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Tapered finger board modification?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Robin Ruscio, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    I just got my dream bass, a sadowsky NYC 24-fret 5 string a few months ago. I had Roger put in the standard jazz PU's in the normal space beacuse i love the darker tone they get there, the only problem is the PU's are so close to the fingerboard i have hard time using my thumb for slapping. I was just thinking last night: what if the the bass side of the fingerboard was removed and filed down into a tapered shape, maybe leaving half frets on the g and d string but losing 2-3 frets on the bass side? Since most of my thumb playing is on the lower three strings anyway, and there's pleny of room for popping on the the top two strings as is? The surine basses are a bit like that. I was also thinking of mike pope's fodera, which i think has a removable piece of fingerboard for similar purposes.

    Any thoughts? I hope my description makes sense.
  2. I removed as much of the overhang on a Warwick Corvette 5, just past the last fret, as I could for the same reason. The tiny bit I dremelled away made a big difference for me, but I wouldn't touch a Sadowsky myself- although if I knew a luthier/repair person I trusted with my wife, I might do it.
  3. I think that a Sadowsky is essentially the same as any Fender. It's a tool. And, it's a bolt-on, slab body, bass guitar plain and simple no matter how much it costs. Because of this fact, you should do exactly what makes it work for you. These things aren't holy. Your idea sounds logical, feasible, and could be done aesthetically. That would be enough for me. In the future, should you sell it, the buyer will be drawn to the mod and probably appreciate it as much as you do.

    I should add that this should only be done by a competent luthier - even Roger himself - so that the mod has no functional or visual flaws. That's the only way it can be integrated into an already established design.
  4. Hambone, I agree totally. The only reason I would be more careful with the Sad as opposed to the Warwick is to retain value. I'm notoriously fickle with my basses, buying & selling as if only to have a new bass every 6 months (my wife/financeer says I'm officially cured of that bad habit, though).
    And Robin, if you do this or have it done, I would love to see pics.
  5. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    I'm going to talk to a very good local luth about this, i'l llet you know what i come up with.