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Defretting

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xEriatarka, Aug 3, 2007.


  1. I have an American Fender Jazz Bass that I have been considering getting defretted. I was just wondering if many of you would recommend buying one that is already defretted or just getting the frets removed? Also, approximately how much does it cost to get the job done?
     
  2. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    I'd leave it alone. You could probably buy one of the new squier fretless vintage style jazz basses for what it would cost to de-fret.
     
  3. Well, I really want a high quality fretless bass, but I don't quite have all that much money...and I still want to buy a Warwick Thumb. It's a bit tough deciding how you want to order priorities and such.
     
  4. Anyone else have any advice? Or at least a price that if someone else had this done to their bass?
     
  5. AJHS-1stTrumpet

    AJHS-1stTrumpet

    Jan 5, 2007
    My first (and only) decent bass is a fender MIM fretless I got on ebay for 250. It was cheaper than the squier, and it is very good quality, and sounds great with flatwounds! YMMV, since I am a guitar player practicing it through a blues junior with the volume really low, though the guys at church love the deep, warm sound of it, even with a chump like me playing.

    ETA: I didn't realize I never actually suggested getting a used MIM on ebay, so yeah, if you don't mind MIM, that's a great cost effective alternative. Just bid smart.
     
  6. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Check out the sticky on defretting:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71144
    You might consider buying a fretless neck. I have a P that is destined for a Warmoth fretless soon; that way I'll have both a fretted neck (for easier resale, possible) and a fretless.

    The suggestion of a MIM Jazz fretless is good, too. I have one, and it's nicely made and easy to play. I don't know what the stock pickups sound like, because I got it used and it already had SD Antiquity II pickups in it.
     
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Buy one where the neck was designed to be fretless in the first place.

    I'd get a replacement fretless neck and switch it out.
     
  8. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I think that's the most cost-effective.

    A finished Warmoth fretless neck, with lines, will be a little over $300US, depending on the finish. It would cost that much for a pro defret job, and with the replacement neck you'd have the option of changing back if you changed your mind, and also perhaps increasing potential resale value.
     
  9. fryBASS

    fryBASS

    Aug 8, 2006
    New Haven, CT
    You know, defretting isn't as hard as everyone makes it out to be. I did it and was expecting it to be really hard, but it isn't at all! All you have to do is stick a knife under your frets and apply some pressure. Bam. Your frets are out. Sand and fill the frets.

    Duh.
     
  10. I had a luthier price out a defret for me on a MIM Fender Jazz, he quoted $100Cad for the defret fillign and sandign fo the neck, it did not include a finish.

    I ended up doing the defret myself and it turned out amazing, but I wouldn't suggest trying it yourself for the first time on a MIA Fender.
     
  11. I totally agree with this one. I'm getting prepped to defret one of my MIM-P basses. To do the job right, specific tools and supplies are required. There are many labor hours involved. I'm doing my own, because my labor doesn't cost me anything.

    A finished Warmoth fretless neck is a drop-in replacement. In addition, it comes with the Warmoth reinforcement bars in the neck to eliminate dead spots. You can also choose a J or P width neck, and an ebony board with the Warmoth.
     
  12. Buy a fretless neck on Ebay. Paying someone to defret it would cost a LOT more.
     
  13. Yeah, so far this is what I'm most likely to do. Thanks.

    I would consider defretting myself, but wood shop was definitely not my best class.
     
  14. doctorjazz

    doctorjazz

    Oct 22, 2006
    Wilmington, NC
    You might also look into giving HG Thor a call. I can speak from experience and say that his epoxy jobs are top-notch in looks, feel, and sound. It's a little expensive and the waiting list is pretty long, but it's worth it.
     
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    You can get an Allparts or other fretless neck that will be a lot less expensive than the Warmoth you know. A better option for your MIM-P IMO.
     
  16. Thunderitter

    Thunderitter Bass - the final frontier! Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    USA
    +1

    That way you can always go back!
     
  17. How much is a decent fretless neck? I was looking at places like E-Bay for actual Fender fretless necks, but everything I found was MIM. Do they not make any MIAs? Or does anyone have any suggestions for a fretless neck for a MIA Fender Jazz.
     
  18. Defretting is (as was said above) pretty simple - if you're gonna go that way, read a bunch and have at it! It's certainly the cheapest way, and it does not take very much woodworking skill! However, a re-fret (especially after a self-defret) is a sizable job and needs professional help, so I wouldn't defret unless you're absolutely committed to the defret.

    Buying a fretless neck is a decent option, but is likely to cost you about as much as buying a fretless bass (and then you get to have another bass :D Used MIM ~$250. Squier VM jazz fretless ~$280 or even SX ~$100-150. The MIM's are nice. I haven't played the others but reputations are very, very good, and all for less than a Warmoth neck (Warmoth are very nice, go for that if you want, but I'd rather have 2 basses.

    Good luck,
    Steve
     
  19. mdangelo

    mdangelo Guest

    Jul 9, 2007
    How would you know?
    :eyebrow:
     

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