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My new fretless finally complete!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ian Hall, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    My new fretless is finally done! It's taken me a couple months total buying a few parts out of each check, but I managed to pull through. The FB is stabilized birdseye, the neck is wenge with black limba headstock veneer, and the body is black limba. The pups are EMG's with standard jazz wiring. The bridge and tuners are gotoh.


    Body front

    Body back
  2. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Looks great ! How does it feel to finally have it finished ?
  3. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    I built my own trussrod and covered the rods with teflon heatshrink tubing. There is nearly no friction inside between the teflon and the moly-lube I used on the threads, so truss rod adjusments are nearly instant. Access is through a spoke wheel there at the base of the neck. The neck pretty much goes where you tell it to. The action is very nice, as you can see in the picture. Notice the CNC cut neck pocket- the fit came out great.

    The nut is cut from a scrap of black delrin I had. I used the mill at my shop to rough cut it, hand filed the slots, and then hit it with a buffing wheel to give it that finished look.

    I'm not much of a fretless player, but I still have great fun playing this thing. The acrylic fingerboard is super-zingy, and the bass mwahs on command. I think as I practice it will start sounding better and better, too(well, that's the plan at least). I'll try to post some sound clips as soon as I can- this thing sounds great plugged in.

    Check my construction thread in the Luthier's forum also.

    Let me know what you think!
  4. Congrats man!! the bass looks really nice and those are some woods I like you know ;)

    Peace, JP
  5. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    I'm thrilled!
  6. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    That looks like a quality unit! The neck pocket looks like a very tight fit. That fretboard was a great choice too.

  7. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    That is a nice bass. It looks like a Warwick done right :D I bet it plays awsome. Did you have a CNC make all of the cuts?

    Sound Clips?


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    how much ;)

    *cause i want one!
  9. Believe me, playing a fretless will soon dominate your every waking moment. :D

    Very nice instrument, Ian. Welcome to the world of the infinity* fingerboard.


    *When you look down an unlined fretless board close up, it looks like you're looking into infinity.

    At least it does to me. ;)
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    That's a very beautiful bass-I love the fingerboard! Great job!
  11. Very, very nice! You sure showed those CNC machines who's boss ;)

    BTW what is the string spacing at the nut?
  12. Here is my J wtith passive normal J wiring.

    Only with Bart hum J's.

  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Picture isn't working-does your bass have something to do with this one?
  14. tboyd


    Sep 10, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    What a beautiful instrument...well done!

    I was going to ask about the string spacing and the width of the neck also, it looks a tad wide, but that may just be the pic. Also the edges of the fb look a little # :), has that bothered you at all?

    Those woods are gorgeous. I've never heard of them, but then I don't know much about wood.

  15. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    The string width E to G center to center at the nut is just a hair less than 1-3/8", and the nut width is 1.75". The bridge spacing is 19mm, and the heel width is 2.4". The neck is roughly 1/8" wider than a p-bass neck, and the back profile is a slightly asymmetrical "C" shape. The fretboard edges are radiused about .025" but I think I may round it over a bit more- I wasn't sure how much to do and better too little than too much...

    I am used to playing a 5 string and anything narrower than a p-bass neck is very hard for me to get a solid hold on- I'm 6'4" and my hands are pretty large. The string spacing is about like a warwick with just a hair more width at the nut. I don't like FB's with cramped edges; and the extra width isn't a problem in my case.

    BTW, now that I look at it the camera gave a slight fisheye effect to the picture causing the neck to look like it fattens out in the middle and tapers too much at the nut and heel. It actually is dead straight along the edges and looks a lot thinner in person.

    The CNC was used for the pickup routing, the neck pocket, and the electronics cavity. I also used it to do roughing, and to rout the neck blank for the truss-rod. All of the contour cutting and carving was done by hand. The design is from scratch but was influenced(duh:)) by some of my favorite parts of the corvette and thumb basses, minus the things I don't like about each. It turned out to be pretty cool looking, IMO. Well, I'm happy with it at least. I'll try to get some sound samples as soon as I can.
  16. excellent job!
  17. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses
    Yep, looks like it`s Mwah2000 supported :)
  19. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    That is a very nice looking bass!! Congrats man!
  20. Yeah I noticed.

    It had nothing much do to with the thred, just kind of showing it off really.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 5, 2021

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