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do passive freltesses have the mwah?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MMiller28, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. MMiller28


    Apr 27, 2003
    im not familiar with the world of fretless, and i tried out a passive fretless fender at my music store and didnt really get the mwaaaaah sound. then i picked up a fretless corvette and there it was (the mwah). is that typical?
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Passive fretlesses do have mwaahhh, when they are set up properly. Jaco played passive Jazz basses.
  3. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I've played active fretlesses that had less mwah than my fretted, so I think it must be other things, like action and fingerboard material, that determine mwahh.
  4. In addition to setup, the nature of the board and how you play also contribute to the fretless mwah.

    I know someone with a fretless P-Bass with a maple fingerboard - almost no mwah. My old passive F Bass fretless 4-string (predecessor to BN4) with macassar ebony board - tons of mwah.
  5. It all depends on the woods used for the fingerboards/necks/bodies, the strings used, the pickups, the pots, the headstock design, the bridge...

    But these are all relatively small compared to what really gives the mwah. You.
  6. mwah!
  7. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
    Yep, a good setup is important...and you can always boost the mids on your amp around 800 hZ to bring out the mwah.
  8. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    pickup location is also important. Bridge pickups tend to give a more exaggeated mwah.

    I think it's pretty much just a frequency thing. Bridge pups tend to pick up the freq's most mwah-y. My pentabuzz can sound exactly like a fretted bass if you eq it a certain way. It can also get outrageous mwah.
  9. Gsxtasy99


    Jul 10, 2003
    Boston, MA
    my pentabuzz with la bella flats is fairly mwah-unfriendly (due to the flats), but i can coax it out by right hand technique. I find that i get more mwah by playing up almost on the fretboard. But when i play down over the pickups i get a big fat Jamerson-ish sound.
  10. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    a lot of it is in the playing, I can increase the mwah on my Jaco fretless (with J-Retro so its active, but I didn't feel that the Retro gave me more mwah just a better tone) or remove almost all of it.
  11. Dr.SixString


    Apr 30, 2002
    Yeah, passive fretlesses do have mwah, my '69 jazz (ebony fingerboard) has tons of mwaaaahhhhh:D:D
  12. I actually think the notes tend to well on a fretless a lot more when you play closer to the neck. (The downside is that you loser the growl).
  13. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I acheive the elusive mwah from my Cort Curbow using a Behringer V-amp Pro. I was jumping thru a bunch of presets,using the midi footswitch, and I hit just the right setting. Naturally, I was so thrilled to find the sound, I neglected to record the setting. I know its there and this week I'll find it again!:ninja:
  14. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I can get GREAT mwah out of my Carvin fretless with the preamp deactivated. It's all about strings,, setup and how you play IME. Some guys get crazy growl/mwah,, others are hard to tell they're even playing fretless.
  15. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
  16. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Same with me. I get more mwah out of my Carvin with the preamp deactivated than with the preamp on.
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Exactly : "The mwah is in your hands!"
  18. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    well, my lefay remington is entirely passive and has great "mwah". reiner (the luthier) even advised me not to get an active preamp and said that he envisioned the remington as a passive instrument.
    i put sound clips of the bass up, do a search for "lefay remington" if you'd like to hear them.
  19. scottlee


    Feb 17, 2003
    Your should be able to get the 'mwah' from your instrument before you even plug in. Active preamp and or pickups are obviously going to be able to boost certain frequencies that enhance that 'mwah' as already stated but the sound comes from the instrument and your hands and not the pickups :)
  20. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    For some reason, standard Fender fretlesses as they come from the factory are fairly mwah-less. I don't whether it's the strings or how they're set up or what, but I've noticed it too.