1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TalkBass iphone/android app is NOT WORKING currently. We're working on it. Tapatalk IS working, so if you need to use an app, use Tapatalk. Try using your browser though - TalkBass is now 100% responsive to your phone/tablet screen size ;)

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

ESP LTD B-204SM Fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ClassicJazz, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Likes Received:
    1
    I needed an inexpensive fretless bass that I can keep in the closet for occasional use when the gig requires it. I had a very expensive fretless, but most of my gigs in the last number of years require frets. So I was feeling some what guilty keeping a $3k+ bass that was not getting used. So just sold it off....

    Keeping a $365 bass in the closet doesn't bother me as much! Well I have tried a number of these EPS basses (fretted versions) and I always was surprised on how well they were made and sounded. And, they look darn good with that spalted maple top! And under $400!

    So I figured what I have to lose.....so went ahead and ordered one.

    So curious if any one has played one of these puppies?

    [​IMG]
  2. famousbirds

    famousbirds

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice fretless. the fretted version in eithe spalted or burl maple has kinda interested me as nice step up from the dx154 series. Better necks mainly, 5peice instead of one peice.
  4. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Likes Received:
    1
    OK, got it a few days ago and I can't believe I only paid $365 for this bass! Bargain of the year!

    First, right out of the box the setup was perfect. Did not have to tweak a thing. After inspecting the bass, there is not a single flaw I can find with the construction and finish. I doubt you can slip a piece of paper in the neck pocket it is so tight!

    The body is three piece ash with a spalted maple top. The grain on the ash is nice and you can't really see the three piece looking at it straight on. Almost looks like one piece. The top is book matched spalted maple with a black accent layer separating it from the body. The top does not have allot of "spalt" to it. BUT....it has a really interesting grain that I like allot. So no complaints here! Also the top is carved, a very nice touch. The weight of the bass I would guess is no more than 9 lbs.

    The neck is 5-piece maple/rosewood with a fretless rosewood fretboard. The edges of the fretboard are slightly rolled off making it very comfy in the hand. The neck is quite thin. Not as thin as a Geddy Lee jazz, a tad thicker. The fretless rosewood fretboard has white lines. The fretboard might have a bit of finish on it, it has a nice shine to it. To top it off, the 2x2 head stock has a nice piece of spalted maple on it, also with the black accent layer. The bass comes strung with SIT round wound strings.

    The neck is held on by 6 (yes 6) bolts and has a very interesting shaped contoured heel (see photos).

    The pickups are standard ESP type (probably EMG clones) as well as the preamp. Controls are Vol, Blend, Bass+/-, Mid +/- and treble +/-. I was able to get very good workable tones from the bass. Certainly good enough for what I use it for.

    ESP has done a very nice job on this bass considering sub $400 price point. They are made in Indonesia and inspected in the USA. I would highly recommend this bass for anyone looking for a low cost fretless.

    Ok.....the photos

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (FYI, it does not come with strap locks. I put those on. My first mod!!)
  5. kjpollo

    kjpollo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMHO, the entire LTD "B" series is extremely underrated.
    I had a B404SM and I now REALLY wish I never sold it!

    They're definitely doing things the right way with them. The playability and fit & finish are excellent.
    The one thing I've noticed it that their spalted tops vary WILDLY in terms of spalting. I bought mine 3-4 years ago when they 1st came out. My local Sam Ash got 3 of them- I got the 1st one so the top on mine was amazing. The next one also had a great amount of spalt in it but the 3rd one?? Just a couple of small black streaks more or less in between the pickups and that was it. Barely able to be called spalted at all.

    But the basses themselves are great and I'll definitely get another one at some point. (maybe if the guy who bought mine ever decides to sell....)
  6. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Likes Received:
    3
    These have humbuckers, right?

    Cool bass. :)
  7. Josh Pelican

    Josh Pelican

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the six-string version (fretted) and it rules. Luckily, the body on mine is nicer than most of the ones I seen. The headstock on yours rules, though!

    I dropped an Audere Classic 4-band preamp in mind and it's the best modification I've ever done to a bass.
  8. famousbirds

    famousbirds

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, that is gorgeous. Thanks for following up on this! Can you upload some clips?
  9. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Likes Received:
    1
    Pretty sure they are. Doesn't say in the specs but they are quite enough.
  10. amaderasu

    amaderasu

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    They are humbuckers according to ESP
  11. mark beem

    mark beem Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    5
    Subscribed. Thinking of getting one of these.. I have an Ibanez GWB35 currently but I'm really wanting a fretless four banger.
  12. mark beem

    mark beem Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    5
    Just dropped the order for one today!
  13. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Brubaker Guitars
    I have been thinking of getting the 5 string version of this bass. The body seems to be a 3 piece ash.

Share This Page