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Fretless - what kind of markings? * PLEASE RE-VOTE *

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MarkoYYZ, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Rosewood fingerboard with lined markers on front, dots on side

  2. Rosewood fingerboard with no lines on front, dots on side only

  3. Rosewood fingerboard with no lines on front, side dots on the fret positions

  4. Rosewood fingerboard with no lines on front, dots and line markers on side

  5. Other - please comment below




  1. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    ** EDITED POLL **

    OK, based on the earlier poll with more options, it wasn't all that instructive as it was a bit too evenly split, and with less than 25% of responses, the lined fingerboard option has basically eliminated itself from consideration (we didn't want to do it anyway).

    Assume a dark wood board like Rosewood or Ebony. Poll is for the side markings only.

    I know you may have voted before, but now that the details are a bit more clear, and with reeuced options, please select the marking layouy you would most prefer on the side of an unlined fretless neck.

    THANK YOU for your feedback on this.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  2. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I've owned both lined and unlined, and I prefer lined.
    nozkcb, Charlzm and spaz21387 like this.
  3. Unlined by a mile for me. I hate the look of fake frets.
  4. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    EBONY fingerboard with no lines on front, side dots on the fret positions
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I prefer unlined but I am a fretless guy, my number one is lined. I would go with lined with dots for the masses. You could always go for dark veneers to hide the lines.

    @wintremute the ebony is a fantastic suggestion, way more mwah and more durable.
    JustForSport and 99Z3 like this.
  6. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    Lined, regardless of fingerboard wood. Round dots on face and side of fingerboard.
  7. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I voted for dots and lines on the side, but I agree with wintremute's assertion of Ebony being the wood of choice!

    I'd actually love one that has the little micro-lines on *both* edges. my eyes can connect the dots and it's almost like playing with lines.
  8. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I voted dots on the side only, but probably should have chosen "other" as my fingerboard is birds-eye maple, not rosewood - not that it matters much, I have an ebony one with the same dots. Being also an upright player, I've no use for lines, but the side dots are helpful.
    SanDiegoHarry and Old Blastard like this.
  9. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Lines under the E string to the 12th fret, lines under the G string from 12 on up.
    Glow in the dark lines on the side, and giant glow in the dark side dots as well.
    Tiny little lines or dots that don't show up under stage lights or on a dark stage are useless.
    Fat Steve likes this.
  10. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    This is what I'm leaning towards right now, at the urging of a particular player.

    Those of you saying no lines on front and dots on side only - would you be dissuaded from buying a bass with these sorts of markings?

    fretless markers 1.
    Hotblack, Thor2, gadgetgirl and 23 others like this.
  11. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Every fretless that I've owned was defretted.
    And had styrene plastic inlays put in. Snapshot_2014617.
    What I have is lined.What I want is unlined.
    Many basses are not offered in a fretless option.
    Much less an unlined fretless.

    I recently found out that a fingerboard can be steamed off and an unlined fingerboard can be applied.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  12. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    I've seen guys going this route lately and while I have little experience it makes a lot of sense, with all the details from a players perspective and lends itself to show off the beauty of the fingerboard.
    Thor2 likes this.
  13. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    I want as much information as possible on the sides, but I want the fingerboard totally clean on front -- I just think it looks nice that way. I don't like when the lines show a bit on the front toward the top, like you have pictured or like on F Basses.
    JustForSport likes this.
  14. Not really interested in any lines at all. If I liked the instrument and the price was right, it wouldn't be a deal breaker, but I'd prefer no lines anywhere.
    Billybladez66 and Old Blastard like this.
  15. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Yes. Side dots on fretless belong at the fret positions.
    I prefer unlined but I would not rule out lined.
    Dots between the positions, however, I would not care to deal with.
    I'm OK with dots between the frets on fretted instruments; I don't care if this seems contradictory...
  16. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    Sixgunn and onosson like this.
  17. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I might deal if it's a good price. But part of the reason I'd go dots only is to force my ear to improve. Lines kind of take away from that and let me ease up on the ear work.
    Tbone76 and Gravedigger Dav like this.
  18. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    I prefer it without lines, but that's nice, too. Lines on the fretboard are pretty much a deal breaker. Lines on the side are not a deal breaker.
    /\/\3phist0 and twinjet like this.
  19. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    What is the difference between option 2 and option 3? They appear to be the same thing worded differently.
  20. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    That's exactly what I would never want. All the dots are in the wrong position on the side- worst possible setup there IMO. Whether you go lined or unlined, the side dots should be in the proper point of intonation on the side, as they are what you will look to most. I always prefer lined, but that means I always need to custom order my fretlesses to have the side dots be in the proper point of intonation on the side (as they are normally in between the lines on a lined fretless). This is what my fretlesses look like:
    EDIT: added a second pic for more clarity
    PsyDocHill, AndroWal, Thor2 and 10 others like this.

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