Fretting a frettless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Samie, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I only have one bass and its a frettless. Now that I finally control the frettless I was thinking of fretting this bass at the luthier and getting an upright.

    I figure that the frettless will get little use once I start rocking on the upright. NOto enough money to get an upright and a decent fretted bass.

    What do u guys think? I good idea or a mistake?

  2. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Mistake man... Totally, by far... I just defretted an old bass, and it was easy as hell. But all I did was take off the frets. With fretting, you would have to buy the frets, and make an exact cut (in the neck) for the slots of all the frets. I think that it would just be a big fu%*#ng mess.
    Defretting was a mess, lol...
    I say, if your getting an upright, and it's not that important to you, sell it, and try to get something better, or even get something not as good, but fretted.
  3. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    ok! this is what you do.

    you take off the 9 layers of epoxy,

    you take the neck off,

    then take out the wood filler that was there to fill the old frets,

    then you take frets and use a fingernail clipper or screwdriver to place them in,

    then you heat up the frets with a soldering iron.

    and thats all! :D :D :D
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I think most of the double bass players on the list would be quite adamant that a fretless bass and an upright bass have quite different sounds - so the fretless may not be as redundant as you think.

    And even if you don't have any call to use it once you've got your upright, would you have time to play a fretted bass?

    Personally, I'd suggest hanging onto the fretless for a while and then, if you decided you need a fretted bass, don't need a fretless and can't afford both, see if you can trade the fretless for a fretted instrument. That way you can try the new instrument before committing yourself - otherwise there's a risk that you may be left with a bass that is no fun to play and a lot more expense to restore it to the original condition.

  5. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I sold one bass long ago and I still regret it, i will never do that again.

    The thing is that the TRBIIF that I have is really a 5 string without frets, not a real fretless. Its lined, rosewood fretboard and has no epoxy or protective coating. With time I would have to either epoxy it or get a ebony fretboard.

    I actually make the fretless sound like a fretted, no wooow sounds. I try to with Gary Willis philosophy, always using the frettless for everthing. Is the hardest thing ever to record pop, or funk tunes with the frettless

    I dont think fretting this babe would be hard for a pro luthier.

    the specs
    35", ash body, maple neck, rosewood lined fretboard.

    the bass

  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Was it originally fretted or is this they way they come from the factory? Perhaps you could buy a replacement neck for it?

    Or, if you're going to have the neck fretted, then what's the difference between that and trading for a fretted bass? It's not going to be the same instrument anymore - you're taking the risk that it will turn out as good or better than before.

  7. Don't do it man, please don't do it.
  8. Man, just get an Essex BG205 (5 string fretted) for like $119 at and get an upright, simple as dat f00.
  9. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    Get a MIM Fender.
  10. LOL!