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Well, I Thought I'd Seen It All

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Eh? Am I missing something here?

The strings wouldn't have to clear the frets when playing on the fretless part. That's behind where the string is making contact with the neck so makes no difference whatsoever. 

Or am I totally misunderstanding what people are talking about? 

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26 minutes ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

At this point I have hard time believing you are not joking.... :shok:

Seriously?.... :facepalm:

It's all most on the same level as in don't understanding why a time machine would be so complicated when you can just turn the time on your watch backwards.

Answer me this, how does frets work, how come a tone is produced when you press a finger behind one of them, and what happens if your string action is too low?

It's really really basic physics to the point where it's really more of just being common sense.  

What part of it don't you get?

Edited by TheLowDown

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Physics - reasonable fretted bass action action at 17th fret would be 2.5mm above the frets? (I personally use 3mm).  Jumbo fret height (worst case for extra action height) is 1.397mm .  Now remove the fret which results in about (2.5mm +1.4mm)   3.9mm action on the fretless part around the 17th fret.

Edited by 3below

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4 hours ago, LeftyJ said:

Ibanez made a signature bass for Alphonso Johnson in the early 1980s based on the Musician MC924 but with only 12 frets, called the AJ10. Not a huge success...

img_8863-jpg.23180 

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2 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

Eh? Am I missing something here?

The strings wouldn't have to clear the frets when playing on the fretless part. That's behind where the string is making contact with the neck so makes no difference whatsoever. 

Or am I totally misunderstanding what people are talking about? 

He was referring to it being the other way, with the fretless part near the nut and the frets from the 12 fret onwards.

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4 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

What part of it don't you get?

I don't get how you refuse to accept some quite simple and basic principles of physics and common sense.

I really honestly don't.

Doctor J already explained perfectly well why what you suggests wouldn't work and how you can test it yourself if you for some reason are unable to visualize the issues it would result in.

But whatever, as long as you don't try to talk anyone into actually doing it and succeeds I guess no harm is done, so let's just leave it at that.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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6 hours ago, Doctor J said:

The action would have to be insanely high for the strings not to make contact with the frets when you were playing fretless.

It wouldn’t matter though. Your finger would be stopping the string after the fret.

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You can achieve a lot with flaming to finish

All of the below were flamed to either pop the grain, scorch or burn when I popped them together, refurbed them or made them.

06D4FB52-091B-4C7C-B623-A287056B7436.thumb.jpeg.e729296a297533fd9e2c550bcb971cf8.jpeg5B009EFF-E208-46E0-B836-49ED8CAF1D7F.thumb.jpeg.7fee17e1427724cb9c00eaf313fd6cca.jpeg5C5A79A9-FD64-4B75-93CC-61CC8B663DFF.thumb.jpeg.aec89b8d105af00c23f0aea2c26c0a6d.jpegEDD42A77-9F93-4225-B214-0DCFE49A2E8B.thumb.jpeg.60a0f597fb75cfb06d024d94acb36e74.jpeg352EC865-D987-4B41-BA02-D3AED64296D4.thumb.jpeg.7ab87abc15bd75f26e71f1eb93d0ad7c.jpeg20C3DF63-2FFD-4F32-B375-FE7F745A3B84.thumb.jpeg.1026200477ba9988a8fdabcd56dd1a10.jpeg

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7 hours ago, Basinski said:

It wouldn’t matter though. Your finger would be stopping the string after the fret.

Read the whole thread. 

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@Cuzzie's flamed finishes are outstanding.  I am just going outside for the blowtorch, I have a candidate for the same treatment :)

Edited by 3below
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41 minutes ago, 3below said:

@Cuzzie's flamed finishes are outstanding.  I am just going outside for the blowtorch, I have a candidate for the same treatment :)

Thanks!

Its great fun - The natural P bass looked very bland before I flamed the lines, just enough to bring something out and Gun oil popped the rest.

The jazz bass started life like this

CE9DFFA3-83B6-43DC-95FD-94A4530EB80D.thumb.jpeg.a534617298852c9de3cec50557749e56.jpeg

Then this after flamingF0707572-1E6A-40CD-BB5C-BA07B086527C.thumb.jpeg.9bbf3f2670431242b01a41b3ecce6ec2.jpeg

Being swamp ash it really popped - the stain was first with Tea and then wire wool soaked in vinegar.

