Jazz Bass neck de-fretted

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GSPBASSESGSPBASSES Frets: 1210
edited November 30 in Making & Modding
  I made this super Jazz bass about 19 years ago. It started life as a fretless bass, the owner played in a jazz quartet and a swing band. 

   The body is made from American red Alder, the neck is laminated three piece Maple with an ebony fingerboard, 24 frets. The pickups are Bartolini quadraphonic jazz, with an on-board Bartolini preamp, master volume, pan, cut and boost bass and treble. Although the pickups of passive, they are very low output and have to be used with an on-board preamp. The Bartolini preamp has a built-in gain control to boost the output of the pickups, that's also used to match the output of the bass to the amplifier. 

 I would have to say the combination of these pickups and preamp make this bass one of the best sounding fretless basses I've come across. The pickups are very unusual in that each pickup consists of four mini pickups, so each string has its own pickup. This gives a very focused and defined sound to each note.

 The owner bought it back to me to have it converted from fretless to fretted about nine years ago, it's now come back to have the frets removed to convert it back to a fretless bass, once again its going  be used in a jazz quartet.

Nitrocellulose lovers read no more, as I sprayed this bass with polyester, it still looks as good now as the day it left my workshop some 19 years ago. Not everybody's cup of tea having a guitar that looks brand-new when is 19 years old. 



 And yes Jazz is spelt with two S's customers choice.
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 5090
    edited November 28
    That’s a great looking Jass Bazz.
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  • DrBobDrBob Frets: 1845
    Really love the aesthetic of that body & pickguard Graham, very very elegant.
    Have you told the owner that he had better be sure this time because you’re not changing it again ?
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  • GSPBASSESGSPBASSES Frets: 1210
    edited December 1


    I extract frets by heating them with a soldering iron and then gently ease them out using fret cutters,  you have to be very patient , removing the frets from an ebony board, as its very prone to chipping.



    Frets come out relatively easily with very little chipping.



     After the frets are out I run a frets saw through the slots to clean them out, then re-sand the board as you would be for a re-fret.



    I used wood veneer to fill the slots, in this case I use Pear veneer as it's not quite as bright as using maple. The veneer is glued in with superglue, I also run superglue along the edge of the veneer to fill any chips in the fretboard.



    The fretboard is now sanded down, check the flatness and generally cleaned up. Tomorrow I will reassemble the bass and hopefully everything will be okay. For some reason, the fingerboard in the photos doesn't look as black as it actually is, must be the lighting in the 

     

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  • Paul_CPaul_C Frets: 4507

    Nice! 
    I used to use wood veneer for de-fretted bass necks, but nowadays I use white plastic card unless veneer is asked for, partly because it's a little bit easier (doesn't break like veneer can while being fitted or trimmed) and because I like the crisp clear line it gives.
    I think the veneer sits better with the look of that bass though :)
    CEO ACME Moats Inc.
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