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I've just ordered my donor guitar to convert to a Ubass. I don't know what the neck scale is and was wondering if it isn't the same as the ukulele scale could I just remove the frets and play it fretless? Would that work?

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My donor guitar arrived and it's a tad over 23 inches (I assume scale means nut to bridge?) and the Kala Ubass is 21.

Close enough.  If you are ordering strings from RoadToad, lets them know what you're doing.  They're good at custom ordering and might be able to slightly size the strings up to accomodate the longer scale.

I bought a UBASS as a sample

The fretboard from the nut to the end of the fret board is 12 1/2" with 16 frets

1. 1 1/4", 2. 21/4", 3. 3 1/4", 4. 4 3/16", 5. 5"., 6. 5 7/8". 7.6 1/2", 8. 7 1/2",9. 8 3/16", 10. 8 7/8", 11. 9 1/2", 12. 10 1/8"

13. 10 11/16", 14. 11 1/4",  15. 11 3/4", 16. 12 1/8I hope this helps , I have attached the owners manual , Let me know if you require any other information, we are still trying to source a bridge saddle for the shadow pickups , I have attached a photo of the bridge.

All the best , always willing to help if I can. I finally received 3 cigar boxes today from Gitty today , my friend is making  them for my grand kids , I will put some photos up when they are finished

I bought a UBASS as a sample

The fretboard from the nut to the end of the fret board is 12 1/2" with 16 frets

1. 1 1/4", 2. 21/4", 3. 3 1/4", 4. 4 3/16", 5. 5"., 6. 5 7/8". 7.6 1/2", 8. 7 1/2",9. 8 3/16", 10. 8 7/8", 11. 9 1/2", 12. 10 1/8"

13. 10 11/16", 14. 11 1/4",  15. 11 3/4", 16. 12 1/8I hope this helps , check kala's site and download the ubass owners manual , Let me know if you require any other information, we are still trying to source a bridge saddle for the shadow pickups , I have attached a photo of the bridge.

All the best , always willing to help if I can. I finally received 3 cigar boxes today from Gitty today , my friend is making  them for my grand kids , I will put some photos up when they are finished

Attachments:

I already got Thundergut strings. Wow, I didn't know they could do that.

Wichita Sam said:

Close enough.  If you are ordering strings from RoadToad, lets them know what you're doing.  They're good at custom ordering and might be able to slightly size the strings up to accomodate the longer scale.

Thanks for the info. That is a handsome bridge. I'm going to try the one that came on the guitar. Hope it works.

(If I coulda afforded a UBASS I wouldn't be going through all of this....sigh)



Bruce Hooper said:

I bought a UBASS as a sample

The fretboard from the nut to the end of the fret board is 12 1/2" with 16 frets

1. 1 1/4", 2. 21/4", 3. 3 1/4", 4. 4 3/16", 5. 5"., 6. 5 7/8". 7.6 1/2", 8. 7 1/2",9. 8 3/16", 10. 8 7/8", 11. 9 1/2", 12. 10 1/8"

13. 10 11/16", 14. 11 1/4",  15. 11 3/4", 16. 12 1/8I hope this helps , check kala's site and download the ubass owners manual , Let me know if you require any other information, we are still trying to source a bridge saddle for the shadow pickups , I have attached a photo of the bridge.

All the best , always willing to help if I can. I finally received 3 cigar boxes today from Gitty today , my friend is making  them for my grand kids , I will put some photos up when they are finished

Would it make any difference if I just pulled the frets and made it fretless?

no problem.  I've done that on "regular" basses with no ill effect.  Go slow.  If you guitar is older, the fretboard could be a little brittle.  If you get tearing on the first couple, try a little furniture polish/oil to soften things up over night.  This will only be a cosmetic issue regardless. I've known a player to take some white or silver paint to fill the grove to make the fret grooves stand out.  I prefer to fill them with filler a close to the color of the fretboard as I can get.  either way, it's purely esthetics.

Will that do anything to the scale issue? This is what I'm working with. It's a new guitar.

nothing about the scale length changes.  If the intonation is right, fretted is fine.  The only issue with polyurethane strings, is that they need a fairly big profile fret.  Instruments fretted with fine frets can be an issue.  When I build, knowing that I'm going to use polyU strings, I use bass/jumbo frets.  Fretless, it becomes no issue at all.

Oh, if you're refretting, start with the fret closest to the nut.  That way if something horrible happens, you haven't messed up the playability of the rest of the neck.  It's the easiest fret to get right.

Aha. Fretless sounds more and more like what I should do. I've always pretty much played fretless bass anyway, both stand-up and fretless jazz bass.

But I need to check out the intonation first. Not sure what to do if it's off though.

If you go fretless and the nut and bridge are more or less parallel, then intonation won't be a problem...just a little time learning positions on the neck...

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