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Great Idea! Fretted*/*Fretless bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by freshmeat1989, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Ok get this. Want the tonal capabilities of a fretted and fretless but dont have the buckaroonies to have both. I just came up with this great idea! A neck that the fret wire slides out from a locked position in the slots, and then another set of fret wire that looks like wood veneer and doesn't protrude from the fretboard at all so you you have fretted and fretless! And, it comes with a special tool to remove the wire! So you can go from fretted to fretless in minutes! Minutes I tell you!!!! This is great! Has it ever been done? If not, should I patent this idea?! Its amazing what you can think of while having a bowel movement! :eek: :hyper: :D
  2. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Well, you'd definatley have to re-intonate it... every time...
  3. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    good idea but good point. the best fretless and fretted idea, which i dont find to apealing, is the up to the 12 fret fretted one. but yours is goot too, work out some bugs though
  4. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    I know this isn't what you're referring to, but this is an interesting fretted/fretless concept...

  5. didnt someone make a headless bass back in the 80's that had a way for the frets to be retracted into the neck or something like that by turning a knob that was placed where a headstock waould be?

    i could have sworn i saw one posted on here once, but i may have been dreaming.
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yeah...was a Steinberger I think, and a huge failure.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
  8. Oh yeah, I forgot about intonation. What exactly is intonation? And the differences in intonation in fretted and fretless.
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Intonation is hard to explain. When an instrument is perfectly intonated, each note should be just about spot on. If your 12th fret harmonic and your 12th fret fretted aren't exactly the same, you're instrument isn't properly intonated.

    The fact that you have to push strings down further on a fretless would in fact stretch them a bit more, and since it's a bigger contact area, it won't be perfect. However, the beauty of fretless, you can go out of tune and still play the right notes ;)
  10. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    I think if you tried hard enough, and replaced whatever parts Necessary... you could make that sound ok... or Even good.

    I think it would be a Badass backup bass.
  11. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I read in a thread a while back about some guy that had two fingerboards that attached to the neck magnetically. That always seemed like a neat idea.
  12. Bennet Pullen

    Bennet Pullen

    Aug 31, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, I've seen the magnetic fingerboards before. All the ones I heard sounded like crap though, its like there was no coupling between the fingerboard and the neck so the vibrations didn't go through, I dont know but they sounded very dead, and not much sustain.
  13. Fred312b

    Fred312b Proof that gear doesn't make you a better player Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    i think i remember reading in a bp article many years ago that john pattitucci(?) had a bass with magnetic fretted and fretless boards. it sounds like a cool idea but in all honesty, i think 2 seperate axes is easier. quality of cheapies has come up a lot so even if you only had a $500 fretless, it'd probably be better and quicker than all that messing around.
  14. I think id sooner have a doubleneck with a fretted on top and fretless on the bottom.
  15. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    When one of the original Steinberger employees is quoted as saying "...although the operation was ingenious, the neck was mostly hollow to accommodate the fret loading mechanism. This made the neck very light, but more importantly very "weak and dead sounding", I'd think that was tried hard enough by the creator and judged a failure.

    When it comes to a part of the instrument as precise as the frets, I'd personally not want any type of "mechanism" involved. It's easy enough to have a doubleneck or put a second bass on a stand for quick changes.
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Another issue, besides the seeming lifelessness of the tone, is that the action would by way too high for fretless. Action set up for a fretted bass, minus the height of the frets, = very high fretless action. And no mwaahh!
  17. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I guess the board would have to come up to the frets.
  18. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    There was one in BP. It was fretted up to about the 16th fret then fretless all the way to the body.