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Help me decide which bass to defret. . .

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jsonnenblick, Dec 11, 2001.


  1. OK, I have two Washburn basses, both Stingray-style, that I have had posted for sale for a while, and nobody's buying them. In the meantime, I've had to sell my awesome (only) fretless, a Warwick Corvette, because SOMETHING had to go.

    Anyway, now I figure I might as well defret one of the Washburns, since now I need a fretless, and both of the Washburns are good-sounding basses. But which one would make a better fretless, or how could I GUESS which one would? One is a USA XB-900, ash/rosewood, with a Basslines pickup and 3-band EQ. It sounds very smooth and polished, and the mid control might be good for dialing in "mwah". On the other hand, I have more $$ in it, and defretting it would totally destroy any chance I have of getting any cash back out of it. The other bass is a Korean RB-2000, with 2-band EQ. This bass is much more aggressive and "slappy" sounding, I think because its ash body is much heavier, plus it has a massive strings-thru-body bridge.

    So which makes for a better fretless sound: mellow smoothness, or gritty slap tone???? I know people who swear by fretless P-basses, and others who adore fretless Stingrays. Anyone have any advice?

    BTW, I've defretted a bass before, so the TECHNIQUE isn't an issue, just which bass should undergo the surgery.:D
     
  2. Defret the one which:

    - has the straightest, most stable neck
    - has the best sustain
    - has the smallest position markers
    - has the most workable nut
    - you worry about mucking up the least.

    BTW, mwah is not dialed in, it's to do with string height and relief. If the mwah is there acoustically, you don't need an extra mid boost to bring it out.
     
  3. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    If I were you, I´d check out Andy´s suggestions, but I would probably defret the cheaper one, in case if the defretting gets messed up.
     
  4. So mwah is caused by the string sort of buzzing against the board as it vibrates?
     
  5. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    If the Korean model has an ebony board, I would defret that one, hands down.

    Otherwise, your choice is going to depend on what kind of music you play primarily. If you play fretless 80% of the time, and you're really good at setup (know how to set it up for mwah, have the tools to level the board well), then you might want to go ahead and put that XB-900 under the knife. Otherwise I would think twice about it if it was my one nice bass. Plus, with rosewood and roundwounds, you also might want to consider coating the board.

    elwood