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High-End Fretless Acoustic Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lobaw, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Lobaw

    Lobaw Supporting Member

    May 14, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I've been on the hunt for a high-end, 4 string, large body, fretless acoustic bass that has a very upright sound. I've seen a lot of threads discussing different basses, but nothing about what's currently available in this market range, short of going to a boutique builder for a one-off. I've tried the usual basses: Rob Allen, Rick Turner, etc. and they all sound great, but they're not what I'm looking for.

    So, I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction for a production bass with these qualities.

  2. Full acoustic or semi-acoustic?
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I think the Rob Allen's will get you the closest. The only other I can think of is the one that Alain Caron uses (I can't remember the make of it though).
  4. Lobaw

    Lobaw Supporting Member

    May 14, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    What I had in mind was a large body acoustic. I guess it would be a full acoustic, with a piezo of some kind.

    I was under the impression that there were several production basses that had these qualities, but fewer are being made today. I'm just running into a dead end locating anything other than the boutique basses - which, of course are very nice.

    Here's one bass that I like quite well, but it is a one-off:


    Check out the video located second from the bottom on Ralf Gauck's artist page. I know that it's a one-off, and if I ultimately need to go in that direction, I'm hopeful that I can find a builder closer to Seattle.

    Thanks, again, for the help.
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. OtisRocks


    Oct 28, 2009
  7. While ABGs aren't quite my thing, if I were to get one, I'd probably hit up KR Guitars. He's hasn't built an ABG yet, but has built acoustics and basses.

    I got this about two weeks ago. Well, I guess it's almost a bass since it's a 27-25" scale tuned low B to high E. I'm currently working out the logistics of a 28.6" scale 12 string tuned B-B that I can easily capo the 5th fret.



    Regardless of maker, I highly recommend a forearm bevel for comfort. I really dig the B-Band pre with the UST (piezo) and AST (soundboard pickup).
  8. chunkstyle


    Nov 14, 2003
    Bill Laswell's most recent record is solo acoustic bass (for the most part) and he gets great tone out of a Warwick Alien. Check it out.
  9. Lobaw

    Lobaw Supporting Member

    May 14, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for all of the responses. They were very helpful in finding other posts and threads I missed, when I posted this thread. And there are some really nice acoustic basses out there. I guess the take home message is that I'll need to have a bass built, unless I can find one of the older high quality production basses.
  10. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Also, Taylor used to
    Make a big body bass that had the similar offset sound hole.
  11. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    I've seen a Ribbecke Halfling bass for sale. Also some Fylde ABGs, though I think all of them had frets.

    Vinny Colletti has a very nice looking fretless archtop bass for sale with a big body, but it does have a magnetic pickup at the end of the fingerboard so I'm not sure how much it's meant to be used acoustically. A few months ago I asked him about this - he has one in stock and was willing to cut quite a deal on it.
  12. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
  13. mfbolton

    mfbolton Owner @ MFB Music and Notlob Devices Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 30, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    Owner - MFB Music & Notlob Devices
  14. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
  15. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    This has a very "upright" sound:

  16. + a million, if you want an upright sound just get yourself an upright. No ABG will sound like an DB. Not only does the DB push more air; the scale length and the playing technique also contribute to the distinctive sound.....
  17. Kickass


    Jul 20, 2012
    Scottish Borders
    My home made bass sounds like a DB. Waiting to find a fretless neck to make a into one of these. Plenty of volume, small and a conversation piece.
  18. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum) Supporting Member

    Here is an interesting comparison of ABG's:
  19. lefty


    Sep 25, 2004
    +1 for the Azola Deco Bass. You would have to find one used. Steve isn't making basses anymore. Top notch basses.
  20. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
  21. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum) Supporting Member

    Wow! That Ribbecke is really sweet

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