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fretless side position markers??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hankie, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    I just received a fretless bass that I got on eBay. I will not give name brand the at this time. This bass is a acoustic electric fretless with a unlined fingerboard. I have been playing fretless basses for sometime and this is the second time I have come across one that has the side positions markers that were off. The dot or markers are in the place where they should be if it was a fretted or lined fingerboard. Is it me or are some position markers on a unlined fingerboard suppose to be that way?
    The two frenders that I have are not that way.
    I am kind of pissed off because this bass looks and sound good...!:eek: :mad: :confused:
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    On my Hohner they are where the lines should be, but I don't think it's like that on all basses.
  3. OK... I'm assuming that it's a factory fretless because you stated the fretboard was unlined. Is it a high end, normal, or low buck bass. The reason that I ask is that if it's high end they (the manufacturer) may be assuming that you're accomplished at fretless bass... hence the high end purchase. If it's a low buck bass one can only guess that the manufacturer was at a loss for where exactly to position the markers... or didn't want to retool for a fretless board. If it falls in the average price range one can only wonder what they were thinking...

    OK... so I've been no help at all. I wouldn't get rid of it if you like the sound and the playability... I'd install new markers myself!
  4. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    :rolleyes: Well It's looks like a highend bass from far away and on the internet. I paid 365. plus shipping, What the hell , The brand name is Michael Kelly (Made in Korea) really cool inlay on the fingerboard. I couldn't resist myself, that cool inlay hypnotized me.. I have been playing fretless(always unlined) basses both double bass and electric for 15 years. If this bass didn't have any markers I would be better off. I could play it blindfolded..... well maybe not always in key but close most of the time depending on how many beers I'v had.:eek: The other bass that I played (Guitar Center) that had the dots in the wrong spot was a Rogue fretless pile of :)D ) . It was probably from the same factory that this bass came from. There's no end for low end S**t.
    I am going to call Michael Kelly guitars tomorrow. Hopefully they will take it back and give me my money back. Here's a picture of it. No Wa! it's the one that is acoustic.
  5. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    sorry pic was to big to send:(
  6. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Hey Hankie,
    Besides not liking the side markers, give a report on the bass, please. These have been popping up on ebay, and they are definitely pretty. How's the fit and finish? Action? Any dead spots? How are the electronics? Any good unlpugged? Balance? Feel of the neck? One thing that could be throwing you off is that they are 32" scale. If you are used to a 34, that can take a little time to get used to. Is it the blonde or dark body? Thanks for your time.
  7. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    It's a Amber Quilted top and back.
    yea its a 32" scale, I don't see how that has anything to do with where the side makers should be. the side position markers fall at the fret location, not in-between as on a fretted neck, no matter what scale it is. Check out warmoth site,
    I just got this bass today. I looks really sweet. go to their site www.michaelkellyguitars.com It will neeed some new strings and a set-up. The strings are a bit high for me but playable out of the box. It is a jombo size bass and has a good acoustic sound. the neck is comfortable. Pluged in it didn't impress a that much. The bass EQ was a little help but I really liked it's sound unplugged better. it would sound better with some really nice flat-wound strings. It is a really nice bass to look and it looks like it should have cost at least $1000.00, good thing it didn't cause I'd be really pissed. If you get one of these do not get the fretless unlined unless you like your position marker in the WRONG SPOT!!. IT'S ALL WRONG!!! Shure you could play it that way, but if you'v been playing unlined fretless for some time it will really mess you up. Get the fretted one or the fretless lined to be shure that you will have proper fringer placements...... I really hope that this was just a one time flaw and the other fretless basses are not messes up like this one. I really dout it. I think that munimula84 was right about that they didn't even consider that the fringer positing changes when you don't have frets. they just probably didn't know since all they are doing is making pretty guitars that don't have to play like a real ones.. I would get a nother one if it had the side markrs in the correct location. Whatever it still sucks because now I have to send it back at my expence.

  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The reason that you got it for $335 is they're unloading the ones with the misplaced markers. The ones with the markers in the right place are ... you guessed it, $1,000.
  9. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    Dude, Are you high? I paid $365. + 25 in shipping
    And the retail price on theses are only $749.00 but they sell them for around $460. Where did you come up with the $1000. price.. ? Anyway it's going back. I wonder how many of these bass where faulty?

