Talk me out of defretting my Squier Vista Series MusicMaster

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by lowplaces, Oct 22, 2017.


  1. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    Mine is shell pink which is one of the more collectible finishes. I love the way it sounds and plays but I want a fretless.

    I'm not interested in any of the Rondo offerings.

    If I go ahead with it I will install a Zero Glide nut on it.

    It has TI Jazz Flats on it.

    Assuming I can do the job adequately, and disregarding the collectors value of the instrument, is there any reason why I should not do it ?
     
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Don't do it; you'll put your eye out.
     
  3. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    If you do it, do not use a Zero Glide nut! That nut is designed to give the right string height for a fretted bass, which is entirely wrong for fretless.
     
    Ghostinthemach, lz4005 and lowplaces like this.
  4. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    Fair enough.

    That leads to a question though. Is the action at the nut lower on a fretless ?
     
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    The strings should just clear the fingerboard enough that you can slide a business card (not a credit card) under the string. Or even less clearance.
     
    DiabolusInMusic and lowplaces like this.
  6. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    Ok, I didn't realize you would set the action at the nut that low but good to know. I may have come across it as I did my research but thanks for mentioning it. Now I know.
     
  7. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    Really, don't do it. Why? Because you love the way it plays and sounds. Don't wreck a good thing. Plus, Rondo's offerings are way better than they were years ago. Buy a Rondo and preserve the poor Vista. You're going to regret it if you do.
     
    blacktocomm and lowplaces like this.
  8. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    Well, I looked at Rondo's site and nothing they offer right now appeals to me in any way. They're like 15 inch radius boards.

    I'm not going to rush into it either way. It would be after the holidays if I take on such a project.
     
  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    no.
     
    lowplaces likes this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Yes, you have something you like that you could @#&+-$# up. Why not get another fretless neck, or just do a build (Warmoth, All Parts, etc.)?
     
    lowplaces likes this.
  11. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I'm sorry to have to ask, but do you know what you are doing? Have you ever installed or removed frets before, or done this kind of work? If the job is done carefully, you can remove the frets, put in white lines, rework the nut, and convert it to fretless with no real permanent harm to the bass. It can be refretted later, if you decide you don't like it as a fretless.

    But if you do a sloppy job, you can damage the bass. Then you'd need some serious work to convert it back.

    Whether you'll like it better as a fretless, I don't think any of us can tell you that. Do you have any other fretless basses now that you have playing experience with? Or would this be your first fretless?
     
  12. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    Because you are assuming you can do it correctly. Unless you're a luthier who will do it correctly, it's a huge gamble.
     
    lowplaces likes this.
  13. Bad azz tone

    Bad azz tone

    Sep 21, 2017
    Michigan
    Might I suggest buying a cheap bass or neck and trying it on that first. Be careful what you replace the frets with,what and how you finish the fretboard. Have played a couple of basses that were defretted by their owners and they played well enough but fit and finish not so much . If you do, seek info on how to.
     
    lowplaces likes this.
  14. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    My very first fretless was a (professionally) defretted '78 Musicmaster... I had it converted in '82 and it was stolen from me in '84... I vote "yes"!!

    -robert
     
    lowplaces likes this.
  15. I did it once trashed a very special bass in the process DONT DO IT!!!
     
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  16. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    I've considered just getting another neck but this particular neck is the most comfortable neck I've ever played. It's not a typical Squier neck.

    But yes, I'm still open-minded about that option.
     
  17. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    There is your reason not to change and ruin that neck. Leave it alone.
     
  18. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    It would be the first fretless I've owned, but I've played long scales in local shops.

    I'm confident I can do it. I have two old knock off acoustics here with Rosewood boards that were given to me. Neither one is worth repairing. I'm going to use one to practice re-fretting and the other to learn how to level frets. The truss rod works fine on both but they are basically firewood.

    I definitely won't be using my MusicMaster neck to learn on.
     
  19. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    Perhaps I shouldn't have phrased it that way. But as I stated in my post above this one, if I do it I will know how to do it after practicing on those old acoustic necks.
     
    twinjet likes this.
  20. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    No worries. I'll do my homework. I love that neck so much that I won't dare botch it.
     
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