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Fretless P advice.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by strost, Nov 3, 2013.


  1. strost

    strost Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    Hi All,

    So I am gassing for a fretless P (or PJ). I loves me my G&L JB and am looking hard at G&L SB-1 and LB-100 but I'm open to other suggestions.

    So, other than Tony Franklins and Precisions from the 70s , what should I look at? (looking to stay under $1500)

    If it matters, I'd play flats and am mostly looking for that old school phat funk/soul sound.

    Thanks!
    Steve
     
  2. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Fender made fretless P's up into the mid-90's. They've been hovering around $700 as near as i've seen. You can find some good ones if you look.
    Good luck with your search! I've had the same GAS for a while but lack the funds. If you find something cheap, let me know! ;)
     
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Carvin?
     
  4. Not sure on Precision fretless. However two players who used fretless in the setting you mention are Boz Burrell (Bad Company - on tracks like Feel Like Making Love and I Can't Get Enough of your Love) and Pino Palladino with Paul Young (Wherever I Lay my Hat is my home and others) - he can be seen playing with Paul Young on the Live Aid DVD.

    Boz Burrell is seen in TV footage playing a natural P bass with a fretless unlined maple board. Pino plays a 2 band pre EB Stingray. I'm not sure if a fretless non maple board would make much difference to a P with flats - it may lower high frequencies? A 3 band fretless Ray with appropriate skill will give you the Pino sound and old school funk straight out of the box with the addition of being able to play it with a non fretless and slap sound (Pino does this on the Live Aid DVD through a Trace Elliott rig).

    Best of luck with your quest for a decent fretless. I got my fretless Ray on EBay for a good price and it's superb.
     
  5. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It looks like you're looking for something high end, but I once had a Yamaha rbx260f that sounded great. It was just a p pickup, not the pj that most rbx's have. Great neck and a great sound for $80 off craigslist. Worth considering.
     
  6. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I have a parts bass '75 rosewood and a '77 parts bass maple, both great basses! My '75 in action! JOHNNYSMOKEBuffaloNYwaterfront8-19-13102.
     
  7. strost

    strost Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    ooh. nice.

    Carvin is on my radar. If I'm going custom I will probably stick with G&L though.

    I also think I'm more of an ebony guy (or maple).

    Thanks all!
     
  8. I've seen Tony Franklin Fenders at decent prices occasionally.

    I have owned a few Carvins fretlesses and they are awesome. They now make a P-P/J in a fretless that is well below your budget, even tricked out . I have a Carvin B25 fretless on order as I've finally decided that the neck of that bass is my favorite of he Carvins. But alas, no P/J config available on that one... :(
     
  9. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Cool whatever makes you happy! I don't consider myself a fretless player, played upright in college ('80-'83) for a few semesters. Didn't touch another fretless bass until about '09. It is a wonderful sonic option. I use it on our Bad Co. tunes and a few others. I'm no Jaco and don't care to be, Boz is my benchmark.
     
  10. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG! Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    If you don't mind going the way of a parts bass, have the skills and patients to wait for the right prices/pieces you can build a hell of a bass on the cheap.

    My '72 necked fretless came in pretty cheap at just over 600 for the whole bass.
    It did take a couple years of parts hording though.
    ps008.
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    G&L SB2; all the nasty MFD-P goodness, plus a bridge pickup.
     
  12. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG! Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    GAAAAAAASSSSSSS!
    I just realized via Google images that G&L offered a fretless version of the L1000

    I had a bass player let me fool around on a fretted one a couple years ago and the thing is still stuck in my head!
     
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Indeed, they did. I've had several of those.
     
  14. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Definitely worth taking your time and shopping the TB classifieds. I have a USA G&L L2000 with a fretless neck that was added after the fact (it was made by a custom shop in AZ). I have just over $500 into it. Although the body is a bit beat up, it sounds great! Strung with black tapewound strings.....
     
  15. strost

    strost Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    Does the lack of tone control make it hard to tone these beasts down?
     
  16. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG! Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Ya know the more I think about it, in the high end fretless p realm used G&L's are probably the best bang for the buck awesomesauce bassy goodness that can be had.
     
  17. lakefx

    lakefx

    Sep 14, 2012
    Eugene
    Glad you're enjoying it! I was the previous owner and I prefer a jazz width neck for fretless. Having said that, G&L makes fantastic instruments and my fretted SB-1 is my favorite P-Bass I've ever played. A fretless version would be pretty sweet, although I also love my fretless Gamma Alpha. The Gamma, however, isn't in the same class as the G&L in either build quality or price, but still sounds and plays fantastically.
     
  18. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    IMO, no.
    The volume controls, and right hand placement and technique work well.

     
  19. radioface

    radioface

    May 2, 2013
    It's the bridge pickup that makes a fretless sing. A standard single P pickup isn't going to cut it unless, you just can't stand a frets.
     
  20. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    You could find a used genuine P-bass neck and add it to your favorite Fender P-bass.
     

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