  10. I think he got it from your big post with website links, you did say it should have cost at least $1,000. I think you'll find he was having a joke!!:D :D
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Nah, he must be high

  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have a Korean made "copy" of a Warwick Thumb fretless that has the dots where they would be on a fretted bass. I played it for a while that way, but it made it hard, especially above the 12th fret, so I had black dots put in at the location of the frets to make it easier to play (the original ones are white, so I used black for contrast). By the way, if you buy a bass in Korea be very careful of counterfeits, they make some very good ones there....:rolleyes: I thought at the time that Warwick must have just started making a cheap Korean version, the way MTD and Lakland have, but when I got back home I discovered they don't. I notified Dana B. Goods (the American distributor) and they took the name of the store where I bought it. Most of the fakes in Korea are obvious, Fender "Jass" basses and the like, but this one is a very good copy, with a bubinga body and wenge fingerboard.
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That is really too bad! The Basses on the Michael Kelly site that you linked to look very nice! I know that there are a lot of really good instruments being made in Korea these days. My Dean Edge 5 fretless is wonderful.

    The Dean Edge 5 is unlined with the markers in the right places though!

    Hopefully the manufacturer will change out the bass with a lined one, that would at least be usable unlike this. Personally I'd ask a local luthier how much it would be to put the markers in the right positions. I wouldn't be surprised if it was only a $50-100 job, and you'd still have a pretty good bargain there.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  14. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    Yea, I could have it fixed but this thing that appears to be a bass guitar is brand new.
    It shouldn't have been that way to begin with. If it is only a $50. job I would do it. That would be almost what it will cost to ship it back.
    The fingerboard is outlined with plastic binding. The binding would have to be replaced with a new one. Then new dots installed. What do you think this would cost. Anyone!!!! Any Luthiers out there?
    I called Michael Kelly Guitars. They said that all of the fretless unline basses that they sell have the markers this way. They (Tracy) said that there was no industry standards on where the dots go. :eek:I can't believe that this dude is even selling guitars. I would be ashamed to be selling these faulty basses. I bet he has never even played a real fretless bass. I have it all boxed up to be shipped back. but I now think I will wait to see how mush it will cost to fix it. Once I mess with it, the warranty is void. I like the bass almost enough to have it fixed. What do you think?????????:rolleyes:

    Thanks everyone for all the help: Hank
  15. Don't panic Hankie... that bass is danged purdy! If it plays right and it sounds right have the markers repositioned. You could do it yourself for next to nothing... you could hire it out reasonably cheap (I would think) if you don't trust yourself... or you could have custom LED's dropped in for a bundle ala Jack Bruce!

    Good luck with whatever you decide!!!
  16. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    I took I to my luthier he could fix it for $200. Yes, I could do it myself but it would not be all that professional looking and I would hate to ruin this nice looking bass. I have spent to much time dealing with something that I shouldn't have had to deal with in the first place. This was one of those Korean mail order pride horror storys you read about. She was so fine looking in the picture but she had these major issues type of thing and you just want her out of your life forever.
    Whatever. I am done with this, Thank you:)
  17. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    So what have you decided to do?

    Pay the money to get it fixed?
    Sell it on EBay to an unsuspecting person?
    Ask MK to replace it with a lined one?

    Inquiring minds want to know! :)
  18. Hankie


    May 19, 2001
    I shipped it back in the brown box that it came in:p
    Michael Kelly Guitars (Tracy) are really super nice people to deal with. They refunded my money. I lost a total of $65 in shipping it back . Lucky for me there was a 15 day satisfaction guaranty. Also all their guitars come with a 2 year warranty on materials and craftsmanship.
    Tracy told me that they have sold 100's of these fretless basses but have never had a complaint about the dots being in the wrong spot. He also said he would do some reserch, and would let me know if they ( factory in Korea) need to fix this problem. I think most bass players wouldn't know that the dots where in the wrong location if they haven't played a unlined fretless bass before. I would be happy not even having then a all. I am shure that Tracy is not a bass player..... I really liked the bass it sounded as good if not better than the Tocoma bass that sells for 3 times the price of the MK. Also it looked really sweet! Like I said I would get another one of these if they fixed the problem or I might settle for one with frets: Personaly I don't care for lined fretless basses. .
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Thanks for the info. Sounds like this bass is one important detail away from being a recommended talkbass product. Glad to hear it sounded nice and that it was well made (not surprising with the quality of a lot of the Korean guitars these days). I hope they fix the problem. I'm sure your guess is right that they haven't sold to a whole lot of experienced unlined fretless players. Personally I don't know how I would play that thing! :)

    I'll bet the fretted is nice. It sounds lile you got some good customer service. Too bad you had to pay shipping but that's always a risk when shopping mail order.

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