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Fretted and Fretless - same bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fatboy250, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Hey,
    I was curious if anyone knows of a company or manufacturer that makes basses like this? Apart from the obvious work of art that it is, I'm interested in the fretted upper register with the fretless lower end.


  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    phew, this thread wasnt about what i thought it was.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
  4. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
  5. I'm interested to know how you would play a part fretted bass. I've been playing fretless for just over a year, and I have only recently started sliding to the note. My initial feeling is that I would prefer to have frets on the B and E, where I might slap, and no frets on the A,D, & G, where I do most of my sliding.

    What am I missing?
  6. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    wouldn't the action have to be really high to avoid it buzzing on the frets when you are playing a lower fretless note?
  7. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Steve Bailey used to (maybe still does) play a bass that had frets in the lower registers, but was fretless for the high notes.
  8. Jehos

    Jehos Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    No, there are no pickups on the top of the neck. The string would vibrate between your finger and the bridge. The intonation would be all wonky though I think. Not *that* big a deal if you can play fretless in tune by hearing it.

    Slap bass would be *very* weird on it though, since you don't have those upper frets for the string to bounce off.
  9. [​IMG]

    Interesting Stuff:eek:
  10. thats nucking futs!
  11. I would guess that the fretless part of the board would have to be higher than the fretted part (probably, and it's just a guess, the fretless part would have to be level with the top of the frets). That would make it doable and not mess with intonation too much.
  12. Agreed, and that would be crazy to play... I do like the finish though.:)
  13. richnota

    richnota Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz

    i've posted the picture of this bass under another heading. Your heading is unfortunately familiar to a thread that won't go away. I'm really curious to find out who did this bass.

  14. If you go to that link www.pagelli.com you can see the others that he does. All are works of art. But I guess I'm looking for something that I'll probably never find. That is, a bass like this that doesn't *start* around $5,000.

    Has anyone out there simply modified a fretted bass so that only parts where fretless as in the picture? If so, how hard was it?

  15. haxality


    Feb 14, 2006
    Thank the generic lord, this wasn't what I thought it was. This actually looks very interesting.
  16. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    I remember reading years ago that Percy Jones had filed the frets down on one side of the neck on one of his basses in the '70s. With patience and care just about anything is possible, but I'd rather have separate fretted and fretless basses (as I do now) or a doubleneck....

    Hmmm. Doubleneck....
  17. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    There have been a few basses that are a mixture of fretted and fretless, either fretted only partway up the neck, or fretted under only some of the strings...

    However, the Pagelli in your picture is not fretted at all--it's strictly fretless from what I can tell, just with some atypical fretlines.


    (PS - I meant the 5-string in the original link, not the doubleneck...)

  18. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    yes, that looks more like it, because the lines swell up, resulting in an A string that runs over no frets, lines, then no frets again. hard to imagine that as frets.

    that guy does make some amazing looking basses.
  19. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    First, the (beautiful) bass you have pictured is just fretless. It has partial fretlines.

    Also, several people have done partial fretted / partial fretless basses, either string-to-string (transverse) or upper fretboard / lower fretboard (longitudinal). Hopefully a search might turn this up. There has been at least one thread about this in particular.

    Also, basses have been done with duplicate sets of fretted and fretless strings, with separate bridges allowing separate setups.

    Also, John Brown holds patent #5,025,696, which covers any fretted/fretless combination neck (transverse or longitudinal) where the fretless fingerboard portions are raised up to the height of the fret crowns of the fretted portion. The patent expires in September 2009.
  20. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    It seems like too simple an idea or design to patent.

    I always thought basses with certain strings fretted or fretless look intriguing. Although, a lot of the one's I've seen have the low strings frettless and the high one fretted. I think I'd be much more useful the other way around.

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