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Goin Fretless (I know, you've heard it all before)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Maurice ElDarko, Nov 26, 2001.


  1. I was thinking of converting my "backup bass" to a fretless.

    For those of you who know me, I will not be doing this myself, so don't start.

    Here's my question. I have a Cort B4, for those of you who don't know the bass, that's a ash body, wenge neck, rosewood fretboard, pretty basic bart p/ups, 3 band EQ.

    I recently went to a six string, and I don't play a hell of alot of four anymore,
    So I was thinking if it'd be a good idea to rip the frets out of the little mongrel, seeing as all I use it for is jazz, blues etc. where the six string is just excessive.

    So my query is, what should I do to the fretboard if I do defret, cause I heard a rosewood fretboard can get eaten pretty quick.
     
  2. red-hot-bassist

    red-hot-bassist

    Sep 18, 2001
    glasgow
    my fretless has a rosewood fretboard, and it has a lot of scores already, i cannot reccommend another type of wood, but i was told getting the board sanded once in a while wont break the band or screw with the tone,
     
  3. what about flatwounds? that might add a few years to your fretboard.
     
  4. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    ebony will add some years, too...
     
  5. red-hot-bassist

    red-hot-bassist

    Sep 18, 2001
    glasgow
    i know i know, everyone keeps telling me to get flatouwnds but I am pretty sure i will lose the tone i have right now, the tone is sooo good, mwah heaven
     
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Here's some reasons why you shouldn't defret:

    * An unlined fretboard looks about 7000% better than a lined fretboard and is no more difficult to play.

    * On a proper fretless the neck side markers are on the note locations. On your "converted" fretless they will be between the "notes". If you decide that you really love the fretless, you'll have a difficult time getting used to a "proper" one. (this is a big problem with the MIM Jazz).

    There are good low cost alternatives out there for fretless beginners. Yamaha, Dean, and others make great starter fretless instruments. I have a Dean Edge 5 which I'm completely in love with.

    Also, if the roundwounds cause wear on the board, WHO CARES if they give you the tone you want? Go for the tone. I run nickel rounds on mine (Fender Super Bass - my favorite strings on all electric basses).
     
  7. I agree with most of the above reasons, except I personally prefer lined fretless. For some reason, have a huge, blank fingerboard just doesn't look quite right to me.
     
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Jaco's fretboard had lines, so should yours. Try Thomastik Infield Jazz flats. Unbelievable tone, and easy on a rosewood 'board.