Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Fretless Jack Casady?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, May 18, 2001.


  1. As most of you know, I own an Epi Jack Casady and can't praise it enough. I also own a MIM fretless Fender Jazz. To be honest the Casady is the only bass I really play. I still want to play fretless, but the pups on my Jazz hum to the point of driving me insane.(I'm 1/2 way there guys, so I don't need any help)

    In another thread ( New bass fretted of fretless ) member CS
    made a very inspiring statement, IMHO. He said he has two identical basses, one fretted the other fretless. That got me to thinking: Why not get another Casady and have the frets removed? I love Jazz basses, and I know it would be cheaper to upgrade the MIM, but I've read other guy's posts saying that after they finished upgrading their MIM they almost could have bought another bass.

    So...

    #1) What are your thoughts on another Casady, defretted?

    #) What do you think a good fret yank job would cost? I figure about $200.00 (also have markers installed in the fret slots)

    I just want to get a general concensus, because, if I start upgrading the Jazz, I know I'll end up dumping $500.00 into it.

    Thanks,
    Mike J.

    P.S. If you've ever heard a Casady, this bass would be the ultimate sans frets.
     
  2. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Man, I dunno Mike. that Jackbass gets a lot of its tone from the way it's made. That would include the frets. Not sure I'd hack one up but, hey, it's yer dinero. Agree that it's a great bass just not sure it'd be a great fretless. Speaking of fretless, the best one out there at a decent price, IMO, is the American Jazz Deluxe Fretless. I've got a '97 and, boy that thing sings like a bird and plays like buttah! Paid $550 on Ebay, like new with a hard case.
     
  3. notduane

    notduane

    Nov 24, 2000
    Location
    Michael J! :) . That was the first thing that occurred
    to me when I got my Casady...de-fret it. Just never
    got around to it. There's a bunch of online articles
    detailin' the whole procedure, covered in other threads.
    I think the trickiest part is the re-finishing after removal.
    The removal?...PATIENCE, a good (soldering) iron and
    some fret-pullin' pliers from Stew-Mac oughta' do the trick.

    A while back, just fer grins I tried some Rotosound tapes
    on my Casady. A couple o' noiseless gliss' later and I
    swore I had a fretless :D . Try some tapes to get an idea
    of what it might sound like de-fretted.
     
  4. Ah yes, as it stands now, we have one nay, and one yay.

    Boogie, I don't know if I'm going to do this, but the Casady's tone seems to be begging for it.
    American Jazz Deluxe Fretless you say? Hmmm.
    I haven't checked one of them out yet. As I said, I
    don't really feel like ripping the MIM apart, and then being disappointed. A new(or used) bass set up the way I like appeals to me most.

    Notduane, as always, thanks for the links, or if you gave me a wildcat, I'd say, thanks for the lynx!
    Before I do this there's another bass I'd like to check out; The Yamaha BEX4C. They have them at
    M/F for $649.00 w/case. I didn't see them online, but they're in the paper catalog, and they look pretty good to me. I did a search here, but, only came up with one mention in a thread from last year, and the only thing the guy said was that he wanted to check one out. Anyway, I'm in no rush, but now's the time to start thinking about it.

    Rotosound 88s you say? I think I'll check out a set this weekend. I had 77s on till about a month ago, then got this urge to try a set of D'addario slowounds. These are very balanced rounds, and, I like 'em, but, still a little too much finger noise and sustain for me. Plus strings are about the cheapest way to relieve a G.A.S. attack. That article on the Rob Allen basses looks good. I printed it out. I'll read it on the way home; something else to temp me.

    Good weekend guys,
    Mike J.
     
  5. Bernie

    Bernie

    Dec 12, 1999
    Mike,keep an eye on the bay.Theres a guy who posts there that had a Casady neck/bod only up for grabs.He sells alot of bass's this way with no reserve.He may have one there now.Good luck!
     
  6. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Mike....here's another option that kinda worked for me.
    I recently put a set of Thomastick jazz flats on my Casady. I had been using Thom jazz-rounds in a very light gauge as I do much solo gigging and play mucho chords and such....but when I put the flats on the Jack bass growled and purred and sang...and even "mwahed". When I did a session with a jump-blues project, the other musicians thought it was a fretless (only slides gave it away, and then rolling off the tone took away the "frump" fret bumps). Digging in with the fretting hand made the fretless effect even more pronounced.
    No it is not the same as sans-frets, but you might want to give it a try. Of course, I am looking at getting a 2nd Casady, too. Not sure about de-fretting tho. They are such great basses!
    If you do go the de-fret route...word of caution: seek out someone who knows what they are doing and have done it before! If if you have to ship it off to someone. Seek out someone of repute, and get references. I have seen many students come in with their Jazz Basses "Jaco'd", and none of them were done well! It is a bigger job than some would lead you to believe....and with the neck laqueur sealing the kerfs on the Casady neck, it will be a trick! (also, I have seen specs stating the Casady neck is maple and others saying it is mahogany...this makes a big difference in what it can be like as a defretted bass!)
    In short, in may be so much easier to screw up your 2nd Jack beyond repair than to make a fretless Casady! Do some research!
    ....and then let me know what you find out....
    Max
     
  7. Bernie

    Bernie

    Dec 12, 1999
    Max,i noticed the same thing.Even in the 99 Epi catalog it says maple on one page and mahogany on the next.I checked with dah man himself.Jack said it was mahogany.I believe this is correct as the weight/balance feel would me more neck heavy with maple.Good luck!
     
