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De Fretting a good option?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Slap that G, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I've owned a pretty weak P-Bass for the past 6 years, and was thinking of getting a new one. What I was wondering was if it would be smart to de-fret my P-bass and upgrade the pickups when I finally got my new one, mainly so I'd have two basses to play on.

    SO is defretting ever a good idea? Will the sound be good if the bass wasn't designed as a fretless?

  2. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    Ever heard of Jaco?
  3. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    yep, i've heard of Jaco.

    But....i'd still like to know whether it's a good idea to defret my Precision Bass.

    Judging by your answer, maybe...but did Jaco defret or buy as a fretless?
  4. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    Sorry, I didn't mean to appear so flippant, sometimes when I reread my posts, I realize I might be taken that way. To answer your question... yes, Jaco defretted his Jazz. I have defretted two basses with good results.
  5. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Cool. thanks man. I think i was going to do it anyways, but i just needed someone's approval. KInda like when i asked my girlfriend before i shaved my a$$. oh, wait...ummm....hah.

  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What does the bass sound like at the moment? If it's pretty poor, is it really going to be much improved by more expensive pickups?

    That's not to say that defretting it is a bad idea - if it's a choice between that and letting it gathering dust, selling it onto some other poor unfortunate or just chucking it out, then go for it. However, if it's not a dream bass in it's current form, it's unlikely to become anything too special by removing the frets and throwing in some new electronics.

    My 'qualifications' are that I defretted my first bass (a cheap P-clone by 'Immage'); it still gathers dust most of the time but it served the purpose of letting me play around with a fretless bass without costing anything other than a bit of time.

    I guess the bottom line is that doing a home defret job is a viable option but you still can't polish a turd...:D

  7. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    It's actaully a decent sounding bass considering it's a Korean made Squirer that I bought in the Philippines. I play it on a Working Man's Bass so it's holds a good punch, and great low-end. In the end i think it'll be worth it to have it defretted. About how much is it gonna cost? well, that is if I don't take a pair of pliers to it myself......

    oh, and one more question, should i switch to those flat-wound (if that's what they're called) strings that you'll find on a Fender Fretless? does that add to the sound?

    wicked. thanks.
  8. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Roundwounds will most likely chew up your fingerboard. If you wanted to prevent this you could A. Coat your fingerboard in epoxy B. get flats or other strings that don't eat up fingerboards C. get an ebony fingerboard (hey, you won't have to worry about defretting!)

    Doing any of those will change your tone, btw. You could just have roundwounds and sand down your fingerboard to level the board after roundwounds eat it up. If you did that you'd eventually have to replace the fingerboard.
  9. or develop the technique and not have to worry about rounds eating your board.
  10. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Right on. Thanks to anyone who replied to this post. much appreciated. I now i have new found confidence in my new found project. WooptieDoo.

  11. I'm having the frets removed on my Dean. the cost is $250. I already had flatwound strings on it, so I'm gonna keep them. it has a rosewood fretboard, and he's gonna fill the slots with maple veneer.
    it should be done in a week or so. I'm stoked, the bass is already like "home" to me, so I think that will help in getting used to the fretless feel. then after that.....unlined :eek: if I can get used to my Dean fretless, I'll consider getting an unlined custom.:)
  12. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC

    i'm pretty stoked about defretting mine. i'm having a friend do it...and i think i trust him and myself enough to do it right.

    what happens if you don't fill in the gaps? will it get ripped up?
  13. It would be more likey to get ripped up by not filling the gaps.

    I defretted one of mine and I'm happy with the results. I've got mine strung with rounds, but I have a light touch on fretless.

    As far as filling the gaps, I used wood putty. Basically it's an epoxy mixed with sawdust. Press it into the gaps, wipe of any excess, and leave it for a few hours to dry.

    Leaving the gaps may inadvertantly cause relief in the neck, but I'm not sure.
  14. hey Slap that G,
    (off topic)
    how bout them Canucks?
    they played a good game against my Wings, hopefully the Wings will get their heads outa their butts and squish them evil twins and their team. :p
  16. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC

    sorry. so yeah. my bass. it is nice. i like.

    smokin' doobies.
  17. leftybassdog

    leftybassdog Senior Supporting Member

    I have a warwick corvett that I had defreted and the neck dressed and it sounds great, just get a good tech to do it.

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