HG Thor Epoxy Fretless Pricing:

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Estimates only, actual price may vary. Updated April 2 2020:

  • $435: Bolt-on factory fretless 4 string, neck only. Send entire bass w/ *setup: $475 
  • $485: Bolt-on fretted 4 string, neck only.  Entire bass w/ restring** & setup: $525
  • $510: Neck-through fretless 4 string with setup
  • $585: Neck-through fretted 4 string; with restring** and setup
  • $465: Bolt-on factory fretless 5 string  neck only. Send entire bass with setup:$510
  • $515: Bolt-on fretted 5 string neck only. Entire bass w/ restring** & setup: $565
  • $555: Neck-through fretless 5 string; with setup
  • $610: Neck-through fretted 5 string; with restring** and setup
  • $505: Bolt-on factory fretless 6 string neck only. Send entire bass with setup: $555
  • $555: Bolt-on fretted 6 string neck only. Entire bass with restring** & setup: $605
  • $595: Neck-through fretless 6 string; with setup
  • $645: Neck-through fretted 6 string; with restring** and setup
  • $600: Acoustic Bass fretted 4 string
  • $575: Acoustic Classical guitar fretted 6 string
  • Sky is the limit on a 7 string and higher :-) email for estimate.
  • Removal of fingerboard coatings: $60 and up.
  • CLASSIC THICK COAT (CTC) (yes, just like Jaco's) is available for an extra charge of $250+. Bolt-on necks only at this time.
  • BARE BACK NECK (BBN) -finish removal from back of neck with hard oil coating: $160 and up.
  • Adding fretlines to a factory fretless unlined bolt-on neck 34" or 30" scales: $150 and up.
  • Factory installed binding on fretted necks require special handling when converting to fretless: Add $70. (Please see the side marker mod for binding on the Fretlines page.)
  • 24 frets add $50. 
  • "Compound Radius" necks (two different curvatures between the start and end of the fingerboard) must be reshaped to only one radius. Also the fingerboard must be level (straight) when at rest for best setup adjustment. Any releveling or shape changes to the fingerboard will add a range of $50 - $100.
  • Electric guitar fretted 6 string: pricing similar to 4 string basses. Sustain is superior with epoxy than on bare wood, but typically less than a bass esp. on the plain strings due to their lack of mass. Some players use a "Feedbacker" pedal or Sustainer pickups. See and hear an example done on an Epi Casino.
  • Many options including new bridges, pickups, preamps, hardware, routing for pickups or battery holder(s) etc are all available. We carry many major brands. 
  • EXPEDITED (NEW!): Add $250. Immediate acceptance of instrument regardless of queue position, limited by number of Expedited customers in queue and workload conditions. Bench time will be divided fairly among non-Expedited and Expedited.
  • PAYMENT methods may include check and PayPal, expected at time of completion as detailed in an emailed summary/billing. A $200 min. deposit required for all orders.

*A setup includes restringing, intonation, truss rod, saddle height, pickup height, lube tuners and saddles, clean electronics and check for loose parts. Electronic rework and customization is available.

** Strings extra! We stock major brands. You are welcome to supply your own.

NOTE: PRICING SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME. EACH NECK REQUIRES AN EVALUTATION AND ANY CHARGES WILL BE AGREED TO BEFORE WORK BEGINS. 

HOW IS THIS EPOXY DONE AND WHAT BRAND DO I USE? I get asked this often. It is very easy to badly damage a bass with both tooling and epoxy, and working with chemicals can be dangerous to your health. Either of those issues are very good reasons to distance myself from any responsibility that may result from offering advice. There are a number of processes and unusual pricey tooling that are employed that would challenge an experienced luthier let alone a do-it-yourself-er, and it has taken me many years to perfect this process. 

How to buy

Special Notes :

  • An unstrung neck with no truss rod tension should be fairly straight. I can level out necks to a certain degree. Check to see if there is any twist along the length.
  • Some lighter colored woods (such as maple), as well as poorly refretted necks, may show some fret tang discoloration. The wood is compressed in those areas and tends to reflect light a little differently.
  • Synthetic fretboards may have issues considered on an individual basis.
  • Normally the epoxy is finished to a highly polished uniform surface. Note the deep contrast the wood develops under epoxy:

     

    But it is possible to leave it in an unpolished state for those who would prefer a satin look:

    satin Note: Maintenance on the satin look will be to dull the surface with fine sandpaper between string changes. Normal use tends to polish the epoxy and thus create shiny spots. No additives are used in the epoxy to create this look.

  • Nuts: In order to surface the epoxy properly, the nut must be removed. Often groove mounted nuts (Fender style) will not release without breaking, and is even more difficult on already fretless basses because the nut material in the groove is so thin. Years of aging glue, use of the wrong glue, and finish may refuse to allow it to release despite my gentle coaxing. In my experience, BONE is the preferred material due to its tone, hardness, workability and good looks. I can install any nut utilizing time tested lutherie techniques and modern geometry. This service is around $44 for 4-strings, $55 for 5 strings, and $66+ for 6 or more strings. Graph Tech, Tusq, Delrin, plastic and Corian are also available if you wish. Any factory fretless nut that comes out whole can be reused with a shim under it to accomodate the higher epoxy. Here are samples of a new custom made bone nut in bleached and natural:

    bleached bone Natural bone nut

  • There may be minute micro craters visible on the finished surface due to tiny embedded bubbles. These are very small and may be seen only when closely examined. They will not affect playability or tone in any way. I do my best to eliminate them, but some seem to appear regardless.

  • Side markers can be installed. This example on white binding shows where the fretline is:




  • High quality hologram flake is applied over the last fret. Normally difficult to be seen without close examination in the light, but will reflect a rainbow of color. This is done to authenticate an original HG Thor epoxy finish (along with a signed invoice), and helps to verify it for warranty status. New for 2008: One dot signifies customer defret, two dots for a factory fretless and, three dots signify a full HG Thor conversion from fretted.

    holoflake ID        3 HoloDots

 

  • Those who prefer to make a bolder statement may opt for my custom holo Axe Logo. Bursts of coloration varies as the illumination angle changes. This will incur and extra charge to be determined. Best with fingerboard radii of 12" or flatter.


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  • Necks previously worked on may require additional labor.
  • Sales tax applies to New York State shipments. Return shipping extra.
  • Approximately three + weeks in-shop turn around.
  • Three year warranty for labor and materials to cover epoxy delamination under normal use.
  • Absolutely no refunds!

CLASSIC THICK COAT (CTC)

  • A thicker epoxy coat of approx. 3mm or 1/8" overall. Referred to as "Classic" because Jaco had his epoxy coating this way, and is also currently available on his signature bass tribute model. The added thinkness will thicken the neck slightly, and may require a bridge shim depending on the bass geometry. A complete setup will be done, including a new bone nut designed to accomodate the extra fingerboard thickness. Minimum extra charge is $250+. Polished to a gloss or unpolished for a more blurred satin look. Four and 5 string bolt-on necks only please. Neck re-radiused for a final 10" (or 12" on a 5 string) radius.

    CTC1

     

     

    HOW TO BUY THIS SERVICE:

    There is only one person here doing custom epoxy work- me! Due to the overwhelming response for this service, there is about a four year wait. Please give me your full contact info and I will happily add you to the list with no commitment on your part. Details may be discussed when contacting me to ensure your position on the list. Pricings are subject to change.
    Thanks so much for your patience!   -HG

    HG Thor Guitar Lab of Vestal, NY is a full service authorized service center for many major name brand musical instruments.

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