  8. Bernie

    Bernie

    Dec 12, 1999
    Max,after reading your post I pulled the TI flats off my P bass to try them on my Cas last night.It sounded great with them!It also sounds real nice with LaBella Deep Talkin flats.Cant say for sure which i prefer on it.The P is definitly a TI bass though.I put them back on it after a short time because i just couldnt stand the sound of the P with the rounds i tried.STRANGE!I used to like it with rounds alot.Guess ive been spoiled by TI's.Good luck!
     
  9. re. the uncertainty as to whether the JC neck is mahoghany or maple, is any JC owner willing to remove a machinehead mounting screw (very carefully, of course...) to check the neck material, and settle this issue once and for all?
     
  10. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    I loved reading thru this thread. I could read about and play this bass all day. I am going to have to try one of these string sets. I remember reading something about the Labella Deep Talking someplace last year??? Right now I have half- rounds on and I should have just changed to smooth when I had it set up...
     
  11. Bernie

    Bernie

    Dec 12, 1999
    Seems like every time a new thread is started on the JCS someone else has come along thats picked one up.They are indeed GREAT bass's and its nice to see more folks discovering them.Guess the Who were correct,"The kids are alright".Enjoy em boys!!!
     
  12. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    Right you are Bernie!! Seems like I also had heard Epi was to dicontinue the JCS. What is the latest rumor?? I would think just the opposite; that they should get out the advertising folks and do some marketing??

    peace, danny
     
  13. MaxV, I'm definately going to do my homework before I butcher a beloved Casady. I was going to try a set of Roto 88s, but wound up putting a set of La Bella 1954 original style flats on last night, and
    I'm not that crazy about them. Too much tension, and they have very little top end. I'm going to try either the TI Jazz flats, or go back to the Roto 77s, which pretty much gave me the sound I was after.

    Bernie, which deep talkin flats do you have? I think there's 3 types, regular, tapewound, and the 1954 ones I bought. I like La Bella strings, but these are too thuddy for me. It does seem that whenever the words Jack Casady appear in a thread smiles abound, but when the name Ibanez appears...Look out!

    Shortscale, I don't think they're going to discontinue this bass anytime soon, but I agree that they're marketing this excellent bass like ice cubes in Alaska in January.

    Mock Turtle, I'm not a wood expert, but if you knock on the back of the Casady's neck, it feels different than a maple neck. Just a guess.

    Thanks for responding guys, I'll keep you posted as to what I do.

    Mike J.
     
  14. Bernie

    Bernie

    Dec 12, 1999
    Mine are just the regular ones.Ultra smooth feel,average tension,fairly dark sounding but that seems to have faded slightly.Nice full tone with above average sustain for flats.I dont recall the gauge offhand.I might still have the package around somewhere.Ill get back if i come across it.Good luck!
     
  15. Friends, Romans, Jacksters lend me your ears.

    As I said a couple of days ago, I bought a set of
    LaBella 1954 flatwounds(James Jamerson) and did not like them at all. Went back and bought another set of good ol' reliable Rotosound 77s. MAN, what a difference. Anyway, if anyone wants this set of strings, they're your's free. Hey, I don't want 'em, I was going to toss them. They were on my Jack for three days, and have about 6 hours playing on them.(I always wash my hands before playing) I know a few bass players in my neck of the woods, but since they all have Fenders, and these were on a Casady, I don't think they'll fit on a Fender type
    headstock. I put them neatly back into the package, so The first to respond gets them. Let me know, but I warn you, these are major thud makers!

    My computer is at my job, I'm in NYC, and I'll be here till about 6 o'clock this evening, so I can't reply over the weekend. Agian, I don't want anything for them. This is a NO strings attached offer. Sorry guys.

    Good Memorial Day to all,
    Mike J.
     
  16. notduane

    notduane

    Nov 24, 2000
    Location
    Awright Mister. You've been warned about that Jamerson set!
    The only thing they're good fer is garrot-in' g**t*r*sts and
    riggin' suspension bridges. And to put them on your Casady's
    delicate Mahogany set neck?!? :eek:.

    You are in time out as of NOW Meester! C'mon now...
    hand over the Casady and back away slowly.

    (just kiddin', m'kay? ;) )
     
  17. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    Man, Mike, I would love those strings. What do I have to do? Just be the first to reply? Should you not have a contest of some sort? I just had a 15 hour day at work so I would probably not be in the best shape to win, unless....well, what a great offer. I truly love this TalkBass!!!!

    ,Danny (a lover of major thud)
     
  18. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Mikey, a quick comment about strings on the Jackbass: I think I've mentioned this before but, what the hey. After trying a number of different D'Addario's, SIT's, etc., I settled on Dean Markley Blue Steels, medium gauge. 50-105 and they sound great. No problem with going dead too quick, either. Why did I try these? Well, they were awesome on my '00 TBird and I read somewhere that Jack used 'em. Anyway, killer tone and they feel GOOOOOD! Peace out.
     
  19. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    This isn't really gonna be of much use, but when they remove frets, they have to fill the slots that the frets were in with something, and generally that puts markers in the frets for you.
     
  20.