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Buying a 6 string fretless, is there anything to look out for?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BrandenSteele, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. BrandenSteele

    BrandenSteele

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    What experiences do you guys have with fretless basses? Anything I should avoid? I know a truss rod is a must, but is there anything else that is necessary? Should it be a 35" scale?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

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    No special precaution on a 6 string FL over a fretted. Main thing is to be sure you can handle the neck.

    The Steve Bailey Warwick would be the first one I'd check out these days (my 6 string days are over because of the left hand) due to the asymmetrical neck profile. This can go a long ways towards making a wide neck comfortable.

    LS
  3. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist Supporting Member

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    Those two truss rod necks can be difficult for a 'do it yourself' guy to get correct. If you get one with a single truss rod, you might be better able to set it up yourself. The two rod basses might be arguably more stable though. Same as any 6'er, but something to consider.
  4. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ

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    The Steve Bailey model from Warwick is available both as a German made instrument, as well as an Artist (Proline) Series. Personally, I'm interested in the Artist Series model, as it is the more affordable option for me.
  5. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist Supporting Member

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    I think a used Carvin would likely offer the best value for your dollar
  6. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ

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    Branded, I noticed that your postings to date are 19. I'm wondering if perhaps you might be new to bass or maybe you've played already for awhile but only recently started posting on TalkBass.

    Did you have a rough budget in mind? We can give you all sorts of suggestions at varying price ranges. It would help us if we need to know what you're looking for.
  7. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

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    I'd verify if the non-German made model still has the asymmetrical neck. I think I looked at this a while back and couldn't tell if it did or not.

    I still have my Carvin Bunny 6 string FL and the only thing it really lacks is an asymmetrical neck. The 5 string model is available with it so it's a little bit of a shame that the 6 doesn't have it.

    LS
  8. bassyj

    bassyj

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    Just be sure it's a scale length that you're comfortable with. In my opinion a 34" scale bass can have a great sounding low b if its well made. I would also recommend having an active passive switch of some sort for more tonal options...
  9. mark beem

    mark beem Supporting Member

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    This!
  10. Randyt

    Randyt Supporting Member

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    Fbass would be my choice!!, although the Carvin is very good fo the money
  11. mp40smg

    mp40smg

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    For the sub 2k range. I think the best deals out there are the bongo 6 and. A Rick turner ren6 studio.
  12. BrandenSteele

    BrandenSteele

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    I am looking at this bass currently to test out seeing how I like them. Do you think this is gig quality? I like it, but I would put in some better pickups.
  13. RickC

    RickC Supporting Member

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    Looks nice, but the one thing that would turn me of is the 16mm bridge spacing. If that feels okay to you, then yes.

    /rick
  14. rtav

    rtav

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    A local guy had the Brice fretless six string for sale for $150. I caught it too late or I would've jumped on it myself. Looks like a good guitar but I have never played one.
  15. gre107

    gre107 Supporting Member

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    For a good fretless you need a straight and sturdy neck that can be adjusted well. Ebony or Ebonol (sp?) for the fret board would be preferred. An adjustable bridge is IMO a must. Static bridges just don't cut it. An adjustable nut would be great but not necessary. That's what makes Warwicks so appealing. Warwick, FBass, Zon and Pedulla (not in any order) make some of the best Six string basses. For scale length a 35" to me would be too much. A 34" would be fine.
    If I was going to get a six string fretless it would hands down be the Fbass though.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

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    Roscoe makes a heck of a fretless. Mine is a 5, but I have played a 6. Really nice.
  17. gre107

    gre107 Supporting Member

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    +1
  18. bassbenj

    bassbenj

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    Brice are pretty well made basses. But I'd actually play it before I started swapping out the pickups. People who own them mostly say that it's not the pickups but the electronics that are the weak spot. So If you got one, probably you'd have to think that one day you'll be putting in some better preamp (which probably will cost as much as the rest of the bass).

    For me I'm just not a fan of wide spacing on a 6er. And also let me say that I agree that ebony or ebanol for a fretless is most desirable for most tone styles which would include the Brice. Now, I've got a Jazz clone fretless with a rosewood fingerboard with flats that is great and I can see where rosewood would also be great for a fretless P-bass with flats. But if you want a brighter sound (or want to use rounds to get it) Rosewood just isn't the thing and it's softer and chews easier too.

    35" scale doesn't bother me on my fretted 6ers but on a fretless I think that just might cause me some trouble.
  19. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

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    I would definitely go used to try it out. Then again, I wouldn't go TO cheap as that won't give you a fair representation of how it feels/sounds/plays either.
  20. mp40smg

    mp40smg

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    I do not agree with this..

    Many Fretless Basses.. Carl Thompson, F Bass, Rick Turner and others do NOT have an adjustable bridge or adjustable nut and are considered by many the top of their class.


    Also, Ebony/ Ebonol are a matter of taste. There are plenty of great fretless out there with non ebo. boards Some prefer non ebony boards and some can't stand the thought of a plastic (ebonol board).


    It is all a matter of how well the bass is built and how good the set up is. And of course, personal preference..

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