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Good bass to defret?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by full_bleed, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    I not to happy with the offerings I've found in the budget fretless department. Has anyone defretted their budget (<$400) fretted bass with good results. I was thinking that a fretted bass that has a lot of low mids would probably make for the best sounding conversion but I really have no clue.
  2. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
  3. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    You are aware you have to put something of equal width where the frets were ... right?

    I picked up a $1500 bass several years ago for $180.00 because they previous owner just de-fretted it ... I had it re fretted ...
  4. full_bleed


    May 27, 2005
    LOL yes I'm quite aware of that. In fact in the luthier area there is a sticky that has a pictorial of how to do it in case anyone else around here was thinking of doing this but wasn't sure how.
  5. paulraphael


    Apr 13, 2006
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    i had great results doing this. my first bass was a $400 or so ibanez soundgear. i got it because to my very inexperienced ears it sounded better than the other cheap-o basses at the store. it also had a super skinny neck that felt like it would be easy to play.

    but i eventually found the sound too cardboardy, and it lacked punch, so i got a g&l. i decided to defret the ibanez just for the hell of it .. i didn't need a second fretted 4 string around. i got a bunch of advice online and just did it. used a soldering iron to warm the glue, and pliers or nail clippers or something to pull the buggers out. i did an ok job ... chipped the wood a bit here and there, but nothing major. i filled the slots in with some dark colored epoxy--the board is rosewood and i didn't want the lines to be obvious. and smoothed out the chips with some plastic wood. i sanded it with a soft block behind the sandpaper, oiled with linseed oil and strung it whith TI jazz flats, changed the setup, and all was done.

    the surprise: it sounds great as a fretless. it doesn't have a ton of bottom end or punch or dynamics, but the overall tone is warm and sweet and midrangy, and pretty addictive to play. a world of difference from the fretted sound. i doubt you can count on this kind of good fortune ... it was a really nice surprise. if you have no other use for the cheap bass, i'd say go for it. what have you got to lose?

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