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Can I convert my fretted bass neck into a fretless?

Yes, it’s no problem turning you bass’s rosewood board into a fretless. We do that with some frequency around here.

As far as the lines go, you can have your choice of "fillers". Anything from white plastic or epoxy, to any number of wood veneers in various shades from maple to brown or red woods.

You could have your choice of dots, also. As far as finishing over it, I don't recommend it, but we certainly can coat it with clear epoxy or industrial grade Cyanoacrilate glue (Yup - Super Glue makes a good hard coating!). The rosewood is very hard and durable and coating it will give you a different tone than the one that is making you consider the conversion.

As far as maintenance goes, it's much easier to re-dress the rosewood than it is to redo any kind of coating on it. If you played it a lot it would still be a couple of years between fingerboard dressings. If it's a decent slab of rosewood, you should be able to get many dressings out of it at a lower cost than re-coating it. An epoxy coating will get maybe two dressings out of it down the road whereas the rosewood will last twenty years or more even with successive dressings.

Flat wound strings are a bit dead sounding for my liking, but the half-rounds are a good choice for tone and fingerboard life.

Without complications, the fret removal will run about $200 for the immediate work, all said and done. New strings and whatever else would be additional. To coat it will add about $50 with the super glue, and about $100 plus with epoxy.

If your concerns are tone and the life of the rosewood, I would say go with the super glue coating. I don't think going with the bare rosewood is a bad thing, and it will keep the tone you're after. The glue-coat will add a little brightness to the tone and not much thickness.

The glue-coat is a good "wear indicator". When it blows through, you will know it's time for re-coating and dressing and will prolong the rosewood's life by having it touched up when you notice it. It's just a little more work than redressing the rosewood itself.

Please feel free to bring your bass in to our shop or contact us for more info.