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Question(s) about fretted-to-fretless bass change

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Da_Niet, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    I'd like to know the set-up that Jaco had on his once fretted-then-converted-to-fretless J-Bass. For one, what kind of strings did he use, and more importantly, how did he keep the fretboard from getting all chewed up. I know that he had the frets removed then filled in with a form of putty. Then, he had the fretboard polished and smoothed out. I would just like to know how he kept the strings from ruining that classic bass. He had it for so long.
  2. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    Well, he used round wounds, don't know what brand, and they did chew up his fretboard. I remember hearing that he put on a few layers of polyurethane every few monts to keep the wood from getting damaged. That is what I remember, anyway.
  3. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    ..............interesting. That must partially explain his fleeting ability to fly up and down the neck, and still sound marvelous without any effects(as can be heard in those bootleg recordings). Because, I am a fretted player interested in playing fretless: to try to be a little more versatile for the music that I play. I HAVE, in fact, played some of the fretless J-basses out there(american, not import), and I must say, I have not really been impressed. I have tried a few upper-priced Warwicks and Alembics, and those play much easier. It seems like those J-basses are a lot harder to play. Perhaps it's because of the strings, ya? I don't know. Can anyone help????
  4. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    oh, and by the way, right now I play a Mexican J-bass. It's all factory stock equipment. Is there any-thing you all would recommend in order to get a sound that is applicable to jazz, funk, and even rock---yet easier on the fingers to play. Also, what are some better strings to use on this current bass setup?
  5. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Apparently, he used to practice on his fretted, and keep the fretless for gigs & sessions. I don't know if that's true or not.