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Cheap fretless bass or upright electric

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bongo499, May 27, 2005.

  1. bongo499


    Jan 10, 2005
    i am currently playing a warwick corvette 4 string fretted. I want to explore the fretless bass and get a cheap one. Any suggestions about a cheap fretless bass. I would like the bass to stand upright on the strap but doesnt matter too much. :p :bawl: :bassist:
  2. If you're looking for a simple lower end fretless electric. I'd suggest a Dean Edge 4 fretless (pic below of mine). Nice tone, active preamp, super neck, and great features for about 300 dollars (or less used). What's more, they're very light (7.5-8 pounds). The only thing I don't like about them are the stock strings...which are easily changed.




    B-Mac likes this.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I got a fretless Yamaha BB404F on clearance for $199 and it's a fine bass for any price. For about $300 or so you can get a fretless edge of Fender Jazz. Just remember at the price range you'll need to play a bunch to find a good one.

    As far as electric upright basses, the cheapest one readily available is the Dean Pace bass which barely resembles an upright, has a 34" scale opposed to 41.5" and can't be bowed, nor does it sound like an upright.

    I'd stick with fretless electric for a while.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    The Dean Pace bass is about as much of an electric upright as a dog standing on its hind legs is a human. Worst. Idea. Ever. Not only can't it be bowed, but you can't use proper DB technique in any way. Turn any fretless on it's end and stick a PVC pipe in the bottom strap button hole, and you've got a cheaper alternative.

    I'd reccomend going fretless electric, the Yamaha BB404F's are great. The $199 was a clearance price on MF, they usually go for significantly higher (I had to pay $500 CAD for mine last May.) Most fretlesses in this price range have rosewood fretboards (some have uncoated maple, which is even worse) so you're going to have to make a couple choices on string usage. Rounds, and resurface the board every once in a while -- flats and not worry at all -- or rounds and epoxy the board. I chose rounds. I'm gonna need to resurface the board soon, and after that, I'm going to epoxy it and slap some new TI Jazz Rounds on it.
  5. Or half-rounds...and oil your board fairly often.
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    *shrug* They're an option, but a niche market at best. I've never really seen any in stock, and IMO, attempts at compromising between two great things -- the feel of flats and the sound of rounds -- is always a half-decent emulation at best. Nothing sounds like rounds on a fretless except rounds on a fretless...or those god-awful Rotosound flats, but I've never heard of anyone continuing use of those for more than a few days.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'm using rounds on mine. At $200 it doesn't pain me too much to see the board get eaten up. I'm planning on having it leveled and epoxied soon though.

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