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Have round wounds damaged your fretless board?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, May 8, 2003.

  1. I just bought an Ibanez EDA905F. (fretless)

    It's got an unlined fingerboard (looks too good:cool: ) and it came from the factory with Elixir nanoweb strings on it.

    What I'd like to know is: Has anyone here ruined their fretless board by using roundwound strings? If so, how long did it take?
    I have a pretty light touch and I don't really slide that much. The fingerboard is ebinol (plastic) so I'm guessing it's probably tougher than any kind of wood.

    This bass sounds so good. I don't want to write a review until I really get to know it and experiment with all settings. The piezos add such clarity and snap. :) :cool:

    Any info appreciated.



    P.S. How rude of me. Here it is. I couldn't find the fretless picture. Maybe they discontinued them? http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=EDA905
  2. tyson


    Feb 9, 2000
    Dallas, TX
    i don't have a fretless but i have lots of opinions and silly ideas :meh:

    i would have to think that phosphor-bronze, pure nickel, nickel plated steel and stainless steel strings would all eventually wear on the a wood or plastic fretboard...most metals are simply harder than most woods and most plastics.

    i would think teflon/nylon coated strings would be more gentle on the fretboard at least while the coating remains... but what do i know... maybe you'll just have to replace your fret board every few years.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've always used rounds on fretless, except for my Godin which has the factory flats. I never found the rounds to wear more than flats but then I never was into Rotosounds which feel like saw blades to me.

    I can SEE wear marks on the boards after years (like DECADES) of playing but I don't feel them (yet). Hey, you can always have the fretboard dressed (what URB guys do) or even have a new board put on. At least you'll never need a fret job :D
  4. i bought a fretless that had been used with rounds and you could see the snail trails in the ebony board
    i used it a short while and had it fretted
    the luthier must have got rid of the marks..they are not there now so could not have been too deep
    i used fretmasters until it was fretted:)
  5. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I've always used roundwounds on my fretless basses. Yes, there has been some minor wear, but I've never experienced any "damage" from them. I had a fretless Jazz bass many years ago that was starting to get grooved, so I had it sanded down. It ruined the sound of the bass.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Hi Mike

    Is the Jack bass still getting action
  7. I never knew this. I guess I'll just have to wait a little to see if/when it starts to wear. I never had a fretless with rounds on it, that's why I asked. I like these Elixirs (first time I'm trying these too) but, I've been waiting to try Thomastik Infield Jazz flats.
    Maybe I'll check them out after I get used to this beauty. Thanks, Josh.

    Hey Major Metal, the Jackbass has been sleeping for a few months now. I still play it, but, I'm getting pretty hung up on 5 strings lately. How's by you? Did you move to Scranton yet?

    Keep it coming, guys.

    Mike :)
  8. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    I had a yamaha fretless and used roundwounds on it - the factory settings actually came with them on, bizarrely - and over three years the fretboard did get damaged. I treated it 5 times in 5 days with DAnish oil and it improved it a bit, and made it sound more acoustic.

    for my next fretless I plan to use flats.


  9. Sofa King

    Sofa King

    Aug 20, 2000
    Rowlett, TX
    I use roundwounds on my fretless. THe board is completely untreated and I actually haven't completed it (no sanding or any work). I've had it this way for a year and I dont have any grooves. Just the lil' impression of tracks where the string windings are.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member


    Have not moved to scranton yet probably in August. You really have to try thomastic infeld power bass strings on the jack bass you will never want to have anything else on their again. My jack has been sleeping a bit this week since i got my FBB 5 string but i do go to it see the swiching factor 4 to 5 and it is getting better.
  11. I think that I've done some damage to my fingerboard with rounds. It's not major, but I'ev only had it for a few weeks, and there are already scratches on the board.
  12. PSouth


    Mar 15, 2003
    I got a Yamaha fretless a few weeks ago that came with rounds and it got scratched up a bit after only a day, so I went and bought flats. I don't think these ones are scratching the board at all, but it does leave marks. I think it's the metal rubbing off on the wood or something. It would probably go away if I wiped it with something. I'm not sure though. Does that happen?
  13. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I have marks on my rosewood fretboard, but they're only visual, really... I can't really feel them with my finger, so I don't worry about it.
  14. PSouth


    Mar 15, 2003
    Yeah, I can only see them in certain light.
  15. Quality


    May 7, 2003
    Long Beach, CA
    It took me about 10 years to wear a fretless board to the point of affecting the sound. The dig marks have to be deeper than the string wire radius and then you will get poor intonation. Check the intonation with a good quality strobe tuner at a few spots along the neck. If it's bad than gave the board resurfaced or replaced. I didn't like the low tone of flats so I went to half-rounds (D'Addario Chromes). They are a little brighter. I havent seen wear foe 2 years.

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