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Five string fretlesses. Whos the best and how much should I pay?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jodathmorr, Nov 6, 2003.


  1. I think the time has come for me to look into a fretless bass. I've started to play much more jazz then I expected and my 4 string fretted isn't doing it for me anymore. I would like to know what some brands of five string fretlesses are and how they hold up overall. Brownie points if I like the look :). Also, should I be looking into a five string fretless for playing jazz? I will also be playing rock with this bass but I could always use the 4 stringer for it. Lastly, how much can I expect to pay. Under a grand would me ideal. Thanks!
     
  2. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Hmm...Lakland Skyline fretless 5's are nice. There's a pretty one in the classified section now and it's well under a grand.
     
  3. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    A Roscoe with a Diamondwood board!
     
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I second the Roscoe with the diamondwood board.

    I have one (LG-3005 with a spanish cedar body), it's one of the sweetest fretless 5's I've ever owned. The B string is magnificent, and the bass is incredibly responsive and it has plenty of mwah.

    Takes about a month of playing at least an hour a day to break it in, so don't be deterred if it sounds a little brilliant at first.

    I like my Roscoe so much, I just ordered another one, with lights along the neck and a few other custom goodies (good for playing in dark places).

    That diamondwood provides an excellent playing surface, it's consistent and responsive, and apparently it doesn't wear down (much) over time (compared to rosewood or ebony). You can string the bass with rounds and be none the worse for wear.

    Keith makes some awesome basses. I've seen used 5's for anywhere between one and two grand, depending on the features and condition. You can call in for a quote on a new bass (to get the "real" price, as distinct from the list price).
     
  5. Ahhhhhh! $3500 price tag! My eyes!!!!
     
  6. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    I have a Yamaha BB5000FL which I bought it 1994. It is in my opinion the best fretless 5 I have ever played, and I played everything at every price point up to $3,000 (in 1994 dollars) before buying the bass. The electronics are simple yet robust and sweet (P/J configuarion), and the feel is like whatever is smoother than butter. Wide string spacing and amazing bridge too.

    While this exact model is not made anymore, Yamaha does sell comparable BB series basses and they look as rich in features and design. The BB2005 new is a bit north of $1,000 but the BB605 is only $400 new (I would imagine it lacks the neck through body and uses lower grade woods). You can occaisionally find the BB5000FL's used. They sell for under $1,000 and the newer models are regularly sold on EBAY as well.

    I would recommend you check these Yamahas out. They are listed on www.music123.com or on www.yamaha.com

    I have also recently grown fond of wishbasses (www.wishbass.com and www.wishnevsky.com). I have one and another on order. Though mine are 4's and not 5's (I have yet to play a wish 5), I have to say that this is a mean fretless bass. Monster sound, handmade basses and dirt cheap. Also extremely unique in the looks department, though some feel the lutherie is a little too unpolished, for lack of a better word. FYI, there is a clip of a fretless 5 wishbass floating around on an October thread called "Wishbass Report". It was posted by Larry Banks, another Talkbasser who just had a totally custom wish made for $650, which is about double the price of wish's standard 5 models.

    Good luck.