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Advice on an inexpensive, but good fretless bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phephron, Dec 8, 2013.


  1. phephron

    phephron Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    I am just a church playing bass guitar player. My main bass is a EBMM Sterling but I switch out with a G&L 2500 as well. I would love to learn fretless, but the fretless basses I see in the classified sections are all gorgeous, and in excess of $1000 - too expensive to experiment with for me.

    I would love some advice on a good playing (I love the Sterling neck, and the 1.5" width at the nut), and good sounding fretless that won't break the bank? I am thinking around $500? I am not much for buying and selling -I tend to become attached to instruments I buy. Also I live in the FL panhandle, and so Bass Central in Atlanta to even try some basses is a 6 hour drive...

    I would love any thoughtful advice, or help. Thanks.

    Paul
     
  2. roninrindra

    roninrindra

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Cort B4fl..nice mwaah sound & playability
     
  3. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tennessee
    This is a fairly frequent question, so you might go back and check previous threads. But I would say, Keep your eye on the classifieds here at TB. There are some great fretlesses currently being offered, and if you are willing to buy used, you can get a great instrument for around your price range.
     
  4. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    Check out a fretless 44-01 or a fretless Squier Vintage Modified bass....

    OR better yet....save up your money for a fretless 44-02 or 55-02...being a church player (P&W) you will appreciate the sound variability.....to whet your appetite, listen to this Lakland 44-94 (same electronics as a 44-02):

    http://lakland.com/video/videoplayer/videoplayer.htm

    I have 2 Lakie fretless basses and LOVE them both (44-60 and a double humbucker 55-94 semi-custom).

    I play almost exclusively P&W music and a good fretless fits in well at times...
     
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  6. zachoff

    zachoff

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boulder Suburbia, Colorado
    Squier VM Jazz fretless. Best playing $300 bass I've ever laid my hands on..
     
  7. No Coast Rider

    No Coast Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    I recently picked up a used Squier VM Jazz fretless at GC witha hard case for $150. I think it's sweet. Look for a good deal.
     
  8. Vcell

    Vcell

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
  9. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    The MIJ Jazzes have spectacular Jaco tone IMHO.

    Buy used would be a good idea but check the fingerboard for wear first.

    Have you considered a fretless ABG?

    Davo
     
  10. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Squier VM Jazz fretless would be my first recommendation, but Cort and ESP Ltd. also offer good options in the $500-and-under range.
     
  11. popgadget

    popgadget

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern, PA USA
    Disclosures:
    Authorized Greenboy Designs Builder, Scabbey Road
    There seems to be a batch of MIA fretless Jazz basses from the 90's with lined necks, (for some reason most seem to be black) that sell for way under $1000 used. Squires and MIM are less. There's a fretless Mustang on eBay now that's under $500.
     
  12. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    Queens
  13. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Look at Fender MIMs and Squier fretless basses, inexpensive and usually good players.

    Carvin makes a good fretless bass that is fairly inexpensive in the B40 and B50 lines, and they are customizable and still come in well under $1K.

    There are also the SX basses. You can pick up and inexpensive fretless from Rondo Music for less than $200 on up to about $600.

    There there is a host of used basses from just about any manufacturer.

    Plenty of choices and opportunities at inexpensive and good fretless basses.
     
  14. TN WOODMAN

    TN WOODMAN

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    Smyrna, Tennessee.
    For unlined , ESP LTD 214. 379 new .
     
  15. RickC

    RickC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
  16. Nephilymbass

    Nephilymbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Fayetteville Ft Bragg NC
    Mim fender jazz and ibanez GWB35. Both pretty are good fretless basses for the money. I personally wouldn't spend a ton of money on your first fretless. The used market for fretlesses is worse than for fretted when it comes to selling. So if you spend over a grand and don't stick with it its a big loss. I'd also recommend something with fret lines if possible at least for your first fretless. They really helped me stick with it.
     
  17. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    SX I believe, makes a cool looking violin fretless bass. I would bet it sounds ok. The Squier VM would be hard to pass up for the money. I won't play a lined neck but I'd say if you're just starting out on fretless it might be the way to go.
     
  18. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    Queens
    I briefly had that violin fretless. It sounded great. If I weren't terrible at fretless, I woulda kept it.

    The stock strings were pretty awful, but the thing came alive with labella Beatle bass flats.
     
  19. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Location:
    New Hope, Alabama
    ESP LTD B series

    [​IMG]

    Prices start around $380 for the 4 string model.
     
  20. ben23c

    ben23c

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Subbed...I've also been on the hunt for one. Vintage modified seems to be the way to go, though I already have a fretted jazz bass from that series. I'm hoping to get a sunburst one.
     
  21. therhodeo

    therhodeo

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Location:
    Owasso OK
    I've been looking for a mid range fretless and heres a few I've come up with.

    MTD Kingston Saratoga or Artist (used prices are good)
    Used Ibanez Gary Willis
    Ibanez SR370F
    Squier Vintage Modified (used prices are good enough you could put some rocking pickups in one)
     

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