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Fretting over Fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by basskopf, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. I have been playing bass for about 1 1/2 years now and want to make a move to fretless. I have a Fender American Deluxe FMT and really love the feel on the neck, so I am looking for something similar.

    Does not have to be active, I almost prefer passive (bad experience with the preamp on the FMT, which I changed out for a John East UK J-retro).

    Also does not have to have fret markings. I know it's much harder, but I am not worried about it. I have a decent feel for intonation as a former piano player.

    The basic Fender Jaco model (not custom, not relic) has the polyester coating on the neck and fretboard which I really dislike.

    Any good suggestions from the fretless crowd would be MOST appreciated.

    Der Basskopf
  2. I don't know how available it would be for you, but I had a fretless Dean Edge 4 that was very nice- it rivalled basses costing more than twice it's price. I sold it for want of a fretless 5 & immediately regretted it.
  3. Im a big fan of fretless stingrays, love the HH :)

    If you like the jaco fretless, and the only thing you dislike is the coating on the neck, rub it down with some fine wire wool and sandpaper, give it an oil finish or something? Just because it comes stock doesnt mean it has to stay stock ;)
  4. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Look for a used Peavey Foundation fretless. Feels just like a Fender, very well made and usually show up on Ebay for <$250
  5. thanks for the inputs guys.

    bassguppy: yes, i have been looking at the victor bailey, but as i said above i am wary of the electronics (same as on my american deluxe i believe, which i swapped out for an additional $300!- maybe i just got unlucky).

    mohawk: good idea on the sanding. any idea how thick the epoxy is? probably no issue for a decent luthier. i think the epoxy is there because the bass comes with roundwounds, i prefer flatwounds and don't slap anyway, so less wear on the fingerboard. i will check out the stingray too.
  6. flyman

    flyman Whoa!!

    Aug 2, 2005
    cincinnati, ohio
    Big +1

  7. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    The Fender Standard fretless Jazz is a nice bass for the money. It has an uncoated rosewood fingerboard with lines, which makes it easy to play in tune.

    I found that, after a month or so, the lines started to annoy me, so I bought a Precision and ordered an unlined Warmoth neck for it. If such necks are available to you, that might be the way to go, since you can specify the nut width, fingerboard wood, lined or unlined, and so on.

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