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Fretless bass tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Leftybass12, May 10, 2010.


  1. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Nov 14, 2008
    So I've had a custom 5 string B-5 fretless Carvin bass for around 8 months now. My problem is that I am not satisfied with the tone that I have with it. My rig that I run through is a Carvin B 1500 amp and a Carvin BRX 10.5 Neo cabinet. The bass also is a dual humbucker and I'm using stock Carvin strings. I put the gear down because I figured it might help. So, is there anyone that can give me some tips on having a good fretless bass tone? Yves Carbonne and Michael Manring are two of my favorite bass players with a good fretless tone. They've got similar tones I believe. Also, it is a lined fretless bass that I have.
     
  2. *Good fretless tone* is to a large extent in the ear of the beholder; what you like & what I(or the random listener)like may differ hugely. Can you cite an example of the tone you'd like to produce?
     
  3. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    What tone are you trying to get? I could rattle off several bassists who have completely different fretless tones....all of them are "good"¬óbut they don't sound the same....

    How is your intonation? Are you accurate? Poorly played notes on a fretless can really drive you mad and make you think that the tone is the problem...
     
  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    Theres fretless tone like Pino from the Paul Young days, then there is tone like Alain Caron's.

    So.. we need a better rundown of what you want.
     
  5. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    By having the set-up for 8 months, I'm assuming you have tried multiple EQs on the amp. I'm a little surprised you didn't say you had tried a few different brands of strings. I hope you did.
     
  6. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    Pino Palladino,
    Alain Caron,
    Mick Karn,
    Jaco,
    Marcus Miller,
    Steve Bailey,
    Jack Bruce...

    And those are just the "signature" fretless tones that i can think of off the top of my head....
     
  7. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    But IMO, the two I mentioned are the farthest apart. Thats just IMO, though! :D
     
  8. There are indeed plenty of fretless tones out there. There aren't too many tones I don't enjoy, but I would agree with Bassteban that a lot is a matter of the tone you want and how to get it. My Rob Allen basses do a horrible Jaco, but that's not how it was designed to sound.
     
  9. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Builder,mcdcustomguitars
    I you asked your favorite bassist, (who's tone you think is fantastic), if he is happy with his tone, his answer would most likely be, NO ! Seeking "your special tone" will be a lifelong chase. It does make being a bassist challenging.
    Rocky
     
  10. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    You're probably right~:cool:
     
  11. steve f

    steve f Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Toxic, Maryland
    Nice list but don't forget Tony Levin and Percy Jones! I love Percy's tone, esp from the Eno/Fripp/Brand X days... Although his tone has much more to do with his playing and string height than his gear, I suspect.
     
  12. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I like Jack Bruce's tone. All mid with the low and high cut down .

    G
     
  13. Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Nov 3, 2006
    Percy, I did forget...but Tony I thought long and hard about because I'm more used to him using an NS electric upright than a fretless bass. And to me if anything is signature about his tone it's the stick and 5 string stingray he sports! Loooooooooove T-Lev!
     
  14. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Nov 14, 2008
    Sorry everyone, I was in a hurry when I posted this and did forget to mention some names. Here are the names....Yves Carbonne is one of them and Michael Manring is the other one. They've got similar tones I believe. Also, it is a lined fretless bass that I have.
     
  15. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    Didnt I post in this same thread around noon?
     
  16. coffin blurt

    coffin blurt

    Feb 6, 2010
    Get some new strings, experiment with knobs, eq, whatever you can till u get your own tone :)
     
  17. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    The lined part wouldnt make any difference tone wise.
     
  18. As mentioned, lines would have minimal effect on the tone. I'd disagree that Manring and Yves Carbonne have similar sounds. Yves has a much warmer tone while Manring's bass brings out a much more percussive and high end buzz.
     
  19. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I think he referenced lines in response to the post saying his accuracy might be off.......
     
  20. Leftybass12

    Leftybass12

    Nov 14, 2008
    You did, however I saw that there were so many new threads posted from just 10:00 am - noon. And because I did not put any players in the question was a little bit weak, so I decided to repost it. I do thank you for the info.
     

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