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first fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mwlaurenson, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. mwlaurenson

    mwlaurenson Guest

    Feb 5, 2001
    Can anyone reccommend a decent cheap first time fretless? Preferably lined, something along the lines of the yamaha RBX270F. This is the only lined bass I can find around this price range (£200 UK).

  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    The Yamaha BB404F is a bit more expensive, but it's a FANTASTIC bass for a first fretless. It was compared to a Vintage, an Aria, and a Warwick Rockbass in the UK bass mag "Bass" (published by Guitar Magazine) and completely won out. I have one, and it's great. Very, very versatile and very playable. It's also rather light and balances very well too. I couldn't reccomend this thing any more. The only detraction is that it has a rosewood board, so that means maintainance. It's very warm sounding and has mwah for days and days. It gets about 5 or 6 times as much play as my fretted bass (which, after mods, is about comparable in sound quality).

    PS: Get the one with the natural finish -- very, very attractive bass, and great tone.
  3. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    I played teh Carlo Robelli Models and Sam Ash and actually thought they were great. I believe they come lined and start and just under $200.
  4. mwlaurenson

    mwlaurenson Guest

    Feb 5, 2001
    Any other cheap fretlesses available in th UK? The only others i've seen are made by stagg and vintage and are unlined. An aria might be nice but i can't find any dealers.
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    The Vintage cheapie with active electronics scored pretty poorly in the UK mag I read. Beyond it being unlined, it also had several highly visible knots in the fingerboard -- just goes to show you how little QC they have.

    The Aria cheapie fretlesses I've seen are generally unlined.
  6. I've got the Yamaha RBX270F.
    I bought it for £179.

    I like it a lot (I prefer the PJ config), although I found the tone a bit lacking with the panpot + vol arrangement and swapped it for a 2 X vol setup.
    I also changed the standard thin bridge for a Gotoh 201.

    also you just might be able to find the discontinued Yamaha BBN4F, which has 2 J p/ups and a chunky bridge like the BB404F.
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    What are the features of the BBN4F as opposed to that of the 404?
  8. they had a couple of configs of the BBN4F;
    first it had 2 humbuckers which IIRC were split-coil like P pickups,
    then it had 2 J single coils.

    overall the body shape of the BB404F is more streamlined and sleeker, I think with better top fret(less) access.
  9. BenderR


    Jun 1, 2004
    Tucson, AZ
    I would suggest that whether it be an RBX270F or a BB404F either bass would be a good starting point. Yamaha's entry level basses are very competent and offer great value. I played a Yamaha for years and was amazed by its sound, playability and value. As I recall, the Yamaha set me back all of $160 (US).