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Fretless/fretted construction

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by TomW, Feb 14, 2006.


  1. TomW

    TomW

    Aug 28, 2005
    Leeds, UK
    Hello all,

    I (try to) set up my own basses and I do an OK job i think, but I find the setup on my fretless really awkward. The action is very high for a fretless so I find it more difficult to play on than other fretlesses I've played (admittedly not many). I can't get it down further without it all going to pot.

    I took it to my old bass teacher who's fairly handy with these things and he said that it's not going to get any better.

    I was just wondering if this a result of it previously being fretted. Is fretless construction inherently different from fretted? I was thinking that fretted basses might have their necks put on at more of an angle to the body or something. If so, is there a way to "de-angle" the neck easily? Because I sure as hell can't afford a new fretless right now!

    Of course, it could just be that it's a crappy bass (entirely possible)!

    Anybody got the answer?
     
  2. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Did you defret the bass yourself?

    Also, if you did, did you re adjust the nut? Straighten the neck with the truss rod? How about lowering the saddles on the bridge?

    All these things are covered in the defretting thread at the top of this folder.
     
  3. i had the same problem with my bass i de-fretted myself, i found out that it needed a new nut beacuse the action at the head end was vey low, yet the body end of the neck was very high. Try getting a new nut.
     
  4. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Synplicity, you could've avoided buying a new nut altogether, by either:

    a) shimming the nut

    b) lowering the bridge saddles.
     
  5. ah, i havnt brought it yet, so ill try shimming it, ive lowered the saddles already. Next is the body sanding and varnishing, new pups and strings.
     
  6. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh

    May 16, 2005
    The nut slots on a fretless should be really low so the string is just clearing the start of the fingerboard, is this so?
    Have You set the relief in the neck? how much have you got?
    Is there still room under the bridge saddles to drop them further?
    What do you mean by "going to Pot"?
    Is the bass a "bolt on neck"
    Answer these and we can help
     
  7. how do you shim the nut? i searched the forum and couldt find anything matching.
     
  8. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Shimming the nut should be done only if you don't have enough string clearance at the nut. To shim, you basically just remove the nut (make sure to be careful, sometimes they can break), and then use thin shims under the sides that need to be raised, or under the whole thing if the whole thing needs to be raised.
     
  9. hey thanks, im going to shim the nut, its abit worn down, so ill do that instead of buying a new one.
     
  10. TomW

    TomW

    Aug 28, 2005
    Leeds, UK
    I didn't defret it myself, and I didn't check the defretting sticky as I assumed that it was a setup problem (ie trussrod, action or something) and not something that should have been done when it was defretted. Sorry if I seemed like one of these lazy people who just don't want to read the important information at the top!

    I didn't think of doing anything to the nut at all, and when it was defretted the bloke didn't do anything to it so it's probably the answer. There's still a fair bit of room for the strings to go down at the nut end, and seeing as the bridge saddles are right down then this should work. Hopefully.

    Thanks for everyone's help!
     
  11. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh

    May 16, 2005
    If the nut has not been adjusted for the fret removal then it is a fret height too high so this is the first step.
    Do this, check relief, and then if you need to go lower, but the saddles are bottomed out, we can talk further.
    jeff