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speaking of fretted to fretless conversion

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Feb 15, 2006.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  2. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    not sure what video you are watching?????:confused:
     
  3. fookgub

    fookgub

    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Indeed, in the video I saw the guy was playing a 5 string with 5 strings on it, and it had one of those retracting fret systems that was getting a lot of discussion a while ago. To my suprise, it seemed to work pretty well. :cool:
     
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    That is what I thought I was posting. Pretty cool. I wish I could build one..t
     
  5. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    yeah, it isnt like hambone to miss that :D

    its really cool. dont know how it works, but i bet the neck is THICK.
     
  6. teacherguy

    teacherguy

    Feb 21, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    Is that one of those FretGroove basses or am I mistaken (I haven't seen their web site yet so I'm taking a guess).

    Jon
     
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    not a clue.
     
  8. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Hambone's right...there's only four strings. And no Jon, those are not fret grooves. You can flip the frets up and down with a flick of a switch. It's all described on his website (don't remember the link). I remember this "retractable fret" thing come up before (or whatever it's called). I didn't notice the bass was "missing" a string before...odd...The frets are a neat idea, anyway.

    -Josh
     
  9. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    http://mikeyguitar.com/Demo.asp

    And after taking a look at the bass pictures, there IS a fifth (g) string...except is seems to be hanging off the side of the fretboard...

    -Josh
     
  10. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    If you look at the bass pics on his site, there are clearly 5 strings. He also plays on the top G string during the video, I noticed.:rolleyes:

    I know what you mean about the feeling of unintentional fretgrooves on a defretted bass. I just resanded and refinished my defretted bass because I did a pretty piss-poor job on it the first time around. But now it is MUCH smoother and a lot more fun to play. I think you are right about those retractable frets having durability issues and such. It'd still be interesting to try one of those out.

    -Josh
     
  11. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    It actually is a fiver. The specs list it as such. I think the video compression makes it very difficult to see the G.
    Anyway, Its a very cool concept. I'd love to try it out.

    Model Designation:
    Mikey Bass 5 string

    Scale Length:
    34 Inches (864 mm)

    Nut Width:

    1.88 Inches (48 mm)

    String Spacing at bridge:

    2.98 Inches (75.6 mm)
     
  12. A fretless guitar? The Les Paul style guitar on his site is pretty nifty. I've never heard of a fretless guitar, nor did I ever think I would. It all sounds OK. Not amazing, but OK. And I think its a good enough concept.
     
  13. I've come across this video other times here on TB and there has always been a mixed reaction.

    As with anything new, it is often the case that scorn gets laid down on a new system which has not yet been proved by time. Hambone has made a good observation in forseeing the problems which may occur with such a fretted/frettless system, although to be fair the string would not press down into the grooves as in a defretted bass because the frets seem to have been merely recessed into the neck thereby still providing a place where the string can contact.

    However, I feel that credit should be given where credit is due and not dismiss a new idea immediately. I have been interested in such a system for a while and this is the best system I have seen changing from a fretted to a frettless because it appears to allow for a very quick transition back and forth.

    The benefits of being able to change between fretted and fretless on the same bass are more than one:

    1) If your budget is of say $2000, you can either purchase a fretted and fretless for a $1000 each or else you can put all your money into a better bass which can do both (a bit simplistic admittedly but you get the idea).
    2) You don't need to drag two basses with you to a gig if your set requires both.
    3) you can change between fretted and frettless mid-song (as in for a solo for instance). Surely that is a better idea than a double neck which is an accepted instrument nowadays. As much as I like looking at John Turner's Double neck for instance I have got to wonder at compromises involved in a double neck (wieght, neither neck being in the ideal position, etc. Can you imagine one of John's beautiful Conklins with a fretted/frettless system.

    There are other benefits I'm sure. Possibly the system is not perfect. I for one don't like the tone of that bass and I I can myself see that the mechanism may jam at some point. But I think that it is interesting nonetheless and could be improved.

    Sorry about the rant.
     
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
  15. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
  16. Well I have been enlightened. Thanks for the link.