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make a fretted bass a semi-fretless one?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by hervetlse, May 29, 2005.

  1. hervetlse


    Jan 25, 2002
    france toulouse
    i've got an electro-acoustic fretted bass but the frets are of a bad quality and i've got a warwick electric fretted bass also, so i would like to defret my electro-acoustic, but instead of removing all the frets, i was thinking of defretting :bassist: only the 9 to 22nd frets, is it a good idea? like this, like a double bass i would play walking bass fretted withn 1 to 9 frets and fretless withn 9 to 22, do you think i should defret all my bass or do like this and see if in the future, i prefer defretting all the frets? excuse my english cause i'm a french guy. musically yours. thank you.
  2. when ever iven seen it done its allways 12fert higer is fretless.
  3. hervetlse


    Jan 25, 2002
    france toulouse
    you are alright warwickben, twelve, it's an octave much more easy than 9, thank you so much, others opinions ? :hyper: :bassist: ...... no one ......?
  4. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    IIRC when that was done, generally the fretboard for the fretless part neeed to be raised higher so that the board was on the same plane as the fret crowns, otherwise hitting a note on the fretless (especially close to the trasition frets) would be difficult becuase the action would be higher by the hight of the frets AND the strings would be hitting the frets higher up on the board making it harder to push down.
  5. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    And I also think that pushing hard on the string around the 12th fret on the fretless will make the note go sharp. It's a great idea, but I think you better think this through first. You could build it then tune the bass and mark where the natural notes are and make new fret markers. That's probibly what I would do because I really like this idea.
  6. hervetlse


    Jan 25, 2002
    france toulouse
    LajoieT you are right, it's a good idea (raising the fretboard between 12 and 22) cause if i don't do this i will not be able to play between 12 and 14 or 15 or more?

    I think that Whorshiper had a great idea too, if i understand you right, the 12er fret will be the point from where i will have to find where to put the new markers, and the good point about this system is that i will have 1 to 12 fretted like usual, and from 12 to 22 the notes will be much more higher (quite like a piccolo or almost like a guitar, it would be wonderfull. the only problem is to know if the 12nd fret will be enough high to be the starting point of all the notes played between 13 and 22? To resume, 3 solutions upon me :

    1) (Worshiper's idea) remove the frets between 13 and 22 and, i suppose, raise the strings to avoid to touch the fretless part of the fretboard and maybe it will work (if all the notes between 13 and 22 start from the same point, the 12nd fret, then it's great, almost an invention but , i'm not sure? and you?)

    2)(lajoieT's idea) raise the fretboard between 12 and 22, and if i decide after to have it all fretless, adding some wood to raise between 1 to 12.

    3) the most simple, defretting all the fretboard without raising the fretboard (but lowering the strings) and that's all folks !!!

    What do you think it's the best idea? :meh: :hyper: :bassist:
  7. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I think you should go ahead and de-fret 12 and up, then play it for a while and see how it goes. If it doesn't work out then fine, just defret the rest, if it does work out, then you can look into some solutions for making it more playable.
  8. hervetlse


    Jan 25, 2002
    france toulouse
    thank you so much Paintandsk8, nothing is better than simplicity, that's the way to go. :hyper:
  9. hervetlse


    Jan 25, 2002
    france toulouse
    yooouuuuuppppiiii!!! it's working!!!!! Hello boys, i've done it yesterday's evening, and it took me less than an hour to defret from 7 to 22 (see the pictures of my new baby) .We were asking questions for nothing , i tried to put just one string and it works fine, of course you don't have the same sound with fretless and fretted but no problem to play between 6 and 8 for example, no need to raise the fretless part of the fretboard.personnally i prefer the fretless sound (quite like an upright) with his mmmwwwooooaaaa humm so good to hear, like if there were a chorus pedal in it. And the winner is Paintandsk8 who told me to try and see. look at the pictures. i like so much the fretless sound that i wonder if i will not defret all the fretboard. Thank you so much guys!!!! :hyper: :bassist: about how to defret, some people say that you should use some pliers facom 418, peraphs it's working, but for me, look at what i used. About using an iron to warm the fret and make the wood around the fret , harder, i tried both with and without it, and i couldn't see any difference!!! peraphs, it depends on the wood you are working with? the only thing i've done with the hot iron is to touch the fretboard with it and now i have a mark of burned wood, so, it's up to you to use an iron or not.Voili voila, as we say it in french. thanks again, guys!!!

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