is a step by step breakdown of a guys search for and subsequent design for a very small bass cabinet. Using a 12" speaker, a midrange, tweeter, and a port, he was able to get some outrageous response. Something like 103 db!! He used an esoteric audio speaker. Don't worry, he gives a list of parts and where to get'em.

    Unfortunately, I'm writing this at work and have the link at home. I'll get back to you with the info.
  10. Here's a followup on that cab article:


    I was wrong about the layout - It has a 10" speaker and just a midrange with port. Very Small, pretty light, Very loud!!
  11. tut tut Hambone old boy, you should know better than to put these amp related articles here with the bass guitar setup.
    You do know that this forum is for bass setup only, and does not include amps or electronics.

    I just might have to get this post to a moderator and, let me tell you he will be most.....oh wait.

    ah crap....

    carry on ;)
  12. Yeah, I debated whether to preface my post with the caveat that if the subject leaned more towards amps (like it was doing) I'd have to move it. :D

    But don't make me list the number of times I've let off topic sub-subjects ride in a topic that was perfectly suited.;)

    Thanx for not reporting the post - I'd of had to PM myself, then respond in a contrite way promising not to do it again. I don't think I could have done it convincingly.