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Ok lads. How does this one work?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Chasarms, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I searched for a thread on this bass. If it's been discussed, I couldn't find the right search string.

    Anyway, a bass that switches from fretted to fretless in an instant is a really cool concept. Any guess how is actually works?
  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    It's been discussed in the past.. no one really knows.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Im guessing it works like that steinberger... the frets lower into the fretboard to be flush with the fingerboard.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    there one for sale on ebay right now that led me on the journey of discovery. They only want $5K for it. :eek:

    I think it is pretty cool, but you can round a up a pretty nice fretted and fretless bass for $5k.

    I looked at the photos enlarged. I'm not sure if the frets retract or roll over 180 degrees. It seems like the gaps would be wider if they simply retracted.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    One of the two.

    But i dont trust that the bass will play or sound as good as say.. a bass you could get two of, for $2500. I know id much rather have 2 used custom boutique basses or even 5 used musicmans than that thing.
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    You are correct, Sir. I have a Modulus Q5 and and Modulus fretless Genesis 5. I have about 3K or so in the two. I don't think I would trade both for that bass. Once you get over the novelty of it, you need something that plays and sounds amazing for that kind of dough.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, at that price, it's bound to go the way of the interchangeable fretboards and the Gizmotron.
  8. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    My opinion (based on the video) is that the frets are 'rolled' laterally when drawn by the lever so that the crown mates flush with the fretboard during 'fretless' operation.

    Interesting concept. I wonder if there are plans to use the system in other styles of neck, and sell them as replacements a la Warmoth. That might bring the price point within a tolerable range.
  9. it might just be me, but the necks on those basses look really uncomfortable.

    EDIT: i watched the video. i definietly think the frets roll over.
  10. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Haha! Gizmotron! Awesome! I've got one of those stuck in the closet. Wacky concept + wacky manifestation = fail.
  11. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    I watched the video, and it's hard to tell exactly what the frets do. I think they flip otherwise you would have a gap between the top of the fret and the fingerboard. The sound was decent, but for $5K. No way. I would definitely have me a couple of used boutiques for that price. :bassist:
  12. while being bored one day i stumbled onto a BIG message board of people talking about how to make something like that. there were several ideas including; 2 sets of frets that slide in and out one would be flush with the fingerboard and one would be raised, the fretboard made of lots of smaller sections that could slide to overlap and form ridges, and an idea that a companny actually did make where the fretboard was held in place with magnets and you could order lots of differnent ones ie. fretless, fretted, different woods. i dont know if that particular bass uses any of those. just thought id through this out there
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I read something about the failure of Mu-Tron on the web, and the Gizmotron was the major reason. As I'm sure you know, Lol Creme of 10cc invented it, and he sounded so good using it that Mu-Tron put their whole company behind it and made so many of them that when it didn't sell, it bankrupted them. And Kevin Godley said something like, "Unfortunately, the one thing we didn't count on was that Lol was the only person in the world who could use it."
  14. LajoieT

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

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I'll agree with them rolling, so they're shaped like a half cylinder, and probaably have a long worm gear runing the length of the neck connected to that handle. There are 2 things I can think of for practicality issues, the big one being fretwear, unless they've planned on it, I would think that that would be one complicated, expensive, and not done by your local repair shop job. The other being the feel of the frets, when the flat part rolls around and the crown rolls up the flat part is not under the fret, so the fret is now sitting on, nothing, other than maybe the worm gear at either end of it. That would probably have a significant impact on sustaine and tone.
  15. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    They're trying to solve something that isn't a problem.
    Since when was swapping basses between songs an issue? Jeez, an A/B switch costs ,what ? $20
  16. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Back in the late 70's/early 80's there was a luthier by the name of Mark Campellone. He was based in the Rhode Island area. He had designed a bass where the fretboard was attached with magnets. He offered fretted and fretless boards that could be changed pretty quickly. I've never seen one of these, but I have seen (and heard ) one of his standard basses. I believe he is still in business, but is only building hollowbody jazz guitars.
  17. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Urgh, that Mikey bass is so ugly! :rollno:
  18. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    My concerns would be:

    a) If they are "just" rolling the frets over, then in fretless mode the action would be awfully high. You would need to lower the nut and bridge, or raise the fingerboard.

    b) The fret height is something that needs to be very accurate in order to eliminate fret buzz. Anything that involves moving frets would seem to be problematic in that respect. Of course you could compensate by setting the bridge really high.

    c) However it's done, it seems like this would be difficult to accomplish this without adding some weight throughout the length of the neck. So neck dive could be a problem.