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Putting a few frets on a fretless bass ...not possible after all


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Delurkimg to give my experience today with guitar tech .Also to ask your thoughts .

Not sure if guitar techs are mainly miserable bar stewards , but I handed over my headless fretless over to a tech today who grunted a lot and didn't want to converse at all . It could be me being too bouncy and friendly while he was servicing a guitar and he had to see a customer l  didn't interrupt him and waited patiently to be seen to.

 

Anyway putting that to one side, I have a nice bass which was made by a great Basschaer , but being similar to a kubicki the tuning pegs were getting stiff and  I thought it would be best to get it set up . 

The setup I fancied was B-E-A-D . Should be a straightforward job for a tech . 
As I have a few basses and 2 fretless  basses , I thought of getting 7 frets on the lower notes of the neck.

 

Tech said " no ! It would need x y z done etc. I can possibky send it off to somebody but you're talking around £350."

we both agreed that it was extortionate for what it was, so I just went for a basic reset..

I supplied him with DR strings for Down Tuning . He did ask me what kind of set up. Tbh , I didn't understand what he meant.

on the iquotation  it says "silver guitar service Bass" £40 . No problem with that . 
 

I have seen various topics / videos of half fretted basses .  I was under the impression that You could get a bass fretted from fretless . Maybe a half fret board is more tricky . 

If I was living / working in London like I did in my previous life , I'd be in Denmark street to see graham Noden or similar.

 

Anyway,  is what I wanted too much cost and hassle ?  
 

 

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To transition to frets to fretless the fretted section needs to be rebated so the fret tops are level with where the top of the fretboard was, otherwise you will have an (effectively) unplayable section at the join between fretted and unfretted. Getting this right is unlikely to be easy and could go worn if too much fretboard thickness has to go. I understand his reluctance.

 

 

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Thanks for that @Stub Mandrel

yes , you have given me an excellent explanation which makes sense .

Not a big deal in the scheme of things 

 

What did cross my mind on occasion, was if I got a deferred bass neck and put a few frets on that .

That is something that I’m no longer thinking of . 

 

I’m not a fan of the almost recent Ibanez idea of their take on a hybrid neck so to speak . Maybe in the future they may do something like what I was thinking of. 

 

Anyway, it was a passing fad I guess as I tend to use synths more these days . I just had a couple of mad days and it’ll probably be forgotten and basses will gather dust again .)

cheers 

 

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Thanks @Hellzero

Yes , that does sound like a good price now ( it could have been more ) , as you and @Stub Mandrel have pointed out what goes into such a project.  Having my other fretless ( vester custom shop Warwick thumb copy) tuned in standard E-A-D-G  it means I have a use for both fretless  basses now ,and wiill just use the fretted and fretless basses as a they are intended to be used. 
Cheers 

Edited by RAY AGAINST THE MACHINE
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I had an Ashula. I restrung it to have a GDEAB tuning instead of GD-GDAE. Well... bandmates told me there are strange sounding passages in the bassline while I wandered through the fretboard and from time to time to the fretless side. No, it did not work.

Now I do have a fretless 4 & 5 and a fretted 4 & 5. These are all separate instruments for sound and comfort.

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1 hour ago, itu said:

I had an Ashula. I restrung it to have a GDEAB tuning instead of GD-GDAE. Well... bandmates told me there are strange sounding passages in the bassline while I wandered through the fretboard and from time to time to the fretless side. No, it did not work.

Now I do have a fretless 4 & 5 and a fretted 4 & 5. These are all separate instruments for sound and comfort.

Wow! That tuning sounds wacky .  Sounds very ..low and floppy 🤤
Thankfully I don't do the band thing anymore , so I can just mess around  as and when . I went for the standard  downtime of B-E-A-D  as. Used to have a 5 string .  I never had time to feel confident using it in a live situation due to being to energetic to the crowd  etc. 

I also have ...a bass whammy 🤤

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Just thought I'd give an update of the new setup of my bass ..

I got a call from one of the other technicians on weds. He advised me my bass was ready to collect.

I picked up on Thursday . Different Tech, but it was him who worked on my bass. 
Very nice chap . He explained a lot , and we chatted . 


I now have  fretless bass tuned down to B-E-A-D and it's great . Feels easy and comfy to play .

I had sellers remorse after selling my Schecter Stiletto elite 5 many moons ago. I bought that on my first visit to soundcontrol being a bit extravagant at the time . Tbh, I didn't feel comfortable playing a 5 string in a live situation except rehearsals . 

I'm liking the fact that seeing as I'm not in a band situation anymore , I have ample time to explore both tunings I currently have .  
Not bothered about the half fretted idea. That's in the past . This bass feels great , it has to be said . 
 

Thanks for all of your input 

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