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Posted: 4/4/2002 7:00:58 PM EDT
Well, I just read the "Ok guitar heroes" thread and realized that there are a few musicians here. So, now I have a question. I've stripped the frets from my 1973 Fender Jazz Bass and I'm about to epoxy the fretboard. I've already filled the fret slots with wood filler and sanded. I've done a lot of reading and I've worked with wood and fiberglass a good bit, so this process isn't completely foreign to me. I was just wondering if anyone has done this before and can offer some tips from their experience. And yes, I know yanking the frets off of a 1973 Fender Jazz Bass isn't the smartest thing to do, but oh well, it's already done. In case you can't tell, I'm after the Jaco sound.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 7:06:07 PM EDT
Can't offer any timely advice, but maybe this will help. I once owned a Fender Jazz fretless that had an original rosewood fretboard and was not a conversion. The nice thing was that the neck was rather thin compared to the 2 X 4 feel of the regular Jazz. I don't know what it's called, but it was nice. It had some dead spots, and for other reasons, I let it go. I almost wish that I had kept that old thing, but I still have my '73 Rick 4001. Anyway, maybe the good folks at Fender can find a nice, thin, new fretless neck for you. Peace. Out. E A D G -White Horse
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 7:27:08 PM EDT
I've got a rosewood fretboard on another fretless that I use roundwounds on. Unfortunately, the strings chewed up the fretboard in a few spots. That's why I'm trying this epoxy thing.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 7:36:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 7:44:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2002 7:46:00 PM EDT by sr15]
DrFrige, that's not the advice I am looking for.[:)] But yes, that idea has crossed my mind. I finally decided to just do it myself. It's really not because of money, it's just something I want to try myself. I've already spent $150 on the marine epoxy so actually, I would probably come out cheaper taking it to someone. And if I start to screw it up, that's what I'll do.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 11:41:57 PM EDT
Luckily, Fender recently (within the last couple of years) has finally started selling new replacement necks, American made. Re-fretting is a job for the pros. It takes time, patience, skill, and the right tools to do a good job. For a really vintage guitar, like a pre-CBS Strat/Tele, a re-fret may be worth it (or if the guitar has sentimental value). But if you're interested mostly in playing, a new neck is the answer (keep the old one though!)
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 7:46:04 AM EDT
Gus, I'm not trying to re-fret my bass. I'm trying to de-fret it (make it fretless). Sorry, just realized I didn't make that very clear. The epoxy coating is much harder than the wood fretboard, so roundwound strings can be used without destroying the fretboard. Good to know that Fender is selling necks thouhg. I just may need a new one before this is all over.
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 9:06:21 AM EDT
And yes, I know yanking the frets off of a 1973 Fender Jazz Bass isn't the smartest thing to do, but oh well, it's already done.
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Solution: Buy a fretless bass. I realize you are past this point already, but I wouldn't go to all that trouble pulling frets when you can get a factory fretless instrument that is good to go. What you are trying to do is akin to trying to make a shotgun out of a rifle by removing the rifling. Buy a shotgun to begin with!
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 10:00:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Chairborne_Ranger: Solution: Buy a fretless bass.
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Already have one.
I realize you are past this point already, but I wouldn't go to all that trouble pulling frets when you can get a factory fretless instrument that is good to go. What you are trying to do is akin to trying to make a shotgun out of a rifle by removing the rifling. Buy a shotgun to begin with!
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[:)] Well, that's one way to look at it. But actually, I'm trying to get a particular sound that, for some reason, only comes from the older Fender basses. I've played the new fretless basses, but they just aren't the same. Just like the old Music Man basses sound nothing like the new Ernie Ball / Music Man basses.
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 10:20:00 AM EDT
Sr 15 I tore up a perfectly good bass neck back in high school trying to make it fretless. It sounds like you are on the right track though. I left the gaps in the fingerboard unfilled and the thing just self destructed in about 6 months. The wood swelled up around where the frets had been, I filed/sanded the fretboard back twice, but it didn't seem to help. The neck also curled forward and the truss rod just couldn't correct it. Luckily it was an elCheapo bass... hell it may have disintegrated on its own without my assistance. I think if I were going to attempt this project again, I would remove the entire fretboard and replace it with one from Stewart-MacDonald. Can't sound like Jaco with a Steinberger and a Trace Elliot that's for sure [:)]
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 10:32:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By stratsandaks: I tore up a perfectly good bass neck back in high school trying to make it fretless. It sounds like you are on the right track though. I left the gaps in the fingerboard unfilled and the thing just self destructed in about 6 months. The wood swelled up around where the frets had been, I filed/sanded the fretboard back twice, but it didn't seem to help. The neck also curled forward and the truss rod just couldn't correct it. Luckily it was an elCheapo bass... hell it may have disintegrated on its own without my assistance.
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Man, that sucks. I pulled the frets from my Jazz Bass a couple of years ago and haven't had any problems like that yet. I want to coat the fretboard with epoxy because the sound it has now isn't quite the one I'm after and I'm afraid the roundwound strings will tear up the fret board over time.
I think if I were going to attempt this project again, I would remove the entire fretboard and replace it with one from Stewart-MacDonald.
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I've got a fretless built from Warmoth parts, which turned out awsome. I've never used Stewart-MacDonald though. I think if I was going to try this again, I'd just sand down the frets instead of trying to remove them. Didn't think of that at the time.
Can't sound like Jaco with a Steinberger and a Trace Elliot that's for sure [:)]
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[:)]
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 7:27:51 PM EDT
btt
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 11:23:03 AM EDT
flatwound string is the only way you're going to get the sound you're looking for. and also remember that where you pulled the fret is where you will now be fingering and will be prone to wear. the sound you seek also comes from the finger tips, from both right and left hand not just from the instrument. jaco will sound like jaco on anything he plays.
Link Posted: 4/15/2002 2:34:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 7point62: flatwound string is the only way you're going to get the sound you're looking for. and also remember that where you pulled the fret is where you will now be fingering and will be prone to wear. the sound you seek also comes from the finger tips, from both right and left hand not just from the instrument. jaco will sound like jaco on anything he plays.
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Flatwounds do not give me the sound I want, which is why I'm using roundwounds. Unfortunately, roundwounds chew up the wood fretboard. That's why I'm trying to protect the fretboard. To me, flatwounds just have a much less bright sound. Also, Jaco used roundwounds. I have to disagree with you about "jaco will sound like jaco on anyting he plays." To me, the sound of his bass is very distinct and it comes from using roundwounds on an epoxied fretboard. The epoxy is much, much harder than the wood fretboard, so the sound is totally different when playing on epoxy. If my epoxy job on my Jazz Bass works out, I'm going to expoy the fretboard on another fretless bass I have. If you're interested, I'll send you a before and after clip so you can see what I'm talking about.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 4:59:44 AM EDT
You might want to try a Sansamp Bass Driver DI in conjunction with your mods to the bass. I've been playing with one lately and can really get a variety of sounds from it. I'm getting a really good old Geddy Lee sound from a Gibson Thunderbird. Just a thought.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 5:45:44 AM EDT
I think you are going to get wear on the fretboard no matter what you do. One nice thing about Fenders is the necks bolt-on so its a matter of minutes to replace a badly worn neck with a brand new one. But, worn instruments have 'character' that is absent in new ones....
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