"Rounds eat fretless"...an old wives' tale?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by AudioDwebe, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Has anyone had to have their fretboards refinished (or even replaced) for playability purposes, as opposed to purely cosmetic ones, when using rounds?

  2. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Not an old wives tale. I ruined a beautiful rosewood fingerboard using rounds. Yes, it was refinished, but really for cosmetic purposes...it realy didnt impact the playability of the bass. But that bass wont ever be tortured with rounds ever again. Cross my heart.
  3. Rounds ate all of my fretless boards, but it was worth it for the tone, IMO!
  4. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    It really depends on your playing style. Do you press down really hard and pluck aggressively? If so, then any metal string will cause grooves to form, a little more so with rounds. It's metal on wood - not a fair matchup no matter how you slice it. A lighter touch will certainly help lessen the impact. My fretless basses are fine after a few years, and there are guys who have touted using rounds for over a decade with no ill results.
  5. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Rounds eat frets and in the absence of frets they eat fingerboards simple as that.
  6. TomA1234


    Jul 27, 2009
    Fareham, England
    I have only played 2 fretlesses with rounds on. 1 had deep grooves where the strings were and the other started getting scratches in the fingerboard that have yet to be removed by the groundwounds I have on it.

    So yeah, roundwounds do chew fretless fingerboards IME.
  7. CapnSev

    CapnSev Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Any metal is going to chew up the wood in time. Round wire wraps are just going to do it a lot faster.
  8. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Heavy handed players and small or soft frets are a problem with rounds over time. Choose bass mfg who use qaulity frets intead of soft ones and the problem of rounds on frets become much much less. Jumbo frets rather then traditional or banjp size frets also show less wear. lastly, learn lighter fretting if your heavy handed. That not only reduces wear a lot but also imo greatly improves tone and playing nuances sound wise.
  9. micgtr71


    Dec 4, 2012
    They may make marks on the board, but the nickel strings have not dug grooves in my board.
  10. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Depends on the fingerboard wood too. Ebony is harder than rosewood, so won't show as much wear. Hardening the fingerboard with cyanoacrylic ("super glue") or epoxy will help as well.