Bass Review: MTD Kingston Fretless 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tonedeaf, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. tonedeaf

    tonedeaf Supporting Member

    I bought this bass from a fellow TBer about 6 weeks ago. I've been 'shedding with it at home ever since I got it, and last night I used it in a band setting for the first time. This thing rocks!

    I was playing sort of "power pop" (kind of crappy music from a personal taste standpoint, but you take what you can get, right?), and the Kingston fit right in.

    I was a little concerned about using fretless in hard-ish rock situation, but I'm not now. When you dig in and play aggressively it kind of has a chorus/overdrive/fuzz feel thanks to the interplay between the strings and the fretboard. (Maybe this is the "mwah factor?" This is my first fretless. I've always associated mwah with slides.) Add in the mwah on slides and the killer beefy/growly tone and you've have one kick-a** bass!

    The guitarist, who I've been playing with for about 6 years now, said I should give up all my other basses and just play this one from now on.


    One slight concern; it came with roundwounds, but I've been considering a switch to tape wounds to ease up on the fingerboard chewing. Based on threads here, it will either be just as good or totally dead with tape wound strings, so I guess that's sort of a YMMV situation.
  2. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Flats will definitely be different, no doubt about it.

    If you decide to go for the flats, I highly recommend the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz flats. Not nearly as dead-sounding as other flats I've played. Nice strings, albeit pricey.

    You can make up for the difference in tone somewhat by altering the way you EQ.
  3. tonedeaf

    tonedeaf Supporting Member

    Tape wounds strings aren't always flats, are they? I thought at least some of them were roundwounds wrapped with nylon tape.
  4. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Tapewounds and flatwounds are different. There also are "ground wounds" which are sort of flattened roundwounds. I'm not too sure about tapewounds, but I think they sound pretty dark and dead.

    The T-Is have a sort of a ground-wound feel to them, especially the fatter strings.

    I'm no expert here. I bought the T-Is based on positive reviews, and I like them. That's pretty much all I know.
  5. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    I asked Michael Tobias about continuing to use his stainless rounds on the Kingston fretless, and he told me that ebonol is twice as hard as ebony, and while the strings might mark the board, they wouldn't eat into it. If you want to experiment with other strings, DR Sunbeams are nickel plated steels and are very smooth. DR specifically recommends them for fretless. They're less abrasive than stainless but a bit brighter than pressurewounds,IMO. Both the MTD strings and the DR Sunbeams are available on if you have difficulty finding them locally.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Just use the strings you like best and don't worry about the fretboard!
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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