1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

$$$ cheap fretless $$$

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by spidersbass, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    whats a good but cheap fretless 4-string bass? i was thinking about this the other day because i like the sound of a stand up bass how in the older jazz stuff the strings would have a that characteristic rattle against the neck while plucking (not slapping, although thats bad ass too) that i just adore. BTW, could you even get that sound on a fretless 4 string? i love that sound but i don't want to be lugging around an instrument thats bigger than me.
  2. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Cheap fretlesses won't really be able to get you an authentic upright tone.
  4. I used to own a Yamaha BBN4F and I had TI flats on it. It could get a tone like you're describing.. somewhat. It could also do a quasi jaco type thing too. Not sure if they still make these, as I got mine from the now defunct Mars music years back.
  5. Jimbo


    Dec 4, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA
    i play a MIM fretless jazz--love it. they are usually pretty affordable. as for getting an authentic upright tone, well thats like making a apple look like an orange, IMHO ;)

  6. You can find used MIJ fretless Fender Jazz Basses all over the place for about $300 US. This is about as good as it gets for "cheap" fretless basses, IMHO.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Look for used Yamahas. I think that inexpensive BB404s and other older Yamahas, especially those with P style pickups sound great.
  8. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    i remember seeing a fretless Carlo Robelli a while back that cost less than $200. i never got to try it though. has anyone tried these?
  9. Ive played one, it was pretty ok, it had stainless steel rounds from the factory so the board was chewed up, but it did have nice mwah. Proboly would be great with flats.
  10. I would second the SX or Brice...I bought one about 4-5 months ago, and it has been a great fretless for me to learn on, and I've enjoyed it a lot. You may be able to get close to the kind of sound you're looking for, but I think that without spending more cash, you won't have that perfect, thumpy upright sound.
  11. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    I have had good luck with MIM Fenders. I believe that what you are giving up on some of the less expensive basses is the probabablilty that you will get a good one. I think the QC on Mexican Fenders has come up in recent years to the point where I havent seen a bad one. The Essex et al can really be good as well but you have to be luckier, or really check them out. Or be willing to change out a bad pot or pickup.
    The Fender MIMs will cost a few hundred more, but mostly keep a resale value.
    I'm not sure the same can be said for the Essex etc, but then again who cares if your only going to spend $150-$250.
    Not a major decision, just go for it.
  12. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
  13. How about a Dean Edge 4 Fretless...great value for the money.
  14. make an acoustic bass sound on an electric? simple. take the mid knobs. turn them both counterclockwise to about 10 o clock. treble goes to 3 o clock and bass goes to 2 o clock. should sound good
  15. Radiobass


    Jan 10, 2005
    I've got a fretless SX. Although it's good for the price, I sometimes wish I had gotten a Yamaha RBX270F, but that't because of the pickup configuration...
  16. Whoah! How's it going Radio?

    Another vote for SX, but look for used stuff. My Cort Artisan B4 fretless was about 300$ used, and it is a great bass. Look around for local deals first, so you absolutely know what you are getting, and if there isn't anything you like, then I'd go for a SX. Actually, I'd own a couple if I wasn't saving up for a Ibanez SRX900 (I think that's it, whatever the neck-through model is) and a custom bass from Winters.

    I was actually just tweaking with my EQ today to get a good upright tone. I boosted the bass and kept the treble flat on my bass, and on my amp I boosted everything from 100hz down, gradually increasing it.