...are people just idiots?
I was in Andertons at the weekend and they had a second-hand 2010 MIM Jazz Bass on the wall, so I decided to give it a go. It felt a little strange off the bat, which I put down to a noticeably chunkier neck than mine, and a maple fretboard. Quickly realised though that it was strung with flatwounds, which I don't have a huge amount of experience with. It sounded quite thuddy and dull, which I assumed was a combination of the flats and being plugged into a shitty EBS practice amp.
As I played it more though, I started playing further up the neck and it sounded godawful, with notes choking out and zero sustain. I had a close look at the fretboard to find that the frets were either so badly worn they were almost completely flat on top, or otherwise they've been filed down. Either way, the thing is ruined and IMO shouldn't really be on sale at market value in that condition. The question is though; will flats really destroy frets that quickly, or has someone done this deliberately? Considering my own MIM Jazz is from 1994 and doesn't have anywhere close to that level of fretwear, I was surprised to see a bass that relatively new in such a poor condition.