Fretless bass wear n' tear question?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wetnoodles, Aug 5, 2001.

  1. I am planning on buying a Warwick Corvette Standard fretless bass (Ebony fingerboard). I really like the sound of roundwound strings on the fretless; how concerned should I be with regard to damaging the ebony fretboard with these strings? How often should I plan on having to have the fingerboard worked on? Are there any alternatives to roundwound strings that give a similar tone but are less damaging to the fingerboard?
  2. Fender makes strings that are roundwound that have nylon wrapped in between the winds.. hard to exlpain, they describe it as being a nylon tape wound string that has been sanded down.. its like a roundwound flatwould hybrid..

    normal string would look like this:

    | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

    these would look like


    yes.. anyway check out the fender site.. :eek: I don't even understand what I am saying! :D
  3. By the way, the Warwick Corvette Standard fretless is offered with passive or active electronics. I have always played passive electronics. Should I consider active, what are the advantages?
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'd suggest trying some Thomastik Infield Jazz flats. I have 'em on my Pedulla fretless, and they are plenty bright. A little Slinky, though. I still like 'em.
  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Alembic, Ken Smith and others make ovalwound strings. The outer wound is elliptic. This sounds pretty round and feels pretty smooth, and schould not wear much on an ebony board.
    I think Smith calls them "compressed".

    Now I'll go check those Fender...
  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    If you like the sound, don't worry about it. Havnig the fretboard planed and dressed every couple years for a couple bucks is a lot better than living with tone you don't like. Besides, ebony is a hard wood, it shouldn't scratch enough that it'll affect tone and intonation.

    Better yet, play with a light touch, and it'll never be a problem.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    wetnoodles, if you want the sound of roundwound strings on wood, there is really no substitute for roundwounds.

    Groundwounds, pressurewounds, flatwounds and nylons all have their own sound, you might want to experiment with them, but none of them sound quite like roundwounds.

    Nickels are a little easier on the wood, but even stainless shouldn't wear the board to quickly if you use a light touch, like Angus said.
  8. Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback. I will probably just use the roundwounds since I love the growl you get out of them on the fretless. If I will probably only need to get the fingerboard dressed every year or two, then thats not that bad.