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Choosing a fretless 5-string bass. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by exordium, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. exordium


    Feb 3, 2014

    I find myself in need of a good 5-string fretless bass. I've been primarily a Warwick guy, but I've enjoyed some Carvin and Ibanez basses that I've tried. These are the two that caught my eye that I can hope to afford!

    Warwick Rockbass Corvette $$ 5-string fretless

    Ibanez BTB675F

    The Warwick seems to be very hard to find in any of the major stores, but the Warwick website doesn't say anything about it being out of production.

    Thoughts? :)
  2. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Let me put it this way - I sold my Ibanez to fund a Warwick that I would still own if it weren't so heavy and my shoulders weren't shot to all heck.
  3. You said you like the Carvins you tried. Is there any reason you're not considering one of them? I currently have a B25 Bromberg fretless and it is just amazing. I have also had an Icon5 fretless and a B50 fretless from them and both were great. I just prefer the B25 profile.

    You can order up a custom one for not much more than that Ibanez...
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    He said Ibanez BTB so it ain't gonna be any lighter.

    Why not go Carvin OP? I sold my BTB676 to pay for my Carvin, and the Carvin has a 34" B string that smokes the BTB 35" B string.
  5. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups, Westone Audio
    I'm leery of the fretless Rockbass. The side position markers on the one that I've tried were way off from where one expects side dots to be. They weren't exactly in the middle of the line positions, nor were they at the lines; they were somewhere in between, and they were inconsistently off, as well. The 12th position lined up ok, but everything else was off.

    That is all to say, try before you buy.

    One other thing to consider; the neck width on the BTB and Rockbass will be quite a bit different. If you're used to narrow spacing, the Rockbass will be fine, or you should find a fretless SR bass. If you're used to a wider spacing, the BTB would be better. Or a Carvin, as mentioned.
  6. exordium


    Feb 3, 2014
    Thanks for your replies! :)

    I have played the fretted Rockbass Corvette $$, and it was great. The fretless version definitely seems like the frontrunner if I can find it.

    No reason, really. I found the same bass I liked - Carvin LB75F.
    At $970, it's a good price, definitely an option.
    I also messed around with the custom Carvin builder on the website, it would cost around $1100, as opposed to around $850 for the other two.

    I have tried the BTB775PF, it was cool as well.

    However, I've never played the exact fretless versions of the BTB and the Corvette $$. Hence my dilemma.
  7. exordium


    Feb 3, 2014
    That's kind of scary! :(

    The fretted Rockbass and Carvin fretless were both comfortable to play, the difference didn't seem to bother me very much.

    Thanks for your reply! :)
  8. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups, Westone Audio
    If you can get your hands on the Rockbass before purchasing, or if you can purchase from a dealer with a good return policy, then go for it!

    I don't want to scare you off from it, just relaying my own experience. The one I tried could have easily been a dud.

    If you are open to other things, I'd say look at the EBMM Stingray 5, or even Bongo 5. Both of those are killer fretless 5 strings with fantastic B-strings.

    Good luck with it!
  9. I have an EBMM SUB (original series, early 2000s) fretless 5-string that has an amazing neck - definitely worth checking out their current offerings, I'd say.
  10. exordium


    Feb 3, 2014
    Before I buy anything, I'll try one of the fretless Rockbasses to be sure!
    I'll check those out as well, thank you! :D
  11. exordium


    Feb 3, 2014
    Never played a Music Man bass, I'll definitely check one out. Thanks!
  12. ArturoOsito


    Aug 21, 2012
    Bringing this thread back from the dead...OP, did you get the warwick? I'm looking at a streamer rockbass fretless and I was hoping you could review it?
    Laura Camacho likes this.