best fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by warwick719, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. warwick719


    Dec 21, 2004
    whats the best fretless you have ever played

    im leaning toward the fender american j bass deluxe

    would you recomend?

  2. The bass that introduced, and got me hooked on the fretless world of wonders...

    Warwick Corvette Standard 4

    *drool* Someday, Someday...

  3. I checked out a Pedulla Pentabuzz, & although had I tried a Thunderbass & Rapture(both fretted)earlier & didn't like either, the 'Buzz totally played itself- very well. I just pulled the trigger on a custom fretless Stambaugh- I'll let you know how it plays in late September, hopefully.
  4. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Pedulla Pentabuzz

    Dean Edge FM5

    EB/MM Stingray 5 fretless
  5. +1
  6. Pedulla Pentabuzz. Never played a better fretless.
  7. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    There's been two "best fretless" basses for me - a Status that I tried in a store back in '87. I was after a fretted Status at the time, and tried the fretless because it was the only Status they had in stock. Fantastic.

    The other is my own J with a Status neck. Oh yeah! I'm loving this one. I haven't liked some other Jazz fretlesses I've tried though, they're all different so if you're getting one make sure you check it out first (usual advice, I know).

    Have to admit not having played a Pedulla. Wasn't keen on a Warwick fretless I tried once. Another one that I did like, though, was a Wal - almost up there with the first two I mentioned. I'd really like to try a Zon as I've heard people say they're a lot like the Status fretlesses in some respects. Must be the neck, I suppose.
  8. I had a Carvin all koa fretless with Lane Poor pickups for several years. Very sweet bass, got tons of compliments on the tone. Then I played a Zon Sonus fretless, and I never played the Carvin again. Sold it, and am now looking for a used Sonus.

    It's the difference between driving an Accord and a BMW; the Accord is a great car, but a BMW practically drives itself. I could get a great fretless tone out of the Carvin, but it took some effort; the Zon requires no effort at all to produce fantastic fretless tone.


  9. My carvin LB76F :-D
    i played a warwick in guitar center some time ago and i loved the way that sounded dont know if it was a corvette or thumb i wanted a warwick since then
  10. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    Pentabuzz....oh so smooth and GAS must own someday!
    I also have played a Zon 519 that was sick. Clear as a bell and oh what a neck. 19mm spacing is great for going fretless IMHO.
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I have played some great fretless basses.

    F Bass, Roscoe, Sadowsky, Pedulla Buzz, Lakland 55-94, Benavente, Fodera.

    My pick? My Zon Sonus Custom.

    I like it quite a bit more than the Pedulla, Lakland, Fodera, and Benavente, and it narrowly beats the Sadowsky, Roscoe, and F Bass too.

    All Zons are very good basses, but the fretless models have a special mojo that few others match. Most don't even come close.


  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Loved my Roscoe 5. Dont own it any longer

  13. The best fretless I ever played was my Wishbass. :eyebrow:


    I should mention that its the ONLY fretless I've ever played, which probably has a LOT to do with it (duhhhhh...)

    Nevertheless, I do like how it sounds...A LOT!

    and she doesn't play half bad, either...but it took me a bit to get it to that point.

    By the way, Jeff...that is a very sweet lookin' Zon...If it sounds anything like Michael Manring's (the one he plays Teentown on in the Bass Day '98 vid), then she's worth every penny you paid for her, too.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    fhodshon had his beautiful spalt-top Sonus fretless up for sale a while back. I think he still has it. At the time, he had a really decent price on it.
  15. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    For fretless basses I've owned the following:
    - 62 Fender Jazz
    - Peavy Forum
    - Carvin LB-75
    - Fender Roscoe Beck V
    - MTD-535
    - F-Bass
    - Roscoe
    - Rob Allen

    My favorites have been the F-Bass and the Roscoe (which I still have). I'll have to agree that the Pedulla Buzz basses are really great also.

  16. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    So, am I correct in my understanding that the Roscoe's (fretlei) you guys dig are spanish cedar core?
  17. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Anybody got any sound clips of a Zon fretless?
  18. The best fretless bass neck ive ever touched belongs to my custom lado. the onle thing i dont like about it is the "sg" body shape, makes the neck waaaaay longer than the body.
    but once i got past the dive and cheap strap, i dont think id even trade it for any bass. not even a brand new benavente fretless singlecut 5 with a buckeye top, matching knobs and active whatever.

    ...actually, i might trade it for one of those so i could sell it, buy my old bass back, and then have extra leftover...
    if not for the risk involved..
  19. The best fretless basses I have played:
    - Jeff Wade's Zon (originally my Zon!). Simply beautiful tone that cuts thru and blends well in the mix.

    - Zon Lightwave. Unique tone for those who are looking for a more solo instrument. A mwaah monster (which is not always a good thing)

    - Fender Jaco Relic. Very alive and raw

    - Sadowsky 24F. Sits beautifully in the mix. Easy to control.

    - Ken Lawrence Brase 5. Possibly the best fretless I have played.

    Others I have played (Pedula, Modulus, MTD, etc) were also very good, but didn't "wow" me like the ones above.

    The fretless that disappointed me the most was my Carvin. Well made bass, but was boring with no soul. Sold it 3 months after I received it.
  20. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Ok, I'm trying to stay out of these threads but I just got back from the music store and I eye'd a bass you don't normally see. It was a Clover headless 5 string fretless bass. It had a mahogany body with some sort of burled whatever top and back with a neck through graphite neck. This thing was beat. It looks like it was dropped on pavement. There were large cracks in the finish, some that went through the top and back wood. I don't think that the electronics worked. It had Bartolini pickups. So, that's the bad news. The good news was I plugged it in and it sounded unreal. I've always believed that graphite necks were ideal for fretless and this just confirmed it. The strings were very old and dead but it still growled like a well tuned engine. I could tell with a setup and some strings that it would sing like an angel. Man oh man do I want a fretless now!!!! :help: :bawl:

    The other fretless that really knocked me out was a 32" scale 4 string fretless that Jack Read made. It has a figured spanish cedar body and a mahogany neck with an extended cutaway. That bass is a true gem. If I played four string I'd find any way at all to get that bass from Jack.

    Oh yeah, Dan Leonard used to have a 5 string brase Ken Lawrence that was an unbelievable fretless bass. It had a light alder body and maple neck with Lane Poor pickups in it. That bass and a fretted he used to have turned me on to Ken's work immediately. I've known for a long time that Ken could build me my dream bass. Now, anyone wanna lend me $6,000? :D