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Partial Fret removal...Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by banjo5, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. banjo5


    Dec 8, 2009
    I have a great sounding early 90's Carvin LB75 that plays great. I found a brand spanking new EBMM in my go-to shop and I had to take it home and check it out. I was amazed that they sounded to similar. Both are punchy, midrangey, and clear. Both are "CLACKY". Most of what I think is is caused by my heavy playing style and fret noise, way up on the neck. I can't see paying the tons of extra jack for the EB, when it sounds not that much better than my Carvin.
    Anyway... now on to my question. Has anyone ever heard of, or performed a partial fret removal? I'm thinking about grinding off the frets on the B and E from about the 18th fret up and maybe on the A from about the 20th up to try and reduce the fret noise. I've seen this done on mandolins where they actually scoop the neck way up there to make clearance for your pick. I'm figuring, I don't play the low strings way up there anyway. What do you think? I know it may devalue the bass a little, but these Carvins (for whatever reason) don't re-sell well anyway.
  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    May? Oh, it will devalue the bass. Also, my guess is it only takes one fret to make fret noise. Maybe coated strings will help. Maybe raising your action will do it. Maybe you can cut some midrange to lessen the effect. Maybe you can lighten up your picking.
  3. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    1 I doubt it will help
    2 It will devalue the bass greatly
    3 Working on the set up and your technique are the keys to your problem IMO
  4. banjo5


    Dec 8, 2009
    Ok. Well, I don't really care much about the devalueing. Like I said, it's a Carvin that I paid about $600 for and i've seen them go even cheaper than that. I have no idea why these basses don't bring any $. They are fantastic IMO. Anyway, the noise I get is esspecially bad while i'm slapping and popping for ghost notes. Maybe I can try and EQ some of it out. I'd hate to raise my action any; it plays so nicely. I did notice that if I play back closer to the bridge the strings seem less "floppy" but I dn't get the tone that I'm listening for.
    Thanks for all your suggestions.
  5. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Get your bass properly setup before doing any irreversible mods to it.

    Play softer and turn up. You'll be able to play longer (each session, as well as over your lifetime).
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA

    If you like to slap and pop, your grinding "experiment" may seriously change the slap sound. When you slap the B and E, there is some chance that the string is going to hit the wooden FB instead/before hitting the fret.

    The signature attack of the slap tone comes from the string hitting the fret. If it hits wood, it's going to sound VERY different. Slap a fretless. It sounds cool, but certainly different. Both are fine, but mixed would be very odd.

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