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Defretting a bass


Chris Amedy

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Whats everyone? I was thinking about defretting my Marcus Miller signature bass. I'm not sure if I want to cause I already own the Fender standard fretless j-bass. Just trying to get some feedback. Personally I think it would sound good, with the active eq and tonal possiblities that the bass already has. Let me know what you think?

 

Also if anyone knows of someone good that could do it for me if I decide to do it. I live in Virginia near Washington D.C.

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Personally, I would not defret the MM bass. Pulling the frets from a bound neck, could present some problems. The neck on that bass is it's most unique feature. Buy another neck and istall it on the MM body.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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I second... or third that. Ebay and Warmoth has plenty of necks. I got my fretless neck from warmoth and man are they good. But if your just looking for a cheap replacement, Ive seen alot of ebonal fretless necks on ebay. Ebonal is what squier made the vintage series fretless bass neck out of. Im a little weary on making a maple neck fretless. You would need flatwound string because roundwound would tear right through that fretboard right?
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I have defretted a bass, a cheap bass. Count my voice among the masses who suggest a new neck. The stock MM neck is nice enough I wouldn't be willing to deface it.

 

You would need flatwound string because roundwound would tear right through that fretboard right?

Depends on the finish. Maple has to be finished or it will turn gray/silver in color. An epoxy finish would resist damage from any kind of string.

- Matt W.
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I agree with most of what's been said here. You don't want to mess with a bound maple neck that's got those nice mother of pearl inlays. Plus the consensus around the bass playing community tends to be that rosewoord, pau ferro or ebony fingerboards are much better suited to being fretless than maple boards. I've played one or two fretless P-Basses with maple necks, and I understood then why they were sitting around waiting to be bought. It's just not as pleasing a tone as a fretless with a rosewood/pau ferro/ebony fingerboard.

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I just saw a fretless Fender neck sitting in a pile at Subway Guitars yesterday. You could probably get that one cheap.

 

The bass has binding, inlays, and a maple board? Not the greatest candidate for defretting. Defretting a bass is a permanent operation. Are you really sure you want to do this to a $1000 bass?

 

If you like the sound and features of the Marcus Miller model, it might be easier to start with a fretless Jazz bass such as the Squire modified vintage and replace the bridge and preamp.

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That might be a much more effective way of accomplishing this. In fact, a fretless Jazz bass with a Badass bridge and a Sadowsky outboard preamp (Roger Sadowsky made the preamp for Marcus's originally modded bass) would probably help you achieve the sound you're looking for.

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"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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Hey everyone, thanks for the feedback. It was just something that I was concidering but want some opinions on it. I've done alot of thinking about it and I decided not to defret it. I already have a standard fretless bass from fender, but it was a thought that I was entertaining. But Thanks again for all the feedback. I greatly appreciate it.
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