Fretgroove is a unique system created by Marco Bass Guitars. Fretgroove technology is patented and thus only available from Marco Bass Guitars. Fretgroove is, in simple terms, a hybrid fretted/fretless fingerboard. The bass’ traditional frets are replaced with sunken channels or grooves that give the instrument the feel and tone of a fretless bass but with the precision of a fretted fingerboard. When you play inside the grooves you have the fretted precision and when you play between the grooves you have the fretless sound. It’s a revolutionary idea that brings the best of both worlds in a single instrument. Matched with Marco’s custom hand wound pickups, the Fretgroove bass goes beyond the fretted/fretless bass medium and creates a unique and artistically expressive instrument, with sounds ranging from mellow and woodsy to bright and growing tones, full of presence and depth.

Hand-wound Pickups

Marco’s pickups have a very distinctive sound that is perfectly balanced as generated by the pickup and therefore does not need, as other pickups in the market do, any preamp compensation to enhance the frequencies that the pickup does not reproduce well. Marco’s own design has made it possible to squeeze humbuckers in the size of a traditional single coil. But size is probably the less important part of the innovation. Much more important is that this design makes it possible to have two independent coils, thus making the pickup switchable to single coil to obtain increased versatility. Talking versatility, even more important is the fact that the design allows Marco to tailor the pickup response to fit whatever the instrument and the customer needs. But undoubtedly the most important characteristic of the pickup design is the outstanding sound quality that the pickups generate.

A little bit of chemistry…

Marco manufactures the sealers/primers from the basic chemicals himself (something he learned when he was working in Matsumoku years ago). He has developed his very own formulas to perfectly serve each purpose. The wood is preheated in a wood drying kiln before applying those products, in order to make the wood warm and open its pores. In this way, the protective products penetrate in the wood much deeper and the wood is protected for life. This process has the additional advantage of allowing thinner finishes that make the wood look much more natural. Marco has also developed his own formulas for the dyes used to color the wood. These are much more respectful to wood than the industrial products available on the market used by most other manufacturers. Protecting, coloring, and finishing techniques have all been further developed and perfected by Marco throughout his career in different factories. This is why when you see an instrument by Marco Bass Guitars you can immediately notice the difference and can see why they look like pieces of art.