The jag started life as this

C5D95C64-A1DE-4943-AAA1-DC4E5D021DCF.thumb.jpeg.7c2272d398f388c1d0c47e701a26266c.jpeg
4622A26E-E97F-43CE-85E1-235F97E0B7B8.thumb.jpeg.0430124605b106f611aae2e5aaf61ded.jpeg

13846E41-B325-4B34-9C8A-59B9E1212A29.thumb.jpeg.4d7a69bf7ae591e1e5eedab9e1c16cc8.jpegEACE56FB-8FC3-471D-A385-D9FD4DA7104D.thumb.jpeg.918432a72390f8242c8fce8220a13562.jpeg
 

before going through various stains, bit of a burn and then a gun oil seal

Get the torch out - if it’s too much, you can buff/sand it back.

You can use the torch to create relic stuff on a nitro finished bass

5C14C3F1-CDD3-48A2-B04D-4E784D1E28FB.thumb.jpeg.c58685fb920cf72d4107961348cc5bd0.jpeg

The ‘bubble’ effect on the belly cut was using a torch till the paint blistered, bang it in the freezer for 20 mins - the bubbles then pop leaving the bass below unharmed.

Just a few bits of trial and error from me if peeps want to try

 

Edited by Cuzzie
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11 hours ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

I don't get how you refuse to accept some quite simple and basic principles of physics and common sense.

I really honestly don't.

Doctor J already explained perfectly well why what you suggests wouldn't work and how you can test it yourself if you for some reason are unable to visualize the issues it would result in.

But whatever, as long as you don't try to talk anyone into actually doing it and succeeds I guess no harm is done, so let's just leave it at that.

You appear to be getting rather worked up over someone not understanding what you see as basic physics. Yet I don't understand why you, or anyone else, hasn't thought of the, to me, blindingly obvious answer to the problem of the high action on the fretless part. Ask yourself this, why does the board have to be the same height along its length? If the fretless part was the same height as the top of the frets then you could achieve a nice low action on both the fretted and fretless areas, whichever way around they were. Even better action could be achieved for fretless if the fretless part were at the lower end as the nut could be filed right down, nearly to the board as a fretless should be. 

Some people don't/can't visualise things the way that others can, but there's no reason to belittle them. 

🙂

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So I have a close up of the bubble, but also the rest of the back - where you see the bass finish slightly darker is not a light trick, it’s where I used the blowtorch to make it uneven

4BDB2B0C-C2EB-4104-92AD-3733B30607DD.thumb.jpeg.54ca19dd01f372aa6f4db45f31ceaf7b.jpeg5574230C-AEB8-4E01-A4F8-262E6606D8E4.thumb.jpeg.9aea0ffea030fd316af93a7e4003c269.jpeg5F8A5A16-1E47-4CBE-86C2-DD644EEA4B12.thumb.jpeg.edb6b2f47242255877374cc83c395213.jpeg
 

Logically, you can take it to a greater degree depending on how long you burn, I wanted a less obvious look have done a tiger scorch before

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Oh and I pre-stained the body wood of the whole guitar so it would look aged as it pokes through and wherever else it chips off as time goes by

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2 hours ago, Maude said:

You appear to be getting rather worked up over someone not understanding what you see as basic physics. Yet I don't understand why you, or anyone else, hasn't thought of the, to me, blindingly obvious answer to the problem of the high action on the fretless part. Ask yourself this, why does the board have to be the same height along its length? If the fretless part was the same height as the top of the frets then you could achieve a nice low action on both the fretted and fretless areas, whichever way around they were. Even better action could be achieved for fretless if the fretless part were at the lower end as the nut could be filed right down, nearly to the board as a fretless should be. 

Some people don't/can't visualise things the way that others can, but there's no reason to belittle them. 

🙂

Seems to me like you might be missing the context.

That solution would still have the issue by the transition from the fretless part right after the headstock to the first fret on the upper part of the neck towards the bridge, don't see how this solves the issue of that transition. 

Beside I am not getting worked up by the person suggesting it, we all suggests some stupid things from time to time without thinking things properly through, but I am just honestly puzzled why that person would still insist on being right after being explained how his suggestion wouldn't work and why.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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13 minutes ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

Seems to me like you might be missing the context.

