Fretless Frenzy!

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by bearclaw, Apr 22, 2001.

  1. bearclaw


    Nov 13, 2000
    Hi Steve,

    In your opinion, can a non graphite neck sound as plush as a graphite? I do realize it's a matter of personal opinion, but my Ibanez SR400 series bass feels so nice and has a fast neck! The only problem is that it isn't quite as sweet sounding as a Modulus or Zon bass. I suppose when it comes down to it, its all in the hands to a certain extent. What can I do to add some life to my fretless tone? Any particular pedals you would recommend using? Cheers,

    Joe B.
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The composite neck has something to do with the sound but so does the pickups and preamps.

    Most Zons have Bartolinis, a few have EMGs, and most Modulus basses have EMGs or Barts as well, except for the few with Lane Poors.

    A good preamp and new pickups won't make you Ibanez sound like a Zon or Modulus, but it will make a big improvement in the overall tone.
  3. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    The two biggest factors in fretless tone by far are set up and technique. I can make a fretless P-bass sound like me given 20 minutes with an allen key and truss rod adjuster. :oops:)

    That said, EQ can play a part, and it's worth experimenting with boosting low mids to make it growl it bit, and high end to bring out sparkle...

    experiment and have fun

  4. CJY


    Apr 30, 2001
    i recommend the sansamp acoustic DI.I have a Yamaha BBN4F w/coated fingerboard and nickel roundwounds strings.The sansamp thickens the sound.u have to experiment with the mid frequency though.with the right setting, u can turn a purr into a growl.but i dont know how it sounds like with a fretless with active electronics