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Should I have my Rob Allen de-fretted?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FretNoMore, Sep 14, 2002.

  1. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
  2. maybe rob would work some sort of trade-in deal with you?
  3. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    The luthier would probably need to file the nut down too. If he's good, no problem. But, I might just rather sell it and get a new fretless one if I were you.
  4. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Here's a pic of the bass by the way.


    The bass is not totally mint condition, it has a few dings on the back (indentations in the body wood from a bad guitar stand, and some small marks on the back of the neck), so I think a trade-in might not be the way to go.

    I'll take it to the luthier and ask his advise on de-fretting.
  5. This is a bit of a "what colour should I paint my bedroom" question.

    If you want a fretless Rob Allen, then the answer is "yes".

    Looks nice, BTW!
  6. Man, I really, REALLY like this one.. I think it'll be a killer fretless! but I'd make sure that a real pro does the job! good luck
  7. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    One word of caution, I had a well known luthier tell me I shouldn't expect just to have a new neck made for a fretted bass. He claims the intonation point is different, so the saddle would probably have to be moved as well. Food for thought anyway. I have a fretted 5 RA, great bass. Maybe you should just have 2? I've seen them go pretty cheap from time to time, around $1000 U.S. used. Good luck.
  8. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I put the question about buying a new fretless neck to Rob Allen, and he responded that a fretless neck implies a different intonation point and some other tweaks as well, so that would not work too well. But my thinking is that the fretlines on the fretted neck should be in the right position, so a de-fret of a fretted neck should be OK (?)

    I'll let you know what the luthier thinks...
  9. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    That's a beautiful bass!

    I would send it to Rob to have that work done. That way if you sell it, you can say that Rob did ALL the work to it.

    I love the unlined look. Maybe you could see if Rob would be up for swapping fingerboards for an unlined.
  10. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Anders, please do let me know, maybe I'll just have the Roscoe de-fretted. BTW, I forgot to mention, that is a seriously beautiful bass (all RA's are, but that one looks just a little more so).
  11. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Thanks all for your comments.

    I took my bass to the local luthier today, he took a long good look at it and then said something like "Yes, I can do it, and the result will be very good - but I'd prefer if you did NOT ask me to do it!" Hmm! :)

    Then we had a long discussion and he explained why he felt I should consider keeping the bass as it is. First he said it is a beautiful instrument as is, and with very high build quality, so he did not feel good about modifying the bass. Kudos to Rob Allen!

    He also discussed what could happen when removing the frets, it might weaken and destabilize the neck and potentially cause it to warp in the long run. I'm not sure I completely buy the argument as the same should apply for lined fretless necks in the first place. But OK. He also felt the overall tone, attack, etc of the bass could change when gluing in the fretlines. That I kind of expect anyway.

    Then he pointed out that he would have to lower the string height quite a bit, and that this would cause the angle of the strings over the bridge to decrease. This might in turn change the tone or function of the pickup, and he would perhaps have to lower the whole wooden bridge block, which might not look good.

    He concluded with "I will do it if you insist, but then I'd prefer to change the whole fretboard and work from there with a new setup."

    Obviously a man of integrity, he could have just taken my money and gone ahead, but he took quite some time to give me all the facts as he saw them. I'm impressed.

    So, I'll think some more on this, but right now I feel I should leave well enough alone and perhaps buy another bass instead. Let's see, where do I have those browser bookmarks... :)
  12. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    It is good to see these people of integrity around. That might explain a slight issue I have with my RA. I had the action lowered, which they have to do with a shim(s). Now my G string is a little weaker then all the others (output, sustain, tone). I have thought about sending the bass to Mr. Allen for a lookover, but since it is essentially flawless, don't want to subject it to shipping. Maybe I'll just drive out there someday. Of course, , if I do, I'll have to stop over in Las Vegas a night or so. :p
  13. David Morris

    David Morris Supporting Member

    May 22, 2002
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Anders, as another Rob Allen owner - my advice is do NOT de-fret that beautiful bass. Rob's basses are designed and built with different specific woods, bridge placement, nut, etc. for his fretless or fretted models that enhance the totality of the design. I think the result would not be totally satisfactory.

    Maybe I should offer to trade you my fretless 4 for your fretted 5. Hmmm.....

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