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Fretless problem

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nikolai, May 17, 2005.


  1. Nikolai

    Nikolai

    Apr 20, 2004
    I borrowed a fretless home from work.. and it has a brand new neck, and the strings has already started to dig in the fretboard, after like 2-3 hours of play.. is this normal?
     
  2. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    What kind of bass, what strings, what's the fingerboard made of ........
     
  3. I don;t own a fretless but I can tell you that there are certain woods and methods used in high end fretless basses to prevent this from occuring. What kind of bass is it? Are you using flatwounds or roundwounds?
     
  4. Nikolai

    Nikolai

    Apr 20, 2004
    Its an Ibanez RoadGear RD500...
    Original Strings.. Roundwound elixirs. not sure what wood.. rosewood?
     
  5. Thats probably why. A lot of luthiers and some of the higher end production models get a coat of epoxy on the fingerboard to keep this from happening. I bet the new neck didn't have it. I would stop playing it and give it back to the owner. He needs to get a luthier to fix that neck before it gets worse... if the owner cares of course!
     
  6. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Something isn't right, you shouldn't be seeing damage to the fingerboard after just a few hours. Are you talking about actual removal of wood from the board or just a dulling of the board wood in the area where the strings touch it?

    You might want to get over to the luthiers forum for help ...
     
  7. Sweet! Someone with experience! I thought that didn't sound right.
     
  8. Nikolai

    Nikolai

    Apr 20, 2004
    No.. its like the wood gets "pressed down" into the fingerboard...
     
  9. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Get the bass back from whence it came ....... :scowl:

    I don't know enough technically to tell you what to do to fix it, but I know enough to tell you that something isn't right. Return the thing before it gets worse and you get blamed ...
     
  10. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Actually, thats just what happens with roundwound strings and uncoated fingerboards. Its not a big deal, and it takes a long time for the wear to start to effect playability. It will eventually happen on coated and even phenolic fingerboards as well.

    Coated fingerboards sound quite different, so some people choose to leave them bare. When it gets to the point where you are getting uneven mwah or buzzing, just take it to a luthier and have them fill the grooves with superglue.
     
  11. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    True .......

    However, what I think this guy is saying is that there is immediate, noticable wear to the board after only an few hours. It doesn't sound like typical roundwound wear, but who knows, maybe he's just a little panicked by the marking :confused:

    Plus, the cat doesn't even own the bass :scowl:
     
  12. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    philadelphia
    for fretless get flatwounds
     
  13. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    philadelphia
    and definetley do not do this
     
  14. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    philadelphia
    and also you might be pressing to hard
     
  15. Aren't all Elixir strings coated?

    If so, they shouldn't be digging into the board at all, let alone after a few hours.

    Mike
     
  16. If the board can't handle rounds and you aren't willing to accept a little bit of disfigurement, go with rounds or go with frets.

    Fingerboards for fretlesses should be of very hard wood like ebony, purpleheart, Ipe, or coated with epoxy.

    I've been playing my purpleheart fretless with rounds for over 8 months now and the wear is MINIMAL.
     
  17. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Are you bending the strings? Remember, a fretless vibrato goes parallel to the neck, not perpendicular like you would on a fretted.

    Other than that, you may be freaking out about nothing, or have a chunk of REALLY soft rosewood. I have a couple dozen hours on my bare rosewood fretless with rounds and have minimal marking.
     
  18. Rhythmalism

    Rhythmalism

    Sep 25, 2004
    Pressed down into the fretboard is normal, that happened almost immediately with mine; the indentation in the shape of the string going all the way down the fretboard. Just like with anything, it won't stay new forever.
     
  19. True...In fact, once the surface wood is compressed a bit, it becomes denser and more resistant to further compression.

    EVERYONE gets little marks (except maybe the epoxy folks).

    If you don't like it, try a nylon tape wound, like a Labella...great for that URB sound.
     
  20. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    And what if you prefer the sound of rounds on a fretless?:rolleyes: