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Fretless with roundwounds

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xerogh, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. xerogh

    xerogh Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I'm looking for a decent 5 string fretless around $500 or less that can take having roundwounds on it. I want to do slapping and I'm not a big fan of flatwounds.

    I've messed around with a Cort Curbow which I liked. I think that Ebenol fretboard is tough enough to live with rounds. Bass Collection basses have Ebonol fretboards too, but they are hard to find.

    Are there any others out there that I could look at?


  2. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Don't expect to slap on a fretless and not have it sound like butt :(
  3. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    One thing is sure if you use roundwounds on a fretless: the strings will "EAT" the fretboard......

    .... by the way, i second Ekimo´s comment about slaping on a fretless......

  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile


    Do some searching... many of us use rounds on fretless and slap. I personally coat my rosewood board with epoxy and re level every couple months.
  5. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Because when you slap the string bangs against the top fret and if it's just an edge of wood it sounds bad
  6. jbay


    May 23, 2002
    Not really the case... With alil tweaking on EQ, most people can't even tell whether I'm slapping on a fretless or fretted...
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I slap on my fretless all the time, and it sounds great. It sounds different than slapping on a fretted, but still sounds good.
  8. Solution: put a single fret in the last-fret position of your fretless. I don't see why it wouldn't work. You would have the best of both worlds.
  9. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    The problem with that would be that wherever you put your finger on the fingerboard the string would touch the fret, and if you had the fret low enough not to do that the string wouldn't hit the fret when you slapped.

    Edit: at least I think so, guess I'm wrong about many things.
  10. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    ..... to you

    ;) I like it
  11. I wouldn't think this would be a problem unless you had an outargeously low setup. By your logic, wouldn't a fretted bass do the same? And as we know, it doesn't.
  12. Ok,.. so, anybody has a recommendation?

    Personally I have no experiences with fretless basses, but when I get one, I'm gonna put roundwounds on it, or maybe groundwounds, but never flats. Maybe Bocote fingerboards are hard enough not to be damaged by the roundwounds.. I have no Idea about other woods or ebanol.
    btw I like the sound of slapping in frettless.

    the best part about fretless basses is that you can set the action LOW. No one wants a fretless with high action.

    My brain hurt trying to understand where you're coming from, don't do it again please.
  14. jbay


    May 23, 2002
    Actually I know some luthiers build a metal plate onto the end of a fretless fingerboard to give a brighter slap sound. Can't remmeber which ones though :)
  15. JOME77


    Aug 18, 2002
    If you want to use Roundwounds you really need a neck with Diamondwood or sometype of Diamondcoat finish (Pedulla). The main problem will be finding a quality fretless with the high end type fingerboard (or finish) for $500. Reguardless of the type fingerboard, slapping and poping on a fretless will certainly wear down your fingerboard faster than normal fretless style playing. Hey, but if that's your style, do it and have your fingerboard leveled or replaced more frequently. You also may want to go with nickle RW's rather than stainless.:)
  16. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Slapping a fretless is all about technique. I've heard some folks do fabulously well, and then I do it like crap myself.

    Regarding strings wearing the board, you better prepare to dress the board at least once a year. Ebonol will be very smoothly grooved, and rather quickly. So will rosewood and maple. Ebony will withstand slightly more, and then there is this wood, called Pockenholz in Sweden. It will hardly wear at all, but it is so oily, that you will need to change strings at least twice as often as you're used to.
  17. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i had a bad flat wound/ fretless expereince in high school and swore that i would never use them again.
    i have used rotosounds swing bass on my fretless P with a rosewood board for 15 years. the board is still in great shape and up until a few years ago this was my main bass. I now play a SMith 6 (best in the world, IMO...)
    i also think slapping sounds like doo doo on a fretless.
  18. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I'll second that. I have TI Jazz Flats on my fretless, they sound and feel great (now that I've broken them in a bit).
  19. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    well, it was twenty years ago the last time i tried them. i am sure that there have been great advances in string technology since then.
  20. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i recently played a Rob Allen fretless that had what looked like rounds wrapped with black vinyl - they sounded very good. any idea who makes them ?

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