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rubber frets?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Taylor Livingston, Jan 1, 2003.


  1. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    so... would it be possible to have rubber frets? is there any rubber that wouldn't be torn up? on a similar note, my friend saw a guy playing a bass with rubber strings (presumably with a piezo) through a whammy pedal. (actually, he said a bass whammy, because, contrary to reality, people continue to think that such a thing exists.) anybody know anything more about this?
     
  2. It would seem like the rubber would kill the ringing of the strings but maybe not i dunno
     
  3. jbay

    jbay

    May 23, 2002
    Singapore
    Rubber strings? Or black nylon tapewounds?
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Rubber frets are a bad idea for a handful of reasons:

    -durability
    -rubber is not resonant
    -rubber compresses under pressure
     
  5. I do not intend to burst your bubble or anything of the sort, but what sparked the idea for rubber frets (what is your reasoning, man?!?!?) lol.
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Another reason:

    -the string end motion would be partially limited by the fret, and partially by your finger behind the fret, resulting in a raucous noise resulting fron two different pitches trying to sound simultaneously.
     
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Bass whammys do exist.
     
  8. Maybe rubber frets would be desirable for a thuddy no-sustain sound? You could arrange for them to be replaceable, so that the wear wouldn't be an issue long-term.

    Try it on a plank first. See how the sound and the string stopping works out.
     
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    The rubber will compress when you "fret" the note and the fret ahead of it will choke the string like a terribly high fret on a regular bass. That's my guess.
     
  10. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Yes, I hadn't thought of that- you now would have the string partially stopped by the next fret up, partially by the fret you are trying to use, and partially by your finger. Bad.

    If you want a muted thuddy sound, try foam or some other material up by the bridge.
     
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I will say, though, that I've wished there were black frets available, just for reasons of looks. I thought I had read of someone trying ebony or maybe diamondwood frets, but I haven't been able to find it. Anyone know anything about that?

    I'd like to see a bass with the gold-colored frets that Warmoth is now offering, too
     
  12. punkfunkfreak

    punkfunkfreak

    Dec 16, 2001
    Ashbory?
     
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    One of our members(who used to be a Moderator), Angus, has a Yamaha that has been refretted with Delrin© frets, which are black plastic. You can try emailing him through the board and get his feedback on them.
     
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    emb

    Angus no longer takes emails through the board.
     
  15. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    if you used a hard rubber I think it might be possable, but I don,t think the sound would be as effected. It seems to me like it would almost sound like it had wooden frets, like the suggestion ebony.
     
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ah well.:( I'll see if I can find a way to reach him. If I do, I will bring this thread to his attention.
     
  17. on another board someone brought up this question, and someone suggested gun-metal dyeing...?
    i'm not sure about details, that's just what someone said when another guy asked about black frets.
     
  18. Whaaaaa? I guess I have no clue what's going on there. What in the world are those strings...and you say rubber frets on a fretless...but those look like standard frets? Bridge? Whammy?

    Whaaaaa?
     
  19. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    ok thats interesting. my question is how does it work with what appear to be rubber strings(ala Ashboy) and magnetic pickups?
     
  20. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Very funny. This fretted ten-string Tune bass can be found here and here.