Fretless bass amplifier

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fretless925, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Fretless925


    Aug 3, 2009
    I am thinking about going fretless and am wondering what amp can really bring out the fretless 'mwah' sound.
  2. I would say that the same amp you are using for your fretted bass will do - the "mwah" sound is in your fingers.

    I use one amp - with exactly the same EQ settings - for both my fretted and fretless basses.
  3. riker1384


    Jan 2, 2007
    Just buy an Ampeg, rip all the wires out, and then spray it with a coat of epoxy.
  4. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    It's not the amp, it's the strings...... make sure you use fretless strings.
  5. kcolyar


    Feb 28, 2007
    Moab, Ut 84532
    The question you ask is a little to broad. Any amp can sound good to some one. Either try to emulate some one you admire or try to get your own tone. Either way there are tons of variables. Your fingers, your strings, the fretboard finish, your action or string height, your pick ups. And then what kind of "mwah" do you want. Jaco or Gary Willis, Manring or Lawson or any other great player. Good luck!!!
  6. So, an epoxy coated, vandalized, inoperative Ampeg is the way to go?

    I've been using fretless strings all along. Come to think of it, I've never even seen strings that had frets.

    You guys are super helpful.

    I don't know what "mwah" is. That's a made-up Talkbass word that means something different to everyone who uses it. Is there any particular fretless player you like? A lot of people like a clean tone for fretless, with little EQ, striving for a full range reproduction of the sound of the bass. Others like a nasally, hig-midrange sort of tone. Either one should be more or less achievable with most any functioning amp. Some people want to sound like an old Cream recording; those people need a tube amp.

    A lot of recorded fretless has a little chorus, reverb, or other subtle effect.
  7. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    Yeah, considering that there are all sorts of fretless basses out there including J's and P's, that is a pretty broad question. Doesn't hurt to ask, though.

    I've been off and on with a fretless Modulus neck that can bolt right on to either of my Jazz basses and I've even used it at a couple of gigs with my cover band. For me, that fretless flavor seems to come through in the mids and I play through a pair of 2x10 cabs which do okay reproducing them.

    There are certainly 12's and 15's that can throw mids around, too and I think that along with competent cabs, you also want some eq capacity to help bring out that "mwah" that's in your head. If I don't slide around on my neck much, my sound is more like an old-school fretted bass without that hi-fi top end, but if I trim a little low frequency and nudge my mids, that's when I start to really hear that fretless personality... as long as I'm not up against a pair of honkin' guitars, right?
  8. grifff


    Jan 5, 2009

    Use roundwounds for that signature mwah, and solo the bridge pickup for a tone similar to Jaco's.
  9. ghiadub


    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    I like my mesa walkabout combo for fretless. I use the head and different cabs for other stuff but the 12" combo is almost all I will use on fretless. It just seems to bring out the sound I am looking for which helps me play better. YMMV

    Not great if you have a low B though.
    cms likes this.
  10. gerryjazzman


    Dec 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    I play both fretted and fretless and what helps the fretless sound the most is the ability to boost mids somewhere between 500 hz and 1Khz (based on your tastes). I've been able to do that with an Ampeg V4 / V4B (with the mid switch at 1Khz, works pretty well). I can do it with my Eden WT-300 as well although there is more flexibility due to the semi-parametric EQ. Bottom line, flexible preamp EQ in the mids is a significant help with fretless.
    cms likes this.
  11. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I like my old Gallien Krueger MB150 combo for fretless work, but it's limited volume-wise.
  12. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    That made my day.
  13. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I love my Genz rig for fretted and fretless