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Thread: Build#2 GPB-4 Fretless

  1. #31
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    This one is taking me a while to build but recently I had some spare time and managed to get a fair bit done.
    .
    Shielded cavities and swapped hardware to black
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    I cut the pick guard to a shape that I like better, which reveals more of the ash body, and spray painted black (instead of white)
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    decal tests with name of the bass and personal logo
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    Last edited by FaustoB; 14-05-2022 at 06:32 PM.

  2. #32

  3. #33
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    As usual I had to remove the side existing fretboard dots, install a set of strings, mark the side dots position, and install my own side dots.
    (When you order a fretless neck it comes with side dots already drilled and installed. The problem is that the side dots are in "fretted" position, in the centre of the fret. On unlined fretboards it is recommended to have dots where the fret should be, to have a usable and way more immediate reference point.)

    For those ones who have been following along, for my previous build I use bamboo as side dots (toothpicks!). They worked well but I wanted to try something different this time. For this build I am using instead shirt pins, cut short, and nailed in a predrilled hole. I like it!

    I intentionally left the head of the pin out 1mm (+/-), to allow for a tactile feel.
    To be honest, I never put my left hand thumb that far up above the fretboard, but I still like the fact that I they stick out a fraction. Dots visibility is really good and shiny, an important factor especially on unlined fretless.

    The process of installing the side dots with this technique was straight forward and pretty quick.

    These are the pins I used, cut short and nailed in
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    This is showing the side dots installed (not a great photo though)
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    and a close up. If I change my mind in the future I can always pull these out with pliers
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    and here a preview of the neck plate decal with personal logo. Side dot visible!
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  4. #34
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    Half rounds strings installed ! and first pass of instrument set up done.

    Before and after photos below

    Before
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    After
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    and short clip with muted strings here recorded with my phone

    heaps of fun

  5. #35
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Nice work. I like your pickguard shape.
    Sounds good too!

    You don't mind the protrusion of the pin heads on the edge of the fretboard?
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  6. #36
    Mentor Trevor Davies's Avatar
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    Yes, +1 for nice work. I also like the pick guard.
    PitBull Builds: FVB-4, LP-1SS, FBM-1, AG-2 (Runner up GOTM May 2021), TB-4, SSCM-1, TLA-1, TL-1TB, STA-1HT.

    Scratch Builds: Pine Explorer, Axe Bass, Mr Scary (current), Scratchy Thinline (current).

  7. #37
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    Thanks McCreed and Trevor!
    The pick guard wasn't planned that way initially, but it became sort of obvious that it needed a mod as soon as the body and neck finishing were done. The giant white Precision Bass pick guard wasn't appealing at all!
    I am also happy the way it turned out. I made a template test made out of MDF first, just to get a general vibe. Then I refined the shape sanding back here and there, and finally used that MDF template to trace and cut the kit pick guard.

    Answering McCreed question about the protrusion of the pin heads on the edge of the fretboard... So far they haven't been bothering me at all. My left thumb never (or very rarely) goes that up high on the fretboard. And if it does, the "bump" is very minimal, you just feel it. I am realising that the photo I posted make them look quite ugly and huge, but in fact the pin heads are rounded and stick out just a fraction.
    And they are shiny! I can't tell you how much they help on an unlined fretless! Nice to play in the evening with minimal lighting.

    This is a reversible experiment though because I can always take the pins out with some pliers and install something more traditional if I change my mind in the future. ("Never! I said they are beautiful and now they are going to stay !!" hahaha!)
    Last edited by FaustoB; 24-05-2022 at 08:01 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Davies View Post
    Yes, +1 for nice work. I also like the pick guard.
    Ditto re- the pick guard, and the round pinheads seems like a neat idea, too! With a lined fretless in my own stable, I can see - or rather, feel - the benefit of the protruding markers on a virgin fretboard

    Peter

  9. #39
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Answering McCreed question about the protrusion of the pin heads on the edge of the fretboard... So far they haven't been bothering me at all. My left thumb never (or very rarely) goes that up high on the fretboard.
    Ah, yes. Not being a bass player (owning a bass guitar and occasionally recording a bass line does not a bass player make!) I find my thumb over the top of fretboard on the low E regularly, so any bumps would be very noticeable.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  10. #40
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Looks very designer bass-like. Takes a moment to get your head around the fact it hasn't got a full P-bass pickguard, and then it all clicks. Nice work and nice ideas.

    A fretless is on my to-do list.

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