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Fretless Sugestions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sliminy_rickets, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. I stepped into the world of no frets about a year ago with a cheep MIM Lined Jazz. Having never really played a fretless (or flatwounds for that matter) I didn't wana spend a bunch of money on something that I might not even enjoy playing. Well ... that wasn't the case! I love having a fretless in the arsenal and I have finally saved enough pennies to get a better one. I expect everyone will have their own opinion as to who makes the smoothest fretless but I can't personally play em all (wish I could) so I am turning to the collective experience of the talkbass community for some suggestions.

    4 or 5 strings (have not decided)
    Lines no longer needed! :D
    Price Range - $0.01 - $1200

    Considering a 4 string stingray w/piezo pups but I have yet to actually play one so .....

    Thanks in advance for your 2 cents .... (the price range just went up to $1200.02!) :D
  2. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    cool. I was in your position a few years back and wanted to get as much input as I could before shopping. Pretty much got the "'play 'em all and see what you like best" line of advice. Turns out that's really about the only way to go. What I love about my fretli isn't necessarily going to jazz the next guy...

    So I'll ask: are you considering used?
    Can I suggest it? You can get a heck of a lot of bass in that price range used. Zon, F bass, Pedulla-if you're patient and willing to do some research you can really come out ahead.

    Or, how's about a custom?
  3. xush,

    I usually try to buy things new so that if there is a problem I didn't notice before the purchase there is a warranty to resolve it. ;) That's not to say I wouldn't love to stumble across a killer deal on a used bass but being in the middle of nowhere the killer deals are few and far between. :(

    The point of this post was to narrow my search down to a few select manufactures and then hunt out the closest dealers and make the long trip out there (where ever "there" may be) and start the "play 'em all" routine. Personally I wouldn't want to buy a bass I couldn't play first ... which is why I don't look in the on-line classifieds to much.

    Now ... as for a custom .... I don't really feel I have owned enough basses to truly know what I would want in a custom bass. You on the other hand have a beautiful collection ... must be fun! I'll be checking back often to see how that 8 string custom turns out .... looking sweet so far!!!

    Thanks again for your input. A Zon, F bass or Pedulla would be nice but I doubt I could afford a brand new one. Perhaps I might get lucky and find some used ones to check out during my search. If I find a used one that feels right (and is a killer deal) you know I'll snag it! ;)
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    There are lots of choices in your price range. I just found a used Stambaugh fretless and then a second one right after that. Both 5 strings, both under $1000.

    I understand wanting to try them before you buy them but you may want to keep this in mind: there are some amazing deals available on higher end used basses.

    I also understand wanting a warranty. I'm more experienced buying stuff so that's not really an issue with me. It's fairly easy to tell if a bass is structurally sound. Electronics problems are more likely but don't usually cost very much to fix, depending on your area.

    Keep your eyes peeled and for the price of a Musicman fretless (nice bass) you could find an F bass fretless.

    As far as new, for less money, there's the Cort Artisans, the MTD Korean models, Yamaha BBN series, etc. One thing to consider is, what kind of fretless sound are you after? I know you mentioned flatwounds and lots of people love them. For a different sound, I've used roundwounds for years without incident (not to restart that debate;)).
  5. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    Musicman Stringray fretless
    Carvin LB70 or LB75 fretless
    How about a Lakland Skyline fretless??!!:D

    Maybe a Warwick, but they have fewer tonal choices IMO.

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