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Fretless Electric Guitar


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#1 transient

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 11:47 PM

Just when you thought that the legendary fretless classical guitar thread was over...

From the creator of it, here comes another one :D

You knew that this would eventually happen, didn't you? :D

Anyway, after a few months of considering my options, i decided to buy a cheap electric and convert it. I had the option of a local luthier making me a nice fretless, however it would cost me a lot, as i would want the best guitar he could make. Saving so much money would take long, and i didn't want to wait that much. Besides, (as you may have noticed) i really enjoy the DIY process.

So, after thinking about it for some time, today i finally went to a guitar shop to see what they've got. I've decided on a new Washburn X10 ( here's a pic , but mine will be black) , which costs $175, and looks good for that price.

Tomorrow i'm gettin' it. Let the adventure begin :ph34r:

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#2 jahloon

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 07:45 AM

Heavens above! Another marathon thread, the like of which we may have seen before.
If ever I saw a guitar that would cry out for a sustainer.
Just how black is it going to be?
--j
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#3 Villager

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 10:16 AM

Lummie, you'd be going some to beat Emre's 17 page 250 post marathon. Good luck! V
Fret not thyself - Proverbs 24:19

#4 transient

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 02:25 PM

I surely can beat my own record :( But i'll try to keep it short this time... Who knows what lies ahead: postmen with ninja skills, ballet glaziers with banana-necks and squarewound strings that somehow get lost in the refrigerator...and maybe an eight-foot tall bunny.

Anyway, i've got the guitar. It does not know what's going to happen, so it sits happily on the stand. But when i have the free time, i'm gonna get a little dangerous :D

I'm planning to install a sustainer on it, but not now. I'll need to save money for that...

A guy from the project-guitar forum has invented a new sustainer which works in a different way than the current systems, and it doesn't seem long before he'll start producing and selling the system. He's got a 39-page thread there :D Here's the link:
Project Guitar Forum - sustainer ideas

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#5 transient

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 08:54 PM

Well i got the frets out B)

The whole fret removal thing took about an hour, maybe a little more. I got really fast towards the end that i was removing a fret every 30-40 seconds :D (did you know that every 40 seconds a fret is pulled out somewhere in the world? :D )

Now i'm going to sand the rosewood fingerboard to get some wooddust, then mix it with superglue to fill the slots.

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#6 transient

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 11:00 PM

I don't know how you guys can do it using superglue, but i couldn't. It hardened in 2 seconds after i squeezed a drop over the wooddust, i didn't even have the time to mix it :D Anyway, i used my 5-min epoxy and it all went fine. I'll let the epoxy harden for 24 hours , then i'll do the sanding tomorrow and the guitar should be ready after that (unless something goes wrong, which is usually the case with me :D ).

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#7 timmirth

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 04:49 AM

very cool. How do you guys like the epoxy?? is it much better than just the rosewood?

Keep the progress coming, i'm waiting till my next day off to start working on the 7.

.... ninja :ph34r:

tim
Don't fret, fret-less!

#8 transient

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 07:57 AM

I did not cover the fingerboard with epoxy, i just mixed it with wooddust (i made the wooddust by sanding the rosewood fingerboard to have a filling that matches the fingerboard color) and used this mixture to fill the fret slots. It's Michael (VVV) who covers the entire fingerboard with epoxy.

I tried epoxying the whole fingerboard once, on my fretless classical, but i couldn't get it right. As epoxy is some kind of a glue, it didn't lay flat on the fingerboard. I tried sanding it to get it flat, it didn't work. Maybe Michael is using a different kind of epoxy, i don't know. I would have prefered keeping the rosewood fingerboard, if the neck hadn't warped. Long story short, that guitar ended up with a glass fingerboard :lol:

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#9 transient

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 06:55 PM

I've been working on it all day, and i'm almost finished :lol:

I've sanded the fingerboard and got it smooth. The guitar originally had 3 springs for the tremolo, so i installed 2 more to keep the bridge in place with heavy strings installed. I have a few sets of daddario 0.12 roundwounds (with a wound G string), so that's what i installed on the guitar. I got the action pretty low, expecting buzzing on some points, but there's no buzzing B) Well, except that the B string buzzes when it's plucked open. It's completely the nut's fault though (it's too low for the B string and too high for the E,A strings), i'll fix it and all should be fine.

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#10 transient

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 11:39 PM

Well, it's done B) Sounds good, actually better than i expected. A short recording to come soon...

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#11 jahloon

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 12:28 AM

Well, it's done B) Sounds good, actually better than i expected. A short recording to come soon...

...
emre

Well bugger me - you only managed one page and its all done and dusted. --j
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#12 transient

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 02:01 PM

I told you i would keep it short this time :) It's not completely finished though, for example, the epoxy filling on some of the fret slots got removed while sanding, but they don't seem to cause any buzzing. I might fill them anyway to get it look better and feel smoother. I'm also planning to replace the stock pickups, bridge first. Not that it's bad, but it can get better...

Here's the mp3 i promised:
fless 04

This one is a bit raw, just two guitars (both electric), no drums etc... I've used my home-made sustainer on this recording B) It can not grab every note, but it works anyway. This is kind of an improvisational piece, it has some wrong notes and not-right intonation on some notes, however i think they add to the feel of the track. Well, OK they don't :P (what kind of an excuse is that :lol: )

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#13 transient

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 12:57 PM

Found out that some of those fret slots actually cause buzzing. I'll fill them again, using only epoxy this time (no wooddust)...

...
emre
No guitars were harmed during the collection of the information presented in this post.
Can't say the same thing for frets though...

#14 gazmungus

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 03:56 PM

That homemade sustainer of yours is very interesting!

musht shay, shounds absholutely fabuloush, B)

_
gaz
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#15 jahloon

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 10:36 PM

Emre, That track is pretty good.

The sustainer works fine - I think you get the best out of them when you actually have to coax the notes out. Nice fold into the harmonics too.

--j
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk




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