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Best Custom fretless 6 String, In your Opinion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dirty Road Cola, Sep 23, 2000.


  1. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    I'm gonna get a job soon, so I can fund another bass buy :). I've been looking at custom basses, and even production 6 strings. So, here comes the question, which one do you guys reccomend? Also, I don't like thick necks, but a deep neck (IE: Warwick) is okay.

    The style of music I play Is Alternative Rock, stuff like Primus and RHCP, and a little bit of Jaco. And, Yes, I slap, I like the sound of slapping on a fretless, so don't hound me about that ;)

    Enlighten me, guys :)
    -Neal
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Are you willing to pay 5 grand?
    The best fretless basses I've played all come from German bass companies and probably are in that price range in the U.S. - when you can get them at all...

    And it's almost impossible to recommend anything when I don't know you and your preferences well enough...
    Just shop around and play as many basses as you can - you have to make the choice. Try to find a bass you like - or if not, find a luthier to build one for you. But it's something you have to sort out for yourself. What one guy loves may suck for you...
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  4. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    DRC -

    Speaking from my personal experience, the best I've played is the one I've got: a Guitar Factory 6. It wasn't even originally built to be a fretless, but de-fretting it really brought it to life (it was amazing before that, but WOW). All their basses are custom made to order, so whatever you're desiring (well, they don't do the crazy stuff like JT's melted top basses): woods, electronics/pickups, hardware, string spacing, inlay work, etc - they can make it happen.

    To give you an idea what their stuff is like, they started out working in the original Tobias shop back in 1972, so their basses are like a REAL (i.e. non-suck-Gibson) Tobias, only modernized.

    One thing to consider when buying a custom made (a REAL custom, not a quote-unquote "custom" like Carvin), is that until you order it, they (whomever you decide on) will not have glued the first board. Be prepared to wait a while, some places are as much as a year from placing an order to delivering a bass (the GF is usually under 6 months, but more than worth the wait).

    I need to get a picture of my basses online, but am having some difficulty with my camera :)rolleyes: ), and haven't managed yet. But, they're very beautiful basses, to say the least. Both of mine are 34" scale length necks made of a maple/wenge/maple/wenge/maple laminate (neck thru of course) with 2 truss rods (something I heartily believe is essential to a 6), body wings are soft maple with flame koa tops and are semi-hollow. The headstocks are matching koa veneers, bridges are now discontinued :( Kahlers, pickups are EMG DC's with the EMG BQC eq, both have the flush mounted Dunlop straplocks with the horn button on the back of the horn. The only differences between the two are that the fretted has ultralight Sperzel locking tuners, all black hardware, no inlays on the fingerboard, and 3/4" spacing at the bridge; the fretless has standard Schaller tuners, chrome hardware, abalone dot markers on the fingerboard, and 11/16" string spacing.

    They both have absolutely THUNDEROUS B strings, proving to me that a 35" scale length is not absolutely necessary to a good B. I can slap the open B on either with the same attack as my E, and get a good tone. There are very few other basses that I've had that experience with.

    They have a website, but it's not as fancy as most, as they're a small shop and too busy to mess with it themselves, and can't really afford to pay someone to do it for them. There are some pics of their guitars, none of the basses :(. Here's the url: http://home.sprynet.com/~murf01/gftop.htm. Check 'em out.
     
  5. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    Thats great, JMX, because I was thinking of getting a Carl Thompson, but I know he's stacked for work so it'd be 1-2 odd years before I'd even get to play it, and probably 1-2 years to get all the moolah.

    Gard, it sounds great, but the URL doesn't seem to work for me :(
    Also, Gard, how much did that set you back?

    Thanks alot for the replies, guys!
     
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  7. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    Hahaha! This is great, guitar factory is a few miles from my house, so I could maybe try out one of their basses. Thanks Gard and JMX!

    -Neal
     
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    <center>[​IMG];[​IMG];[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    Wow, those things look great! JMX, would you by chance know what the neck width on the 6 string at the nut is?

    Thanks,
    Neal
     
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    String-Spacing 4-String Nut:____32mm (1.26")
    Bridge:_ 60mm (2,36")
    5-String Nut:____40mm (1.57")
    Bridge:_ 72mm (2,84")
    6-String Nut:____45mm (1.57")
    Bridge:_ 90mm (2,84")
    7-String Nut:____mm (")
    Bridge:_ 99mm (3,89")
    Left-handed basses no extra charge _
    Current build time 8 months
     
  12. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Neal/DRC -

    Cool, you're in Orlando? Definitely stop in and say hi to Bill and Doug! Hopefully they'll have one or two examples of their stuff for you to check out. They're great guys, extremely knowlegeable and helpful, and their prices are VERY reasonable for the work you're getting. I got my last bass from them for ~$2K, but that was 4 years ago, so it may be a bit more expensive, plus the options you choose will affect price as well.

    Something to consider, if you're in the Orlando area is this: the guys that built your bass (if you bought a GF that is) are just around the corner if you have any problems (you won't) or questions. Not to knock JMX's suggestion, but if you get a German made bass and there's something that requires factory service....well......the factory is in GERMANY, not a "couple miles away". Bill and Doug are also the best repair/setup guys I've EVER found. Period. If you're in Central FL, no matter what you're using, don't take it anywhere else for work. I bring stuff to them from Baton Rouge, that's how good they are!

    Speaking of which, I may be in Orlando soon (I have family there, and used to live there....boy do I miss it), and if they don't have a bass for you to check out at GF, I'd be happy to let you "paw" one or both of mine :).

    Oh yeah, and JMX, thanks for straightening out my mistake with that link...I'm a doofus sometimes :rolleyes:

    [Edited by Gard on 09-24-2000 at 12:10 PM]
     
  13. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    Good point about the whole Germany thing, I failed to remember that part in my pipe dream :) Only problem is, I'm going directly from 4 strings to 6 strings, so I'll feel like an oaf when I first begin to play it :) And I'm only 16, so I was just wondering because I'd be in the market for one in about 2-3 years possibly.

    Cool, Gard, I'll have to drop by Guitar Factory next Saturday or somethin'.

    Thanks,
    Neal
     
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Gard, of course you're right about the service part. I posted all the stuff only for inspiration purposes. I just want to show that there are other fishes in the pond, too. And it's the same over here with all those american high-end brands...
     
  15. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    JMX -

    I hope you didn't think I was "dissing" German or any other countries basses, nothing could be further from the truth. I've played some incredible basses from over there, Marleaux for example. And inspiration is a wonderful thing, those look like incredible basses :D!!!

    DRC -

    If you stop in the GF, tell 'em I said hey, and hope to see them soon. Take into account Saturday is NOT a good day to stop in, they're usually BURIED on that day. If you can wrangle a week day, you're more likely to get some attention. Let me know what you think....