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best fretless 4 string for under 500 dollar?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by poomwah, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    I have decided its time, I've been putting it off too long. I need a fretless.
    I want to try my best to stay under 500.
    I know there aren't a lot of choices for that.
    I don't like fender style. I'd love to have an esp but I don't want the bottom end model, and that just leaves the spalted maple. I love my B-4E, so I'm sure I'd like the esp, BUT, the spalted maple is where i have the problem. Since it will have to be ordered, I won't know what its going to look like until I get it, and every picture I've seen looks, as you would expect from a natural finish, DRASTICALLY different, from gorgeous to downright boring. Add to that, it has a rosewood fingerboard, and I'd rather have ebony. That makes me hesitant to get one of those.
    I would also like to have an epoxy finish on the fretboard, so I'm wondering if I'd be better off doing a fretless conversion, rather than buying the esp and having the neck epoxied.
    what would you guys suggest?
  2. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    thanks, I'm just not digging the body style
  3. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    I was going to say a Squier VM fretless...I have played 2-3 and was impressed by all of them!

    if you want something differnt with alot more variability, look for a used Lakland 44-01 fretless...they have style and sound great!!!
  4. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    a Lakland would make me happy :]
  5. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I've seen some used Warwick Corvette fretless 4s sell for around $550. That's slightly above your range, but they're super-solid, with a nice ebony board.
  6. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    +1 to the Corvette fretless. I have the five string and it is a great bass. Especially if you can find an older one with the wenge neck and bubinga body.
  7. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Dean Edge 4. Great bang for the buck. Used $200. New $400.
  8. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
  9. WilemT97


    Dec 26, 2011
    I got a used German Warwick Corvette Fretless for £355.
    Look for used..you never know what might pop up.
    I was looking for a whole year until I found that but I got a pretty sweet deal!!
  10. ^^Better answer, if you can hold off until you have more cash and a Lak or War comes along, you'd be alot more happier.
  11. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Cort makes a Curbow copy for $425 that plays very well.

  12. JohnnyB53


    Nov 1, 2009
    I have a USA G&L ASAT semihollow fretless, have had a Cort Artisan FB4FL, have a Squier VM and a recently acquired Guild Pilot Fretless.

    I got the Guild for $200, and if you can find one, this is easily the best fretless under $500 in the universe, no if's, and's, or but's.

    If you're talking new, by far my #1 choice is the Cort Artisan FB4FL. It is easily worth the extra money over a Squier VM in every aspect--comfort, balance, tonal range, playability, versatility.


    MIK Bartolini pickups, and on-board preamp with 3-band active EQ. You can make this thing sound like anything and the neck shape is as good as it gets, at least at this price. The neck is a maple/wenge laminate.
  13. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    thank you guys for opening up my options :]

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