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Which bass should I defret?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ChaosGwar, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. Yamaha BBG5A 5 string Jazz style - fairly new

    3 vote(s)
  2. Squier P bass - first bass, 6 years old

    10 vote(s)
  3. Jay Turser Stingray clone - used

    12 vote(s)
  4. Essex Jazz clone - new

    10 vote(s)
  1. I've got four basses (actually only two, but two more are on the way) and have been without a fretless since I parted out and sold my last one.

    I've got the fretless bug in me again and have to decide which bass to lose the bumps on. I'd like to buy a cheap fretless, but I just bought two, and my wife would hang me from my bass strings if I got another.

    So which would you go fretless with if it were your choice?

    I'm leaning towards the Stingray, since it has some changes to it already.
  2. Listen


    May 19, 2002
  3. i would say essex too. definitely not anything you plan on selling in the future. and i would be reluctant to operate on my first bass for sentimental reasons, but you may feel differently. if so, i think the fretless P tone is pretty awesome.
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Practice on the one that is worth least to you first.

    If it goes good, then you can do the same operation on another one, or just add better PU's and hardware to make it a nicer instrument.

  5. Chris_Brunhaver

    Chris_Brunhaver Supporting Member

    May 4, 2001
    Puyallup, WA
    The only problem with the essex is the maple board. It won't be able to take the wear of roundwounds and won't have the growl people look for in a fretless. It may work if you are up to maintaining an epoxy or thick poly finish on the board to protect it.

  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    IMO you should do this with any bass you defret.

    Always fill the fret slots, and coat the board.

    At the vary least, coat it with Tung Oil.

  7. ah, i didn't know it had a maple board. scratch that, then.
  8. I'm pretty sure the SJB-62 (clone of 62 RI) has a rosewood board, not maple. The Essex BG-150 has an ash body and maple board, but costs $40 more. The BG-150 also comes in a fretless version for $169.95.

    I really don't want to defret my P bass, since it is my first and does have the sentimental value.

    I coated my last fretless rosewood board with polycrylic, and it nailed that Jaco tone, so I'll be doing the same with whatever bass I decide to defret. I'm not too fond of flats, so I'll probably string it up with roundwounds, the polycrylic can stand up to it no problem.

    Top two choices seem to be the Jay Turser and the Essex.
  9. What ever you do, don't defret the Squire. You really need that bridge pickup to get a good fretless sound.
  10. I disagree about needing a bridge pup for a good fretless tone.

    My last fretless was a Precision soapbar setup. I never installed the soapbar, and the P alone sounded great. It was just different, that's all.
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    My fav fretless basses are Ps and a Musicman Sterling (which is closer to a P than J)

    I dont think that the bridge PU is nescesssary at all.

  12. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Oh and I think you should defret your first bass.

    Thats what I did, and now I have a better reason than "I dont wanna!" for not selling it, and I use it alot more.

    If you've defretted before, and think you wont mess up the bass, Id say you should go for the most sentimental instrument. Once its got its own unique abilities, no one can convince you that you dont need it.

  13. I agree that you can get a good sound without a bridge pickup on a fretless, but it just won't be the "classic fretless" sound. Less mwah. Just different like you said.
  14. You know they sell a fretless Essex bass. Why defret when you could get one already fretless???? I don't understand this defretting thing when there are so many and some really cheap fretless basses out there today....But hey! it's your bass and you can do anything you want to it....Go for it! Defret the Stingray clone cause it's the most expensive one:D
  15. Yes, I know they sell a fretless essex, but for $50 more than the fretted, with no color options, and a maple board, and block inlays. If I was gonna have a fretless, lines are ok, but INLAYS? :eek: Completely unneccesary. That and I'm really not a fan of maple fretboards.

    I wans't looking for a cheap fretless at the time. I only want to defret because the basses have already been purchased, and thought it would be nice to have a fretless again. I might decide not to defret a bass at all.

    I think you may have been sarcastic about the stingray clone being the most expensive, because it was really far from it. I actually got a really great price on it from the TB classifieds. Another project amongst projects I guess.

    I have defretted before, so I'm not worried about ruining the neck, but I have reservations about doing anything drastic to my first bass. That and it's a P bass. I like the sound of fretless P, but not over the fretted P sound.

    The only preson who could pressure me into getting rid of it is my wife, but I had the bass before her, and she already knows I plan on giving it to my kids.

    Still, the stingray clone is in the lead, with the Jazz and Precision tied for second.

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