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Dead & likes Rendang
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The third guitar I bought last year, but took until now to finally get it home.

Got inspired to have a fretless guitar of my very own, so I managed to grab myself a used black Ibby MIK RG470 for peanuts as a mod project. Didn't take any before pictures frankly, was rather embarrassed of it's state. I didn't mind it being beat up with a few dings, but being a HSH guy, having a 3 way switch and a plastic panel covering the middle cavity was just unacceptable.
So ditched the front panel. Then took it to the tech for a full refurbish.

We ran into a few hurdles first was the fretless conversion itself.









My tech had a fair amount of experience with defretting and preferred to sand down the frets rather than remove them. Did a great job actually since it feels so smooth. The issue was the locking nut. He was really hesitant in filing it down, but eventually did it anyway.

Then replace the TRS bridge with a Gotoh 1996T.



This has been my fourth Gotoh retrofit. I always insist on the Gotoh to replace any bridge that can't withstand my abuse, so this was mandatory.

Lastly the pickups.



I went with yet another left field choice. A trio of Dimarzios: EJ Custom Neck, Virtua; 54 Pro, Air Zone Bridge. Also having black covered humbuckers added to the long delay. But, damn they look awesome.

And finally the guitar is home.



And some crappy clips of me messing around with it.

Fretless guitar is quite a different world. I've had some experience with fretless bass, so that advantage really helped. There's still some nuances that I'm yet to get used to, especially the big loss of sustain that usually happens in fretless guitars. I can see why a lot of fretless players whack a sustainer on their instruments, and would love to do that here myself eventually. But I guess the Digitech Freqout will have to suffice.

Also bought a new volume pedal...



...but it's just a volume pedal so who cares about that. :lol:
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
Congrats! Nice score - well modded too. I had a 94 MIK RG470 for a long, long time and loved it. Wish I would have ever thought to put the GOTOH in it, as that would have made a big difference.

Any pix of the filed down locking nut?
 

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Dead & likes Rendang
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3,170 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congrats! Nice score - well modded too. I had a 94 MIK RG470 for a long, long time and loved it. Wish I would have ever thought to put the GOTOH in it, as that would have made a big difference.

Any pix of the filed down locking nut?
Cheers man! :cheers:

I tried to take a photo of the high side of the nut the best I could so it shows how close the high E string is to the board. IIRC, the original nut was shimmed so I don't think it was filed down too much.



As for the Gotoh, there's a bit of an aesthetic caveat since the TRS baseplate is much bigger so the Gotoh doesn't complete cover the routing. This is actually the third RG470 I've retrofitted with the bridge so I don't mind it. Certainly not anymore.
 

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Forum MVP
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My first nice guitar was a black Ibby, it unlocked possibilities for me, they will always have a special place in my heart. Congrats !! :yesway:
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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Cheers man! :cheers:

As for the Gotoh, there's a bit of an aesthetic caveat since the TRS baseplate is much bigger so the Gotoh doesn't complete cover the routing. This is actually the third RG470 I've retrofitted with the bridge so I don't mind it. Certainly not anymore.
Nice. Definitely should have done the GOTOH with mine. Just occurred to me it's the guitar in my avatar pic. Black RGs FTW!
 

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Super Moderator
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Very cool. I experimented with fretless for awhile but didn't get very far with it. In rock, I'd say Ron Thal is the modern master of it.
 

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Not baked anymore.
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Awesome!

I’d love to try a fretless guitar someday. A Sustainer pickup and a fretless would be pretty slick.

I found an RG470 for $60 at a pawnshop a couple years ago, the neck on it is almost an exact duplicate of my JEM, which was really interesting. Not nearly as thin as a standard Wizard neck. If I remember right, it’s a Wizard II, but it’s been a while since I looked up the specs. It’s been sitting in my studio doing absolutely nothing. I didn’t have a use for it when I bought it, I just couldn’t pass it up knowing that for $100 I could buy a Gotoh and have a perfectly killer guitar. I’m really considering having it modded into a JEM77GMC.
 

