1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Fretless shopping

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sidonbass, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    If you can snag those for a grand, let me know where....
  2. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    second vote for ibanez portamento. I owned a squier VM fretless for a while, and when I tried the Ibanez in the store, it made me very sad, because it was way nicer than my squier. It took about thirty seconds of playing it to realize this.
    bassista6 likes this.
  3. Build a mutt. Plenty of loaded P, J and P/J bodies available. Or get a fretted bass you like the sound of and then attach a Mighty Mite ebonal neck and you're good to go for well under your budget. Second choice would be a used Carvin. High quality, low price.
    NigelD likes this.
  4. coated fingerboards are underrated!

    sire comes with them stock - i haven't played one but they seem well received here.

    I had a warmoth parts jazz that i had Pat Wilkins do a poly finish on the fingerboard - it literally was the best sounding fretless i'd played. Took out the fender jaco custom shop no question in terms of tone and grown and a sound full of character..

    so, anything + a wilkins fingerboard job (around $250) will please you.
  5. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Cort Artisan B4FL
    Also the MHPZ model
    Both are well under your budget and are fine basses.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    first: altering the nut to fit the player's requirements is de rigueur.
    second: not all instruments require a board level (none of my own three cheapies have required this). i think you are 'overstating'. :)

    i agree with you. i regret not emphasizing this in my own post. :D

    but the best reasons for considering an affordable fretless would be:

    and then there's this:
    but still cheap(er)! ;)
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  7. I had an Ibanez sr375F. 5 string, lots of mwah with nickle rounds and not a mark on the fretboard. Surprising quality for the money. The Squier fretless with the ebanol board - negatory
  8. sugarsand


    Mar 1, 2009
    If you are a serious bassist and need to work with a fretless in your sound, stay with the same neck as the bass you play now. If you are used to playing a Fender then keep that in mind. If you get a Fender fretless you will know what the difference is between the two, why you might need a fretless and or a fretted bass. If you buy a completely different bass you pretty much have to spend a lot of time figuring your way around the neck. Then there's neck length, the nut intonation, radius, a lot of variables! Besides the electronics, ergonomics and on and on... what make a good bass or a bad one, there are so many ways to go wrong, and to throw that on top of you fretless adventure! $1000 is still good money, you can find a excellent used bass for that. T Franklin is a killer example or many very good mij fretless fenders that are reliable and have great sound and are a mathematical swap. A fretless bass is only a good or bad bass without frets. A crap bass is a crap bass, a fretless version won't make it a better bass. My 2cents. I play a lot of fretless.
  9. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ******** Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2016
    Shelter Island, NY USA
    if you can find a used one, go for it. I liked it so much I ended up hunting down a (sadly discontinued) fretted version. As for the D-Tuner...if you don't like it, swap it out and sell it. It's "Fender" stamped and should fetch a better price than a standard Hipshot stamped on.
    sidonbass likes this.
  10. smtp4me


    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have a Fender Standard (MIM) Jazz fretless and could not be happier. I've done some mods: replaced factory bridge with Hipshot KickAss bridge; replaced factory pickups with Tom Brantley pickups; and put a CA glue (aka superglue) finish on the fingerboard myself. I get plenty of mwah from it, and IMHO, there are so many factors that affect MWAH that with the right technique, proper setup, pickup settings, EQ etc. - it can be coaxed out of almost any bass.
  11. Fab Superlative

    Fab Superlative

    Oct 12, 2006
    Metro Motown
    The Truth Is Out There
    Another vote for a Tony Franklin fretless here, ebony board for the win!
    Nice variety of tones via the selector switch, rather than blend pots. The fewer pots between the pups & the output = the better.
    Add some TI flats and a Boss OC-2 octaver and mwah city awaits.
    sidonbass likes this.
  12. I see you play upright. That's my main instrument. And while I am certain to be heaped with scorn and derision, I recommend you check out Wishbass. Steve makes huge necks that make me feel right at home. Each one is unique. They sound great. And contrary to popular belief you won't get splinters from them.
    bholder likes this.
  13. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    You are not forced to use it.
    Wisebass and sidonbass like this.
  14. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    You know, pretty much every time you post that, I stop what I'm doing to listen to it again. :thumbsup: Gotta take the time to play along and learn it some day! :woot::bassist:
    oren likes this.
  16. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    My Sire P7 fretless 5 also came with Chromes - I wasn't expecting to like them and was ready to replace them, but actually, I love them, great fretless strings! And I have no doubt they sound great on that bass, too. (Trying to resist ordering one hehe)
  17. sidonbass

    sidonbass Supporting Member

    May 27, 2006
    Asheville NC
    Do you know, if I replace the drop D tuner with a regular tuner, will the screw holes match, leaving no signs?
  18. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I was among the Wish-non-believers at first, but always found his designs captivating. Now I'm hooked, a true WishFanatic!
    boombloom likes this.
  19. pbass888

    pbass888 Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    New York, NY
    Made in Japan fender jazz bass. My number one fretless unlined and a great build . I have this white one which dates to the 80’s. Saw this on a local cl at a great price, but not sure how this one plays (obviously:))

    Best Of luck


    Fender Fretless Jazz Bass - Made in Japan
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 7:41 PM
  20. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Excellent quotation there. And you beat me to it: I was going to say that my current fretless bass started with me finding a used neck with a coated fingerboard. The result was over the OP's budget, but as you implied, he can source the other parts so that the final cost is low enough.

Share This Page