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Fretless but with Frets?!?!?!?!?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boofis, Jul 8, 2004.


  1. Hey
    I can't remember where I saw this bass but it was a fretless that had wooden frets. It sounded EXACTLY like a fretless but without the intonation problems! Whare your thoughts on this? Do you think it would last?!? Have a good one! God Bless!
    Thanks
    Troy
     
  2. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I thought about doing this but came to the conclusion that the frets would wear out very quickly, and I came to that conclusion by talking to actual luthiers. And, the sound of a fretless is not from the material of the board, it is due to the fact that the string is pressed against a flat surface.

    This is one of those no shortcuts ever work situations. Learn to play fretless. It's not that hard, you just have to use your ear.
     
  3. If you really want to play fretless with frets you can get this from Neuser/ABM

    http://www.neuserbasses.com/nfs.html
    The result can be discussed but it could be a solution for those who want the 2 in 1
    A real fretless is better,of course...
     
  4. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Get a lined fretless for this. Intonation will be a lot easier, but not easy. Nick's right. The technologies of instruments are for the most part set. There may come an innovation or two here, but stringed instruments have been around for hundreds of years. Most of them work off of the same principles. There have been many different experimentations, and some of them have found niches in the market, but most sensible designs remain. All basses are designed of mostly the same principle. For has followed function. I mean, Imagine if the body were the fretted part? I think you get my point, so I'll quit with the techno-babble.

    There have been basses that have been part fretted, part fretless, but I could never use one myself. If I want fretless sound, I want it all fretless. If I want fretted, I want it to sound as such. But hey, there is a use for everything, most times.
     
  5. I suppose that what happens is that the string vibrates against the inside of the bridge covers? If so I suppose that it should be working the same as a fretless only the other way, so that the string vibrates against the flat surface at the bridge. You could get the fretless tone, but not all the effects (mostly the sliding... I love slides on my fretless... I think I'll do one now).

    Geoff
     
  6. Yes it's something like that, I'm not an expert about this system...:)

    I love slides on my fretless

    I love YOUR fretless...:D
     
  7. To me, It sounds like he is refering to fretlines... I mean there is no way a fretted instrument, can sound like a fretless, even if the frets are wood.
     
  8. Yeah, I can't see being able to slide harmonics like I do on my Pedulla Buzz with that set-up.
     
  9. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    Aren't some Pedulla's made with very very small frets? A friend of mine was showing me his Pedulla and he called it a fretless but you could definately feel the "fretlines" were raised. I never knew what the deal was and he didn't seem to think it was odd.
     
  10. Thanks for the input! Thats all cleared up! And yes I do want to start fretless. Any good cheapo fretlesses out there?!?
    Thanks
    Troy
     
  11. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I would suggest an Essex. I use that, and I like it a lot. It sounds sweet, and it feels great. Mine is a Jazz copy. It cost me only $140, shipped to my door. I don't know how well that would work for you, being in Australia :meh:

    Go to your local music stores and see what they have. Try things out, see if there is anything that you like used.
     
  12. Don't get me started on local music stores.......$3000 for a Stingray :mad:!!!!!! The only fretless I've seen was a Yamaha I think and it was 799 for a cheapo model. Such a rip.
    Thanks
    Troy
     
  13. They paint the fretlines on and then do a coat of epoxy over top of them. You can feel them very faintly.