I need fretless setup tips.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by TitaniumAngel, Jul 8, 2001.

  1. TitaniumAngel


    Aug 30, 2000
    Ok. Theres all of you people around here that
    are talking about defretting your bass, but I actually
    did something about mine. Since the frets were dead
    (since the bass is about 20 years old and they have
    probley been releveled about a billion times), and the bass
    was not worth selling (damn BC Rich Warlock never appreciating)
    I descided to defret the beast. After which I didnt have to level the
    fretboard (only qualm I had about coating the board with epoxy-
    its a beatiful brazilian rosewood board), since it was, unlike the frets,
    in awesome shape. Since I only have one bass, and actually
    play guitar more (even though Im better at bass, and typically
    enjoy playing it more- yes you can flame me for being a guitarist
    if you want, I dont really care). I filled in the frets with a black
    wood putty (minwax), and coated the fretboard with five coats
    of epoxy, sanding in between each coat, then finally sanding
    After all of this, it occured to me that I really have no clue on
    how to optimally set up a fretless bass. I couldnt find any
    clear help/tips/hints/whatever on the web, so Im turning to you
    guys. That, and I figure that hearing more than one point of
    veiw on the matter is a good thing. OK, Im rambling now, so
    Ill shut up.

    Basically, I would like info on neck angle, sting height, nut height,
    how I should adjust the bridge, ect.
    Any help or tips on the matter would be hugely appreciated.
  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I'd say there is no difference in setting up an unfretetd bass from a fretted.
    Relief, string height, intonation, it's all the same routine, and there are not two basses in this world that would have exactly the same setup, to have a nice feel and tone.


    You need to cut down the string slots in the nut. The strings should be approx as far from the fingerboard, at the first fret line, as it used to be from the fret. You'll probably have to cut it a few millimeters.
    The slots should be less than 0,3 mm above the fingerboard, if my memory serves me correctly (I'm on vacation, so the brain is more cut off than usual - even :D)

    Take it slow and easy, and good luck!

    BTW: if you fail, a nut is fairly easy to replace....got my drift?