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Imminent fretless purchase... need some input

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by psi, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    So I'd like to purchase a low-end fretless electric bass, and I've boiled it down to the following:

    • Lightwave Classica C fretless - haven't been able to try one out, but the sound clips are impressive and they're selling for not that much on ebay
    • Ibanez SR300DXF - tried one out at the store and it sounded alright, nothing spectacular though
    • Hohner B2B + defret job - never tried one out and never performed a defret, but they're cheap and I love headless!!

    Input & suggestions welcome!
  2. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    I just tried a Dean 5 string fretless the other day. It was a great, great fretless bass. I plan on getting one for myself. You may want to check one of those out.
  3. Although I have not played their 5-string & prefer 34" scale, I did have a 4(34")for a short time, & was VERY impressed. It definitely compared some w/much pricier basses, IMO, & clearly beat a few.
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    You're going to get 900 suggestions, but check out the Ibanez Gary Willis signature basses. The B string is great and they play like butter.
  5. If you've never had or tried a fretless Get A Cheap One! - you can always sell it and get a better one if you like it - but remember that fretless isn't everyones cup of tea...

    .just don't spend a lot then end up regretting it, that Hohner de-fret job sounds like a good place to start...personally I'd just get the cheapest one there is and upgrade later
  6. Not to neccesarily disagree, but playing a crappy fretless is not always going to be a good way of knowing whether or not it will be one's cup of tea. The Dean I played was worth $300 & totally KILLED a Warwick Bolt-on Thumb 5. $300 for a great(IM&other'sO)playing fretless vs maybe $200-$250 for, in comparison, total junk to save money? Of course playing as many as possible before buying will probably be suggested repeatedly; let me be the first. :D
  7. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    Yeah, I have to agree here. The Dean fretless I played was just over $400. Well worth it.
  8. old grouch

    old grouch "Old Fool? Ya don't get old, bein' no fool!"

    try THIS

    you can find them HERE

    And you gonna love eeet! Fretless is a way to get a tone unavailable otherwise!
  9. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    Just a vote against the Lightwave as your first fretless. You definitely need to play one first. The sound is quite different than basses with mag pus. I owned a Saber A and sold it. The person who bought it is a collector and the Lightwave just added to his collection. I wasn't particularly impressed with the build quality, but there are some other nice features. e.g. The design is aesthetically pleasing. (In fact, I believe fhodshon, a TB member, helped to design the bass).

    The company also appears to be liquidating their stock, so if the bass has some flaws, the company may not be around to assist in correcting any problems.

    My two cents...
  10. duckbutter


    Mar 30, 2005
    Never heard of them before...beautiful stuff, but I can't seem to find any pricing.
  11. old grouch

    old grouch "Old Fool? Ya don't get old, bein' no fool!"

    I was told start price is about $3K.....up to $6K, which has REAL gold, fiberoptic fret dots (which are totally alloftheway COOL, etc!)
  12. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong

    +1 ... I paid $305 for my 4 string
  13. I am selling my lightwave style a fretless
  14. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Can anyone comment specifically on the Hohner defret? How does defretting work with a zero-fret? Has anyone played a Hohner fretless?

    Dean, ey? I'll definitely check that out.
  15. I defretted a Hohner Steinie copy. I bought it new probably 15 years ago; defretted it maybe 6-7 years ago. Totally butchered it- I took a sharpened center punch & tapped the frets out sideways until I could grab them w/pliers, then ripped them the rest of the way out, along w/bits of the fret/fingerboard. I can't imagine a worse way of doing it. After also pulling out the neck pickup, bandsawing the body for better access to the upper register & otherwise committing sacrilage on this poor Korean mongrel, it plays fairly well & sounds quite nice. BTW, I quit smoking pot not too long after this...
    Edit: As to the defretting a zero-fret bass- leave the zero fret there. ;)
  16. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    That Tony Franklin signature fretless sure looks nice. I'd hold off getting anything without playing one of those first.
  17. A very nice bass, to be sure, but probably 2-3 times the price of the 3 mentioned in the original post.
  18. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Haha thanks for the input. Can you suggest a particular defret method? such as, warming frets and using an end-cutter to pull them straight out...?
  19. wait there is a compleat guide in the modifications part

  20. There's been a lot of discussion/debate/heated argument on this topic. Some will just about tell you you're a complete idiot to consider such sacrilage(sp?) :rolleyes: to a musical instrument- even a cheap one. :eyebrow: Whatever- I certainly don't recommend my method... :rollno: