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Fretless Bass Recommendations

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by minus.eleven, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. minus.eleven


    Nov 21, 2007
    Hey all,

    Felt like my playing has stagnated a bit, and lately I've been digging the sound of an upright. I don't have the resources or the space for a real upright bass, so I'm thinking of making the fretless leap.

    I'm looking for an affordable one (probably used, prefer under $400). I keep hearing rave reviews about the Squier VM Fretless Jaco-style, and it is pretty cheap. I have a MIM Jazz that I could slap a fretless neck on as well. Any other ideas? Is the RockBass Corvette basic fretless good?

    Additionally, does a semi-hollow or hollowbody make a fretless bass sound more like an upright, or is it not worth the trouble of finding one?

  2. funkadelickbass


    Aug 13, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    Social Media and Sales: www.creamcitymusic.com
    I'm in the same boat...sort of...I'm lazy and don't want to lug around the upright...and like 6str's

    the VM Squire's are great for the money...
    or if you want a "fender" J bass keep your eyes out for a used FL MIM...they pop up all the time for under $400
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Believe me, the cost and work of moving an upright are small compared to the effort of becoming a good player. It's not about being a bass owner, it's about being a player. :D

    For a fretless, I advise looking for a used Jazz or Skyline. The Squiers are OK, but buying used might let you find a real gem. I got lucky and found a used fretless Valenti 5-string, though it was over twice the budget you mention.
  4. I too highly recommend the Squire VM Fretless. It is insanely good for the price point and although not without its faults you can't go wrong with one. It's a good bass for upgrades too (but plays like a dream stock with a good set up too - like a good bass should!).

    I think once you go fretless the upright will be come more and more appealing, as I've found out - GASsing for one now! :(

    The VM is satisfying my need for it somewhat though :D
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Both of those basses would make you happy. My first fretless was a Dean Edge 5 which I paid a little over $400 for in late 1999. It was fantastic!
  6. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I have a Squier Vintage Modified Fretless and it is very impressive. A great bass for the price!
  7. mattfong


    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Any old fretless isn't really going to come that close to an upright bass, if thats the sound you're after.

    Get a Godin A4 or A5. Semi-hollow, piezo tranducers, and the bridge is made of wood. They're the closest I've ever heard an electric bass come to sounding like an upright.

    Oops thats out of your budget haha. You can probably get the older version, the Acoustibass, for about $400 used. Thats how much mine costed. Try and find one if you can.

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