Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Fretless or Acoustic

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slapnuts, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. Acoustic-Electric Bass

    46 vote(s)
    20.6%
  2. Fretless Bass

    161 vote(s)
    72.2%
  3. Neither, Who Cares?

    16 vote(s)
    7.2%
  1. slapnuts

    slapnuts

    Aug 9, 2005
    Marietta, GA
    Hey guys and girls, quick question. I am debating between buying an acoustic-electric bass or a fretless bass. I found two that I like a lot and I am constantly changing my mind on which one to buy. Any suggestions?

    Oh yeah, and my main reason for an acoustic is for traveling, I don't care about being violent femmes-ish.
     
  2. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I solved that particular dilemma by getting a fretless acoustic bass guitar. :D
     
  3. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    I already have a fretless so I'm going with the e/a.

    Otherwise it would be a very tough choice!
     
  4. slapnuts

    slapnuts

    Aug 9, 2005
    Marietta, GA
    How the HELL did you find an acoustic fretless. Did you cut off your frets on your acoustic kind of like Jaco did?
     
  5. Depends completely on your needs...actually a fretless acoustic is not a bad idea at all...one with a 42" scale and a 3" radius fingerboard would be nice... :D
     
  6. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    And they are pretty common. Heck, they even sell them on eBay and Musicians Fiend.
     
  7. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Fretless Acoustic all the way.

    -Ray
     
  8. Depends; if you're buying strictly for the convenience of travel, then get the acoustic. If you want a specific sound that either the acoustic/electric or the fretless give you, then you need to weigh that out. Is it for a specific style music, or just for travel in general? I got a fretless because I wanted to use it playing the jazz groups I'm in. I picked up a cheap acoustic/electric to use for a wedding gig that called for non-amplified guitar and bass background music at the dinner. So, I guess I vote for either one depending on the reason for the purchase.
     
  9. slapnuts

    slapnuts

    Aug 9, 2005
    Marietta, GA
    Wow, you are right. But, suprisingly, that low, low price of only 489.99 dollars is more that twice my budget. Don't ask where, it is my little secret shop, but I know where to go to get like 1000 dollar gear that is used for like 500 dollars or less. No, they don't do internet or ebay type stuff, but my budget would be 200-50 dollars. Hence that is out of my budget.
     
  10. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    IMO, definitely go for the fretless. You'll quickly become inseparable. Trust me :). I barely play my fretted at all anymore...mostly for playing with no regard towards intonation and hurting the fretboard, which are always constant worries -- especially wearing the fretboard if it's made of rosewood.

    EDIT: For that price, go for a used Yamaha BB404F. A couple months ago, they went on sale for ridiculously low prices at Musician's Friend and a lot of TB'ers picked 'em up. I got mine more than a year before they went on sale at MF, but I still do not lament the fact I bought it at full price ($500 CAD).

    FWIW, I've never played a fretless with a sweeter tone than my (stock!) Yamaha strung up with Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Rounds, or any stringed instrument with lower action. My teacher comments on my tone all the time, and anyone who plays my bass comments on the action.
     
  11. My Acoustic/el. was around $250, but it was a Squire. Not the best, but it did the job for now. I wasn't looking for anything really awsome, so if you just need one for travel/practice then maybe that would work...

    It's got a 3-band eq on board and active pu. Had to have a strap peg put on the body by the neck, though...seemed funny that there wasn't one there to begin with.
     
  12. slapnuts

    slapnuts

    Aug 9, 2005
    Marietta, GA
    I forgot to mention this:

    I have an Aria that I bought on the 29th of august and i have thirty days to return it. I like it, but I also would like a fretless.

    I am so sorry that I forgot to mention that.

    Also, the fretless I am looking at is something called a Stagg, an "offbrand" that only this place called Jennings music sells, at least that is the only place I have seen it. I personally compared it to a fretless jazz, and I don't know why, but I liked it better. Can anyone offer me advice on it?
     
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Never been a fan of "Stagg" instruments. Then again, I've rarely played anything housebrand that was worthwhile.
     
  14. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I've seen Stagg instruments at a now defunct local shop. They did not impress me personally, but if it works for you grab it.
     
  15. I voted acoustic. I have a fretless simulator on my pedal. I think an acoustic would be fun to mess around on.
     
  16. Lewis7789

    Lewis7789

    Sep 17, 2004
    Akron, Ohio USA
    Sales; ClearSonic Mfg.
    Now you asked which would I rather have, so I voted the fretless. Acoustic basses guitars just don't sound all that great to my ear. :)
     
  17. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    Yes.

    I have a fretless.
    Would love an acoustic. Not so sure about an electric acoustic. The ones I have played feel like toys and sound kinda brittle.
     
  18. Go the fretless.
    Acoustic basses are nearly all too gutless to use without an amp. The only ones I've played that could seriously keep up with good acoustic guitars were so big they'd be no good for travel, and were way out of your budget.
    If you're on a budget, you can still find cheap fretless basses that sound good (I've played a couple of great Corts).
     
  19. ingo62

    ingo62

    Mar 15, 2005
    Emden, Germany
    I've got a fretless (my old Precision, self-defretted) and a E/A (Johnson cheapo, but ok) already, now I have G.A.S. for a cheap double bass or EUB.. :)
     
  20. I can live without a clunky, floppy stringed, fat necked, gutless acoustic/electric. Been doing it fine for years. I'd much rather pack my combo than use an A/E.

    Fretless is one thing I couldn't live without. I'd sooner give up my fretted bass. There's something about that MWAH! Plus, fretless allows you to express yourself in ways that just aren't possible with frets. Trust me, once you play one for a while you'll know!