turning fretted into fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Willett, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Willett


    Dec 30, 2003
    is there any way to turn a fretted bass into a fretless?
    im having trouble finding a fretless bass that i like and is in my price range (400-600)
    if i can turn a fretted into a fretless, how do i go about doing it?
    can i damage the bass in any way?
    can i do it or does a professional need to do it?
    if a professional how much will that cost?

    or you can suggest some fretless basses to look at.
    im looking for a four string.
    active or passive doesnt matter.
    but if i can get an active for under 600 i would be happy.

    also if i can turn a fretted neck in a fretless does the wood matter.
    maple, rosewood, ebony?
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Do a search, probably here and/or in the Setup forum. People have done it before and made threads about the process.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Where are you located?
  4. Willett


    Dec 30, 2003
    near Philadelphia.
    i found some other threads about this.
    but it seems a bit risky.
    i dont have a backup.
    the only bass i have is a squier P bass.
    (im ashamed of it, so dont make fun of me for it)
    but the nut broke on it (second time, im a very agressive bass player, mostly punk)
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    FYI, you'll still need a new nut whether its fretted or fretless. Personally I'm not a big fan of P basses for fretless, not suitable for the fretless tone, IMO, and fretless basses don't typically respond well to overly agressive players - a light touch is usually called for.

    For what you are going to spend to have that sucker defretted and a new nut installed and filed, you can get an SX or Brice fretless from Rondo Music online for around $150-$175, and it will be a much better product.
  6. Here is an Active 5er from Rondo Music. the blue one is the only one that comes w/ lines. I know you said 4 string sohere is one
  7. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    First if all, Squiers are perfectly fine for a starter instrument and a few experienced players have found Squiers that they considered superior in tone and playability to their Mexican made Fenders.
    Secondly,if you are playing primarily punk music a fretless is not going to give you the grind that you probably like. Save your money and get a second bass that is a fretless. You should also lighten up on your touch or the next thing that breaks might be a part of you.:eek:
  8. Here is my thread on defretting my Ibanez GSR200

    Only thing I would of done different is used a soldering iron. Heat the frets up with it to take them out easier, the way I did it the FB chipped a lil (not a huge problem IMO). If I can find one I'll get a pic of it.

    edit: Here is a pic, not a closeup, but you can see still:D

  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Wanted to make sure that you were in the USA.


    They have a variety of SX and Brice fretless basses to pick from, all under $400. Great basses for the price.
  10. hey i am thinking of doing the same thing to my squire p bass special. but i am not as agressive of a player as u are i dont think. it shouldnt cost you any more than $100 to get your bass defretted mabey i am just getting a really good deal but i got a quote from a guy in town and he said no more than $80 canadian. There was another thread about a guy who defretted his squire and he said it sounded and played better than many frettlesses he had tried in the $1000 and up range.
  11. Willett


    Dec 30, 2003
    im not going to be doing this on my squier.
    im looking to buy a new bass which is fretless.
    but im having trouble finding ones that i like.
  12. Willett


    Dec 30, 2003
    also when i mean agressive.
    i mean im very active on stage.
    thats how my nut broke.
  13. Willett


    Dec 30, 2003
    my concern is that if i buy a new fretted bass and attempt to take the frets out and screw it up.
    then i dont have a back up.
    and my band already has gone a week without practice.
  14. Willett


    Dec 30, 2003
    those fretless basses you posted
    i would like to try them out first.

    and why are they so cheap?
  15. Years ago I found a luthier who took my fretted Fender J and removed the frets and Rosewood from the neck.
    He replaced it with Ebony, but it was slotted for frets. He used stained filler on the slots.
    I had previously taken the bass to Seymour Duncan's shop where Seymour installed new pickups wound to Leo Fender's original specs.
    I was listening to Jaco at the time.

    A reasonable fretless may be hard to find in that price range, but consider Carvin.
    They've got all the right features for the dollars.
  16. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    They're foreign made, not sure where, but they're surprisingly good quality for their price. Many here swear by SX and Brice basses, and I can assure you, Kurt as a nice a guy as can be, and is very easy to deal with. Great return policy too, so if you don't like it, ship it back! He's only about 15 minutes from me, but I still have yet to visit him...I would but I'm afraid I'd leave Rondo with another bass!
  17. I own an Essex bass (sending it back for repair on the neck, Kurt was VERY helpful in the 6 or 7 E-mails it took to come to a conclusion about it). I believe (if I remember correctly, the sticker isn't on mine anymore) they are either made in Korea or China (or maybe somewhere else, I can't remember).

    I assure you that they are excellent basses for the money and if there is a problem with it, E-mail Kurt and he will be glad to assist you in fixing it or have you send it back for a replacement!
  18. They are made in S Korea, same factory that makes other name-brand stuff which you would probably pay a lot more for. I have a fretless Brice HXB coming. The fretted 5 that was accidently ordered was excellent. Seriously, I took it out the case and was like "wow, this is a nice bass". The most noticable issue is the the body is 3 pieces and if you examine it you can see the joins. Big deal.
    Can't comment on neck stabilty and so forth.
    A reason why they are so cheap is probably because the middle man in this case is not taking too much profit. If it said "Gibson" or whatnot instead of Brice by the time it reaches guitar center it will be 600 bucks with everyones cut.
    Obviously labour is cheaper in S Korea but its rather insulting imo to assume the Korean craftsman and technicians are exploited slaves (which I;ve noticed some get concerned about here) rather than skilled and attentive mass producers of quality instruments.
    Someone needs to import them from Rondo to UK and Europe...now theres a business opportunity!
    (music gear costs about 50% more there already)

  19. Oh... Essex/SX are made in China as far as I know. Totally different factory than Brice.

  20. Essex/SX are the same brand by the way, SX is just an abbreviation ;)