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Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby BobTheDog » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:49 pm

Hi Guys,

So I decided to treat myself and get the Godin Multiac fretless SA that I gave been thinking of getting for years only to find that they no longer make them and you can only get them on EvilBay for twice the new price, bugger that.

Anyone else got any ideas of something similar, preferably nylon but could go electric.
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby Wonks » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:51 pm

Fretted multiac, remove frets, epoxy board, sorted?
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby BobTheDog » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Strangely I do already have a fretted one, I had looked at at a few videos of removing frets and using resin but didn't like the look of the results!

If done properly you think it would be ok?
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby BobTheDog » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:57 pm

Also what about the bridge and nut, I guess they would need modifying as well?
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby Wonks » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:32 pm

Nut slots and bridge height might need to be adjusted down a bit but that's all. I've seen a lot of fretted to fretless bass conversions that look good.

You could just get the fret slots filled if you go with nylon strings as they won't wear away at the fretboard like steel strings would, so no need to coat the board in resin.
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby John Egan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:36 pm

BobTheDog wrote:Als what about the bridge and nut, I guess they would need modifying as well?


I wouldn't worry about the nut. Mind you, my experience with nylon strings is limited.
Is your Multiac nylon or steel strung ? If it's nylon, I wouldn't worry about the bridge either. If it's steel, it might need modification - unless it's possible to get nylon strings with ball ends. Also, in this case, you might find the machine heads a nuisance with nylon strings.

I have an Ibanez fretless 5 string bass, which had been converted to fretless before I bought it. I was told it had been done by the makers of Brooke guitars in Devon. Whoever it was, it works really well. Having it done professionally might be an option, if the cost is reasonable. Just a thought.

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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby Wonks » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:38 pm

D'Addario nylon folk strings have ball ends.
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:57 pm

A professional de-fret job would probably involve fitting slivers of a matching or contrasting wood into the fret slots and the resulting neck plays and looks as good as new. Epoxy coating is optional but can be refinished when it wears.
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby zenguitar » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:28 am

Plenty of useful feedback here already, but there is something that comes to mind that hasn't already been asked...

The 13 pin output suggests a generic 'Roland' guitar synth pick-up is a possibility. Do you want the MIDI option or just an electro fretless nylon stringer to plug in? I have a strong feeling that the MIDI option would be very temperamental indeed when it comes to tracking.

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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby BobTheDog » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:09 am

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the replies.

The Multiac I have is the Nylon one, maybe I will have a think about modifying it or maybe get another and modify that one or maybe look to see how much this would cost to have done professionally.

I definitely want the 13 pin out for use with my ATG-1 and AX100, I have used glass slides with midi conversion before and it works surprisingly well so I'm guessing fretless would be ok.
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby Wonks » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:55 am

Of course the standard Roland GK-3 pickup won't work with nylon stings, so any other pickup would have to be a piezo-saddle based one.

From all I've read in the past, the Godin MIDI implementation is a very good one, with less issues and slightly faster tracking than the Roland GK-3.
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby BobTheDog » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:46 am

The Multiac SA I have uses an RMC pickup for the piezo/13 pin.

They work pretty well for midi tracking, especially for chords.

The combination of nylon strings with a fairly high action when compared to electrics helps as well I think.
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby Wonks » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:53 am

It's probably gong to struggle a bit more on pitching with a fretless board.
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Re: Fretless guitar, preferably with 13 pin output.

Postby jimsreynolds » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:27 am

Hutchins make a Texas Special II Fretless. It is a blue Tele-style with a filtertron clone in the neck. Cheap but I have one and it is pretty cheerful. It will need a good setup by someone who knows what is appropriate for a Fretless guitar.

Pickup installation might be a Graphtech Ghost system - which will fit a Tele and can hack Midi over a 13 pin.

The guitar was cheap enought that the guitar, ghost and installation cost might be quite competitive.

Tracking ..... should be fine. The lack of frets is irrelevant. I have a GR20 and it will either quantise to the nearest note (e.g. Piano) or play the note as fretted (e.g. Violin). You might even string it with Nylons cause the Ghost Pickup relies on pressure rather than magnetic flux (though the regular mag pickups would not function).

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