1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Half fretless, how to?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jvbjr, Dec 5, 2006.


  1. jvbjr

    jvbjr

    Jan 8, 2005
    We have all seen the YouTube video where the guy retracts the frets via a lever, unfortunately the mechanism doesn't work in practice. We have also seen that bass that is fretted from 1-12 positions and fretless 13+. There is also this Nexus guitar from Poland:

    [​IMG]

    And let's not forget this oddball Rob Allen creation:

    [​IMG]

    I was contemplating purchasing say a used Conklin 7 string off ebay and attempting to make it half fretless.

    Now I could go the route of simply removing the frets and putting in shorter frets, so say it would end up 4 strings fretted and 3 fretless. Or another idea is to remove the frets and build up the height of the fretless side by adhering an piece of wood to bring that side up to the same height as the frets will result in. Another idea, but probably not doable is to simply fill between the frets with wood filler and apply a veneer over the radiused base to give a consistant playing surface that is within thousandths of an inch of the fret height.

    What makes the most sense?
     
  2. remove the frets, fill half the slots with veneer, refret the other half
     
  3. bryanjnkns

    bryanjnkns

    Oct 18, 2006
    Tulsa
    I would think you have two ways of doing this.(if your buying this bass and not building it from scratch) 1. buy a fretted bass. defret it. refret with half frets and half would filler. or 2. buy a fretless. cut fretslots and fret it for only half of the board and leave the other side alone.
     
  4. jvbjr

    jvbjr

    Jan 8, 2005
    The only issue is, the strings will be higher on the fretted side if I follow either of these ideas. I am wondering if this is an issue regarding output via the pickups.
     
  5. bryanjnkns

    bryanjnkns

    Oct 18, 2006
    Tulsa
    Using smaller frets, such as banjo or mando frets might help. if you are worried about output, get pickups with adjustable pole pieces, or mount them in such a way that would accomadate for string heighth. or if this bass has a bolt on neck you could make your own neck with an uneven fingerboard. Make the frettless side even with the top of the fret on the frettedside. doesthatmakesense?
     
  6. jvbjr

    jvbjr

    Jan 8, 2005
    That is way beyond my ability.
     
  7. bryanjnkns

    bryanjnkns

    Oct 18, 2006
    Tulsa
    me too!:D Iv always thought this was a cool idea though. I wanted one like this for a while.
     
  8. what if you got split pickups (think P-bass) then you could set both sides how you want them
     
  9. contakt321

    contakt321

    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    WHY?

    Just curious.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.