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What would you choose to convert into a fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gnelly13, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. gnelly13


    Oct 21, 2013
    I am going to be converting either a squier jazz bass or a yamaha rbx170 into a fretless. Which one would you choose to convert? I really like both and need to keep one of them fretted. Thanks for any and all opinions!!!:cool::cool:
  2. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    Which one do you play the most ?
    I would convert the one you play the least. So if you don't dig fretless, you still have the other.
  3. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    I would convert some money into a fretless neck for the Squier that way you can reverse the mod if you don't like it and sell the neck to recoup some of your money.

    For every story you hear/read about a successful conversion, there are hundreds of horror stories you rarely hear about. Don't potentially ruin a bass you really like on something that could be a longshot at best.
  4. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
  5. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I have a Squier '51 P that I was going to convert just to try it, but I've ended up promising it to the local Girls Rock Camp chapter as an auction item for their fund raiser.
  6. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    Local craigslist example: (strat)

  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Make that +2
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    This is the safest route, IMO.
  9. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    Same here! Though with a kid on the way my bass purchases are taking a back seat. So this is in my long term plans.


    I'm refering to buying a fretless neck.. I don't know why the quote function didn't work.
  10. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    True. I got a cheapo bass on ebay knowing that probably would mess it up. I bought some fret pullers from StewMac, about $30 and went after it. YES... the fretboard will splinter, there's no real way around that. Get some plastic wood from the hardware store, and smooth it out and sand it. File the nut slots a little lower to make up for the frets being gone. You might need to do a little setup, but you'll have a bass that you can experiment with and see if you like fretless.
    If you go this route, make sure your cheapo bass is the same scale as what you're used to. Frankly, you might check Craigslist for cheap basses. CL prices seem to be a good deal less that eBay, at least around here.
    Good luck.
  11. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There's a ton of already fretless RBX's available online. Damn fine basses for often less than $100.
  12. stinkoman

    stinkoman Banned

    Jan 31, 2013
    What he said. Or post it on here or craigslist for a trade for a fretless. As somebody already mentioned for every defrett story your hear was successful you have more bad ones I defretted 4 of them and only 1 was good. 2 of them bowed really bad right away and couldn't correct them no matter what I did and the other had to be shimmed and constantly adjusted and it was barely playable.
  13. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Definitely the jazz bass. I don't like to convert, though. I like to start fresh with an unlined jazz neck which has to be aftermarket because Fender doesn't make a fretless jazz neck with no lines!
  14. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Either this or just shell out the bucks for a fretless. Or trade.

    The fact is it will cost more to do the conversion than buying one that came fretless.
  15. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2009
    i would think about just buying a neck from warmoth and transfer the hardware and be done with it - around $250
  16. While I'm a big fan of modding id only recommend converting a bass to fretless if its something you can't buy with a reasonable amount of money. For example i would convert a mim fender jazz 5 string. To my knowledge fenders never made a fretless 5 string. The Steve bailey 6 string fretted is a bit pricey for a fretless but i primarily play fretted. I've seen some 6 sting basses that were converted to fretless, i can understand that. There's not a lot of choices for 6 string fretlesses under a grand and for someone who's used to a 6 and doesn't want to switch to a 4 or 5 converting an ibanez sound gear or similar instrument is a good way to go.
  17. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    Convert the one you like the least.

    It's Easy. I can do one over night.

    If one has a little twist or bow that
    you can't get out, you can just
    grind it strait with the frets off.

    I straightened three necks like that.
    I have defretted 7 basses. They
    all ended up being a big

    I had to grind this one til the dots
    came out,


    Saved a very nice hand made
    custom bass from being a turd
    with a bowed neck through body
    and it didn't cost anything.


    Don't worry about wooden strips
    for fret grooves. Filler will work
    fine and your neck straightness
    shouldn't be affected. A ton of
    them have been done without
    wood strips and are still doing

  18. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    That's hands down my favorite bass,

  19. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2009
  20. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal

    Zactly what I was thinking! It preserves what you have, and provides the best/most options (like switching back and forth).

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