4 BASSic fretless questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by APOD, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. APOD


    Oct 1, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I am GASing for a fretless 5, I currently have a Lakland 55-02.

    Thinking about: USA Cirrus 5 or anotherLakland and I need your opinions.

    1. Cirruses I've seen have Pau Ferro boards. How do they compare to ebony?

    2. Do the Skyline Laklands have ebony or rosewood fingerboards? can't tell from thier website.

    3. If Lakland recommended... which?

    4. Ebony best or something else equivent or as good?

  2. steve4765630


    Feb 27, 2006
    I'm not sure what those companies use for fingerboards, but whatever they use I'm sure will hold up very well. Maple, Rosewood, Ebony, Cocobolo, Pau Ferro, Wenge, Purpleheart, Bloodwood and Pink Ivorywood are all acceptable fretless woods. My prupleheart fingerboard has held up amazingly well over 8 years of roundwounds. I've heard good things about all of these woods though. Rosewood tends to be a little softer than the others, but will still give you many years of playing before it should need a refinish.
  3. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Both ebony and pau ferro are very hard woods -- ideal for fretless basses. You want a wood that's really hard to make the bass "sing" right. I prefer ebony, but that's just me. Pau ferro is the hardest of the rosewoods, but ebony is harder still, IIRC.

    Skyline Laklands now come with ebony boards, IIRC. They used to come with rosewood boards, but I think Lakland switched back to ebony boards recently. You could PM Dale Cruse (djcruse), who runs the official Lakland website to find out for sure.

    All Lakland Skyline fretless basses have fretlines inlaid. Many folks new to fretless prefer having the lines, but some like the bare board look -- this is mostly a matter of personal opinion.

    As to sound, it really depends on what your looking for. Some people prefer the classic fretless Jazz sound, and the Skyline Joe Osborn is a great choice, still others like a warmer, modern tone like the 55-01 or 55-02, and others still like the woodiness of the hollowbody.

    I have a Godin A4 fretless that's a blast to play and has great tone, but it sounds nothing like a fretless Jazz bass, that's for sure. I saw a used ebony board Lakland hollowbody in a store once, but didn't play it for fear of GAS -- I'd just bought two new basses at the time, and I didn't think my wife would let me get it.
  4. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    mmm...rob allen is my current fave fretless.

    mac ebony board.

    plays like a dream, and the tone...oy.

    i have 7 clips if you ever need to hear.

  5. APOD


    Oct 1, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I'm a noobie that has played for a long time.... off and on for many years. I'm just getting back into playing regular... church, youth/adult christian, and almost anything else I can get an opportunity to do

    I love my 55-02 and the neck. So that's in part why I'm lookng for a 35" scale and similar neck.

    I'm not fixated on whether the finger board is lined or not, I think I can mange with either and both will take time to build anything close to a skill, but none-the-less...

    I was thinking about a JO5 fretless as a complement to the 55-02... then I briefly saw a used 55-94 unlined fretless go for a great price.. just wasn't quick enough... and I was hesitant to get another bass with the same electronics/PUPs... although the 55-94 is a step up from the 55-02

    How does the Godin A4 or the Rob Allen neck compare to the Laklands?

    as for the clips, fhodshon, how can I get your clips?