1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Defretting above 12th fret?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Enmesarra, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Enmesarra


    Apr 29, 2007
    I saw this on some custom electric guitars and I thought that it would be very nice if the clank of a fretted bass on frets 1 to 12, the low part; and the fretless feel while soloing or going high above 12th frets could unite. Is it possible to do this without any major problems? Biggest handicap I can think of is the action, it must be high enough to block any fret noise on the fretted part but that might be uncomfortable on the fretless part.

    Let's hear what you think :confused:
  2. Linkert

    Linkert Guest

    Oct 24, 2006
    So you mean, pull out fret 12 to 24 or whatever you have on your bass? I don't see a problem with that.
    Just be thurall while defretting.
  3. thombo

    thombo Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    interesting... anyone?
  4. Enmesarra


    Apr 29, 2007
    Yeah that would be the short of it :D
  5. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    You could laminate a piece of wood on to the board where its been defretted, to raise it high as the fretted area, giving you even action.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member


    Composite fretted/fretless basses have been done before, and this step is required for proper intonation and action.
  7. Blake Bass

    Blake Bass Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Montgomery, Texas
    Matt Pulcinella offers that option on his basses. He calls it semi fretless.
  8. i did this to one of my basses awhile ago, except i staggered it. the last frets are: G12 D11 A10 E9. i did it for the sake of keeping unison with bar chord notes. i kept the action as low as it was before the project and it plays nice. i have this half fretted bass, a full fretted, and a full fretless. i play the half fretted the least. it is an interesting mod to do and i enjoy my very unique instrument, but i would not recommend it if you only have one bass and play the high register a lot.
  9. What about doing the opposite. Keep the frets up high on the neck but make the rest fretless. Would you be able to keep the bright pops when slapping but have the mwah when finger playing?
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Again, you'd have to raise the fretless portion of the board so it's level with the tops of the frets. Then, with the correct setup, you could have mwah down low and pop up top.
  11. its a cool thing to try out but not for chaps like me who only have one bass
    anyway go ahead man do it and let us know how it feels/sounds like when its done!
  12. Just de-fret the whole thing for a clean look...so far I've seen a few of the Frankenstein half fret jobs and cringed.
  13. i posted a similar question a few weeks ago and got shot down majorly for it... interesting to see so many positive replies this time round.

    for those that say to add a laminate to raise the defretted section, has ANYONE got photos of this done?
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    There's a maker in Minnesota that does it as well - for about $6,000 if I recall.

    It's cool and all, but if your are going fretless for the soloing it kinda sucks. I mean, when I solo I don't just play above the 12th fret.
  15. Enmesarra


    Apr 29, 2007
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I surely don't mean any disrespect but to be honest, laminated wood thingy didn't make much sense to me, I didn't like the idea of having a change of level on my fretboard :) I might have got it wrong, so a pic would be helpful.

    And SteveC, while soloing, I feel more comfortable on 12th fret and beyond, not just the highest string of course. Also, I prefer the powerful and clanky sound on the low notes instead of the dead fretless tone, so it would be awesome if I can make this work :) I'll probably try it on a SR406 when I buy it.
  16. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    It won't feel higher, it would be level with the frets, to keep the action even. Sorry I don't have a pic!
  17. Last summer, I did an interesting variation to this. I took a Squire 5-String and defretted from the 9th fret and up. I strung the bass EADGC so that I had pretty well the full range of a fretted 4-string (up to high "A") with the fretted portion and still had a good deal of range on the fretless portion. It worked well. A friend of mine loved it more than me and now owns and uses it as his primary instrument.

    I'm not sure if I'd do it again, but it was a fun project with interesting results.
  18. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Here's another idea. Take a 6 string and defret the top 3 strings from nut to bridge (you'd probably have to defret the whole thing and refret the lower strings with shorter frets... not a small job) Re-string so that the notes are EAD (strings closest to your face, and fretted) and ADG fretless. There are a number of variations to the way you could re-string and tune depending on what strings you wanted fretless.
  19. Duplo42


    Jan 23, 2007
    local luthier made MM-copy for me, 1-12th frets, rest lined fretless, ebony FB. The fretted part was lowered, so that the fretless part height was just below the fret-height.

    He could do it without cutting FB, but i liked jumbo frets, so it was neccesary. I loved it for solo, while still being able to slap and play chordal stuff easily...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.