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automatic fretted/fretless conversion instrument...! & ?


d  halfnote

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I recently caught sight of this &, frankly, am stunned.

There's a company that's marketing guitars & basses that, at flick of a switch, convert from fretted to fretless.

Has anyone played one of these ?

Are there potential problems that don't seem apparent ?

 

electric version

 

acoustic version

 

frets not deployed

http://mikeyguitar.com/images/photos.asp?ph=3_4_800.jpg

frets deployed

http://mikeyguitar.com/images/photos.asp?ph=3_4_800.jpg

 

company commentary

http://mikeyguitar.com/faq.asp

 

 

d=halfnote
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Well, he wants $5k for it. That may be a problem for a lot of buyers. You can buy a good fretted and a good fretless bass for that and still have some money left over. ;)

 

When you switch to fretless, the action will be higher. That may or may not be comfortable.

 

My biggest question is neck stability. If the neck bows even just a little bit, the frets may not slide smoothly in the slots. It seems to me that having that mechanism in the neck would weaken the neck a little, which means the odds of the neck staying straight are lower than with a conventional bass.

 

But I could be wrong. I think I was wrong once, but I might be mistaken. :D

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Thoughtful point, JC, but does the stability of the neck depend on the main part of the neck construction, i.e., below the fretboard ?

 

I'm pretty far out of the price range myself but it's the first time I've wanted a new instrument in quite a while.

 

FWIW, Victor Wooten allows himself to be used on their site.

 

Again, has anyone played one of these ?

d=halfnote
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Steel is stronger than wood. If the wood removed in the neck is replaced almost entirely by steel then I'm sure the neck is very stable. Frets in a neck on any bass also add stability.

 

As someone who'd much rather own few basses rather than many this is a great idea to me.

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I think that the instrument would be very neck-heavy. All the demos are with the player sitting down--I wonder how it balances on a strap.

 

Ed

That's an easy fix...just put it on a heavier body! ;)

 

Or lead weights on the lower strap button. :)

Ed

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