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fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sdb, Aug 24, 2003.


  1. sdb

    sdb Guest

    Nov 14, 2002
    Sweden,Huskvarna
    Hi there!
    I have just defretted my bass and I wonder what kind of strings,setup,finish you guy´s use on your fretless.
    I have a rosewood fretboard and I dont want to mess it up, since it´s really smoth and shining.
    I´ve been thinking of flatwounds for that reason.
    Even if I don´t bend my strings I still get marks eventually with roundwounds .

    I love the feeling of fretless,feels like
    butter in my hands.

    Best regards, Simon
     
  2. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    You could probably find lots of good suggestions in "Strings". I would go for Thomastik Jazz Flatwounds. I have always liked them. They are very clear sounding, and get better as they wear in.
     
  3. bassjigga

    bassjigga

    Aug 6, 2003
    Wear it down man! The roundwounds make so much better of a sound on fretless, especially on that rosewood. Real growl and mwah. Rosewood is pretty tough too, it will take a long time for it to wear significantly. It will just develop those little lines that look like the string windings.

    Dave
     
  4. I defretted my bass not long ago and still have my Stainless Steel strings, which isn't a good idea because they can tear up the fretboard. I think I am going to replace them with some EB roundwounds soon.
     
  5. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I go with bassjigga on this... IME/IMO the rounds give it the sound... Flats give it much more 'thud', though this may be the sound you're after... Using nickel rounds will be a bit easier on the board as they don't seem as gritty or abrasive as stainless. Find out the radius of your board and buy the proper radius sanding block from StewMac. This will allow you to touch up the board periodically... Yeah, you'll wear grooves in the board, but the sound is worth it. With heavy playing, it should still take a while, and you should get a lot of re-dresses before the board needs to be replaced...

    My 2 cents...

    -robert
     
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Technique chews the board... not the strings. Vibrato done the length of the string won't mess it up, if you try to 'express yourself' by grinding back and forth like a fretted... the board is toast EVEN with flats.

    Mwah is in the touch too... and flats aren't always 'thuddy'.

    I used 2-part epoxy on my defretted bass. It's held up to 3 years of Stainless Steel rounds and the last 10 months with Stainless steel SIT flats. I think it Mwahs ok. thou the Barts a really dark both tracks were done last weekend while playing with midi drum programing
     
  7. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Excellent point!

    -robert
     
  8. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Technique certainly does play into how much wear a board obtains, but the size and material of the strings' windings play an even more crucial role.

    I have had very good success with TI Jazz Rounds on fretless basses. They are quite light (043,051,068,089), low tension (which allows for a lot of "expressivness"), and the small diameter nickel windings allow many hours of playing without chewing up the board, or even "scoring" the board.
    They intonate very nicely,have a very even feel and tension across all the strings, and provide plenty o' mwah and growl.

    Best of all...they just sound better and better the longer they stay on!

    Harder, larger diameter windings are what can really eat through the wood, and thusly cause you to redress frequently.

    Max
     
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Another thing I've heard helps, I haven't tried it, but I have heard this from a few cats down at the luthiers corner.

    There is a product called Tung Oil, that is used for finishing basses, well if you use it on the fretboard ,it will esentially harden the fretboard, and make it hold up against roundwound strings better.

    just a thought :meh:
     
  10. sdb

    sdb Guest

    Nov 14, 2002
    Sweden,Huskvarna
    I´ve thought about that,some hard laquer or oil that protect the wood.But I don´t know how much or in what way it will effect the sound.
    Anyone out there who have tried something like this?

    Thanks for all your replies everyone.

    Simon
     
  11. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Rick Turner turned me onto the idea of Tung oil. About 2-3 times a year I lightly dress my boards and apply some Formby's Tung Oil Finish to it( I play my basses A LOT, mind you) You apply a light, even coat. What this does is it penetrates the upper few mm's of the wood and hardens it, protecting the surface from constant wear.
    It is easily reapplied as neccesary. It is not as hard as a polyester coat or Jaco's boat-epoxy treatment, but then again it retains the sound and feel of the wood (I have ebony boards, which are quite hard anyway..tung oil would be an excellent choice for Rosewood or Pau Ferro boards. As you might know, the harder the surface the greater the singing "mwah"). This treatment can prolong life and minimize the board wear.

    Max
     
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    if I was to defret a rosewood board today, I'd use the tung oil as well. I've done the 'boat epoxy' thing in the past to a few basses because it was what Jaco did. They were all prior to have TB as a resource :cool: (thanks again for the insightful posts Max, WR and everybody!).

    and to add to my previous post..... IMHO & YMMV :)