#1
For a while now I've been wanting a cheap fretless bass just to mess around with. Any suggestions? Preferably 24 frets and around $200. Thanks!
#2
If you're looking for a cheapie, you could consider buying a fretted and de-fretting it yourself. It can be done with a soldering iron and a small screwdriver.
Although there are plenty out there, I don't know of any specific fretless basses that are known for being inexpensive.
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#3
I don't think you'll find a fretless bass for $200 unless it's used. In which case we can only recommend pawn shops and ebay/craigslist.
#4
You could see what Rondo has to offer, SX and Douglas probably have something in sub $200 price point. Other then that go used and see what you can find.

I'd really suggest saving up a little more and getting the Squier Vintage Modified Fretless Jazz ($300).
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#5
Quote by bassmanjoe08
If you're looking for a cheapie, you could consider buying a fretted and de-fretting it yourself. It can be done with a soldering iron and a small screwdriver.
Although there are plenty out there, I don't know of any specific fretless basses that are known for being inexpensive.


Would it be expensive to pay somebody to de-fret a bass?
#7
Quote by Sleeping_Sun
Rondo Music has 4 basses fretless basses under $200

A fretless bass with 24 frets? lol


Do frettless basses not come with 24 frets? Sorry, I've only been playing bass for a couple of months.
#9
Quote by sean.d
Do frettless basses not come with 24 frets? Sorry, I've only been playing bass for a couple of months.



Maybe 24 lines but a fretless has no frets Lul'z

That one from Rondo (link above) is a two octave fretboard, so you can hit all the notes as you can on a 24 fret.
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Last edited by loinmute at Apr 3, 2011,
#10
Quote by sean.d
Would it be expensive to pay somebody to de-fret a bass?


It'll depend, of course, but I don't see why it should. Even if you have a friend whose handy with tools, you can ask them to do it.
As long as you're careful, and find a good guide, things should go smoothly.

I just used a soldering iron to apply heat to the fret (to melt the woodglue), and used the screwdriver to push it out.

*Make sure you slide the fret through the top, and don't just pry it out, causing damage to the fretboard.
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#11
Quote by bassmanjoe08
It'll depend, of course, but I don't see why it should. Even if you have a friend whose handy with tools, you can ask them to do it.
As long as you're careful, and find a good guide, things should go smoothly.

I just used a soldering iron to apply heat to the fret (to melt the woodglue), and used the screwdriver to push it out.

*Make sure you slide the fret through the top, and don't just pry it out, causing damage to the fretboard.


Aren't the frets sort of embedded into the frettboard though? Or would those grooves not make a difference? And now I get the 24 fret thing haha. Ya, I meant the length of a 24 fret bass.
#12
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This is gonna be hard to explain, so bear with me lol.

That image is what the empty "fret slot" looks like. Notice how the top comes inward. The fret itself is shaped so it's big at the top, skinny in the middle and big at the bottom.
If you were to just pry it out, the big part at the bottom would tear up the part of the slot that comes inward.

To get around this, just melt the wood glue, gently wiggle the fret loose, and slide it out the top of the fretboard. Small pliers work well, if you're careful.

It's a rough explanation, I know, but it's the best I could do. There are definately some great guides on the internets.
Happy "circumfretting", and if you do decide to do it yourself, this forum loves pics of the process.
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Last edited by bassmanjoe08 at Apr 3, 2011,
#13
Quote by bassmanjoe08
>>.........<<
|||||||||||||||||||||
|________|

This is gonna be hard to explain, so bear with me lol.

That image is what the empty "fret slot" looks like. Notice how the top comes inward. The fret itself is shaped so it's big at the top, skinny in the middle and big at the bottom.
If you were to just pry it out, the big part at the bottom would tear up the part of the slot that comes inward.

To get around this, just melt the wood glue, gently wiggle the fret loose, and slide it out the top of the fretboard. Small pliers work well, if you're careful.

It's a rough explanation, I know, but it's the best I could do. There are definately some great guides on the internets.
Happy "circumfretting", and if you do decide to do it yourself, this forum loves pics of the process.


Not exactly true.

A fret slot is just a hole.

This is a fret:



It has tangs in the middle, which stick into the wood either side of the fretwire body.

Only tug it upwards, very gently. Put masking tape either side of the fret, this serves to help stop chips and if any come free, they'll be stuck to the tape allowing you to glue them down easily.
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#14
Quote by Nutter_101
Not exactly true.

A fret slot is just a hole.

This is a fret:



It has tangs in the middle, which stick into the wood either side of the fretwire body.

Only tug it upwards, very gently. Put masking tape either side of the fret, this serves to help stop chips and if any come free, they'll be stuck to the tape allowing you to glue them down easily.


I guess it depends on the bass then. My project had frets shaped like sideways bowties.
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#15
Quote by bassmanjoe08
I guess it depends on the bass then. My project had frets shaped like sideways bowties.


Really?

That's definitely not standard fretwire. What bass was it on?

The only fretwire I can see similar to that is this:



But even here, the tang would have spaces along the teeth.
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#16
That's exactly what it looked like. The tang was consistant with the length of the fret itself. Definately not a case where I would want to lift it up through the face of the fretboard.
It was on a Peavey, btw.
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#17
assuming you already have a bolt on neck bass, you could just buy a replacement neck defret it and swap necks.
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#18
Quote by the_perdestrian
assuming you already have a bolt on neck bass, you could just buy a replacement neck defret it and swap necks.


Yeah, but then he couldn't have both simultaneously. If he had the fretless neck on his bass, but wanted to play fretted then he would have to change his necks and strings. This is assuming that this is his only bass, which he may have more. I don't know lol
#20
Thanks for the help everyone. Right now I think I'm going to look into the 5 string in the link that was posted. Anyone have any experience with it?
#21
Quote by sean.d
Thanks for the help everyone. Right now I think I'm going to look into the 5 string in the link that was posted. Anyone have any experience with it?


I don't have that particular bass, but I have a 6 string bass which is the same brand that I posted in the link. My experience with it has been great. It's not the best bass in the world, but you get a lot of quality for your dollar. Douglas isn't a well known brand because they don't run huge advertising campaigns, but that allows them to sell their products a lot cheaper. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with the particular bass I posted though.
#22
it looks like it would be a good starting point.

the only thing i would say is to be sure that you like the feel of a 5-string before you buy it, especially if you haven't been playing long. 5-string basses feel very different to play compared to 4-strings.
i would probably suggest looking for the equivalent model in a 4-string version, but it is up to you.
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