Friday, 06 November 2009
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How tricky would it be to make a Combustion fretless? As simple having your frets ground off? How much would this cost? To those that understand these things better, how do you expect a fretless Combustion to sound? Would it be worth the mod? (Btw, I`d get another Combustion to mod, not the one I have, if that makes a difference.)
12 years ago
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#14822
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Sheldon, any possibility of a fretless combustion in the future? That would be my next bass.
12 years ago
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#14824
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The subject of fretless conversions is done in depth (maybe to death) over on Talk Bass. Everything from the best DIY methods to the worst DIY disasters. I had a local luthier take the frets out of my '76 Kramer 450B and fill the kerfs with strips of maple. It has a zero fret so no nut work was needed. The original fretboard was a black ebanol, a very hard synthetic material. Now its a very cool fingerboard, super slick and hard. Close to ebony, I would guess. Craig, at White Salmon Guitar works did a super job. $300. I now have a very nice lined fretless strung with TI jazz flats. I've had this bass for thirty years, so, while I know this neck like no other, the lines are a big help in getting my intonation together. One day maybe I'll graduate to an unmarked fretless, like the beauty Brim is selling. I am very interested in hearing from anyone playing a fretless Dingwall. How does that work out with the fanned scale?
12 years ago
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#14828
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Why not get it fretless from the factory?
12 years ago
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#14832
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I have no clue if sheldon will or wont make a fretless neck, but on this budget model, I think it might take a bit more re-engineering than just removing frets- esp since there are spacers underneath various bridge pieces. IIRC when I had my fretless ABI bass made, Sheldon had to adjust the deck hight of the fingerboard to get low action, and of course the mythical epoxy coating that his fretless are famous for Of course-- maybe it will be as easy as just removing the frets. I dunno I've had my fretless ABI since 2002- and honestly its not much different than playing a regular fretless- if your intonation is good - you learn muscle memory where your notes are. While I never would have considered an unlined fretless Dingwall at first, now after having my fretless ABI for along time- I wouldnt be scared of it. Dingwalls sound great as a fretless as well
12 years ago
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#14835
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I wouldn't hope of a fretless Combustion, for now at least. I think I even asked Sheldon the same question a year or so ago. Fretless necks have thicker fingerboards - to accommodate for the fret height. Fretless boards need special care fretted fingerboards do not need. I believe I've asked (a year ago, perhaps) if Sheldon was willing to de-fret a Combustion himself on special order, and his hour is just too expensive. That job could match the price of the bass itself. He could be spending that time making an expensive bass, or developing some new stuff, I don't know.. So it makes sence. I'm not the man himself and I'm not speaking in his name, but the Combustion is, still, just an offshore bass and we need to remember that. Any changes need a lot of time to develop, and a lot of time to train the builders to do it right. Many sales need to be made in order to justify a change or an option. Good fretless boards require a lot of skill and time, and there just wouldn't be enough demand. Well, not now, maybe in the future. ...I just realized that, while really believing what I've said here, I've also proposed the C2 mod. I'll go to my corner now :) There is a ton of reading material in DYI de-fretting on Talkbass. You could just remove the frets, fill the gaps, sand the fretboard, epoxy and lower the nut to compensate for the fret height. The neck would feel thinner compared to a fretted Combustion, but it's a cheap and viable option. Or, you can get a fretless AB-I or II. I don't think fretless AB-Zs are possible with the maple fingerboard. And to add, OT: when the Afterburner GL (the Combustion prototype) was first proposed last January I got a job and started saving, hoping to de-fret it. Then it was postponed over and over again, so after a long while I collected enough to buy a fretless AB-II. I'm a happy camper now, just need a C2 to cover the fretted/MM ground.
12 years ago
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#14846
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[quote="TheGrandEnigma":irq3ls7e]How tricky would it be to make a Combustion fretless? As simple having your frets ground off? How much would this cost? To those that understand these things better, how do you expect a fretless Combustion to sound? Would it be worth the mod? (Btw, I`d get another Combustion to mod, not the one I have, if that makes a difference.)[/quote:irq3ls7e] It could be done, but the side markers would be off. On a proper fretless neck the dots are [i:irq3ls7e]on[/i:irq3ls7e] the fret line, not in between. As mentioned by other members, there would be more mods than just defretting. You'd have to file the nut, or cut a new one, and shim the neck. The potential for screw ups is great when defretting. I've done it, and it's quite a chore and a big time investment. Plus you have a home-made fretless, bad news for retaining value and resale potential. A custom neck will cost you over $1000 no matter who builds it. The custom neck would cost as much as the bass. Indeed, the better route is to just save some dough and get the real thing. Mark
12 years ago
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#14847
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If the Combustion was fretless you could leave the spacers off the bridges. ; )
12 years ago
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#14980
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If Sheldon makes a fretless Combustion I'd probably buy one.
12 years ago
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#14989
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How did I miss this thread? No plans for a fretless Combustion or ABZ for that matter. We can do them on ABI's and up.
12 years ago
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#14990
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Fair enough.
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