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!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Question about fretless basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by White_Knight, Sep 10, 2000.

  1. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Question: in theory, since a fretless doesn't have frets, then there can't be any fret buzz can there? I'm sure that there's some equilvilant (strings hitting the fretboard), but I don't know what it is. Would someone please enlighten me? Also, I'm considering getting a fretless, what should I look for in terms of a fingerboad that resists wearing from strings? I seem to remember that there used to be a topic about this but I couldn't find it. Thanks again.
  2. Ted


    Dec 11, 1999
    You can get "fret buzz" on a fretless. Instead of buzzing against a fret, the string buzzes against the board. This happened with the action that came with my Cirrus; it would buzz if I played towards the neck past the bridge pickup.

    I'm sure there has been plenty of discussion on fingerboard material, if I recall correctly the general consensus seems to be, from least resistant to most resistant:
    rosewood -> pau ferro -> ebony -> wood + hard coating material
    The type of string you use makes a difference.
  3. jondiener

    jondiener Guy in the corner, looking at his phone on break. Gold Supporting Member

    I've read in several place on how to set up a bass for 'proper' neck relief, yet I'm not sure if this applies to a fretless. Can anyone enlighten me?
  4. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    There are woods that resist ware from string contact. Ebony is your first choice. This is whats used on most other stringed instruments because it works period. Every thing else is of leser quality. Rosewood is another tight grained hardwood that resists ware but not as well as Ebony.

    I have a 63 Jazz Bass with rosewood and when I took it to a good repair shop to be defretted it wasn't a typical request. So they suggested to reglue the frets onto the fingerboard and file them down. This would save the grooves in case I wanted to go back to fretted. Well that was twenty-four years ago. I think the remaining steel freet bases are helping to prevent ware of the roeswood.

    With todays modern techniques and materials I wouldn't buy a freetless without an Ebony fingerboard.

  5. Ted


    Dec 11, 1999
    Gary Willis has instructions on how to set up relief for a fretless on his homepage. Here's the link:
  6. A little buzz is part of what gives a fretless its distictive sound. You just don't want too much. Check out the link to the Gary Willis site. Even though its written for setting up one of his signature basses the basic info is applicable to any bass.
  7. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Thanks all! I think that fretless sounds like the thing for me (though I'll try before I buy, don't worry).
  8. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I liked fretless at first, but sold it after 10 months... and now I want another one.

Share This Page