Saturday, 19 April 2008
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I've been thinking about a fretless Super J for a while now... I have a fretted and I've been putting some pretty substantial wear on the frets in the last year that I've owned it. I'm guessing I will need a fret job on it within the next year. However, as I'm predominantly a fretless guy, I'm considering just yanking the frets out when the time comes. I have a few questions about fretless Dingwalls. First off, do you use the same radius on the fretless Super Js as on the fretted versions? Do you offer replacement necks? If so, how much do they cost, and what's a typical lead time on them? Does Dingwall require a return of the old neck in order to buy a new one? If so, is there a credit that's applied to the cost of the new neck? What kind of finish are you putting on the maple necks (I ask this as I will have to finish over the maple lines I would be putting in the fret slots if I were to yank the frets myself)? Yes, it will probably be a long time before I get around to doing any of these things, but I'd like to at least ponder on this for a bit.
13 years ago
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#9666
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Ben I can answer one of the questions for you. No, Dingwall will not take trade in necks or PU's in exchange for new gear. As the owner of a fretless ABII-5 I can say do it. You'll love the sound and playability. Sheldon's finish is a hazy epoxy which I have found to be far more durable than nickle frets. There's no yanking of the frets. They would have to be heated and slid out in the direction they were installed.
13 years ago
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#9668
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Ah, thanks! You answered a question I forgot to answer: I didn't realize that the frets were slid in from the side, rather than pressed in from the top. No worries - I feel confident pulling frets in this manner as well. I guess I was hoping to have an unlined fretless neck, but even if I were to fill in the slots with maple, it's still going to be fairly visible (not to mention the fretboard dots will still be there).
13 years ago
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#9669
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I don't think you would like an unlined fanned fretless, but w/250 shows a year under your belt you might be able to. I originally asked Sheldon about bubinga fretlines on the wenge fretboard and he said the fretlines would pretty much disappear. He suggested white plastic lines. I opted for maple lines instead. I usually don't look at the front of the fretboard unless I'm playing up high. I look at the side of the fretboard and the fanning is intuitive for me. The problem is that in med light the maple lines start to disappear under the hazy epoxy on the side of the neck, especially in the first few frets. The bass I owned before my DW fretless was unlined w/an ebony fretboard w/no coating. I could see the white plastic dots on the side of the neck very well in med light. I would go w/white plastic lines so you can see the side of the neck better, like Sheldon suggests.
13 years ago
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#9670
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Well, I very rarely look at my neck, so visibility wouldn't be an issue. My main bass doesn't have any lines or dots, and I don't have too many intonation issues (or, at least in the heat of the moment, I don't seem to!).
13 years ago
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#9671
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As Funk mentioned. We do not require the neck to be returned. I'm not at my work computer but the cost of a neck is roughly 1/4-1/3 the cost of a whole instrument. A slight correction: Our frets are pressed in from above, then glued. So a soldering iron must be used to melt the glue while pulling the frets. My prefered finish is epoxy. The best tone I've found is epoxy over wenge. This is a difficult combination due to wenge's porosity, but worth the effort. If you install maple fretlines, oil will be the easiest but the maple will darken with age. It doesn't sound like this would be an issue in your case. The tone of Pau Ferro for fretless is on the dark side. The tone of wenge/epoxy is more full frequency like a Michael Manring tone.
13 years ago
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#9672
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Eek! Well, I can certainly justify pulling the frets out my my neck if a new fretless version is going to cost me $1000. For the record, I have a maple neck Super J. I will epoxy for sure - I'm sure that maple would get eaten alive with roundwound strings. Just for the sake of knowing, how much does a refret at the factory cost? Maybe if I get cold feet I'll just get it refretted when the time comes.
13 years ago
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#9673
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Fascinating. I love hearing this "inside" info. So I could get an epoxied fretless neck for my AB-II for under $1000 (that includes tuner hardware and nut)? Given that I have a single AB-II, how "swappable" are the necks? Could I go fretless for a month or two and then switch back to fretted easily?
13 years ago
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#9679
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":3ecbrbhe]The tone of wenge/epoxy is more full frequency like a Michael Manring tone.[/quote:3ecbrbhe] IME Master Tone-Chef Sheldon is always right (wenge/epoxy sound included :wink: )
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