Frustration, unfortunately (Fretless Jazz Bass)
Let me tell you my story. My first bass (and the one I learned to play with) is a Fender Jazz Bass Southern Cross (Made in Brazil). It was made in 1995 and in 2001 I had the fretboard replaced in order to become fretless. Then I learned how to play a fretless bass.
After sometime not playing bass, I decided to make a major improvement by modding it. After reading several pages of Talkbass, I made the sketch:
- replace the original tuners with Hipshot tuners;
- the bridge by a Fender bridge;
- the control panel by a Rothstein Guitars prewired assembly (the JSP model; http://www.guitar-mod.com/rg_pw_bass1_passive.html)
- the pickups I chose were Lindy Fralin's Split-Coil, with bridge pickup 5% overwound
- the strings I purchased were D'addarios Flatwound XL Chromes 0.40
Everything seemed perfect: high-end products would make the bass sound like a real good bass! The tone I had in mind was like the one we can hear in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWY8CCkESvI).
However, after picking it up from the luthier, I was a bit disappointed. The bass sounds thin and bright. It almost doesn't have the 'mwah'. I notice that the pickups were a great improvement (sustain, strength and sensitivity), but I still don't like how the bass sounds. Another video I've seen which has a great fretless tone is this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnnewhuLuj8). But I don't know if it's possible to compare, because this is a MusicMan.
That's it! I just wanted to know if someone can provide me some inputs, because right now I'm feeling like I threw out a lot of money. Thanks for the attention!
Is that aMM or G&L? Doesn't matter both Leo Fender designs. It's turf to match the MFD pickups. That's one of the reasons I play G&L 3 of them 2500 fretted frettles and 1990 SB1. Good luck!
from your description, it sounds like the pickups were wired out of phase. if you want more mwah, the string slots in the nut have to be lowered. both should be easy to fix.
Yep. Sounds like a wiring problem for the 'thinness' issue. Also, see the note about the lowered nut slots. I had a MIJ Jazz fretless and the slots were almost right down on the board. It also had a set of Lindy Fralins (wound to be '63's), and sounded as you would expect.
Thirding the suggestion to lower the nut slots.
What they said about nut slots and also you really have to let Chromes break in. Out of the box they are very bright for flats. The more you play them the more they "settle in". If you can't wait that long, try some darker flats. I'm no expert on which ones to try so maybe ask that question in the strings forum. Best of luck.
Although I have no fretless experience, I use chromes on all of my basses.
When I get a new set, they always sound bad at first but after they mellow out they sound really nice.
As Jamerson said: "The junk adds to the funk"
Thank you all for the inputs! I'll try to lower the nut slots and check the wiring. If anyone else has other insights, please be welcome!
Try Ken Smith Slick Round Strings, Medium Light or Light gauge.
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