Lo Rider

Builder: James


Was received as a Christmas gift. I wanted the 5-string fretless, specifically, and The Fretwire was the only place I found anywhere (online or other) that had a kit like this in-stock.

I had several specific questions about the pickups and the pickguard, couldn’t find an answer online, so I e-mailed customer support, and they were super-helpful in finding the answers.

Added two pocket holes to the back in order to make sure the neck joint was nice and tight.

For the paint job, I used Duplicolor Burnt Copper Metal Specks rattle cans, on top of some filler primer, and then sealed it all with twelve coats of Minwax clear gloss.

The neck/headstock just has a few coats of Minwax Wipe-on Poly. Wanted to keep the neck natural as possible. The Wipe-on Poly darkened the neck a shade, but not unnaturally.

I switched out the pickups and the bridge, and made a new pickguard (since the pickguard color that came with the kit didn’t work with the paint job). I also made the bridge a through-body bridge, which meant drilling five holes and installing ferrules on the back.

Switched out the potentiometers for Bournes, and made the tone knob a push-pull switch that switches the pickups from series to parallel.

Added a waterslide decal to the headstock. I knew I didn’t want a word or logo on the front, so I created this elephant logo. May start using this logo for all my future builds.

Really wanted the mellow feel, so I installed flatwound strings.

Overall, the bass sounds great! Plays great! Very fun to make! Highly recommended! Will buy from again! Thanks for a great kit and the support.

Link: Find the Fretless J Bass Guitar Kit here.






6 replies
  1. Michael J.
    Michael J. says:

    Gorgeous bass James!! Thank you for the detail explaining your build, (for me) it is interesting to read about the journey, along with seeing the end result. I especially love the elephant decal.. Keep it! (I collect elephants, I promise not to steel it 😉 Going fretless is a bold move, but I’m sure you will enjoy playing your new bass… you can check out my build from last year on this link: https://thefretwire.com/mj-5/ Looking forward to my next build.

    • James
      James says:

      Thanks! I live elephans, and knew I didn’t a word or anything on the headstock. Was very close to just leaving it blank, but found some elephant desigs online that inspired me to make this.
      Yeah, fretless is fun and scary. This isn’t replacing any of my current basses, and was never intended to. I knew I wanted something I could play every so often without breaking the bank on the build. Fun to experiment. Love your mj-5! Will you use the TruOil again, on another bass?


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *