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Best fretless for the buck!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Diego, Mar 24, 2006.


What would you do? which would you get?

Poll closed Mar 31, 2006.
  1. Matt Morgans gorgeous SKB3006 fretless (for sale)

    36.1%
  2. Yancey fretless 5er at the bass emporium

    6.9%
  3. Used Pedulla buzz

    23.6%
  4. Sell/trade my Pedulla Thunderbolt 4 and get any of the above

    4.2%
  5. Suggest another fretless

    33.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Diego

    Diego

    Dec 9, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    So I have started to think about getting a kicka$$ fretless and have been considering the options in the poll (its realy crude so far....that is I don't even know if I'll get this fretless anytime soon or not get ti at all). Anyway...I always appreciate and love to hear my fellow TBers valuable opinions and always kind advice!
     
  2. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Hard to beat Carvin's fretless offerings for the buck.
     
  3. Diego

    Diego

    Dec 9, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    How about:
    1. Craftsmanship
    2. Tone
    3. Components (wood + electronics)
    4. Playability
    5. Overall quality
     
  4. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    For Carvin, craftmanship is often cited as excellent, They use ebony boards as a default, Personally, I love their neck profiles. Some dislike their electronics as somewhat sterile but some like it as "uncolored", really depends on inividual tastes. I have a fretted carvin with the MM style humbucker in the bridge spot and it's great.
     
  5. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    for me it would be the roscoe.
     
  6. ElephantTalk

    ElephantTalk

    Jan 20, 2005
    Indy
    Yancey!

    I've got one. This bass plays like a dream.
    Top-notch craftsmanship. The electronics are great and offer loads of variety.
     
  7. Pruitt

    Pruitt

    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    For me, it would without question be the Roscoe. :bassist:
     
  8. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Roscoe
     
  9. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3

    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    EXACTLY why Carvins are a great choice, IMHO.

    There are so many good choices, though, and it makes a huge difference exactly what feels and sounds good to you. I'm not sure how much you are looking to spend, but I don't think you'll really get a lot of help from a thread like this. I think you've go to go out and play whatever you can get your hands on and decide that way.
     
  10. bassjigga

    bassjigga

    Aug 6, 2003
    ZON - best fretless in the business. If you're concerned about cost find a used one. :D
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Fender Japan JB62-77FL from the Ishibashi Fender website, here:
    http://www.ishibashi-music.com/fenderjp/
    then click on e-bass at the upper right, then look for model numbers on the left...

    at about $600 to your door, it's a great value for a great bass.
    Looks like a Fender custom shop Jaco re-issue...nice bass!
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    There's some big differences between the fretlesses you've posted. The Roscoe and Yancey are both 35", while the Pedulla is 34"- on a fretless, this has a bigger impact as you have to have a more precise stretch to reach the notes for proper intonation. Also, Pedulla Buzz' are almost always lined, while the Roscoe and Yancey are unlined. The Roscoe is also a six-string, while the Yancey is a five and a Buzz is a four-string (although they also come in Pentabuzz and Hexabuzz models).

    I wouldn't advise you on any of those until you know which of those factors you'd prefer, as they're pretty significant differences.
     
  13. +1 big time!

    I can deal with a 34" fretless - that's what both of mine have been.

    There's an Overwater fretless on Ebay that I'm literally drooling over right now, but haven't heard back on what scale it is. If it's a 35 or 36 (which isn't out of the question for Overwater), it would absolutely kill my hand and intonation. It's got lines on the ebony board, but I'm rarely looking at my fingers when playing. Right now, that's the only thing that's keeping me from bidding.
     
  14. Diego

    Diego

    Dec 9, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Bryan.-

    I understand the technicalities of these differences. I have never played a 35" scale fretless, so i can't see the advantages or disadvantages vs a 34" scale. I currently own a custom fretless 5er with a 34" scale, but it is not a very versatile bass. It is a very special custom job I constructed with a luthier friend of mine (actually this was a project for me to learn how to make a bass). i couldnt get rid of it. The things that come to mind are however:

    1. I don't gig, I mostly play for my own enjoyment...so a phenomenal low end is out of the picture
    2. I have considered a 34" or een 33" scale fretless (tenor 5) thinking that it may have a sweet crisp high/mid end with lots of mwah. Again I don't know the effect of the 35" scale on these factors...it may well be good.
    3. I have a 35" scale 6er. I personally believe that if the neck is well constructed and the profile is quite thin, there is no compromise on comfort on the fretting hand. For fretless I'd like a dead flat neck with wide radius or even without radius.
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    All things being equal, a 35" will give you a little more tension, which can mean a tighter B string. The Pedullas I've played all had great B string though, so that shouldn't be an issue. The deal with a 34" compared to a 35" fretless is that when holding down a fret, going to fret another note will be a bit more of a stretch.

    On a fretted bass, the difference is usually minimal; this is because you have a lot of leniency as to where you can put your finger- anywhere between the two frets will produce the proper note. For instance, when playing a minor 3rd interval, you could keep your index finger just behind, say, the 4th fret, and your pinky finger could fret just past the 6th fret. On a fretless, you would have to hold down just behind or on the line of the 4th fret AND just behind or on the line of the 7th fret, which can be a difference of around 1/2 inch stretch. It's not even noticable for some people, it's quite noticable for others. If you usually play one note at a time without holding down other notes, you may not be affected at all. If you play a lot of double-stops or chords (or if you just like fretting down notes whilst playing other notes), it can make a big difference. It's one of the few areas where hand size can make a bit of a difference.

    Check out a 35" fretless at a local store if you can to see how you like it.
     
  16. logdrum

    logdrum Formerly known as noelpaz Supporting Member

    Pedulla Buzz

    Listen to Mark Egan -- especially the trio with Larry Coryell

    I used to have the ego that lined fretless is uncool but playing on the buzz has help me even with my fretted playing. I also play a 3/4 upright bass -- I have small-medium hands but I never see the problem with a 35, an upright or a 30 scale bass. I play baselines mostly
     
  17. full_bleed

    full_bleed

    May 27, 2005
    Arizona
    Warwick Thumb fretless, JP Bass, or a Stambaugh. I've played the first one and heard all three. They all sound beautiful.
     
  18. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Carvin is an excellent bang for the buck in the fretless catagory. I wish I would have gotten the XB75PF (35.25") for better tension on the b string however.
     
  19. Diego

    Diego

    Dec 9, 2005
    San Francisco, CA

    Bryan.-

    Thank you for your kind insight.
    Another issue would of course be woods and tone. To my experience there are two kinds of fretlesses (...is this a word?!):
    A. The ones with quick attack, med sustain, and aggressive tone (kind of on the Jaco-esque sound or ash-bodied j-bass)
    B. The ones with "soft" attack, long sustain and deep, mellow and sweet voice. Given all "construction constrains" equal, and considering both version are well voiceed all over the tonal spectrum of the instrument, what are other putative differnces you have nocticed? I' really appreciate some insight jot only from you....Fellow TBers, lets hear some insights! Thanks very much Bryan and all the TBers who have replied this poll
     
  20. T-Funk

    T-Funk

    Jul 2, 2005
    USA
    +1
     

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