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Fender J 5-string fretless to fretted options

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lee_SF, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Lee_SF


    Jan 1, 2008
    Instrument: 1996 US defretted 5-string jazz bass, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard

    I bought this used years ago when I thought it would be fun and straightforward to learn to play a fretless. Have decided that playing a fretted instrument well is going to be enough of a challenge, and that I'd be better off with a fretted j-bass to complement my 4-string p-bass. So what to do?

    SF GuitarWorks would charge $400+ to put frets back on, suggesting there's extra work and cost to remove the fretmarkers first. Expensive, but it would be a great, playable instrument afterward.

    A Warmoth replacement neck would be around $350 delivered, but I discovered their Fender Deluxe 5 necks use a 74mm heel width, which won't fit in the 2 7/8" heel on this bass. Currently have a quote request into USACG to see what they have.

    A third option is to sell/trade for a different one. Probably the least cash outlay, but a lot of time to sell, then locate/buy another bass.

    Any suggestions or other ideas? I like the bass, don't have tons of emotional attachment to it, other than it's a bass-in-hand. It'd be kinda fun to get a custom neck for it and still be able to switch back to the fretless, but I'm ultimately more interested in having a good-quality 4- or 5-string playable Jazz that sounds good.



    Attached Files:

  2. Lee_SF


    Jan 1, 2008
    Bump. Too much detail? Too mundane? Surely someone must have an opinion...

  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    If they are good, this is a good option. The bass will be restored to it's original glory. The cost is partially offset by the increase in resale value, making it more cost effective in the long run.
    Warmoth builds a great neck. But they are heavy and it is not unusual to find that a formerly well balanced instrument now suffers from neck dive. It is cost effective in the short run, and you will be able to sell the bass with an extra neck later. Or you could keep a neck. But neither neck on it's own has much value as a used item. Choice is yours.
    Given your feelings from below, this is the smartest option. However, the thought that it takes a lot of time to sell this bass is baffling, unless a lot of time is anything longer that a couple of weeks. Locating a new bass should also be a relatively simple thing to do. It is fun, too.
    Your questions are not mundane. The level of detail is refreshing. But if you want speedy answers, the tech and sales staff at the local B&M are only ten digits away.

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