Ibanez converted fretless musician question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pbass888, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. pbass888

    pbass888 Up the Irons! Westham United FC--mile high irons Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Hi TB friends!

    I am looking at a used Ibanez musician that has been converted to fretless. It is not on the same continent that I live on,so I can not inspect the bass before buying. Returning the bass will be expensive.

    My question is regarding fretless conversions in general . Outside of the risks of buying online (most of my online purchases have been through talkbass), are there any special risks of buying a ‘converted’ fretless neck that I could potentially identify?

    I know this seems like a pretty vague question but I am wondering if the defretting could affect the truss, the body connection or other neck warping issues.

    I only have one pic and have requested more and will post soon.

    I owned the fretted version back in the early 1980’s and toured with it then. It was stolen in NJ and a club in 1984.

    Thankyou in advance,

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  2. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    Vague answer: it shouldn't. REALLY shouldn't. This is done more often than I'd like (it's really difficult to do well and look cosmetically good) but I've never seen it functionally mess up a neck.

    My advice: I never buy anything I cannot return. Especially musical instruments.

    Proceed as you think best.
    pbass888 likes this.
  3. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There are far more bad defret jobs than good. Chances are that bass is garbage. Don't waste your time or money.
    pbass888 likes this.
  4. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    You're in New York? It's not exactly a small country town with limited shopping choices.
    pbass888 and Axstar like this.
  5. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    What did they fill the slots with?

    I have been given the impression that soft material such as wood putty can weaken the fretboard/neck structure
    pbass888 likes this.
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Absolutely. Leaving them open or using a compressable material as filler results in a bendier neck than if there are pieces of metal or wood in the slots.
    pbass888 likes this.
  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Defretted professionally or by an amateur? If the former, should be fine, if the latter, caveat emptor.
    pbass888 likes this.
  8. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Don't bother. A cleaner Ibanez Musician will turn up closer to you if you wait.

    Buying bass sight unseen: Risky.
    Buying bass from another country sight unseen: More risky.
    Buying converted fretless bass from another country with expensive return policy sight unseen: don't go there.
    pbass888 likes this.
  9. pbass888

    pbass888 Up the Irons! Westham United FC--mile high irons Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    That was easy. My gut feel was something
    1. Fret filler with substandard materials could affect the neck strength
    2. Returning is too expensive
    3. It’s not such a rare bass etc and as Gorn stated,there are lots Of basses nearby .

    Thanks !
    Axstar and charlie monroe like this.