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can someone recommend me a fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jonathan_matos5, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. im looking for a fretless prefferably in the $3-500usd range does anybody have any suggestions ive already been to rondomusic.net the only one that cought my eye is out of stock and im only looking for a 4 stringer
    i need something fairly playable out of the box
    any input would be a great help


  2. Diego


    Dec 9, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Here are 2 options:

    1. Used ibanez
    2. Mexi Fender J Bass

    Hope it helps
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    If you can find an MTD Kingston fretless, it would smoke anything in your price range, you would probably have to find one used though.
  4. I've got the MIM Fender J-bass, although fretted, I would imagine that it would sound great fretless. Used might fit your price range.
    My fretless is a Warwick FNA Jazzman, but a little out of the price range, maybe even used...but if you come across one for $500, grab it! They're awsome!
    Here's a few I saw on Ebay. (I go with "Buy it Now" prices since there's no reason to sit and "haggle"!)
    The third one, the Cort "MUST SEE", one looks interesting, but the fourth, the Made in America Fretless Precision looks really interesting...
    Good luck!;)
  5. I had a fretless one for awhile- ended up trading + cash for a used Stambaugh. The Dean was the most awesome $300 or so fretless bass I've ever played. It totally played & sounded better than a Warwick Thumb BO, & equalled a Spector Rebop. It came very close to the Stammie, & I'm very biased(in favor of the Stambaugh; I have 3). For the money, it really made no sense to dump the Dean in favor of the Stambaugh; if I had the chance to A/B them back-to-back, I'm not sure I would have done it. Don't ANYONE tell Chris S. I said all this; I may want another bass from him...
  6. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I bought my MIM Fender Fretless Jazz back in August, and I was debating on that, or the Geddy Lee Jazz. And I went through with the fretless, and I haven't looked back.

    From every teacher/ bass player that has played this bass, they've said the action is killer, sounds amazing, and is the NICEST piece of Rosewood they've ever seen. I like to think they made a mistake with the wood and I got an American ;) haha.

    I'll try to record some stuff at school, and post it for you guys.

  7. I have to second the Dean suggestion. Although my fretless EBG is a Ritter, a friend of mine has a Dean fretless 5-string that is a superb instrument for the price. This is much more than just a beginner bass. Another friend has a fretless Fender Precision which has a very "classic" sound, but is probably a little above your range. I would encourage you to get out and try some basses, perhaps accompanied by a more experienced player or teacher, because there is a great range of sounds available depending on pick-up type (single vs. double coil), etc. For instance a fretted Fender P and a fretless P sound almost the same in tonal quality. The same is true of a Jazz. Having onboard pre-amps also makes a big difference in response. Round wound strings versus 1/2 rounds (sometimes called bright flats or half-flats) makes a huge difference. Even if you try some basses that are clearly out of your price range, you need to hear these kinds of differences. Take your time and do a little careful shopping. Also do not ignore used shops and pawn shops. My first Fender P came from a pawn shop for less than half the price of a new one. For 31 years it was the only bass guitar I owned. Resist the temptation to impulse buy. Find out what you want by trying out as many basses as you can and then once you have an idea what it is that your prefer, be patient and wait for something really close to it to appear within your budget. Good luck in your pursuits.:)
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    If you don't mind some assembly and finishing, you could get a Carvin kit (I think called the BK4) with an ebony lined fretless board. You could add options as you see fit, like swamp ash body and active electronics. All U.S. made components, and very playable necks. Assuming you get it set up properly, I think it could be a step up from an MIM Jazz, and an ebony board is great for fretless.

    On the other hand, those MIM fretless J necks are excellent. I'm using one for a fretless P project, and I'm very impressed with it. Like Mark's, the rosewood on mine is gorgeous. Maybe they reserve the best pieces for the fretless necks.

    All recommendations have been good, so you won't go wrong.
  9. ebe9


    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    Cort B4FL, maybe a little out of your price range but a great bass
  10. All quite true, Carvin components are really high quality and you might learn a bit doing your own thing. An option that didn't occur to me at first was what my teacher George Hofer did for a fretless electric. I might mention that George is a retired principal of the Savannah Symphony and also sold Edgar Meyer his Gabrielli doublebass. George bought a used cheap Fender copy and removed the frets, filled them in with purfling and planed it off. So he has a "budget" fretless with marker lines on it.
  11. TheBrad

    TheBrad Baby step bassist - 90% n00b

    Jan 16, 2006
    Mountain View,CA
  12. Well, I'm thinking a good start would be to put everything back to stock first and then see if you can get a bid on it. Seriously, the "some" re-assembly required factor would make me a little shy on this one, but the key components look solid. Too bad about that drilling. Imagine if your dentist was that careless. (ouch!) You might get a free tongue piercing. At least it doesn't show, right? You have to wonder why they don't do all this upgrading at the Japan factory. Well, trust me, there's a reason. They're selling Fender Jazzes.

    I'm always amazed at what people do as mods and then list them as upgrades. I mean if I deliberately break a tooth and have it capped with gold is that an upgrade? And if I put in a hot pick-up that hums over the stock "crap" that didn't, trust me, there isn't a recording engineer in the industry that will forgive me. So here's what you do: get a reliable Fender Jazz wiring schematic and re-install everything that was stock, particularly the chrome cover and original pick-ups. Then the value of the fingerboard and Fender Jazz name will sell this bass. Wouldn't hurt to invest in a can of Gibson guitar polish and use it fairly sparingly with an old cotton tee-shirt or better quality polishing cloth so the majority of the still good finish will overshadow the inevitable major dings. You are trying to sell a Fender Jazz, not a Frankenbass. Try to make it look like you cared about taking care of it, whether you did or didn't. Opinions often vary on upgrades, but not so much on tried and true stock name brand goods. I genuinely hope this helps.
  13. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Fretless MIM J bass.
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I used to have a Dean Edge 5 and I had a similar experience. In your price range you will not go wrong with one.

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