New Forum - Turn fretted into fretless pros and cons

Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hello,

I've just got a 2nd hand Warwick Corvette Rockbass, the bass is in great condition however, I want to turn it into fretless. I've heard that it's price may lower, but I really want to have a fretless since that's pretty much all I've played, I currently own a 4 string fretless bass by a brand called Eagle, so I wanted to jump into a 5 string bass to see what are the differences.

I would like to know what kind of treatment I should give to the bass if I turn it into a fretless, also, if the sound will differ from a a factory fretless.

Please, share your knowledge regarding this matter.
 

tomb68

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Messages
194
Reaction score
186
Real Name
Tom Baker
If you have the skills to do it yourself, and there are various approaches/opinions on the matter I would say go for it. I have done this on 3 of my basses in the past with good results. The 2nd/3rd were particularly good and the first was playable, but just not as pretty of a conversion. I removed the fretted and then sanded the board to get it it uniform. Took the dust and mixed it with epoxy to refill the fret slots with a matching color. Then epoxy'd the whole board. You'll need a straight edge and some way to ensure the neck it flat when doing this. It's a pain, but not too bad.

An option I've always wanted to try was leaving the frets in and grinding them flush so that I could in theory still use them to get get a fretted sound if I wanted but slides and general playing would sound fretless.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
868
Reaction score
913
only ever did this once but I paid someone to remove the whole board on my thumb 5 and replace it with a new unlined ebony board with the dots in the correct place. It did not cost much and came out looking like it was made that way. I would look at this before trying to pull frets out.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
I would advise against defretting your instrument. If it sounds well the way it is, keep it so.
You can find good 5-string fretless in the Marketplace...
And you will have the best of both worlds!
But if it is really necessary to defret your bass, look for a very good luthier and prepare your wallet...
 
Top Bottom