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Any basses without knobs?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Xanaptabil, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. Xanaptabil


    Jul 18, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    Hey, my name is Ian.

    Anyway, do any luthiers make passive basses without knobs? My desire for this began when my Ibanez's pots went bad and I pulled them out. I just sent the pickups straight to the output jack.

    1. The tone improved substantially even through a cheap peavey.

    2. The bass looks great! It came with these gaudy chrome knobs on it's dark blue body and now it's just sleek as hell.

    It's a GSR200 fretless with barts.

    So my ideal bass is a soundgear, ebony fretless, dark wood body with natural finish, no knobs, black hardware.

    Anything even come close to this? Thanks.

    God I hate knobs.
  2. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Our own Stew McKinsey, 10 strings, no knobs:


    and I think any custom luthier would gladly make a passive instrument without tone controls, if that's what the customer wants.
  3. Xanaptabil


    Jul 18, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    Haha, that's funny as I like the minimalist approach.

    Dragonetti only needed three strings :)
  4. utopia_imminent


    Jun 19, 2004
    maybe you would like to have just one pot for volume control
  5. Carvin's Timothy B Schmit Signature bass is a JJ bass with only one knob, a volume control.
  6. JohnAEC


    Jul 22, 2005
    I had one once, (it was stolen in Northern California - reward for its return!).

    It was custom built, had a semi-hollow body, (ala Rickenbacker), of birdseye maple, 2 F-holes, a maple Fender Jazz bass neck glued solid into the body, (truss rod adjustment at the head), and 2 EMG pickups. When it was stolen, the brown pickups had been replaced with newer black ones. No controls at all, and the battery was replaced through the output jack panel on the bottom, (same place as Rickenbacker).

    These are the only images I could find of it, ('also gave up using picks)...

    BTW - I currently play a black Rickenbacker 4001.


    Attached Files:

  7. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004

    MMMMMMM! I love that idea!
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    From what I know of Stew, I'm sure he could kill just as well on two strings as 10. With the 10, he's got a lot more options, though.

    I believe he has other knob-free basses too.

    If you're going to go this way, you'd better make sure you're only about 3 feet away from your amp at any one time.

    I like having a tone control. I like having different colors for different songs.

    Most importantly, most of my basses have a place on the tone knob where they sound great...its usually somewhere in the middle, not at either end. If you get rid of your tone circuitry, you'd eliminate that option.
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Gary Willis' custom Ibenez basses used to have no knobs or switches (single PUP).
  10. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I've been talking to Stew, and i asked the same question. ALL of his main basses have no knobs. It's all in the fingers!

  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I would think that would be the one control you wouldn't want... since turning a volume control down on a passive instrument really degrades the tone (in my experience, and hearing many guitarist talk about it.... sorry :eek: . I would go with an 'on/off' switch as the only control if you wanted to go that way... you wouldn't degrade the signal, but would still have the ability to cut the sound on breaks, etc.
  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Ps.... that picture of the guy slapping on a fretless 9 string (or whatever) bass is very disturbing :help:
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    8 string, and howso disturbing?
  14. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    Anthony Jackson presentation model

  15. My fretless P is knobless and potless. Just the pickup straight back to the jack. I love the tone.

    The tone IS in the fingers!
  16. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    I was once told that Eddie Van Halen played his guitar with like one knob (not none, but close). He said that he started that style of as few knobs as possible, is that true?
  17. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Old joke... and not a very good one... sorry... I take it back.
  18. CopperheadLXXIX


    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    I know Matt has made at least a couple of his FBB Basses without any knobs/controls. He made a really amazing 8 string (doubled) fretless for me, though it certainly has no shortage of bells and whistles itself...
  19. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    What a beautiful instrument!!!


    Me want...
  20. This bass is making me want a 6 string!!!!