Customize? or Buy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mark Wilson, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Alright everyone. I have a plan to buy a crappy little bass for about 160.00. But I want to make it fretless. It's...Slammer by Hamer? should I do that and save money, but take the chance on screwing something up? OR Should I spend the little extra for an actual fretless? And what should that be?

    No matter what i do, i'm adding Marine Epoxy like Jaco. Can anyone list some Advantage/ Disadvantages of adding Marine Epoxy?
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Better yet, get an SX fretless. It will be better than the hamer, itll come fretless, AND itl be cheaper.

    win win win
  3. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I have played a lot of different defretted basses, mainly because fretless basses were hard to come by, or i couldn't afford one. I ripped the frets out of my first bass, much worse than most any hamer slammer i have ever seen, and loved it. I was a crap job but I loved it anyhow. That was over 25 years ago and the bass market has changed so much that I can't see why you wouldn't just get an inexpensive factory fretless. I've seen some killer fretlesses (fretli) on TB for about $300 or less.

    But, say you grab that hamer slammer for $160, rip the frets, fill the slots, level and radius the board, epoxy coat it, level and radius the epoxy coating, and do a setup so that it plays right... are you going to be OK with that? Or are you going to end up not enjoying fretless because the bass wouldn't play right or your fretboard refinishing skills made for a lumpy board?

    All hypothetical, but I wouldn't bring it up if I hadn't seen more botched defret jobs than good defret jobs.

    As for the epoxy coating, it is harder to get a smooth finish than you might think. Catalyzed finishes require excellent prep between coats if you want to build up thin coats, or a lot of finishing on one heavy coat.

    If you want a project, then just jump in and learn. That is how pretty much everyone has done it. But if you want a good playing fretless on the cheap I think that there are better ways to get there.