Custom Fretless Bass, Which Combination Should I Chose?
Hi everybody I decided to have my first custom bass and I'm really excited about it :hyper: I want a 5 string fretless (with high C string not low B) and I really like aggressive growling mid frequencies for fretless basses like pedulla buzz. However I also like warwick's fretless basses which sounds deeper especially thumb and dolphins so basically I want something in between and I decided to use these wood combinations my luthier said these are ok but I also wanted to ask it here because there are lots of experienced and wise people in the forum and your opinions mean a lot to me:
-Neck Thru Wenge Neck with 2 thin maple stripes (total of 5 pieces)
-Maple Body Wings
-Delano JSBC 5 HE (Actually I liked Nonstrand Big Singles too I'm not very shure which one that I should choose)
So is this a good combination and is it matchs the sound that I tried to describe (I know it is hard to describe a sound but I tried my best :) )
The Delanos seem like a great way to get in the middle of the pedulla/warwick chasm. I'm a huge fan of Bartolini for f-less tone, especially the slim humbuckers they have in their Classic Series. They're extremely versatile (especially if you put in active electronics, say a Bart/Aguilar pre?), and should (just speculation here) be able to completely bridge the gap between Pedulla buzz and Warwick tone, even directly emulating them.
I'm not an expert on woods for electrics, but I can tell you that there is a reason that 90% of uprights use ebony for the fingerboard! ;) good choice there!
Actually I changed this combination a little bit. First, I decided to go with a full wenge neck because maple and wenge have different feels and I don't want to laminate them. I also added two pieces of quilted maple top to maple wings(unfinished) and I think this will be quite gorgeous with neck thru wenge. I changed the string spacing at bridge to 15mm I'm a 6 string player and I love very narrow string spacing. This bass' neck dimensions will be nearly the same with a 19mm spacing 4 string bass. Finally I changed the pickups to EMG-35J. I'm a big fan of EMG and I saw some fretless bass players with EMG-J pickups they have very strong mids and enough bass for a fretless so with the last advancemets:
-Neck Thru Wenge Neck
-Maple Body Wings with Quilted Maple Top
-EMG-35J x2 (I know they are not suitable for most 5 string basses but I'll have 15mm string spacing)
If you want a 'pentabuzz' type tone, you really need an epoxy coated board like the Pedullas have.
Actually I want something between pentabuzz and warwick thumb pentabuzz is amazing but it's a little too glassy. I want a more woody sound like warwick thumb but I think I can add some presence to it so I tried to use maple body instead of bubinga (pedulla buzz also have a beautiful maple body). I suppose EMG-J pickups will help me to find a more aggressive more punchy tone with increasing presence. By the way what does epoxy do I didn't know that they coat their boards with epoxy.
The epoxy is a coating on the fingerboard. It acts as a shield against string wear on the fingerboard, and colors the sound. The "woody" tone from the Warwick, Fender, and most other fretless basses comes from the direct contact on the wood of the neck. If you've heard Jaco Pastorius play, then you know he gets that same buzzy tone as Pedulla does on their buzz basses. That's because he modded his Fender Jazz by taking the frets off and coating the fingerboard in epoxy.
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