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That is really cool. Ive ben thinking about trying a fretless with oud tuning as i freaking love ouds and think they sound really great.
 

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Super Moderator
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I've wanted a fretless bass for over a decade now. I've always wanted to mess around with a fretless guitar, but it seems more difficult to me than a fretless bass since on bass, you typically only play one note at a time, while on a guitar, you very often play all the strings at the same time, which can make keeping them in tune difficult on a fretless.

Looks amazing. :yesway:
 

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Guitarded
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looks awesome. clips sounded rad. never really considered a fretless. a sustainer pickup sounds like it could help a lot.
 

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Dead & likes Rendang
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3,170 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cheers everyone. :cheers: I've played nothing but this instrument all week since it's practically a whole new instrument.

A sustainer/sustainiac is definitely on the cards for the future. i've been wanting one on at least one of my fiddles for ages now. Once I find one, it'll happen eventually. Though I'm really liking the EJ Custom I have on the neck right now. It's got a really cool Filtertron meets hot single coil/P90; bright in the pleasant kind that really let the notes pop (which helps here with the flatwounds I've got on). A great underrated pickup.

In rock, I'd say Ron Thal is the modern master of it.
Yeah Bumblefoot has been doing the fretless shtick longer than most. And there's Guthrie Govan who just makes it look effortless. Going through other players, I discovered Buzz Gravelle, who's inspiring me to get an acoustic and go through the defretting process again. :lol:

I found an RG470 for $60 at a pawnshop a couple years ago, the neck on it is almost an exact duplicate of my JEM, which was really interesting. Not nearly as thin as a standard Wizard neck. If I remember right, it's a Wizard II, but it's been a while since I looked up the specs. It's been sitting in my studio doing absolutely nothing. I didn't have a use for it when I bought it, I just couldn't pass it up knowing that for $100 I could buy a Gotoh and have a perfectly killer guitar. I'm really considering having it modded into a JEM77GMC.
My main RG470 is an MIJ and yeah it's the thicker Wizard II that's more akin to Jems than actual Wizards, and it's my favorite neck Ibanez ever made. Suspiciously the necks on this and my RG470XL are slightly thinner than my main.

I've wanted a fretless bass for over a decade now. I've always wanted to mess around with a fretless guitar, but it seems more difficult to me than a fretless bass since on bass, you typically only play one note at a time, while on a guitar, you very often play all the strings at the same time, which can make keeping them in tune difficult on a fretless.
It certainly does take some commitment to jump on the fretless train. Bass is definitely an easier route, since the spacing is wider, and as you said, it's single note focused with only occasional diad or sometimes triad chord voicings. Hell, I started violin lessons last year and also own a Sanshin , an Erhu and a Guqin. So with those, the notion of single notes being central is strong.

I started on fretless bass 6 years ago and it was a real handy tool for recording sessions. So I had a head start but it was still a challenge on guitar. No issues using my ring or pinky or barre chords that I usually do, but the open chords like a simple E minor needs more attention since my fingers need to be dead on and angled right. Right now I'm impulsed to just play single notes, but I'm trying to break out of that.
 

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DOO)))M
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Yeah Bumblefoot has been doing the fretless shtick longer than most. And there's Guthrie Govan who just makes it look effortless. Going through other players, I discovered Buzz Gravelle, who's inspiring me to get an acoustic and go through the defretting process again. :lol:
Tom Monda of Thank You Scientist rocks a fretless Vigier for a few of their tracks, you might dig them, they're the lovechild of Frank Zappa and Coheed & Cambria

 

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I've no idea who that guy is but when did miming shit become an "official playthrough"? The trend fucking sucks. :noway:
 

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Dead & likes Rendang
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Holy Wars cover at once.
Do you really want to see me fumbling out of tune to it? :lol: I did give it a shot since I do need to keep my rhythm chops up, then I immediately missed having frets.

I've no idea who that guy is but when did miming shit become an "official playthrough"? The trend fucking sucks. :noway:
Playthroughs and Lyric vids are the new Music Videos, 1 minute shreds are the new songs, and the bedroom is the new stage.

Yeah it sucks. :(
 
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