Help me buy a new fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TC2112, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. I have played bass for approx. 23 years now and have never owned a fretless. I just have never been in a band or other position to need one. since joining here and seeing everyone rave about SX and Rondo, I'm going to make the minimal investment and give one a shot. So, I have a few questions for those with the experience.

    I have pretty small hands and like Jazz necks, but I'm wondering if the SX guitars follow the same Fender type neck design. Does their 99.00 P bass fretless copy have the same wider flatter neck as a standard P? Should I consider short scale? I have always had 34" scale guitars, but the idea of a shorter neck feels like it may give me more control and better finger positioning.

    Fill in the noob on the world of no frets
  2. Can't comment on SX other than the obvious excellent rep they have here. As for scale, I am much more comfortable keeping to the same scale when going from fretted to fretless(and back). Also, IME 34" is just tonally *right* somehow for fretless(for me), although that doesn't mean you will feel the same way.
  3. If you always play and always has played 34" I can imagine changing to another scale for fretless will give you hard times. Go to a shop and test a 34" fretless and see how it feels, probably you'll be very happy with that and get a good hold of how to work it using the same scale as your fingers are used too...

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. Dont know about the SX but the Fender Squire re-issue runs around $300 and is a great frettless bass.
  5. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Inactive Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains:
    For your first fretless dont go wild...

    Get the Fender Squire Vintage Modified Jazz... as says before, its around $300, you can probably find used for cheaper...

    Its a Terrific bass for the money! it really is...

  6. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Ya'll beat me to it - I was going to suggest this one also.

    You'll probably hear a bunch of arguments about lined vs unlined, so I'll go ahead and get my POV on that out of the way now.

    I initially learned fretless on an unlined neck, my L2000 which I still have, but in retrospect, a lined neck might make it a little easier to start off with.

    Or at least, it might not be quite as discouraging. And I still do better on my lined fretlesses up past the "12th fret", which means I havn't really learnt that part of neck as well as I should yet.

    Below that, I prefer unlined. I also prefer unlined in general because you don't have the risk of the inserts popping out of the slots which can really make a mess.

    Anyway, basically, don't get bent out of shape about it. You have to play in tune no matter what.

    And again, that $300 Fender is probably the best choice I've seen for a decent low-cost fretless....

  7. +100 on that! Mine has quickly become my main bass! The guys in the band get kind of disappointed when I bring one of my other basses to practice.

    Tough to beat for the $$$$$$$
  8. I've got the 5-string SX Jazz fretless bass as a backup. For $130, it was a great price, but it took some work to get it set up regarding the string-in-nut height and truss rod adjustment. It has some dead spots, too. I decided to put a fretted neck on since I was not playing it that much.

    I played a 4-string fretted SX Jazz and it was ready to go from the start.

    If you aren't a DIY-er, the Squire (once again) is a great first fretless.
  9. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    +1 on the Squier.

    I own a Squier VM Jazz and it is a good instrument. I owned a SX fretless and sent it back as it was terrible IMO.

    Regardless of what you do, buy an inexpensive one to start. I have my Squier and rarely play it as fretless just isn't my thing. I would hate to have an expensive fretless being unplayed collecting dust.
  10. yeah -
    this was why I was asking specifically about the SX. If I hate it or don't play it very often, for 39 bucks I can put a SX fretted neck on it. If I hate fretless with the squier, then I have to take a loss on the resale

    and while it really doesn't matter to the playability, I don't like the control plate with no pickguard
  11. dakpluto


    Oct 14, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    Stick with the scale you know, it will make your life much easier.

    The SX are fine for your purposes. And plenty of room on them to upgrade to an even better quality if fretless really takes off for you.

    My SX Fretless is a Jazz, not a P, but the neck actually feels a lot like my MiM P-bass. It's without a doubt not a thin neck, but doesn't feel clunky or akward at all. And the fretboard on mine is actually better than the fretless board on my Ibanez that was 3 times the cost.

    (And I have very small hands for a bass player also, and I'll tell you that the SX necks are very easy to use)
  12. sozo


    Jan 23, 2009

    I second this, go w/ a Fender Squire esp. if you like the Fender neck, has them new for $279. delivered and you get a 2 yr. warranty.

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