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good beginner fretless...help!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by newbass, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. newbass


    Mar 18, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Hello again! It has been awhile since I have posted here. Anyway, I was wondering what your advice for a first fretless bass is. I am proficient enough on fretted to know that I could learn to play a fretless with hard work. I prefer unlined fretlesses and I think I could handle one. The problem is, I want one that will last a while but it can't be too expensive. I'm not sure exactly what my price range is, as I'm not sure what job I'm getting this summer. The $400-$600 range would be nice, but I could go over some. Please help!!! Thanks in advance!
  2. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    I might look at a Fender MIM fretless std. Jazz.

    Unless you dont mind getting used, which would give you more options.

    Btw, welcome back.
  3. newbass


    Mar 18, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    I'll look into the MIM Jazz, but does anyone have any experience with Carvins? Thanks!!!
  4. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I suggest a MIM Jazz too... Heard one thought it was sweet... found out it was a MIM Jazz, they have lines though I believe, get one with lines, if Jaco used lines, you can use lines too, I thought I wouldn't need lines but I'm quite thankful I do have lines on my fretless
  5. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I've heard good things about carvins...

    look for a used warwick or carvin.
  6. If you look around, both on line and in stores, you should be able to find a MIJ fretless Fender Jazz (i.e. unlined) for ~$300 - $350.
  7. sDg


    Feb 26, 2003
    Wise, Virginia
    One problem with a lined fretless is that you will be tempted to play with your eyes instead of your ears (looking at the neck instead of listening to the notes). Personally I love the sound of a fretless jazz. But as with all MIM Fenders, play it before you buy it. Consistency between the MIMs is . . . um . . . lacking.

  8. Check out a Carvin B4F. If you're handy, you can even buy it in kit form and put it together yourself. With a setup, you then have a good bass.
  9. 6 string demon

    6 string demon

    Mar 23, 2003
    dean make fantastic fretless basses.the edge is pretty cheapo i belive, i got one for £325 sorry im not sure what it would be in us$
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I play a 5 string Dean Edge 5 fretless that I got in 1999 for a little over $400. I really like it a lot, it's my main bass now. Here's a picture:


    It plays and sounds great, and I think it looks great, too. In the US, Musician's Friend sells Deans online or you can do what I did and support your local dealer if you have one. Highly recommended, gret bang-for-the-buck.
  11. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Fender seems a good way to go - for that kind of money, you're not going to get an active bass with really good electronics, so you're better off getting a passive one which can then be upgraded when you've got the dough. I really like the P/J config on the P-bass specials, but that or a J would do fine.

    As for the lined/unlined thing - seriously, go with lines. I've never ever heard a good reason for not getting a lined fretless (this discussion has gone round and round on here...) - there are some people who can play unlined fretless accurately in tune time after time, but they are pretty rare. I've taught, interviewed and jammed with enough fretless players to say, categorically, that the ones who have lines are more often in tune than those without. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between.

    As far as playing with your eyes in concerned, you should be playing with your eyes... and ears, and muscle memory and anything else that helps you to play in tune, in time every time.


  12. A MTD Kingston fretless would be a great bass to start with, especially for your price range. There's one on ebay now for $420 BIN
  13. bollefen


    Mar 13, 2003
    you have a pm
  14. switchblade

    switchblade Guest

    May 31, 2003
    London, England, UK
    Thats a great bass! I want one! :)
  15. catphish


    Feb 25, 2003
    What would make a fretless bass be good for a begininer. In other words, is there anything about a higher end fretless, if one could afford it, that might be bad for a beginer? (fretline debate aside)

    Curious because I just bought a Pentabuzz for my first fretless and I love it. Might become my new main bass.
  16. No, nothing about a higher-end bass would be bad. The only issue is throwing a lot of money into something that you may find you're not into. if you can afford it and don't mind, then there's no problem.
  17. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Nope unless you just bought it for the name and not the way it sounds, I bought the Jaco after falling in love with it, and to me thats a high mid-end fretless, and thats how I started on fretless
  18. catphish


    Feb 25, 2003
    Definitely didn't buy it for the name. In fact, the looks of it had to grow on me a little. I was flirting with it at Guitar center for almost 6 months before I broke down and got it. It's that fingerboard! Mmmmmwah.
  19. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    I would recommend a used Carvin.

    I got mine off of Ebay for under $500 - neck through, active 5 string, stacked humbuckers, with a quilted maple top, and lined ebony neck. Being a Fender guy from way back I wanted something different and thought the neck through fretless would be a good change. Wow. I am really liking this bass. I put on a set of TI flats and it is a monster. I have a couple of American Fenders (4 and 5) that are taking a back seat to the Carvin for most of the music I play. Big, round, powerful, growly, ...OOh yeah.

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