1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Need some advice, should I have my fingerboard coated?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phishaholik, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I recently bought a Fender Jaco Artist Series fretless here on Talkbass and I am absolutely in love with the bass. It has a wonderful, light and resonant body and the neck is the most comfortable Jazz neck I've played. I've actually never like Jazz basses and even though I've owned plenty, I've always sold them.

    My dilemma is whether I should send it over to HG Thor and have the fingerboard coated with epoxy. The cost would be close to, or a little bit over, $700 as I am not going to wait 4 years to have it done and am willing to pay the fee to have my order expedited.

    Before I bought the bass, I planned on having this done, even though it meant selling another bass to pay for it. Once I received the bass however, I loved the way played with flats. It doesn't have as much mwah and it doesn't sound particularly good playing by the bridge, but MAN does it sound fantastic when playing up by the neck whilst soloing the neck pickup. It really, really sounds like a double bass and the flats have that bounce like a DB.

    I really like the singing mwah sound as well and I really can't decide what to do. What would y'all do in my place?

  2. Deep Cat

    Deep Cat Supporting Member

    Why change a good thing?
  3. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    The reason for coating the neck is to prevent fast wear. Flats shouldn't wear the neck much, so what's the point?
  4. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    I did mine myself and it came out pretty darn good.

    Its really not that hard to do if you have any experience with painting and epoxy.
  5. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    That's why I'm debating not getting it coated. I may just leave the flats on and the coating wouldn't be necessary.

    I definitely don't trust myself to do something like this and I was looking for the pro job the HG Thor does. I've looked at the results and read the reviews and I believe he is the man for the job.

    Thanks guys!

  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I have my Jaco covered from HG Thor and I love it, I did not pay for the epoxy/wait 2 years, I bought it this way. It is not for everybody though, but personally I bought the Jaco Jazz as a Jaco fan, so I obviously want it coated. I shielded mine though, that is about the only difference from Jaco's, that and the previous owner did a **** job of installing the pickguard so the holes are chipped and the goof tried to adjust the truss rod without removing the neck so there is a chip at the base of the neck.

    As a person that has attempted an epoxy job, I wouldn't do it myself. I should add I am not terrible mechanical, but do lots of my own tech work. I ruined a Squier neck attempting to get the radius sanded back in, you will note that 95% of epoxy tutorials do not radius the neck and leave it sit as is, so I do wonder what the radius of those necks would be. I used mirror coat which self levels, so it left a flat surface. I would pay for a pro, there may also be local techs that do this with good results, they may use cyanoacrylate (superglue) instead like Pedulla and Carvin do.
  7. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    You can use D'Addario Half-Rounds. Get the mwah and still preserve the board. I had them on my fretless for years and there was practically no visible wear. $700 seems a bit steep, but maybe that's the going rate. I think the fear of fretboard wear is greater than that what reality shows.

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78! Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
    I own the same bass and have considered this for a while. I have used roundwound (Rotosound) on this bass since I got her.
    The only reason I would coat is to get more of the 'mwah' we speak of around here.I personally am not worried about wear on the board.
    I had another fretless with a harder non-wood board and it does give more mwah. I like the way the strings play against that board compared to the Jaco also.

    I am just not sure an epoxied board would give more mwah than what is on there stock. I want to think it would but I am a busy musician and would hate to have the Jaco in the shop for too long. If I had the $$ I would pay for expediting it.

    What seemed to help in the 'mwah' area is taking all of the relief out of the neck (neck is flat) and have changed to smaller gauge strings. It did seem to help but I may go back to my normal gauge. Next up for my Jaco is swap out the pickups for Nordstrand NJ4SE's. I am thinking those will get this bass closer to the sound in my head.

    I would not hesitate to get it epoxied. If I had more cash I would. It does have a great neck and a board coating can only improve it. IMO, of course.
  9. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    I've just been experimenting with tapewounds recently (Roto 88's) and have been really suprised at how bright and almost "roundwound like" they are (much more than flats). I've heard d'addario tapes are even more like that. Personally i'd be tempted to try out a set and skip the epoxy. Mwah and zero fretboard wear..those babies wouldn't give you any wear even if you used em for years!
  10. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I would get it epoxied personally. I did that to a Jazz (well, a local Luthier originally from Miami did it), and it made me literally addicted to the bass. I liked playing it before, but after it was epoxied, I never wanted to put it down, and the mirror finish on the board is something to marvel and just stare at. I use roundwounds on it, though, and the epoxy changed the feel and tone a bit, but definitely for the better! There are other people who can do just as good of a job as HG Thor, and cost less than half what you would pay him. Someone on here would probably do it for you. I went with a 1/8" coating and had them shave the rosewood down a bit before applying the epoxy so that the neck wasn't thicker. That neck is a MIJ fretless with no lines, and it has a slab fingerboard, so there was lots of room to shave it down a bit. It's definitely my favorite 4 string bass!
  11. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for all the advice guys!

    I used to use half-rounds on the last fretless I had and I thought they were a nice happy medium. I'm addicted to Fodera Med/Lights right now and I would like to try them on my fretless, but I may just throw some half-rounds on there now and see how they do. I believe my bass does come with a bit of a coating from Fender, but it seems rather thin and I wouldn't expect it to last long.

    I'm also after the extra mwah that the epoxy would provide, but I don't think I would get the same woody thump I'm getting now with flats.

    My best bet may just be to put some rounds or half-rounds on there now and see how they do. Part of the price of getting the epoxy coating from HG Thor is a fingerboard leveling, so I probably wouldn't lose much in trying.

    Thanks again!

  12. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    I realize you seem set on changing a "good thing". But if it were me, I'd simply buy another bass that has the mwah sound that I like. I don't think that you can keep the sound as it is presently and add the mwah without affecting the original tone. What you're describing defines two different basses for me.

    Lloyd Howard
  13. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
  14. Ok, so I have an epoxy-coated 4 string fretless from Carvin. I play rounds on it for the most part. Guess what? I would tell you do NOT get it coated. Why? You love it as-is. AND, guess what else? I DIG my coated fretless BIG TIME and now want to ADD a bare-wood fretless I will play rounds on. My point? Get a coated fretless to ADD to your collection and leave the one you love as-is. Then, you'll have the best of both worlds.
  15. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef “the brian” Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Southern California
    $700 and 4 years to epoxy a fingerboard? What am i missing here?
  16. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    Yeah what he said. Inquiring minds want to know. I've been considering getting a fretless.
  17. NK....Carvin did mine during the regular build time.
  18. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    Use LaBella tape wound nylon flats and you can get all the sounds and no ware
  19. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    It is only $250 I think for the epoxy, the rest is P+P (S+H) and expedition fees so he doesn't have to wait the two years. I think that is all you're missing.
  20. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Yeah, it's not $700 just for the epoxy. I believe it's around $450 for the epoxy and a full setup and $250 to jump the line and have mine done immediately. He has a four year wait, so that shows how in demand the his work is. I'm really starting to lean towards just keeping it the way it is and probably just leaving the flats on it.

    Does anyone have any idea how long a morado board would last with rounds? I'm pretty sure the bass has a thin poly coat on the fingerboard too, so I might be ok for a while with rounds anyway.

    I pulled it out and played it as long as my 2 year old would let me this morning and it really is an incredible bass.


Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.