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Getting rid of frets

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassgod94, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. bassgod94


    Jun 10, 2010
    Hey guys, I can't afford a new fretless bass and was wondering if anyone just gets their frets filed down/taken out. If so how much would this cost me about?
  2. Nic.


    Aug 28, 2009
    Just do it yourself- there's loads of tutorials and stuff around here, just google for "Defretting your bass" or something similar. Be careful and do it carefully though.
  3. bassgod94


    Jun 10, 2010
    That would be the only thing I'm worried about then, ruining my bass
  4. raymondl3


    Dec 10, 2007
    Is that your only bass?
  5. If you have a bolt-on neck, you would be better off picking up a used frettless neck on ebay.If frettless doesnt work out for you, then you can change it back again.
  6. elzeder


    Mar 19, 2010
    Depends how handy you are, but its really no big deal at all.
    Just be carefull when you bring them out, the rest is a lot of sanding down and filling the holes, and sanding, and lacquing, waxing or whatever...and sanding and so on, takes some patience.

    I did my old bass, filling the holes with what is called Plastictree in Sweden, basically woodfiller, and then lacquered several layers with celluloselack with sanding in between. No rocketscience here, its just a piece of wood after all...
  7. pathdoc2


    Oct 16, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    There are too many defretted basses already floating around. Just find a fretless neck and you'll be able to change back anytime you want.
  8. getting rid of frets? wow I've never thought of that before. I wonder if anyone else has thought about getting rid of their frets?! haha. I think there is a sticky at the top regarding defretting....just saying.

    I successfully defretted one of my basses, but the neck if off to a luthier being refinished. I heate up the frets using a soldering iron, and then used a stewmac defetting tool to carefully ease out the frets. also make sure you cover each side of the fret you are working on with painters tape. helps prevent some scuffs.
  9. raymondl3


    Dec 10, 2007
    I got a cheap pair of "nippers" similar to the one from Stew Mac. for a couple dollars at the local cheap Chinese tool store. I used a grinder to flatten the ends so that they could catch the frets. It worked great.
    Make sure you heat the fret with a soldering iron for a minute of two before you pull. start at one end and pull gently and gradually.
  10. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Probably ~$175-$200, if you had a tech do it.
  11. raymondl3


    Dec 10, 2007

    I've got a fretless P-bass neck if you are interested.
  12. bassgod94


    Jun 10, 2010
    it's not my only bass, this one is an Ibanez Gio and my only other one is a Jay Turser violin body bass. It's a bolt on neck but does it matter what type of neck I get? Are they all the same when it comes to putting the neck on the bass? I'm rather new at this and don't really know.
  13. kcolyar


    Feb 28, 2007
    Moab, Ut 84532
    just buy a squier jazz fretless and save yourself the trouble. I had an Aria, something or the other model, took out the frets myself, no problem. I only used a screwdriver, the fretboard chipped in one spot, BARELY. The problem was the fretboard was rosewood, very soft and my round wound strings would groove it badly. The defretting is no sweat, but it might just be not worth it when you are done. That's all!!!
  14. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    kcolyar is right on - the Squier VM Frretless Jazz is about $225 used - it sounds, looks and plays really well. I've had 5 fretlesses (2 converted by me with good results) and the Squier was my second favorite of the bunch.
  15. jibreel


    Apr 12, 2005

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