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If you were going to spend 2500 on a neck thru fretless what would you buy ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by godoze, May 27, 2003.

  1. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Well, it's that time again. Neck thru fretless time that is...i've budgeted $2500.00 (give or take) for this venture. I still need a new upright so i cannot blow too much cake on this.

    Probably will get a 5 but a little part of me keeps telling me to go back to 6.

    So, of the basses you've PLAYED or OWNED, what would you recommend ?

    Small luthiers or big -- i'm considering them all.

  2. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    After I got my R bass setup, it kicks anything I've played! Still love my MTD, but its not the main ax.

    Sure they look like other basses, but they play like them too!
  3. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    Would you consider a set neck? If so, I would seriously consider having Carey Nordstrand build it. I am very impressed with his work and knowledge of the instrument.

  4. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Pedulla pentabuzz, or just a buzz if you into 4 stringers.

    The diamondcoat board just has to be experienced once for you to fall in love.
  5. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I've been playing fretless for 15 years or more, and I've owned a bunch of them. In my experience, the two best are F Bass and Roscoe, but neither of them are neck-thru (unless you can find an older F Bass). I'm not sure that neck-thru construction adds anything special.

  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'd buy a cheaper one and then, wow, I'd have $$$ left over! :eek: :rolleyes:

    More seriously, I'd be quite tempted by the one CS is playing in the pic below (CS is on the left, with The Mock Turtle Regulator in the middle and Tsal at the back... I'm on the other side of the camera and this was taken at our mini-TB get together in January ;) ):


    It's a Sei fretless 5 string with Lightwave pickups which we found in The Gallery. Beautiful feel, lovely sound and drop-dead gorgeous looks! It was still in the store last time I popped up there in late April, so it might be worth checking the Sei Bass website to get their number and see if it's still there and what it would cost....

  7. How about a Wal?

  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    a wal...makes me think of percy jones...are they still being made ?
  9. arcopizz


    Sep 3, 2002
    I, too, am searching for a new neck-thru fretless 6. Carey Nordstrand has all but convinced me the the virtues of a set neck are comparable. I've also been looking at Stambaugh. It's a tough decision. Good luck!
  10. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    a set neck...I've only owned one and that was a PRS back in the 80's.

    I was always afraid i was going to break the neck off. It seemed more fragile than a bolt on and less stable than a neck thru. that is just my impression.

    I do not even remember how that pig sounded.

    Does the set neck kind of do the "best of both worlds " thing ?
  11. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Ok, have to amend my statement, cause I didn't see the fretless part in the title.

    Thank you drive thru...
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
  13. Well, James linked my Benavente fretless, so I'd recommend one of those, or else, I'd suggest an Anthony Syme (small luthier, here in Colorado Springs).... I prefer the Lightwave system for fretless, and he makes some killer ones!

    Syme basses
  14. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    IMO and IME set neck is a great construction ( this is what I use ;D) but, I'm sure that bolt on can be comparable if really well done.

    This in my mind implies the use of neck inserts and machine screws rather than wood screws and also a deep neck pocket into the body.

    I'll be working on bolt-ons soon and I'll look for tonal differences if there are some.

    For some reasons, I've never been a fan of NT construction. I feel like attack is slower on NT and this is not my taste.

    Carey would buid you a killer fretless for sure ;)

  15. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    I'd like to see the Mark's fretless JP-bass. Who can post it?
  16. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The type of neck has zip to do with fragility IME. Construction is key. You can easily get rock solid performance from any type of neck joint.

    As far as "best of both worlds" I'm clearly biased (this is my bass)but this one nails it:

    Brubaker neck thru-bolt on fretless 5 thread

    You can keep the price down by keeping it relatively simple... or go for the knockout punch like I did:D

    Other builders I would highly recommend are Chris Stambaugh (I have two of his SC bolt-on fretlesses and they're sweet), Rob Elrick, Joe Zon and George Furlanetto of F bass. The last three guys are a bit above your price range new.

    One of my favorite pics:

    Fretless family
  18. I'd be VERY tempted by the JP-basses single-cut, chambered body design! I think that would make a dynamite fretless bass!!

    Looks nice, xush, can't wait to hear it.....wish you were a bit closer to me geographically....

    mark s.
  19. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
  20. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    unfortunately Spector's
    are my least favorite basses.

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