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Budget Fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Classical_Thump, Oct 16, 2005.


  1. Classical_Thump

    Classical_Thump

    Jan 26, 2005
    Hello, I am looking for a nice quality fretless bass for $1500 or under. I would prefer a 5-6 string but I would settle for a 4 string if it was nice enough. I also wouldn't mind buying a used bass, as long as it was from a legitimate dealer, rather than ebay or something similar. Right now I am considering Carvin, and a few othesr but I would just like the best tone and overal quality for up to $1500.
     
  2. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    godin fretless?
    warwicks?
    fenders?
    musicmans?

    man you can get quite a lot with that budget...
     
  3. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Mm, as for fretless with that budget, I'd play the used market. I've seen Zons (some of the greatest fretless ever made IMO) go for less than that used. Actually, there was one here for 1800 I think. However, I'd go Fretless MusicMan Bongo if I were you.
     
  4. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    One of the finest fretless bass I have ever owned or played is my Carvin B5F (bolt-on). First, the ebony fretboard is far superior to alot of other fretless basses I have played and man does this sucker have growl and punch! I got mone with a walnut body and I could get everything from a Fender sound to modern sounding instrument. And the quality.....flawless. Really nice instrument. Think I paid around $850......including shipping and case!

    My next fretless will be a Fender '62 RI I am ordering from Japan. It is running me around $730 (including shipping). I'll let all you TBers how it is when I get it!
     
  5. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    I liked the Warwick F/L I tried in GC one day. Beautiful tone. It was a heavy piece though.
     
  6. Classical_Thump

    Classical_Thump

    Jan 26, 2005
    I would be interested possibly in Godin or maybe even a Bongo, but I just want something that has a really smooth fretless feel with that great fretless tone: warm and woody by the neck and biting and midrangey near the bridge.
     
  7. The MusicMan Stingray fretless is INCREDIBLE! Wonderful growl, and plenty of tones available with the preamp.
     
  8. ducaticarl

    ducaticarl

    Oct 16, 2005
    under $1500?????...WARWICK
     
  9. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    To me, you just described a Bongo. GO FOR IT!
     
  10. quallabone

    quallabone

    Aug 2, 2003
    You're in Fury country for that money. I play them because they have an incredibly versatile tone, are made by one man who has been making them for 40+ years, and have a really great neck. I have 5 of them (2 fretlesses) going on 6 in a couple of weeks. PM for more details.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. joninjapan

    joninjapan

    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    What world do you guys live in where $1500 is budget?!?!??!?!

    I was all prepared to reccommend a Cort Curbow 5 fretless... I got mine for about $400 new, it was a great bass.. got rid of it when I got my "expensive" Tacoma CB105 fretless...

    Now I know I'm cheap :crying:
     
  12. Tryxx

    Tryxx Sputnik Forums: Bass Mod

    Jun 1, 2005
    Hurst, Texas.
    Pete Skjold has a really, really, really nice one for $1700. If you could stretch, that's what I'd go for. I played it yesterday and can't begin to convey how great that was. Smooth, wonderful sounding, and so much more...
     
  13. JJBACOOMBA

    JJBACOOMBA Commercial User

    May 31, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Lecompte Bass Owners Club Member #2
    Lecompte!Lecomptebass.com Bud makes some sweet basses. I think you would get more for the money than you would going with carvin. Just my opinion!I have played Carvins and was not very impressed.
     
  14. Hookus

    Hookus

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Amen. I am building a fretless right now, but the neck, p'ups, and all the hardware still ran me 650 bucks. This does not include the cost of the wood for the body, or the time and effort involved....But it will be MINE.
     
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you have got $1500, look for a used Zon. Best fretless out there IMHO.

    If you can't find a used Zon for that, a used Pedulla PentaBuzz goes for that, sometimes less. And isn't too far behind the Zon.
     
  16. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I agree. If you can stretch your budget just a very little bit, a Skjold fretless would be my vote. If not, I'll join the Warwick camp. The Corvette Standard fretless is just stupid good for the money, IMHO.

    Tom.
     
  17. RE:PEAT

    RE:PEAT

    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Since I have one, Warwick does a nice fretless.

    Also, you should be able to get a nice Pedulla Buzz within you're budget. Stellar reputation.
     
  18. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    I love Carvins myself, but if you like a bit more of a classic bolt on instrument, have Nino build you a 5 string Valenit frettless it would probably come in right at 1500 bucks, and like carvin, you could pick you finish, wood, hardware, etc.
     
  19. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    woweezoweee that's a nice budget to have to work within.
     
  20. WillCO

    WillCO An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure.

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I think you've got all kinds of great options at that price. +1 on Carvin as a viable option, but there's a good thread active right now about what is or isn't wrong with Carvin's body and headstock styles.