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fretless with punch

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by csholtmeier, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. csholtmeier


    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    So I played my fretless P live for the first time last night. I enjoyed it immensely. I even had someone say I should play fretless through the whole set. Here's my problem. The fretless works great for the quieter stuff, like backing acoustic, lap steel or banjo, but when the guitar player switches to electric I find that I don't have the punch or presence I would like to have. I'm running flats on the fretless, so maybe recommend a fretless that will stand up to rounds. I still want the fretless P sound, just with the ability to punch through in a loud rock setting.
  2. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    I'm sure others would know better then me... but maybe your solution isn't buying a new fretless but a pedal or preamp that can give you that extra punch (for a lot cheaper then a new bass).
  3. Boost your upper mids and don't let the notes sustain.
  4. hippiesandwich


    Aug 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Affiliated with Looperlative Audio Products
    W-A-L ! :bassist:
  5. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    If you have about $2500 (new) or about $1K (used), you can get a Pedulla Buzz with the P/J pups. I just bought a new one and it's incredible! I've only had it for a week and half, but I'm confident it will be able to cut through any mix.
  6. Try an EBS Multi-Comp stomp box - a lovely pedal that I use for both fretted and fretless - and as it says on the box "makes a great bass sound even better" - and they ain't lyin'! But I do have a Warwick and they are naturally punchy...
  7. Ed Denton

    Ed Denton Guest

    Aug 25, 2004
    Alamogordo, NM
    Just finished a five string fretless with EMG35 pickup and played it at practice last week. It actually stood out more than my Carvin with frets. I am using zoom effects.
  8. Jeff Rader

    Jeff Rader Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    You may want to consider nickel strings.

    Also, how you play has more to do with wearing out the fretboard than the strings, IMO. I use either nickel or stainless and my fretboard barely look used.

    Good luck!
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    +1 to the compressor.
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    1. Get an ODB3 boss bass overdrive. It has a od/dry control and a high and low boost/cut. I have mine set so that when it is engaged I get a gain boost with no distortion and a boost of the high frequency.
    2. A compressor (the aphex punch factory pedal is awesome) or simply boosting your high mids will work.
    3. Do NOT use nickel strings if you want punch. Nickel is the warmest sounding, nickel steel is the average not too bright/not to dull, but stainless steel is your best bet if you want any kind of punch from a frettless.
    4. driop a Seymor Duncan Quarter-Pounder in place of the stock pickup.

    I have a pbass, and it is fretted, but I use flats. I have a quarter pounder pickup in it and even with the old fender flats that have been on it for over a hearon it, it has alot of punch. I end up using the ODB3 only for the most agressive parts of songs. Your cheapest option is probably to change out the pickup because if you have a MIM precision, than it probably could benifit from a new pickup anyway, and you can kill two birds with one stone.
  11. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    - Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats
    - preamp (rackmount type) that can adjust mid level
    - eq-pedal
    - and the new bass route if nothing else works
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That's ponch.

    I've never had problem punching through in a rock gig with my fretless basses, both had typical dual humbucker configurations. Try the volume knob maybe?
  13. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Did you try just boosting the low mids and playing closer to the bridge?
  14. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    If you want the meanest and punchiest tone (with a great P vibe on the neck P/U) you should definately check out fury. My newest one is meaner than all but one of my fretted's and will sustain forever without compression. Just pure punch and tone.

    Glenn built exactly what I asked for. A mean fretted tone minus the frets.

    PM me for info.

    Better pictures here Fretless
  15. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    A fretless P with flats should have no issues cutting in a rock setting. A little boost to the low mids will keep it thumping and punch it through.

    Sorry about my mutant P picture (click my sig links to see and hear more)...Quallabone started it :p
  16. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    Great looking basses quallabone,

    Forgive my ignorance but what do the levers do by the bridge? Does Fury have a website?
  17. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    The lever is a detuner much like a hipshot. Unlike the hipshot it is able to consistantly, stay in tune, keep bands of overtones ringing and be easy to use on the fly. I thought they were the dumbest things on the planet until I actually used one. They're one of the best features that Fury has. I'm hardpressed to play a show without using it numerous times. It can also be used for some extremely cool effects on fretless.

    As for the website, an extremely outdated one with crappy pics can be found at www.furyguitar.com. This site hasn't been updated forever and some specs have changed. For info email me at quallabone@hotmail.com or Glenn (owner) at glenn@furyguitar.com.

    I can tell you when I sold my Fodera to buy my first Fury I could have bought nearly 3 of them with the cash. IMO the best bang on the market for not a huge buck.


    I started it and I'll finish it even if I die trying.

    I see your burst and raise you 1!
  18. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    :smug: no reason to fight... we can both have pretty basses :bassist:
  19. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    Damnit. You win. Mr. Maturity over here ladies and gentlemen.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Fretless pics... too easy;)

    Depending on what tone you prefer, flats may work, nickel rounds may work better. I don't own a fretless that doesn't cut through. I use nickel rounds on almost all of them. I use LaBella black tapewounds on one and it's like channeling James Jamerson. Punch galore.

    That's more about how you play than buying any extra box.

    If your amp is up to the challenge, that's half the battle. Turn it up.