I have a nice looking E-series Squier Jazz bass (-87, I think, with rosewood fretboard) which sounds very bland and "lost in the mix" compared to my 2010 Fender American Standard Jazz Bass with maple fretboard. The difference is quite audible, especially when amplified, but there is a lack of attack and tonal complexity even unplugged. The vintage Squier still has a resonant, smooth quality, but lacks the boldness and transients of the Fender. And funnily, the difference is even more pronounced when I play in the band, as the Squier will simply not provide the foundation and definition we all want. (Before "the other side" rushes in and start talking about blind test so and so; I run Fender rounds on both basses, they are set up in i similar fashion, are both played mainly through the very flat and uncolored LMII etc etc. The basses sound quite different even before the sound reaches the pickups! It is also worth noting that I have checked sustain, dead spots etc across the necks, and they both "ring out" or keep the levels very close to each other, it is just the QUALITY of the sound that differs.) Sooooo..... That said, what do you say about de-fretting the bland sounding Squier? Is there a risk that I end up with an instrument that gets buried as soon as the guitar player strikes the first chord? What sorts of experiences have you had when defretting a bass? I am worried that it will further reduce the impact and authority of an already slightly "shy" bass. I have a boutique fretless five stringer that can hold its tonal ground in any band, but I do not play it well enough to gig with it - too many potential errors waiting to happen. I really want a fretless four stringer ready to take its place, but if defretting will be too much of a gamble, I better order a fretless Warmoth neck and start from there. I have played a couple of them, and they were quite good and basically dead spot free, too.