Fretless basses..woods, MTDs and more

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by djshawn47, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Im looking to get a fretless bass and ive searched some of the previous threads and have seen alot of praise on ZON, Pedulla, and WAL fretless basses. How do the MTD USA's fretless basses compare to these basses. I have an MTD 535 fretted and of course i love it, so i dont know whether to go for another MTD or venture off in another direction, it is hard to find these other basses to play so that i can actually feel and hear them....there are none at any of the bass shops in my area. Also....what types of woods(body, neck, fretboard) are most popular for that beautiful fretless sound. If i can find something that sounds like the bass that Marcus Miller used on "forevermore" on his "Tales" record, I would be in heaven. Your help is appreciated.
    I'm guessing Ebony is probably a very popular wood for fretless fretboards. Oh, and Im looking to get a Lined fretless. I dont know if that affects the tone at all, I can't imagine it would

    So my questions are:

    1. How do MTD USA fretless basses comapre to WAL, ZON, PEDULLA-which would you choose?

    2. What type of woods are most common on fretless basses?

    3. Do lined fretless basses sound any different than an unlined?

    Thank you.
  2. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Never played a fretless MTD. Wals are very modern sounding IMO and are too dang heavy. Zons are amazing! I have one fretted and will get a fretless one soon. Zons have amazing warmth, definition, sustian, lightweight, durable, the list goes on and on.....
    Pedullas are sweet! The Buzz is a very mwah rich fretless with a great feel to it. It has an average weight and great tone.
    Mmmmm get a Zon or Pedulla they are both awesome.

    The most common woods I've seen are ash and maple, but practically every wood on fretted basses are used on fretless ones.

    Unlined basses DON'T sound any different than lined ones. It's the player's intonation that makes the sound good or bad. Intonation is a pain in the butt at first. After having my nose in the air to lined boards for a year, I recently decided to switch to a lined board. The look of an unlined board is cool, but the lined board does have more of a visual advantage in the upper octave. The area past the 12th position is a bitch to play in tune. There is the "best of both worlds" in which the dots on the side of an unlined board have small lines on the fingerboard (E and A) strings that stop on the other strings. Also if you wish to play a 5 string I suggest EADGC tuning since I a have found much more use for in the studio.
  3. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    what he said.

    and i have 2 fretless Zons. KILLER! one has Lightwave electronics to drive my V-Bass.

    owned a Pedullla Buzz: GREAT FRETLESS!

  4. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    BTW way as far as my experience with fingerboards and woods: I had found ash, maple, mahogany, and hollow walnut (rick turner) to be great fretless body woods. For the fingerboards the dense feel of ebony or other tough dark woods are great. ie phenowood (zon)
    The ebony-like woods seem to add a little more SNAP to the sound.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Maple fingerboards have insane snap and zing IMO