JB Fretless help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by P. Aaron, Jan 9, 2013.


  1. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    I have a Squier Indo-Jazz Bass. The Jaco-knock-off style. The body is agathis(?), with maple neck w/laminated ebony board. The pu's are Seymour Duncan (whatever they are).

    The bass has that fretless tone but there's this phaser-ish type sound that comes through...almost like there's an effect going. I play clean thru the amp, nothing added. The bass is playable...the setup is fine, action, intonation, etc.

    Currently, it has round-wound strings on it, standard gauge. It made the same phaser tones with flats.

    It mostly a nicely put together bass except the bridge, which is just a stamped plate with adjustable saddles but nothing special.

    Would a better bridge help? I am trying to bond with this thing but it sounds so processed. Would standard PU's improve its tone? My P-basses are so organic or just tone & no extras.

    Any one else have one of these that you improved upon?

    I am just trying to get a woody tone out of it...the only sound it doesn't produce.
     
  2. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I just bought the same bass a few weeks ago... Love it ! same sound you describe which i believe is the ebanol fingerboard material (almost a chorus effect right ?)
    I really like it though, sounds like an epoxy resin job... very Jaco

    I just dropped some fender original pups in because the SD's were not on spec (resistance) and the bridge pup was really quiet (volume) compared to the bridge pup...
    same chorus effect with the Fenders, which I expected and relieved it didn't go away...

    my other rosewood and gidgee wood fretless boards don't sound like that... look for a cheap rosewood fretless if that sound bothers you... it's in the fingerboard...

    EDIT: new bridge may make it worse if it's high mass ;)

    oh and in my experience, as a fretless dude... a p-bass fret-less or musicman has the most wood in the tone, I recently put a pair of bartolini 8CBP's in my Vantage (old early 80's MIJ) rosewood p-bass copy fretless and I fear a housefire with all the wood coming outta it ! MMMmmmmmmmwaaaaahhh
     
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    Thanks. This is helpful. Really trying to deaden things...sandpaper the board?

    I got the bass cheap so I am not above 'experimenting'.
     
  4. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I would say not...and from what I've read here on TB, sanding the board won't change the sound, just make it ugly and smooth out any rough spots...

    Ebanol is synthetic and supposed to be an ebony looking feeling replica thing... but it will always sound more like epoxy with roundwounds...

    the Flatwound guys should chime in here... pretty sure those will help you get a warmer sound, but not having put any on this bass of ours I can't comment on how it would sound...

    EDIT:if you don't have much $$$ I made a removable string mute out of stiff black foam (brother's xbox packing foam) and it works like a dream on the bridge, about 6mm square block, right up against the saddles (otherwise intonation issues)
    something like that will help get a more warm tone, think thumpy !
     
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  6. Immigrant

    Immigrant

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    West of Stumptown, USA
    It sounds like your pickups are either too high and magnetically impeding the string movement or too low and not receiving a "full" signal. I also think tapewounds + ebanol would be a nice combination.
     
  7. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    not to discount what Immigrant said, because it can make a big difference (fulness of sound etc.).... but to save you some frustration, I tried both the original SD designed pups and the Fender original set at all heights on this Squier VM fretless... that effect is there no matter what, it's the ebanol...

    On some basses and pickups you may that wavery/phasing/chorussy effect with some pickup heights, and magnetic influence...
    kinda like, to me some G&L basses sound really chorus-y right off the showroom floor...
     
  8. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey P.Aron.... just a further comment to my points... I took the VM fretless to rehersal for the first time since I put the new Fender original pickups in it (Fender Accessories 099-2123-000) and I have to say the sound of those pickups is thicker than i first realised compared to the stock duncan designed... and i tend to play bridge pickup only with some tone rolled off...
    I also play through Hartke speakers, and the top end as you may know has nowhere to hide with those, so the chorus type effect of this bass is further brought out...
    Mayb try a different pickup set if you want to try to get a deeper sound... again I think the only way to get a more woody sound like you are after is with a different fingerboard material... Is a different neck out of the question ?
     
  9. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    Thanks for the many thoughtful replies. Not above a different neck or PU's, strings (as they come off the Precision when they're about played out).

    The replies gives me a few things at low cost to experiment with so I'll start there.

    DREAMING: AM ST. Precision fretless...hubba hubba!
     
  10. Liam76

    Liam76

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    I agree about the fingerboard material attributing to it's sound. My Squire VM fretless with the ebanol fingerboard sounds nothing at all like my other fretless with an unfinished ebony wood fingerboard.

    I've had mine for 6 six years, and it's been strung with round-wounds, half-wounds, flats. It always had that sound that you described.

    The most interesting strings were the Fender Flats I tried. I loved the thump they produced, but there was so much tension from those strings that it practically turned the bass into an Archery bow.
     
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    The Archduchy of DuPont
    This combo might help out. When I was experimenting with different strings and sounds, I tried out a set of GHS tapewounds a little ways back. Since I like a more aggressive sound, they were a bit too mellow for my ear, so I didn't keep them on for very long.

    If nothing else, it'd probably be cheaper to change the strings and have the pickup height adjusted. Y'know, try to tweak what you've got to see if you can achieve your particular sound?

    P.S.: Anybody interested in a barely-used set of tapewounds? :D
     
  12. jperala

    jperala

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Location:
    Finland Espoo
    Same bass too, what i did.

    - new bridge
    - sand the fingerboard (lines are up)
    - and then good setup (by professional)

    Well my plays now like a dream, it is good as it can get :bassist:
     

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