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Fretless bass and vintage brand (low end)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dave_77, May 15, 2018.

  1. dave_77


    Nov 22, 2016
    Apologies if this has been asked numerous times before etc.
    Anyway, I'm looking at getting a fretless bass and was essentially wondering what you recommend. Budget wise I'd rather not go above £300 because it's a new instrument and I'd rather have one to try out and stuff without going all in. I've been told to look second hand and am completey willing to do so, I'm more interested in bang for buck sort of thing. As such, it's going to be a bit tough trying them out before buying. I've done a bit of research and the Jaco pastorius vintage bass has caught my eye - vintage seem to have good reviews but in wandering if this is more style over substance. So yeah, if you've had any experience with vintage, or have any opinions on fretless basses in general I'd love to hear them.
    Many thanks for your time,
  2. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I owed two of the Fender Jaco production basses and sold them both. Meh. That is what they were.

    Try to find a Peavey Foundation fretless. It is a much better playing and sounding bass for less money. I prefer later production basses with VFL pu’s
    dave_77 likes this.
  3. dave_77


    Nov 22, 2016
    Ok, I'll have a look at them then, cheers for the direction
  4. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Do you mean the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass?
    Actually not a bad bass as fretless goes - I've been comparing it to MIM Fender Jazz Bass fretless my son recently got - it's a MIM but modified with MIA pickups and a Badass II bridge. There's no comparing the sound of course which isn't surprising, the MIM Fretless is much better, but that being said, if you upgrade the pickups on the Squier, that'll take care of that. In terms of feel, I actually prefer the neck of the Squier over the MIM Fender - the ebanol fretboard is a little easier to play on than the rosewood. All else seems pretty comparable.
    Another inexpensive fretless bass that I tried recently is an Ibanez SR370EF fretless

    Another option is to just get a fretless neck and put it on one of your existing basses.
    Here's the two fretless basses in my household.
    dave_77 likes this.
  5. dave_77


    Nov 22, 2016
    Sorry, I should have been a bit more specific, I meant the 'vintage' brand Jaco clone rather than the fender - it just piqued my fancy. I might have a look at the ibanez though, I have a couple of them and absolutely adore them. Thanks for the input, it's much appreciated.
    Maxdusty likes this.
  6. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I have to admit I had a hard time walking out of the store without that Ibanez in my hand. If you love Ibanez basses, that's probably one I would look at.
  7. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Also look at the Cort Artisan B4FL. Relatively inexpensive and well-made at the same factory (Cor-Tek) as many Ibanez models.
  8. dave_77


    Nov 22, 2016
    Thank you both, I'll do some thinking. Cheers
  9. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I notice you're OP was in sterling, so I'm assuming you're in the UK.
    What about Thomann ? They have some Harley Benton for way under where you want to be, and for just a little more the Sire V7 fretless.
    If you can't get a good sound out of that thing, you could move it for little loss.
  10. dave_77


    Nov 22, 2016
    Thanks, I am UK, I'll go have a look at them too. Cheers
  11. @dave_77
    An old pal of mine gigs the Harley Benton JB-40 , he rates it highly though freely admits he preferred his Overwater.
    The HB is a heavy beast at 12lb on average. I played another pal's JB-40 and the fingerboard was smoother than my Peavey Foundation fretless.

    With regard to the JHS brand "Vintage" Damn fine basses. The hardware is all Trev Wilkinson,made by Jinho in Korea. Pickups are Trev's design too :thumbsup: . Plenty of respect for the Vintage brand in the UK,the V100 guitar is dynamite :) Here's a link to Vintage stockists in the UK.

    Dealership Locator
    Outtaseezun, dave_77 and Wisebass like this.
  12. dave_77


    Nov 22, 2016
    Thanks, I'll maybe try and get my hands on some of them now since there are so many great options. Cheers
    kodiakblair likes this.
  13. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    "Vintage" is an off shoot of JHS (John Hornby Skewes - UK distribution company), which also has the cachet of having reknown UK luthier Trev Wilkinson on board as design consultant. They're built in the Far East, and on the market at the budget end.

    Vintage Website: Vintage - Brands

    Although they produce "cheap" instruments, the reviews for them in the music press have been incredibly favourable, and they have some relatively high profile musicians using them, as well as up & coming bands. All of the people I know who have purchased one of the "Vintage" brand instruments has been suitably impressed with their purchase (including one fretless "Jaco" bass purchaser).

    Bottom line is, you get a lot of instrument for your money. You may want to upgrade the pickups & electrics in due course, but the instrument will be of a very good standard from the second you get it.
    Outtaseezun likes this.
  14. dave_77


    Nov 22, 2016
    You're swaying me, Ive found someone to have a play on some of their stuff so I'll get round to that in due course. Thanks very much, much appreciated.
    Outtaseezun and Skybone like this.
  15. I own one of those VJ74 Fretless. It's actually my only fretless & one of my three basses. I've owned three other fretlesses before & this one is clearly the best, the one I feel at home on... I recommend it!
    kodiakblair likes this.
  16. Greginperth


    Feb 10, 2018
    I have a Vintage Icon V74 fretless road worn with nylon tape wounds, and I LOVE IT!!!
    My only fretless currently and probably my 'go too' noodling in the lounge base at the moment.
    These things have really good variation in tones available as well.
    Plus - The are so cheep you cant go wrong and will never need to sell it, or pay too much attention in keepig it pristine. :)
    Greg. 20190706-20190706_171802.jpg
    Bass V and Outtaseezun like this.

  17. Amen to that man... It's awesome...
  18. Hey guys! Do U know by any cha ce if there is an "Owner's Club"? So many brands & players use the term vintage here that it's impossible to find it if it exists...
  19. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    check out the Dean 4 FL, low dough, great bass. does require a battery which annoys me.

    sooooooooo... how do you like your Lace Helix? the wood bodies seem rather scarce.

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