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Low Cost Fretless Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by osciphex, Feb 23, 2002.


  1. osciphex

    osciphex

    Jun 1, 2001
    ::sigh:: Hey. I've posted about this before, but I'm always checking out new things so once again...

    I'm looking into getting a cheaper fretless bass just to learn on, preferably a 5 or 6 string (might as well add range while i make the transition to fretless afterall.)

    There are a couple of options out there in the super cheap range; theres the Kramer 5 string fretlesses at "musicyo." Those are nice and cheap and seeing as Kramer is owned by Gibson I'd be a little more trusting of them.

    Then theres this bizzare company rondomusic.com that offers really cheap no-name korean made fretlesses basses. I mean no one has ever heard of these brands. I'm not sure if I'd trust them.

    Another option is to just bite the bullet and spend some more; perhaps get one of those MTD Kingston 5 strings everyone is recommending. But at 500+ dollars thats almost twice the price of the ultracheap type models.

    Additionally I could forgo the 5-6 string idea and simply get a four string fretless; afterall, most of my favorite players play 4 string fretlesses... but those extra high and low strings are just so cool...

    Oh well, I'm open to suggestions, other basses, philosopophy, etc. thanks
     
  2. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    My first fretless was a Yamaha RBX-250. A pretty nice low priced bass. I put a Bartolini pickup in it and it sounded great. It had a basswood body, very lightweight, and a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. You should be able to pick up a used one for well under $200.
     
  3. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    You could all ways go MIM J fretless. :)
    I've heard great things about some dean fretless' as well. Perticularly the Rhapsody.

    I could only imagine the upright-like tone it'd get, since it's hollow bodied. I played the fretted version and liked it. I've never played the fretless, though.
     
  4. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The MIM Fender Fretless Jazz basses are outstanding basses for the money. They sound great, and play exceptionally well. I would highly recommend them!
     
  5. Check out my used Kingston 5 fretless in the for sale section, just reduced to $400 including double bass gigag and shipping!
     
  6. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i have to add a vote for the mim jazz. BUT PLAY IT FIRST. from my own experience fender's quality control ranks right up there with my own titans defense (ie it sucks big time) mine is great though and sounds better than most mia's. i want to add a tortosieshell pickguard and a baddass bridge and possibly a sadowsky pre amp and i will be SMOKIN.
     
  7. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Cort Artisan
     
  8. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Get this one, you won't be sorry. Killer fretless, way better than the rest of 'em being discussed. It's a good deal too, if it weren't for the 2 incredible fretlesses I've already got (Zon Sonus 5 and the Guitar Factory 6 in the picture to the left) I'd be all over this one...
     
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have a Dean Edge 5 fretless that I think you should be able to find for about $450 locally. Very nice bass for the money, solid hardware, nice build quality, great 5 piece maple/walnut laminate neck, nice sounding EMG HZ pickups. I love it. For the money it would be very tough to beat. One thing: the Edge has a 35" scale. I thought this would be a little bit of a problem when I bought it, but it's turned out to be no problem at all.

    But for the price it's tough not to want to try one of those Rondo Music fretless 4s. I'd try one. If they're really made in Korea, not China or Indonesia, they could be nice.
     
  10. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Here's something to consider if you're going to go for a four... The Fender MIM Jazz is like the Honda Civic of basses, EVERY stock part can be upgraded at some time or another. I personally find it quite amusing to tinker with mine. Don't get me wrong, it's a quality bass w/ stock parts, but it can be made BETTER. Easily. :)