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Fretted AND Fretless on the same neck?!?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JPJ, Oct 14, 2001.

  1. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I was just at the Matt Pulcinella site and saw where he is now building necks that are fretted through the 5th or 7th positoins and frettless for the rest of the neck. Just thought I'd see what the rest of you guys thought about this, and if anyone has tried or owns one of these.
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I've seen basses made that way, but it seems to me that the action would be too high to get much mwaahh.
  3. LWatford


    Jul 28, 2001
    Helena, AL
    Isn't Bass Guitar's GT-7 done like that? Did I read that somewhere? Maybe he can tell you more.

  4. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    The Embellisher has "embellished" on my point precisely. I was always under the assumption that the set-up and action for frettet basses was different than that of frettless...thus the reason that the nut often has to be replaced when a fretted bass is defretted or when frets are installed on a fretless.
  5. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Curbow was working on a prototype the last time I talked to him that deals with this problem--instead of just having the frets absent, the fretboard itself is level with the lower frets! So, basically, it's fretted to the 12th fret, and then, it's one big fret to the end of the board.

    While I don't see the appeal, I guess I can see a reason for it. I'm definitely curious to give it a try when it is done.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    That sounds like one way to solve the problem, but I would miss having the mwaahh in the 3rd - 7th fret area.
  7. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Hi all,

    Yes, my GT-7 had 5 frets, with the rest fretless.

    I am getting my luthier to install 2 more frets to make it 7 frets - I find that I miss those extra 2 frets.

    I have consulted Matt Pulcinella about the fret height and high action problem. He basically told me that what he does with his basses is that he uses banjo frets (which are much smaller and flatter) for his basses, and he then files the frets even lower, so that the height of the frets are minimal. This allows for lower action over the fretless section.

    My luthier, who is sick at the moment, was going to do this as well, as the current setup has action that is too high - he has decided to just file down the stock frets to see how it goes - if that doesn't work, he will install banjo frets on my bass too.

    I find the ability to switch from fretted to fretless instantly on the same bass quite liberating. I do miss my bass... I hope my luthier gets well soon.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Kramer offered "half fretless" fingerboards as a factory option on their aluminum necked basses, it had the first nine frets then lines the rest of the way up the neck.


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    how about those that are fretted only on certain strings?

    i remember seeing an ad in bassplayer (it was weird too, said it was tuned low b-H, h?) and the bottom two and top two strings were fretted while the middle two were fretless. i believe theres a thread around here somewhere about it.

    and man oh man, i just did the king of bumps :D
  10. I think they should have the fretless start at the 13th "fret" that'd be cool.
  11. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    H is B, and B is Bb.


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    yeah, i knew it was something like that but i didnt remember it well so i didnt want to give any wrong info. thanks for clearing it up though :)
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Brown's Guitar Factory did just that. There's an ad for their basses in last month's Bass Player showcasing their Fretted/less basses, with the addition of a 23rd and 24th fret to get the slap sound of a fretted. They also have the raised fingerboard for the fretless part, and have apparently patented it.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Correct.it's patented I spoke with the owner last week his version seems very logical,and I remember the half Fretless Kramers.there is one dealer for the Browns half fretless Basses(in Minn.)and he is selling the 6 string version for 7 grand yes selling,not a list price(his words to me)I talked to the owner about alowing me the permission to put his system on one of my Basses but he said at this point No(but in a very nice way).
  15. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    7k?! :eek:
  16. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hey that guy that has those fretted/less basses lives about 25 min away from me. Maybe i'll go talk some sense into him... :smug: :ninja:
  17. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    H in German, Hungarian and i dont know how many other languages is what you call B in English - but the tuning is like a Baritone guitar? now that doesnt make sense this way...
  18. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Oh sorry, i didnt see that you have dissected the previous topic on page two... :oops: shouldve read... ;)

    Btw what i also wanted to add was that not only are there "half-fretted" boards, but i have also seen (here on TB, of course)a board that was "half-fretted" the other way: one side of the board had frets and separate four strings, and the other side of the board lined and another four strings (so 4 fretted + 4 fretless) on the same neck - what made it even stranger was that the frets and the lines differed from each other :eek: ok i know that the actual notes are not always where the frets are, but it sure looked strange


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL

    well, i probably remembered it wrong, i just remember it had an H somewhere in the tuning part.
  20. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    That's what I'm thinking. He's not going to sell many at that price, if any at all. You could have a high-quality fretless and fretted pair custom made for that price.

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