32" Fretless under $2000?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BaileyMan, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. BaileyMan


    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Talkbass brain trust...

    Other than Warmoth, are there any 32" scale fretless basses, new or used, under $2000?

    Warwick has one, never played Warwick though. I'd consider it if I could get my hands on one.

    Serek has some, but out of my price range and not many on the used market.

    Rob Allen, if I got really really lucky. May even consider selling my most prizzed bass for it.

    Are there any medium scale Japanese fender fretlesses out there? What else is out there?
    Mikegb likes this.
  2. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Hmm.. Warmoth comes to mind first. Pretty sure you can pair 32" neck and body with them. Easy to build, pick your finish, pickups, etc.

    Otherwise, you could find a 32" scale bass you like and have it defretted. My Yamaha MB was 350. Bordwell was 2k. Used prices obviously.

    Others will probably know more production options.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    Max Bogosity likes this.
  3. 80jazz


    Jun 28, 2008
    Maruszczyk may be worth a look.
    gln1955 likes this.
  4. BaileyMan


    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Thanks for the recommendation!

    It would be great to find one used here in the States...

    The options for a custom build are pretty enticing, and not unreasonably spendy...more than I'm looking to spend, though.
  5. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Depending on your DIY skills, you should be able to find a modest priced (under $400) 32" scale bass and pull out the frets, fill in with Bondo or something. Make your own.

    I did that to an old Peavey T-20 one time. Of course, the T-20 is a 34" scale.
    JRA likes this.
  6. fretno


    May 10, 2009
    nonohmic likes this.
  7. fretno


    May 10, 2009
    yes this can be done , if I am able to do it at home on the kitchen table anyone can . But don't use bondo , use Maple veneer
    pry out
    keep going
    install with wood glue

    trim and radius block then I use Truoil and wax to finish it
  8. BaileyMan


    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Yeah. I've thought about that too. I am handy enough, and agree wood veneers would be the way to go. Thanks for the pics! Definitely the most cost friendly option...

    I may also end up going this route. I've priced Warmoth out, just wondering what else is out there. I read about many many folks who really like their Warmoth builds.
    comatosedragon and fretno like this.
  9. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Depends on how fancy you want to get. The Aria Pro II TSB-xxx Thor series are decent 32” scale basses.

    I have a lower end TSB-350 fretless that sounds and plays great. You can find them all (including the upper end models) for well under a grand.
  10. Koog

    Koog Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Central Iowa USA
    One of Andrew Drake's specialties is 32 inch scale basses. Welcome to Drake Custom Bass - Drake Custom Bass.

    His instruments are superb. I have owned, and still own several.

    I doubt you will be able to get a new build for under $2,000, but you might be able to find an earlier model used one in the $1,500, or so, range. Andrew usually knows if his builds are for resale. If you contact him, I'm sure he would be more than willing to help if he knows of something available. He's a great guy.

    Hope this is helpful

    Beej likes this.
  11. svlilioukalani

    svlilioukalani Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Seattle, Wa
    Check out Kisel Guitars. They can custom make you what. They used to be Carvin Guitars. They are well thought of here. My old Carven Bass is awesome.

    I have bought and sold an Alembic 32 inch fretless for $1400. $2000 is a lot of money. Be patient your bass will find you.
  12. theschnitt

    theschnitt Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    The new Squier Jag is 32". Easy to defret as an experiment.

    I have a Landing 32" P and it's a great, great instrument. Having Jimmy build one might be more than $2k, but I scored this one for much less used on Reverb.com .

    As others have said, if you have the luxury of time use it and try to be patient, the right one will get to you!
  13. steelbed45

    steelbed45 36 on Ignore Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Nolanville, TX
  14. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018

    Brady Muckelroy builds medium scale basses that are second to none. You can occasionally get his standard models used in your price range, but just two weeks ago he released the first few of his new HMC Pro series models, and they are and incredible bargain. No compromise in quality and entirely built by Brady (no outsourcing), just more affordable because they are built efficiently with pre-determined woods, etc. without frills or "options". You might actually be able to get a new one without going over your budget by more than a $100-200. Lot's of great suggestions in this thread already, and I have owned or played most of them (and many are top shelf instruments), but I would choose a Muck over any of them. Also, in addition to building amazing basses, Brady is as nice a guy as you could ever hope to deal with!

    P.S. -- If I was really on a tight budget, I would go with an old Aria Pro II medium scale (820mm/32.28" scale) Cardinal (CSB) or Thor Sound (TSB) series model. I have owned 4 or 5 of them and they all offered amazing value in basses that punch well above their weight class.
    saltydude and UpperBout like this.
  15. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    Excellent suggestion! I have had two of them and they were both great necks that worked well with every Precision or Jazz body I tried them on. I haven't had a fretless version yet, but I would love to get one.
  16. fretno


    May 10, 2009
    yeah me too . I have 2 Lowe 32's love'em
    canuckshort and BeeTL like this.
  17. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    thirded on the lowe neck. if you can afford it, muckleroy basses are great, too.
    BeeTL likes this.
  18. Not sure what your taste is like, you could probably get a Mensinger Cazpar for under 2k, even new based on some listings I've seen. Not sure what's available now.
  19. BaileyMan


    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Love the suggestions!

    I'll check all of these out for sure. I love the idea of tracking down an older Aria fretless. The TSB-650 from the late 70s early 80s would be great. Concentric volume/tone knobs, series/parallel switch for each pick up, brass nut, neck through. I'd want to check it out in person. Make sure the neck is in good shape.

    Muckelroy and Menzinger hadn't popped up in my searches. I look forward to checking those out. Drake's basses are great looking, and from all I've heard, he seems like a really great guy, someone I'd want to support, but yeah, new is a bit out of my price range. Honestly, $2k is too, but I'd be able to save and budget for it if I found just the right one. If I could find a 32" Alembic for under (or near) $2k, I'd pretty likely go for it.

    I know folks have also really liked the Lowe conversion necks. It wouldn't be too hard to put something together there, but for the price, I think I'd rather just do a Warmoth build.

    I did consider getting a 32" Squier Jag (or Ibanez Mezzo) and defretting it. I know that with patience, the right bass will find me. Sometimes it helps to put it out to the Universe.

    What else does the brain trust recommend?
    BeeTL and Jostein like this.
  20. fauxtoe

    fauxtoe Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Southern California
    I have to say, a lot of the suggestions so far are options I didn't even know were available. Great thread!

    Of course, I have to throw a plug out there for ACG. Alan can do any scale from 30.5 to 35" for no difference in price. I also think he's gone down to guitar scale length. The "Classic" level can be in your price range depending on the options - Classic Specification | AC Guitars Obviously there is shipping and import fees on top of the final cost, but you'd have some time to save it up.
    BaileyMan likes this.