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A Promising MTD 535 Fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boogiebass, Nov 14, 2003.


  1. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Got this one in a trade with TB'er Thumper (thanx Leo!).

    Positive initial impressions. Light, easy-playing and tone for days. Looking forward to gigging it with my jazz trio in a few days and will post impressions after I've spent the evening on the job with it.

    [​IMG]
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  2. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Thanks, man. Yeah, I'm sorta a sucker for solid ash! Nice clarity of tone.
     
  3. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Sweet Zon, bro.
     
  4. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    A five string? I thought you were sticking with six string+ ?
     
  5. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    I'm an unpredictable rascal, ain't I? ;)

    Just got a hankerin' for an MTD fiver. Who knows why? Got a fretted one, too. I'll post a thread on that later...
     
  6. By-Tor

    By-Tor

    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    That is indeed a sweet bass.
    Congrats.
     
  7. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    That looks familiar! I believe that bass was mine originally - built in July 2000. I played it for about 1-1/2 years, and the sold it for a F-Bass fretless. I hope you enjoy it!

    Jim D
     
  8. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Cool, Jim! Well, thanks for taking good care of it. :cool:
     
  9. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Gracias. I think I'm gonna like it. ;)
     
  10. mjw

    mjw

    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Sweet axe, man!

    I've got a fretted 535 and have wanted a fretless for a long time, but haven't had the patience (or $$$!) to get one. If you ever get tired of it and want to donate it to "charity"....... :)
     
  11. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    I'll keep ya in mind! ;)
     
  12. WinterBass

    WinterBass

    May 19, 2002
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Endorsing Artist: MTD
    You are going to love that bass. The MTD fretless basses are very responsive. I just picked up my 535 a few weeks ago.

    My Fretless
     
  13. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    Hey Carl, glad it got to you in good shape. Yes, it was Jim's, traded a Roscoe to him for it, and ironically a Roscoe from you for it.

    IMO it does have supreme tone, and in typical MTD fashion, very unforgiving :D Crystal clear, you'll have to be very aware of your muting technique. The only thing that kept it from being my #1 was the slightly assymetrical neck, I just never could get comfortable with it.

    I played the Roscoe SKB 3006 some at practice last nite, surprisingly easy for a 1st time 6er (BTW, the action is just as I like mine), and those side LEDs could become addictive. I didn't feel any serious weight issues, must be the good balance and Comfort Strapp. I think the 6 could be a very good training tool, when I strapped on the Elrick 5er afterwards, it was like cruise control.

    Great transaction for both of us. Now if I could just talk you out of that Elrick :p
     
  14. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Cool, Leo! I agree it was a win/win trade. Hope the Roscoe serves you well.

    I'm keepin' the Elrick for now! ;)
     
  15. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Thanks! I'm already starting to dig it. Can't wait to get it on a gig. Yours looks killer, congrats.
     
  16. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    UPDATE
    ------

    Got a couple of hours with this bass last night with my jazz trio. Not a full workout but enough to draw some initial conclusions, as follows:

    PLAYABILITY
    -----------

    This bass is as comfortable and ergonomically well-designed as any I've run across to date. The neck is fast and easy to get around on. Perhaps most importantly, the whole instrument is well-balanced and on the lightweight side. It hangs perfectly on a strap and is very comfortable under the right arm (intelligently conceived contours on the body). The contour on the back snugs up well to the belly, too. In all, a definite top-notch rating. A+

    TONE
    ----

    Warm and versatile. Excellent mwah with an open top-end. The bottom is surprisingly fat (this one is a somewhat unusual wood combination, according to MT---solid ash body with ebony board on maple neck) and the warm tone is further enhanced by Elixir Nanoweb strings. This bass really suits a small jazz guitar trio very well. I was able to get an excellent upgright-ish sound with the neck pickup soloed, bass boosted and upper mids cut. I also got pretty close to Jaco-land with the soloed bridge pickup and some treble boost. This is not the best fretless I've encountered in terms of sound but it's certainly in the top 5. A solid rating. A.

    STACKED UP AGAINST OTHER FRETLESS BASSES

    * This bass is lighter and easier to play than the Fodera Sixer I recently sold back to Jared. But it doesn't have the punch or overall tonal range.

    * My fretless reference, the Hanewinckel Nimbus Pro 6, is just as easy (if not easier!) to play than this MTD and the sound is wider ranging and more balanced. So this one ranks number 3.

    * On the other hand, I like this better in just about every category than the Roscoe SKB3006 I recently sold. While that Roscoe had one killer sound (solo bridge pup) it did not offer great playability and its overall sonic character was rather thick.


    CONCLUSION
    ----------

    This is a very fine, high-end fretless bass. I can see it accompanying me on many more gigs!

    By the way, I ran through my EA Iamp600 and Bergantino HT112 last night. Small room, low-volume with drums and guitar.

    LATE ADDITIONS/CLARIFICATION:

    Upon re-reading this thread, I guess the original owner was Jim.

    Also, the Roscoe fretless I refer to above was NOT the Roscoe I traded Leo for this bass. Leo got a very fine fretted SKB3006 with LED's.
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
  18. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Thanks, man.
     
  19. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Nice bass. Congratulations and good luck. I have a 4 string fretless with a ash body on it's way. Mike said another 2 weeks or so. I was interested to note that the bass didn't have the usual signature or serial number scribed on the back of the headstock in Mike's hand. Possibly just the pic.

    Before you rate the tone on this bass, give it a few weeks. As Thumper states
    . These basses take a while for the player to find their "voice". Check back in a few weeks after you find that unique voice between you and the instrument.

    Mike
     
  20. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    It appears that someone did, indeed, wipe out the writing and Buzz stamp on the back of the neck. Leo stated that he didn't so perhaps Jim? You can still see the indentation of the serial number, signature, etc.


    I'm actually quite accustomed to high-end basses, especially as it regards clarity. I'm sure spending some time with this bass, however, will allow me to discover various tonal options. I'm also not really looking for my "voice," per se, on this bass. I've already found that with my Hanewinckel. But this is certainly a nice bass and will likely stay in my arsenal for a while... or at least for the near future.