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advice on a good fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lil'bass, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Ive got about £1000 to spend on a fretless. Im not sure what to get-i know i dont like the fender jazz cos i think the body is just too damn big! Im looking for one with the fret line markers (i know i know its lame) any advice on a good fretless i might not know about?
  2. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    you can get a plain Zon Sonus used on a good day for a little more than that.

    great sounding fretless.



  3. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    curbow basses by cort are very inexpensive(you could probably get two) and have very small bodies with a deep extended range cutaway.
    i was really surprised when engineering a session in the studio...
    i didn't know what it was and i just heard a great tone coming out of the monitors. really even mid and tight low b.
    i tried it out... great action, even respose(ugly, ugly red though.)
    really comfortable....and was told the owner paid 450. american w/out a case. no pretty boutique stuff, for sure...but good tone.
    and i think it might have had a bartolini in the sweet spot...but i can't swear on the bart. i don't know if cort is still liscenced to build 'em, but that was one great sounding and playing affordable instrument.
    good luck
  4. dabshire

    dabshire Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX

    Nothing lame about the lines.....

    (Hey Jaco had LINES) ;)
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    As does Gary Willis, who IMO are the two best fretless players so far.
  6. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    While I realize that you are in the UK, I recently bought a Stambaugh fretless four, custom made by Chris Stambaugh in New Hampshire, for $1400 (bolt on. His neck through price is $1600). Chris was delivering a bass to Amsterdam while building mine, so getting one to the UK shouldn't be a problem. Mine, by the way, is on Chris' site (stambaughdesigns.com) on the customer photos page (it's a figured black walnut top over norther ash with a Macassar ebony board and very subtle bubinga lines, about halfway down that page). Chris will craft the exact neck profile, nut width, radius, etc., that you want, and his "standard" woods include some very beautiful, figured and exotic choices. I can't say enough about him or the bass. I'm sure that would be within your price range, even with international shipping. By the way, I've owned unlined fretless basses before and while I don't rely on the lines (the bubinga is so subtle on the ebony that it's really hard to see even when you're looking for it), there is nothing wrong with having lines at all. My intonation is pretty good, but the lines help, especially for higher register playing and for nailing the notes in the studio.
  7. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Can I interest you in a killer 5-string? How about a Roscoe LG-3005 (roscoeguitars.com).
  8. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I'd have to echo nonsqtr's recommendation for the Roscoe.. Greatest fretless sound I've ever heard.
  9. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Actually, I sold a Roscoe LG-3000, then had my Stambaugh built, and I can say that I am very happy with the decision. I never thought I'd find anything that would beat the Roscoe (had to sell it due to financial circumstances), but the Stammie is right there in terms of tone, playability, feel, weight, the whole package (and actually feels a bit better to me--might be the feel of wood that the rubbed oil gives me that the gloss finish of the Roscoe didn't. Dunno.). I also went with a Jazz C profile neck on the Stambaugh, which to me is more comfortable than the Roscoe was (the Stammie is a little narrower at the nut as well). Again, those were all MY design choices which Chris accommodated (the Stambaugh is custom in every way, right down to the knobs). But they're both great basses and I cannot say anything but positive things about Keith Roscoe's work.
  10. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    F-bass. I've never played one, but I've heard them multiple times.. The "mwah" is dreamy.
  11. Thanks for your advice copycat, just been on the stambaugh website...looks great! Im definitely gonna start chasing one up tomorrow. What pickup configuration did you choose? Do you have any recommendations? (im after that Mick Karn tone) Im not too clued up on neck sizes, you chose a Jazz c, is that smaller than the average Fender jazz? Im a small player myself (hence the user name) so id prefer a thinner neck. Thanks again for your help....i'd never even heard of those basses and they look perfect for what im looking for!
  12. Pedulla makes really nice fretless basses, and most of them have lines. the Buzz model is pretty big, so it may not be what you're looking for, but the Thunderbass, and Thunderbolt are much smaller.
  13. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    any wal fretless out in your neck of the woods?
    I second the f-bass. KILLER fretless tone. :)
    Keep the Funk Alive!!!
    BTW, played through any Orange as of late?

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