That solution would still have the issue by the transition from the fretless part right after the headstock to the first fret on the upper part of the neck towards the bridge, don't see how this solves the issue of that transition. 

There is no issue of a transition. 

In order from the headstock end would be the nut, cut nice and low for fretless, then the fretless area, then the fretted area of board that has been carved a frets height lower than the the previous part. The first fret would be butted up against the higher area of board, then as per a fretted bass for the rest of the neck. 

When playing the fretless area, the frets are exactly the same height as the fretless board would be if it were there. When playing the fretted area the 'first' fret would have a fret behind it, butted against the fretless area, acting like the fret behind any other played fret. No transition to worry about. 

Another way of visualising this is to forget about frets altogether. Get a normal fretless bass and at whichever end you want the fretted area, carve the area between the 'frets' away to the depth that you like your fretted string action, the raised areas left are your 'frets'

Its completely doable, but ultimately not worth it. 🙂

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3 minutes ago, Maude said:

There is no issue of a transition. 

In order from the headstock end would be the nut, cut nice and low for fretless, then the fretless area, then the fretted area of board that has been carved a frets height lower than the the previous part. The first fret would be butted up against the higher area of board, then as per a fretted bass for the rest of the neck. 

When playing the fretless area, the frets are exactly the same height as the fretless board would be if it were there. When playing the fretted area the 'first' fret would have a fret behind it, butted against the fretless area, acting like the fret behind any other played fret. No transition to worry about. 

Another way of visualising this is to forget about frets altogether. Get a normal fretless bass and at whichever end you want the fretted area, carve the area between the 'frets' away to the depth that you like your fretted string action, the raised areas left are your 'frets'

Its completely doable, but ultimately not worth it. 🙂

That could actually work, yes.

But, yeah, definitely not worth it. 

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14 hours ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

I don't get how you refuse to accept some quite simple and basic principles of physics and common sense.

I really honestly don't.

Doctor J already explained perfectly well why what you suggests wouldn't work and how you can test it yourself if you for some reason are unable to visualize the issues it would result in.

But whatever, as long as you don't try to talk anyone into actually doing it and succeeds I guess no harm is done, so let's just leave it at that.

Cuzzie, below, gets it. The frets don't have to be metal - they can just be markers. Beyond the 12th fret I would want some sort of fret to indicate where they are.

 

6 hours ago, Cuzzie said:

Is it fretted or just lined?

 

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1 hour ago, Maude said:

There is no issue of a transition. 

In order from the headstock end would be the nut, cut nice and low for fretless, then the fretless area, then the fretted area of board that has been carved a frets height lower than the the previous part. The first fret would be butted up against the higher area of board, then as per a fretted bass for the rest of the neck. 

When playing the fretless area, the frets are exactly the same height as the fretless board would be if it were there. When playing the fretted area the 'first' fret would have a fret behind it, butted against the fretless area, acting like the fret behind any other played fret. No transition to worry about. 

This is the concept I had in my head, but couldn't work out how to express. Thanks! 👍

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Cool, that would actually work! And reversed too: if you lower the area of the fingerboard between the nut and the 12th position and fret it, the higher area from the 12th position up would be totally useful for fretless playing with good action. Awesome! 

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I had a half fretted/fretless bass made many years ago. I experimented with the solution above - raising the fretless part of the board (fretless started at 13th feet). I tried to raise the fretless board to exactly the same height as the frets but I had to have it lowered a touch because playing across from fretted to fretless felt very odd (I don’t fret on the fret but behind it, which made it feel like going up a ramp to the fretless section), and neck relief is slightly different on a fretted to a fretless bass (more of a gentle curved very close up). However it did provide a far more appealing action on the fretless part, but still a compromise compared to a fully fretless bass. In the end I sold it as you could only really use it to play parts up to or after the transition - a long ascending line that crossed over just sounded weird, and I got caught too many times playing in and out of the fretted/fretless bit, which was confusing and didn’t work when recording. Fine for a special case bass but I wouldn’t have it as my main instrument.

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It was a reasonably popular option on Kramer basses back in the day, eg:  https://reverb.com/item/3560547-kramer-dmz-4000-bass-guitar-metal-neck-half-fretted-half-fretless-from-1979-added-photos

Never appealed to me; IMO the Ibanez Ashula is a much better design if you really had to have a single necked fretted / fretless bass.

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