Good Fretless for Under $900?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by remcult, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. remcult

    remcult Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    New Jersey
    Besides looking into possibly getting a 5er, I'm also curious about checking out a fretless. Any suggestions for a (probably 4 string) fretless? Should be under 10 lb. I can part with around 900, new or used

  2. That price range is pretty close to being able to order a brand new Carvin fretless. I have 5 string fretless from them and they are fantastic. Find a used one and you'll likely have a ton of money left over..
  3. Jipley0


    Nov 25, 2013
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Five string fretless for half of your budget? Ltd B205sm fl. I have the fretted version of this bass and I love it. I think new it goes for ~450$.
  4. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Used Fender MIM fretless or used Carvin LB70F and save yourself about $400-$500.
  5. LeeNunn

    LeeNunn Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    Consider the TB classifieds. Your money will go further buying used, and the quality of the basses offered in the TB classified is probably higher than most stores. I bought a used Warmoth J bass with an unlined ebony fingerboard and EMG pickups for $550 about ten years ago. I've never played a bass I liked better. It wasn't through TB, but I was lucky. TB classifieds are the better bet.
  6. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    Just for curiosity's sake, I checked eBay for Carvin Fretless Bass as a search parameter and there are a few interesting basses starting at about $625 for an LB70F, but there's also a 5-string fretless, a Claro LB75W fretless at $849.

    I've been thinking about a Claro but there are other basses that I've bought and am trying out/upgrading electronics on. One's what would be considered a cheap bass, a Rogue 4-string fretless for under $100. The electronics are being upgraded to Duncan pickups (PJ configuration), but it feels pretty comfortable, not quite as much as one I built, but I may be prejudiced. :))

    Also, Musician's Friend and Guitar Center both seem to carry those low-cost basses. Just some info to consider. I agree with LeeNunn, checking the TB classifieds should always be a source to check out. I should have done that first. There's lots of goodies to choose from there, including some fretless Carvins.

    Lloyd Howard
  7. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The Scottsdale, AZ Guitar Center (no affiliation) has a Carvin LB70F for $540.
    Neck through, ebony fingerboard, made in the US of A, and if it's busted, you can return it locally.
  8. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    $900 will get you an incredible fretless if you're buying used, and are patient. As for right now, there's a German-made Warwick Corvette fretless on ebay for $650, which is a good deal.
  9. Yeah, for more than 1/2 of that $900 (around $420 Cdn.) - ESP LTD B205 FL. Played great right out of the box, put D'Addario tapewound flats on it, and it sounded even better. Worked out really well as it was my 1st fretless so I didn't want to spend a lot of $ on it before I knew whether I liked it or not (same for it being lined).

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  10. davidhilton

    davidhilton Commercial User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sometimes u can get a used GWB-1 for @ 900. IMO its the best fretless for the money.
  11. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
  12. If you're "curious about" fretless, buy used so you don't take such a beating in the resale if it's not for you. It seems lots of bassists buy a fretless but a much smaller percentage keep a fretless. Added benefit, you have plenty of choices of used fretlesses at about half your budget....

    OR if you play Fender-style basses you can start with a body you already have/like and swap a fretless neck onto it for very little money....

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