My first NBD!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 5aP, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. 5aP


    Jun 29, 2020
    So hello to everyone!

    Today was a bit weird day. At first, everything was standard, until I ran into ad - fretless bass.

    I called a guy and everything seemed fine with a story he was telling me about a bass. Long story short: I got into a car, drove few hours there and back, and plugged it into my amp and started jamming.

    Although it is a Harley Benson guitar, a fretlessbass is a totaly new ride for me. So, please lay some advices and smart word on me: strings, setup...


  2. wow it looks a real beauty!
    i bet it would sound great with rotosound tapewounds
  3. 5aP


    Jun 29, 2020
    Thank you! I'm not sure what kind of strings are on, but they sure sound interesting. Definetly a total new feeling.
    But not sure about maintainance.
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  4. The people in this thread all own Harley Benton basses, a few own that very model.

    Someone there will provide you with tips on set up.

    I own a Harley Benton club
    the harp unstrung and 5aP like this.
  5. 5aP


    Jun 29, 2020
    I ment on flatwound strings, but thank you for that. That will be helpfull too. Cheers!
  6. Tommy Tryhard

    Tommy Tryhard

    Feb 3, 2019
    Cool bass, congratulations! I recently put TI Jazz flats on my fretless Jazz bass & the sound & feel is amazing. They're a bit pricey but well worth it in my book.
    EatS1stBassist and 5aP like this.
  7. 5aP


    Jun 29, 2020

    Thank you for sharing your expirience. Never heard for that brand, but I'll seek them out.
    Fretless is totaly new world for me, so that's why I went with a cheeper bass. But on the other hand, it really looks cool.
    Btw, this is the first time I play such a soft strings.

    Question, do I do something with fingerboard? Does it need some waxing or something?
  8. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    Super cool looking bass.....057912
    5aP likes this.
  9. Setup? I'm from the school where on a fretless, roundwounds should be used. In this case, it is good to set the height of strings fairly (even very) low. The nice 'meaww' of fretless comes from string touching the fingerboard when it vibrates, along some distance from where the string is fingered. The higher strings, the shorter the distance, hence less of this effect. When the strings are low, there's plenty of 'meaww', but the sound might lose too much of the lows and too much of the punch.

    Don't know whether it is the same with flats, I don't recall ever seeing flat wound fretless in a real situation. I guess yes is the answer. But you can check it out yourself - you can lower or raise the bridge using the two round metal screws on the side of the bridge. You won't do no harm to your bass with this operation; just loose the strings a bit before you rotate the screws.

    There's also setting up the truss rod and tuning octaves. There's a good chance it would not have to be done. If you feel you should learn about this, check some youtube videos about this issue. It's generally the same as with fretted bass.

    EDIT: On the pic, it seems that the neck pickup is set very high. If your strings touch the pickup, you need to lower it down. Just screw in the two screws closest to the silver pickup cover. (This also impacts the sound; I like it when the pickups are very low, so I would screw it in anyway.)
  10. 5aP


    Jun 29, 2020
    Great! Those stuff I did not know! And now I undrestand why I don't have that "meaaaw".

    Thank you!
  11. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    Congrats on your first fretless!
    I was expecting to look that bass up and find that it had a synthetic fingerboard, but no, according to Harley Benton, your " Beatbass" has a purpleheart fingerboard. I would use a high quality fingerboard treatment for dark woods as Guitar Honey. Lemon oil is is a popular treatment too... Use sparingly. You don't want to saturate the wood.
    TI (Thomastik-Infield) JF344 are THE flat for a lot of folks. Yes, they are pricey, but they last forever, and are amazing. The best deals on them are often in Amazon, but the prices fluctuate.
    In this part of the country, that signature fretless sound is called "mwahh". You'll know it when you hear it. Not sure how to get meaww out of mine... lol. (No offence JJ ... just funnin ya).
    But more importantly.... what's that odd stick looking thing in the stand to the left?
    EatS1stBassist and 5aP like this.
  12. I suspect @5aP lives in Europe. TI jazz flats cost the same as La Bella, D'addario Chromes, Ernie Ball Cobalts and GHS here.
    5aP likes this.
  13. Yay!!!
    kodiakblair likes this.
  14. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    If You like the sound and design - it's fine. The only thing - it has no fretlines, at start it will be a bit hard to play fine without them.
    5aP likes this.
  15. 5aP


    Jun 29, 2020
    Thank you! Yeah, I also expected to get something pretty not woody, but I was wring.

    Great! Tnx for the tips!

    That stick is called fujara. You can looked it up on youtube. Btw, this one is tuned to G.
  16. telecopy


    Dec 6, 2009
    Time to bring some mmwah to All My Lovin'.
    Son of Wobble, Pdaddy1978 and JRA like this.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    i can't think of a better NBD than a fretless one --- and yours looks really nice! congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
    EatS1stBassist and 5aP like this.
  18. Stewie


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Just play it! I bought a fretless neck for my Jazz Bass in 1976. Took about a week to play it and not hurt others ears. Recently I've been trying to learn frets. It's a lot harder than fretless. Have a ball (I'd recommend flats, I beat the snot out of my rosewood Fender neck with Rotosounds, No wear since I went to flats 35 years ago. Okay guys, throw stones at me)
  19. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    TI Jazz flats sound great on my friend's Precision (fretted). I've never tried them on my fretless. I like tapewounds - consider trying LaBella white nylon.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  20. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    I'd vote for some TI Jazz flats, can't go wrong really, have them on my Hoffy and they have the nice, warm nickel sound - and taking off the shipping piece from under the bridge.
    EatS1stBassist and 5aP like this.