Posted by David Bruni on May 18, 2002 at 10:10:04:
In Reply to: Re: Homemad Frettless Question posted by splatbass on January 20, 2002 at 22:28:35:
: : Hey I got a Carlo Robelli 4-string bass. It started out not frettless but now it is. It was filled in awsomely, and i got it from the music store, but the workers don't know crap about anything in there. It was cheap so I thought cool, BUt anyways. On "A3" and " D3" there is some major frett buzz, well mainly on "D3", and some on other random fretts. I was wondering if It needs sanded down ilke the music store guy; said, or if the neck just needs readjusted. Also the music store guy said i could put a coat of laqure? i think? over it.... ANything you guys can suggest? Or do i need a whoel new neck? Cuz it's a nice looking guitar and they replaced the pick ups for me heh.
: : THanks
: It is hard to tell without looking at it. It could be that it needs to be sanded down, if it has been played a lot it could have grooves worn in the wood, or it could be that it just needs a good setup (neck relief and bridge height adjustment). I doubt if it needs a new neck. If you don't know how to set it up yourself, take it to a good repair shop and have a pro do it. They should be able to do a setup or a sanding of the fingerboard, whichever is required (or both, if necessary). As far as coating it, many people use boat epoxy because that is what Jaco Pastorius used. I prefer Birchwood-Casey Tru-Oil. It is made for gun stocks, and can be purchased at any sporting goods store. It is easy to apply, and gives a very hard surface that protects it from wear from the strings. Obviously, you would want to have the neck sanded first, if there are any grooves in it. Coating it with anything will change the sound. It will give it more of that "growl" that fretless basses are famous for. That can be good or bad depending on the sound you are going for. I like it, it is what makes a fretless sound different that a fretted, but that is personal opinion. If you like the sound the way it is, just leave it alone. You will probably have to have it sanded occasionally, but if you like the sound the way it is then that is the price you have to pay.
I would some pointer on an application tecnique for either the epoxy or the tru-oil material. Please include surface prep, my bass is a frettless jazz bass with a rosewood neck but has no hard surface coating.
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