Juanita is toothless again

Juanita is toothless again…

Postby Rich M » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:11 pm

…and I have my first fretless

I bought the loaded body of this bass from Juan Alderete (Mars Volta, RacerX) a couple years ago, and I’ve gone through a couple different necks on it since then. The body is a refinned ’72 with the original pickup and an added ’73 jazz bass bridge pickup, a two-way switch, and Gotoh bridge. The work was done by Juan’s tech and he also had the original fretless neck epoxied. Juan wasn’t satisfied with the outcome, so he sold the neck to someone else and I bought the body on ebay. When I asked about any additional parts, he was kind enough to make me a good deal on the package.

I recently decided that I wanted a fretless, but I couldn’t quite justify buying another bass right now, so I sold the ’66 neck that I had been trying out on this bass to Kebo and found a ’71 Fender fretless neck with the original tuners. I have another all-original ’71 P-bass plus my ’82 L-1000, so this one wasn’t getting much play. Since this bass was originally fretless, it just feels right to have it this way again.

It’s my first fretless and I’m having a lot of fun with it so far. Of course, my intonation sucks, but it’s surprisingly easy to play with the TI flats and low action and it’s going to add a whole new dimension to my practice time. Playing it kind of reminds me of my old days on the trombone and will be a good exercise for my ear. I wasn’t sure if I would like fretless, but I think I’m hooked. It’s kind of weird, but the necks of my other basses with frets look sort of cluttered hanging on the wall next to this one. Something about that blank plank is really beautiful to behold.


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Re: Juanita is toothless again…

Postby nolabass » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:24 pm

Is that a rosewood nut?
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Re: Juanita is toothless again…

Postby Rich M » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:34 pm

nolabass wrote:Is that a rosewood nut?


The nut is a bit of a mystery to me. The seller didn't mention it in his description, but agreed that it probably wasn't original.
I assumed that it would be graphite, but it does sort of look like wood (ebony maybe?). The nut slots are very low, but it seems to work so far. Right now, the neck is perfectly flat, the action is pretty low, and it doesn't buzz if I play with a fairly light touch. I think it looks kind of cool too.

Here's another pic:
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Re: Juanita is toothless again…

Postby nolabass » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:41 pm

Interesting, I have not seen that. If it's wood might be ebony?
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Re: Juanita is toothless again…

Postby Golem » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:53 am

Rich M wrote:…and I have my first fretless

....... It’s kind of weird, but the necks of my other basses with frets look sort of cluttered hanging on the wall next to this one. Something about that blank plank is really beautiful to behold.
`

To my ears and eyes the difference in sound is exactly what is promised by the difference in appearance.

If you dig the sound that's implied [promised?] by "erasing" the frets from the image,
consider what your eyes are telling your ears when the visible PU's are also "erased":

`LightWave2.jpg
`LightWave2.jpg (4.75 KiB) Viewed 1347 times

Aren't your eyes telling your ears "Whoo-hooot, this has gotta be goooood ... " ?

The ax in the above pic sounds exactly like it looks: clean, airy, and musical.
I like when things work out that way, when function is visible in the form.

`

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Re: Juanita is toothless again…

Postby Rich M » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:44 pm

nolabass wrote:Is that a rosewood nut?


I think you may be right. Out of curiosity, I started thread over on TB in the Luthier's Corner.
So far, the general consensus is rosewood. I was thinking ebony because the nut looked almost black and I know that it is sometimes used for bridges.
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Re: Juanita is toothless again…

Postby harleyyy » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:13 pm

Nice Rich, everything looks like it belongs together. [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]
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Re: Juanita is toothless again…

Postby Rich M » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:06 pm

Thanks, Pete. I like your new fretless too.
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Re: Juanita is toothless again…

Postby Rob Francis » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:58 pm

Looks like RW to me but damn sweet regardless/
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